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Discussion Starter #1
Just getting my 86 351w/C6 on the road heading for exhaust in the morning.. Only gauge that doesn't work is my gas gauge. PO cut a hole above the tank ( :rolleyes: ), i'd like to determine the issue before getting the sending unit out though. I think he cut the hole in the wrong spot too lol. Anyways.. Is there a test procedure to determine if it's my cluster (I doubt that), sender, wiring (some testing procedures would be great, wires look OK with a cursory glance). If it is the sending unit, where is the best place to get one for an 86, I can't seem to find them at NAPA.

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Fixed mine a couple months ago. In my case there were 3 problems:

- Sender float had a split on one of the solder joints (metal float) and sunk too low to read accurately. New sender unit from JBG.
- The female pins on the multiplug connector on the top of the engine were loose. Crimped them tighter with needlenose pliers
- The gauge was reading in the wrong range - transferred a fuel gauge from a junkyard cluster.

Only THEN did my gauge work for the first time since buying the truck 15 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well damn, that's disheartening.. LOL

Mine is carb'd, so not sweating the any engine connectors. I too am leaning towards the sender or float, I may just bite the bullet and drop the tank first thing. The rest of my gauge works like a top, hoping that single gauge didn't go kaput.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
^ The PO cut a half ass one, anyone have specs on EXACT location to be cut?
 

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I drilled a hole with a hole saw, so you're beyond that. If you are interested in trying, I can crawl under and take a measurement. 99% of everybody else cut a square or rectangular opening
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I csn finish up this one that was started. I'll need to source a scrap piece to cover the hole, PO didn't supply the piece he cut out
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SO I replaced the sender, though mine looked fine. Now when I fill up, the gauge goes to full, but within 20 miles it's on empty. I've traded down all wires from take to cab and see now bad wiring. I thought about replaced JUST the gas gauge portion in my cluster, as everything else works great. I found one from an 86 Bronco on ebay for cheap. Question is, can JUST the fuel gauge be replaced? Looking at the back circuit board it all look integrated. Also how hard is it to get the cluster out with the column shift indicator built in?

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you should be able to take the cluster apart and replace just the gas gauge. Ive never torn apart one from that vintage bronco, but my 92-96 can be fully dis-assembled. thought its a GIANT pain in the ass. The 92-96 has these little clips that hold the PC film in place. They are a giant pain in the ass to remove without tearing anything up.

 

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EDIT - On a '92-96 cluster, as pictured above.
I don't believe you have to remove the film to replace a gauge. I just took a small rod and pushed on the gauge through the holes in those clips. Those are actually a little single connector socket. Push out all three (at the same time), and the gauge falls out the other side.
The back of the gauge has thick pins that fit in those sockets.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here's what the 80-86 looks like, maybe a little better than what you have pictured :

Looks like it may be accessible from the front
 

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I think you can check the fuel gauge without disassembling it. You have to get a good ground to the connector terminal at the fuel sending unit side. If the needle goes to full, the gauge is working ok. If you have already replaced the sending unit, maybe it is not well grounded. Otherwise if it is the gauge at the end, you must disassemble the back panel/warning light part of the gauge cluster to get access to the gauge. It is attached with two nuts.

I had the same problem many years ago on my old BroncoII. In my case it was a bad float. Luckily, the previous owner had cut the access hole on the right spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Replaced the gauge in the cluster yesterday.. It isn't working either..
 
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