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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came up with this idea while discussing the issues that was experienced by Greg S and others in this thread over at the PRC forum. http://www.prcforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=38721&highlight= and then discovering that my own cap had gotten water in and frozen, I decided to undertake this small modification.

You will need:
1) http://www.jcwhitney.com/universal-fuel-level-gauge-set-for-all-12-volt-negative-ground-systems/p2008885.jcwx?filterid=c27170j1

The contents include the sender, gauge, sender gasket and a chrome mounting bracket should you chose to use it, I did not.



2) Three colors of wire, one for ground (black in my case), one for the sender to gauge (green in my case), and one for power to the gauge (white, because I couldn't find the roll of red grrrr....)

3) Your choice of crimp/ solder on wire connectors

4)electrical tape or shrink tubing for insulation

5) various small tools, wire stripper/crimper, cutting device

A) To start with, READ the included instructions. They are great in that they are simple and to the point. They note that because this is a fuel tank you are dealing with a FLAMMABLE substance that is prone to ignite with spark.

B)Drain your tank of all fuel, the instructions say to remove it and clean it with soap and water... I am dedicated but not quite that, I drained it and let it air out and stopped there... do WHAT you feel is safe

C)Once you have accomplished that you need to cut a hole in your tank, it is important to note that while a hole saw and a drill are fast and efficient they do tend to cause a spark and therefore there is the previously mentioned risk. Because the plastic is thick (about 3/16 an inch) I used a hole saw and drill, probably not wise, but I figured my wife has a decent life insurance policy on me Be careful as you cut that you do not get shavings into the tank. One thing I just thought to mention here, be mindful of where you place your hole to the fact that it needs to be positioned so that the sender float arm can rise and fall free of binding with the side of the tank. My best suggestion is to place your hole off set to one side or the other if you are worried, then you can always angle the sender float toward the furthest corner for adequate clearance. Mine is centered as I had a pretty good idea of what my overall dimensions would be before hand.



D) Now comes the fun part, setting up the sender. You 1st need to measure the depth of your tank. Mine measure 11 1/2 inches deep. Now from past experience with a Willys PickUp that I used one of these on, I decided to set up the sender for a shallower tank. I set mine up for a tank that was about 10 3/4 inches deep. This will provide a "reserve" when the gauge reads empty. Which means that the float it not bobbing on the bottom of the tank and you then have to walk home from work at the hospital in the snow in sub zero weather...

E) Wiring the sender is an interesting step, one that I learned the hard way. Back when whoever designed this unit designed it I am sure all tanks where made of metal and when the sender was installed it was self grounding into the tank, well when installing into a poly tank it can't ground, I learned this the hard way as the first time I used one of these units on the Willys I spent hours trying to figure out why the unit would not work, it turned out that I had insulted the tank so well and put so much silicone one the threads of the mounting screws that the unit itself could then not ground and the gauge would not read... anyhow I digress, so continuing on... you will need to run not only a wire to the gauge but also one from one of the mounting screws (black wire) to a "common ground." I have always just run it to the ground pole on the back of the gauge so that the gauge and the sender share a common ground. Route your wires up to the dash or your desired local for the gauge.



F) For our unit, I decided to put the gauge below the our meter and above the 12v accessory outlet. I used the proper size hole saw and cut out my hole. At this point I ran my wires out through the hole so that they could be attached easily to the back of the gauge. The green wire from the Sender goes to the pole marked (S) the black ground wire from the sender was attached to the (-) pole along with another back wire that was run the the "common" frame ground for the under hood wire harness. Finally a power wire was run from the (+) pole to the ignition hot wire, the wire that only has power when the key is on (i also installed a small inline fuse as this is my common practice).



G) finally the gauge is equipped with a back light for your low light driving needs. the instructions suggest that one wire (the white one) be run to ground and that the red wire be wired into your vehicle's light switch so as to illuminate the gauge when the lights are turned on. For my purposes and because I try to cut and splice the factory harness as little as possible on my ranger, I attached the white wire to the common ground on the back of the gauge and the red wire to the power (+) pole on the back of the gauge. While the light is now on all the time, I view it as less chance of a potential system failure on the ranger. I may decide to change this later, but for now it serves my purposes as this is how I have successfully utilized this unit in the past.



I am quite happy with the install as it will now allow me to know exactly what the fuel level in the tank is with out requesting that the passenger lean out and have a look or for those times I am by myself or it is dark out. For those with a cab this will be very nice as precious heat will not be lost while plowing to check the fuel level in the tank and for those who have a cracked or missing lens on the stock fuel cap, it can now be replaced with the "snapper" option which will not leak YEAH! Now I cannot say for sure if this will work on other makes of UTVs, it will be up to you to determine its ability to function correctly, but I can see no real reason why it wouldn't.
 

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Very nice write-up Ryan - thanks for sharing that with us. :wink: Looks and sounds like it worked out just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey no problem, I figure if I thought it was a good idea, someone else is bound to agree... I just wish I had taken pictures of some of the other mods I've done along the way! :cry:
 
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