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Premium Member
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I started the bike up earlier this year, early April, everything was fine. A couple of weeks ago I started ir for a potential buyer, and the fuel gauge was not working. When the key is turned on, the gauge lights up, and the needle actually goes down from it's off position. I know the tank is over 3/4 full. Is this a failed sending unit? Or an electrical short or break?
 

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Premium Member
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267 Posts
Hi: I can't think of a reason why the guage would go lower than E unless the polarity were reversed somehow. Any way, check the wiring first for continuity. If no faults are found then the sending unit is most probable cause. It could be mechanically stuck down, which seems unlikely, or an electrical fault. The resistance should change in relation to float position, which you can test if you remove the sending unit, with a multimeter.
If still no fault found, then the guage itself may be the culpret.
Hope others have input or experience with this. I will follow the thread to learn from your findings.
Bronson
 

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Chucklehead
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1,050 Posts
Seems to be a common problem, mine wasn't working when I got it. It ended up being a broken connection in the sending unit in the tank. I was able to solder it back together after a few hours of monkeying. I suggest pulling the sending unit and checking resistance across the sweep of the float, and then you might have to test your patience opening it up and finding the break, it can be done, mine is still working .... for now.
 

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Premium Member
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The part that confuses me it that the needle moves to below "E" when the key is turned on. That seems like it is getting a signal from somewhere, so I am tending to doubt the bad fuse/broken connection theory. But, I'm by far no expert. Is there a simple way to check for a stuck float? And to free it?
 

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Chucklehead
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1,050 Posts
The easiest way to check for stuck float (but not the neatest) is to pull it from the tank and physically check it. At that point you could reconnect it to the bike and move the arm and see if the needle moves.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Can you see inside the tank with a flashlight, then reach in with a piece of wire to move the float lever?
 

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Chucklehead
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Can you see inside the tank with a flashlight, then reach in with a piece of wire to move the float lever?
There I go overthinking again ... too eager to grab wrenches .....
 

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Registered
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98 Posts
Mine had a broken connection like dragon was describing. There is an "L-like" piece in there that broke right at the bend. I too was able to solder it back after an hour so of rigging. I think I actually wound up drilling a hole in the base, screwing in a small screw and soldering to that. I could not get solder to stick to the brass/copper parts.
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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4,508 Posts
My guage did not function when I bought the bike..... a few months later I replaced the sending unit which enabled the guage to function. My sending unit had a broken coil wire on the action side, which I figured would not function 100% normally after soldering. Good Luck
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts
See Page "15-46 Electrical System" of the Kawa Service Manual and it explains how to test your fuel gauge by removing your seat, locating the fuel gauge connector and jumping it with a small gauge wire. Very simple and it will tell you whether your gauge is bad or your float.
 

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Premium Member
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
See Page "15-46 Electrical System" of the Kawa Service Manual and it explains how to test your fuel gauge by removing your seat, locating the fuel gauge connector and jumping it with a small gauge wire. Very simple and it will tell you whether your gauge is bad or your float.
Cool! Thanks. I will give it a try...
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #12
Found the problem. It was so simple, I'm embarrassed to admit it. The connector under the seat had come apart and I didn't notice it. Reconnect, put on a wire tie, and all set to go. I love it when it's simple, but it's embarrassing!:BLAM:
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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Glad to hear it was something simple.
 

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Chucklehead
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Too simple ...... I'd still be checking lol
 

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Super Moderator
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Found the problem. It was so simple, I'm embarrassed to admit it. The connector under the seat had come apart and I didn't notice it. Reconnect, put on a wire tie, and all set to go. I love it when it's simple, but it's embarrassing!:BLAM:

Not as embarrased as every poster here for giving you all sorts of suggestions, and not one of them asked. "Are you sure it's plugged in?"

A TV repairman told me once that he still gets at least one customer per year that has him come out to fix their "dead" television ... Dead because it was not plugged in.....;)
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
I have a friend who phoned me one time about 10-12 years ago to help start his car.
I went over, twisted the battery cable connections to check they were tight, and one came right off the terminal. Pushed/twisted it back down hard and told him to try the starter. Fired right up. He was as red faced then, as we all are now. lol

(BTW, I did tighten the terminal clamp bolt.)
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts
Not as embarrased as every poster here for giving you all sorts of suggestions, and not one of them asked. "Are you sure it's plugged in?"
I'm not embarrassed. My suggestion was able to help him find the solution. :beerchug:
 
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