I'm not sure if it's still spotty or not, in fact it might be working good now. I haven't filled up the tank to see since I'm not driving it right now.
It WAS inoperable when I got the van because the brass float was off of it. It's in the tank floating around but it does no harm. I have a plastic fuel tank, no rust, so I didn't bother dropping it to clean or inspect. My fuel sending unit installs into the side of the tank so no need to drop it to get it out.
I rebuilt the fuel sending unit because it's such a rare part. It can only be bought new old stock. It was cheaper to buy the fuel sock, brass float, and make the rubberized cork gasket. Before installing it back in the tank, I did some testing and in the 'full' position it was only showing 3/4 full on the gauge.
About a month ago when moving out of a house and hauling away several trailer loads of stuff, I had close to half a tank of gas in it (what was in it plus what I added, based on guessing) and the gauge showed half way so it might be working right now. The fuel may have cleaned up the sending unit's wires that do the sensing.
Here's my blog post (with pics) about the sending unit refurbishment: http://cubey7800.blogspot.com/2012/1...llon-fuel.html
I'll still carry some extra fuel to be safe. I can dump a gallon in my scooter as needed from it too if the van doesn't need it.