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Author Topic: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?  (Read 943 times)

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Offline Henrius

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Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« on: August 13, 2018, 08:39:47 AM »
My fuel tank sending unit for my 1973 hatchback is shot. Do they make reproductions? Is it specific to the Pinto, or is it universal? My restoration crew is good about finding parts but is hung up trying to find this item.
1973 Pinto Runabout with upgraded 2.0 liter & 4 speed, and factory sunroof. My first car, now restored, and better than it was when it rolled off the assembly line!

Offline mklarose

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 05:09:11 PM »
Most cars from the 70's used the same electrical set up for the fuel sending unit/gauge. It was a 92 ohm variable resister mounted on a swing arm/float in your tank. A good gas tank repair place should be able to repair or replace the sending unit from a donor sending unit (if you cant find a new resister) allowing you to keep your original tank locking ring cap(where your electrical and fuel line comes through) You may be able to get a new unit from a Mustang II or Maverick as a donor and make one out of two.   

Offline Henrius

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 09:13:22 PM »
Thanks for this reply, however tardy it was. This is valuable information. Now why did not gauges ever register "empty" when tank was empty and "full" when fully full?


Thankfully, a rest shop was able to fabricate a new fuel sensor out of parts from other cars.
1973 Pinto Runabout with upgraded 2.0 liter & 4 speed, and factory sunroof. My first car, now restored, and better than it was when it rolled off the assembly line!

Offline mklarose

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 11:54:36 AM »
Not 100% sure what your asking on the second question.
Is why is there still gas in the tank (I can drive it)  when the gauge reads "empty" and why can I drive for awhile "on full" before it starts to fall? 

Offline Henrius

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 06:18:25 PM »
So many American cars of the period, including the Pinto, register way to the right of F when full, and to the right of E when empty. Now gas gauges are accurate. Sure would like a way to make the old ones as true reading as the new ones.
1973 Pinto Runabout with upgraded 2.0 liter & 4 speed, and factory sunroof. My first car, now restored, and better than it was when it rolled off the assembly line!

Offline mklarose

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 07:08:29 PM »
That is true. You could make it spot on if you like but it would require you to remove the sender unit, and adjust the float arm travel. There is adjustment via bending the float arm but that requires you to drop the tank and take the unit out. The you would have to do a manual adjustment of the float arm till the range of movement is the full travel of tank (up/down). Some units may even have an adjusting screw to adjust the resistance to suit your needs. Once again you have to remove stuff and it still may not be perfect.. You have to ask yourself is it really worth it? Part of the charm of an old car is its flaws. I would bet 99% of the 2019 cars will not be on the road in 47 yrs but yours is. Personally I just know the mileage I get to a tank and monitor that way. Keeps tabs on the engine performance that way as well. Hope in the end you get what you want.

Offline pinto_one

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2020, 08:30:48 AM »
Well you do not have to drop the tank to remove the sender , and bending the sender arm will not ever being close to acorate in how much fuel you have in the tank , even brand new pintos would not because of the odd shape of the fuel tank is to blame , as for a sender for the 71 up pinto you can use a later unit but have to plug the extra return line ,  to make the fuel gauge read right you will have to add a gauge match unit and a new elctronic TVR behind the panel , or bypass it , the device is called Meter Match  , after you install it between the sender and gauge ( I put mine in the pannel next to the headlight dimmer switch where the wires go to the tank ) and you start filling the empty tank and program 1/4  1/2 and 3/4 full on it , it also has a wire if you want a low fuel light to kick in when you set it , cost was around forty bucks , now when it says half a tank its realy half a tank , you might still find the write up I did a few yaers ago on this in the help section with photos , and my reply to mklarose is you are right , newr cars of today will not be around unless they end up barn finds later , my pinto is 45 years old and been updating parts in it and I can say it just like new , I keep it inside and only drive it on nice days when low trafic is there , it will out last me if runs for 34 more years ,( will be 100 by then ) just to give you a idea . hope this helps you , later Blaine
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline pinto_one

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Re: Is fuel tank sending unit specific to Pinto?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2020, 07:50:58 AM »
Here is a update , got a photo of the little box with the name of the company , just checked and yep the price went up , still not to bad if you want your gauge to read right , but you must cahange out the TVR behind the fuel gauge to work right , best is to call them and they have a bypass unit that will work , also the write up I did years ago here had photos of the wiring and a cutaway gas tank with the sender ,just got to find it , later Blaine
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0