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Modifying problem fuel senders ?


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Has anyone tried modifying the problematic fuel senders rather than replacing the entire unit with the float arm type ?

I noticed while removing mine that it worked perfectly if the float ring was moved up or down the vertical shaft. Perhaps the ring doesn't have enough floatation ? I'm guessing as designed the ring is near neutral bouyancy so that it's damped and the gauge doesn't bounce as fuel slops around within the tank. But I'm not bothered by bouncing guage, I just want an accurate reading when stationary in a calm slalom course.

Any thoughts on adding some extra fuel resistant floation to the float ring ? :unsure:

I'd just buy a new Teleflex sender but they cost about 3 times USA price here in NZ. Mad.gif I'd rather no cost DIY modify existing sender and have extra to spend on fuel than pay rip off price for a new sender.

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I tried that with mine. (Different brand, same problem with the float.) I actually took the float off and ground a little of the float ring away so it would slide up and down easier. It worked for a little while and then it bound up again. I ended up pulling the tank out three times for the same problem and eventually just replaced the sender. It's worked perfectly ever since. I know it's expensive, but if I had it to do again, I'd just replace it the first time and save myself a lot of hours of hassle.

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So you're thinking it jams on the shaft ? My thoughts was it doesn't float enough as mine tends to read full occassionally but generally reads 1/4 or empty.

Being most skiers I'd prefer to keep running about 1/4 tank than we're we currently run at 1/2 to 3/4 for certainty of not running out.

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When I replaced my sender, I found that there was a more fundamental problem in that the sensor itself was not as deep as the tank - by a long shot. It's been a couple years now, so I can't recall the actual measurements. But it seems to me that on the RLXi the fuel tank was something like 9-10" deep, while the float only had like 6-7" of travel. So my gauge would read empty, but there would still be on the order of 10 gallons of fuel in the tank.

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Hmm. That's not what I saw when I did my '04. The tank was a touch over 6" deep and the sender was darn close to that as well. http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index....page=fuelsender

You'd think the fuel itself would work as a lubricant to keep the float from binding, but it's an interesting thought. The original sender is certainly a much tougher looking sender than the cheap looking Teleflex, but at least the Teleflex works perfectly.


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OK - looking at your link, it would seem that my recollection of the numbers is not quite right. But I will say that my original sender did not look like yours - on mine, the shaft of the sensor was black plastic rather than the shiney metal like yours. And I distinctly remember that whatever the measurements were, the sender was not deep enough for the tank. I wonder if I somehow had the wrong sender in mine?

Regardless, I agree with your comment that the 'cheap looking Teleflex' works perfectly. For as easy as that mod was, I have no second thoughts about changing it.

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...my original sender did not look like yours - on mine, the shaft of the sensor was black plastic rather than the shiney metal like yours.

Thinking about this a little more, my '03 was from early in the model year, I see you have an '04. Given that '03 was the first year for the RLXi, I wonder if they realized the problem somewhere along the line and changed the fuel sender design to make it longer?

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The sender on my 2000 SLXI was almost 2 inches shorter than the depth of the tank. I purchased a Tempo brand in Canada for about $30. The installation was easy and it is extremely accurate. Money well spent.

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