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Fuel gauge doesn't work after fuel filter replaced


NoHeat

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I replaced my fuel filter for the first time (my 2003 1150RT now has 24k miles). The problem is that the fuel gauge on my RID doesn't indicate anything. No bars light up at all, even after I add 4 gallons of fuel.

 

Anybody have an idea what would cause this?

 

Here are the other symptoms:

 

The yellow idiot light for low fuel level works okay. It came on when the tank was still empty, and it extinguished after I added about one gallon of fuel. I understand that this uses a different sender, as compared to the fuel level on the RID.

 

The oil temperature display works okay, so I know the problem isn't a fuse for the RID.

 

 

When I was doing the work, here's what I did:

I took the fuel tank off, drained it, removed the brass-colored flange on the tank, removed the Oetiker clamps on the filter (while being careful not to bend the rod on the float), replaced the filter, installed new Oetiker clamps. Then it sat there in my garage for about two weeks until I completed the job. When I reassembled the tank I was careful not to bend the arm on the float. I re-used the old o-ring.

 

Possible goofups:

 

- Electrical:

I think I remembered to reconnect the electrical connector inside the tank. There's also another connector outside the tank, near the mounting bolt for the tank, and I know that I got that connector together although I don't know if it is fully clicked together. Dirt on a connector is a possibility I suppose since the tank sat in my garage for two weeks before I finished the job. I didn't make any effort to clean the connectors.

 

- Vent lines:

There's a 50-50 chance I mixed up the two vent lines inside the tank. (I made pencil marks as I disassembled, but they were rubbed off before I reassembled, so I had to guess). To check this, after installing the tank, I used compressed air blowing into the holes near the gas cap to identify which hose that was connected to, at the end of the hose near the quick-disconnects, and I made sure after mounting the tank that I connected that hose to the one that leads to the foot-peg area.

 

- Mechanical:

- I don't think I bent the rod for the float inside the tank. It flopped around plenty when I handled it while removing the brass flange, replacing the filter, and reinstalling the brass flange, but I don't think I bent anything.

- I don't think my fuel-hose clamps on the fuel filter interfered with anything. I used Oetiker clamps, similar to the originals, and I made sure they were turned so that they didn't interfere with reinstalling the big brass flange.

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I think you have a mechanical problem with yout float i.e. bent/jammed. If you had forgotten to plug the fuel tank to the bike your fuel pump wouldn't work. Or maybe you got the orientation wrong of the assembly wrong. I just did mine and whoever worked on it before had taken a marker and made regristration marks on the tank and metal plate. Good thing too cause I probably would not have done that. Of course maybe one of the connector pins became bent of broke off.

 

Take the tank of and check the external connections. then go internal if necessary.

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As you know the float arm you saw when you changed the filter is for the low fuel warning light, and is appears all is OK with that (this is the sender that frequently gets messed up when changing the fuel filter.) The sender for the RID gauge shouldn't be affected by working on the fuel filter though. It's possible to damage it via excessive tank vacuum if the vent line is plugged, but sounds like you have that all sorted out properly.

 

I would guess that it's just a simple electrical connection problem. If the tank connector was completely disconnected the bike wouldn't run (no power to the fuel pump) so it's at least partially connected, but maybe not all the way? Or could one of the pins have been bent? The RID gauge can be pretty sensitive to a dirty/poor connection at the tank connector.

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John, the actual fuel gauge float tube inside the tank has wires running from it inside the fuel tank itself.. Those wires plug into a connector on the inside (backside) of the tank pass through plate.. If the tank sat for a couple of weeks before reassembly you might have forgotten you disconnected that connector on the back of the pass through plate when you pulled it apart.. Do you remember re-connecting it at reassembly time? If that connector is not connected it will allow everything to work except the fuel gauge..

 

Twisty

 

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I just replaced my filter and it seemed very easy to bend something when I snaked that part with 8-legs back through a too small hole.

Something is bent or pinched.

So far my gauge works fine.

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The float arm is probably hung up on something not allowing it to register (rise/float) when adding fuel. You'll have to remove the filler cap assembly (beware that the o-ring may expand once removed, and it may be difficult to reinstall the assembly.) I had to cut the o ring, and remove about a 1/4" of it to refit.

 

Once the filler cap assm is out, this opens up the tank a bit so you may be able to shine a flashlight in, and perhaps see what's going on. You may be able to free it with a bent coat hanger.

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John,

As Twisty pointed out, the mechanical float assembly attached to the fuel tank access plate that you removed only operates the low fuel warning light. An electrical connector (two conductor I think) has to be disconnected from the inside of the access plate before the access plate and low fuel warning light float assembly can be removed from the tank. This disconnected electrical connector is attached to the fuel level sending unit mounted up inside the tank.

 

You probably forgot to reconnect this connector when you reattached the access plate.

 

Hope this helps,

Frank

 

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Twisty1,

 

Thanks for taking the time to post the diagram and explaination. I thought the float assembly (attached to the access plate) was for the fuel gauge.

 

Now lets see... is my "I don't know what I don't know list" any shorter... probably not. :)

 

 

 

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Thanks, Twisty. I was not aware where the fuel gauge sensor was located. I just knew that there must be another sensor besides the float that's so visible when you pull out the brass flange.

 

" the actual fuel gauge float tube inside the tank has wires running from it inside the fuel tank itself.."

 

In your drawing, are these wires represented by your blue dots?

 

"Those wires plug into a connector on the inside (backside) of the tank pass through plate.. If the tank sat for a couple of weeks before reassembly you might have forgotten you disconnected that connector on the back of the pass through plate when you pulled it apart."

 

Forgetting a connector inside the tank is a possibility. Is this the connector I've marked with a yellow arrow?

4064.jpg.bcd821ff03a033d9382d06df0e1c6cac.jpg

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Thanks, Twisty. I was not aware where the fuel gauge sensor was located. I just knew that there must be another sensor besides the float that's so visible when you pull out the brass flange.

 

" the actual fuel gauge float tube inside the tank has wires running from it inside the fuel tank itself.."

 

In your drawing, are these wires represented by your blue dots?

 

"Those wires plug into a connector on the inside (backside) of the tank pass through plate.. If the tank sat for a couple of weeks before reassembly you might have forgotten you disconnected that connector on the back of the pass through plate when you pulled it apart."

 

Forgetting a connector inside the tank is a possibility. Is this the connector I've marked with a yellow arrow?

 

 

John, the picture isn’t real clear but that does look like the little harness from the gauge sender tube..

 

Twisty

 

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