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Old 06-08-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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New motorhome owner...fuel tank question.

I have a '77 travel queen and the fuel gauge does not work....of course. I would like to fix it but not sure how to remove the tank. It doesnt have straps like passenger cars do, but what it does have is 4 big round plug looking things on the bottom of the tank. I was thinking these hold the tank up but I cant imagine 4 long rods running through the tank like that. I lifted the couch up front and moved the water tank out of the way and all I saw was wood. Bummer. Even if I figure out a way to remove it Im scared it will leak when I put it back in. Any help would be appreciated. Other than a few other minor repairs it is actually pretty nice.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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Hi ans Welcome to iRV2.
I'm not familure with your coach, but is there any way you could post a picture ? I have seen the underside of way too many coaches in my day , could be a picture would jog my memory. Chassis make and engine type might help too.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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This is it. It is an M500 chassis with a Chrysler 440. Im almost afraid to fill the tank for a trip because I have found so many little things that needed repaired I dont think I could handle another. All new plumbing. The belts all threw on my drive home. Exhaust leaks. Generator issues. etc etc etc. I have most of it done but Im going on a 1200 mile trip/move in the beginning of August and want it to be in the best running condition possible. Not to mention I have no idea what to expect for fuel economy.




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Old 06-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Chassis make would help a bunch.

Most older gm's use a 0 to 90 ohm sender, where zero ohms to ground = empty on the gauge.

You can test these by disconnecting the sening unit wire, the gauge should float high, to way past full.
If you ground the sender wire, the gauge should go to empty.

If it passes both tests, the gauge is good and has power, the sender is either bad, disconnected up above the tank, or (very likely) the ground wire from the sender has broken or otherwise become disconnected.

Again, this is gm stuff, i donno bout no fords or chryslers.... Tho they are sure to be similar.

Good luck, the hardest part will be getting access. Depending on the layout, there may be a connector "on the way to the sender" that you can disconnect to do the tests.

I'd find it way far out there for there to be any factory perforations thru the tank.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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U just beat me...
Chrysler wiring can be kinda weird...
Hope my post provides some help.

One thing.... What you have will be very similar to a same year dodge van.... Wiring diagrams and such would be close.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:04 PM   #6
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I have no clue on how to drop your tank. Here's a link to a bunch of info on Dodge M500 chassis parts and issues. Dodge Chassis Tips dodgetravcos.com - Long Lasting Dodges
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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OK, those look like a drain plug; and from the rust visible ; I would be very reluctant to remove them. The tank is not a Chrysler item; factory "B" van and Cab & Chassis had switched to plastic by 77, with the largest tank being 36 US gals if memory serves me correctly. 78 was the last 440 produced, with a few filtering on into 79 numbered chassis and a realy odd 1980.If you can track down the tank supplier, you may be able to get a sending unit. If you cant get the gauge fixed then, measure the tank and calculate the cubic inches of the tank then divide by CI in a gallon, sould be close on total capacity. Allow 6MPG for a start re-fill tank after 300 miles or carry 5 gals as a spare. If you need to drain the tank to remove it ; syphon the fuel out, like I said with the rust visible I would not remove the plugs.Good Luck, sorry I can't be any more help;
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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OK, those look like a drain plug; and from the rust visible ; I would be very reluctant to remove them.

They are not drain plugs, I am sure of that because there is an actual drain plug in the corner of the tank. I will have to agree about not wanting to remove them though. There are 4 of those funny plug looking things and Im pretty certain they are to drop the tank. Just kinda scared to do that because of the age. I probably wouldnt be able to find a replacement fuel sender anyway...
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Just looking at that rusty tank horrifies me. You never know when a hard bump could cause it to start leaking and possibly catch on fire. Please try to find someone to remove that tank and replace it.

Tom
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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Just looking at that rusty tank horrifies me. You never know when a hard bump could cause it to start leaking and possibly catch on fire. Please try to find someone to remove that tank and replace it.

Tom

Its actually not that bad. just a nice layer of surface rust. But yes, pulling it worries me because who knows if those bolts will go back in, or even come out in the first place. I have the ability to remove and replace it but just not the money.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:00 AM   #11
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Gasoline is corrosive. Dropping the tank would be a good thing to do just to clean out all the rust and other gunk, not to mention possible varnished gas. Have you drained the tank from the drain plug you see? The condition of that drainage could be interesting.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #12
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On Chrysler wiring-if you short the sending unit wire to ground it will read "FULL" and open is "EMPTY" . ON Chrysler cars there is a "ground" strap that is placed over the short rubber gas line at the tank that goes from the hard steel gas line on both sides of the rubber gas line. It's often rusted away. You just need to run a ground wire from the chassis/frame to the gas tank.
And maybe you can post these question on the "vintage" group were someone may remember your Coach and offer better advice.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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Gasoline is corrosive. Dropping the tank would be a good thing to do just to clean out all the rust and other gunk, not to mention possible varnished gas. Have you drained the tank from the drain plug you see? The condition of that drainage could be interesting.

I did not, which may be a good idea actually. I put about 20 gallons in it and have driven it about 70 miles. Id be curious to see how much is in there, and the sediment that pours out also. How would I identify the sender I remove from the tank is my big question. I am just so torn about attempting to remove it. Just so many things could go wrong.... One thing I didnt mention previously, and probably should have. One of the four bolts, or plugs or whatever has some sort of patch on it, which leads me to believe there is some sort of o-ring or grommet to keep it sealed possibly.

Here is a pic, its kind of dark but you can get the idea. For the record I'm kind of embarrassed to post this....









I circled the rear plug, you can sort of see it.

Now you can see that it appears moist and you would think the tank is leaking, but you would be wrong. It is actually very sticky and thick and appears the material used to cover the bolt head is like a tar paper type of material. Again I dont want to uncover this and create a whole other mess. I dont plan on driving this very much after my move, which will be about 1200 miles, and I could invest in a nice fuel cell and sender when the rv is in a more stable place.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:40 AM   #14
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Here is a thought depending on how badly you want a gauge. You can buy a fuel flow meter (West Marine sells them) and connect it to the fuel line near the carburetor. It has a gauge that you can place on/in the dash and you'll know exactly how much fuel you've used on trips. You would have to have a guestimate of how much fuel the tank holds.

I had one on my boat and it worked GREAT. They're pricey at about $300.00.
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