1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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fauslyfox110
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1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby fauslyfox110 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:29 pm



Hey there!

So i've got a 1979 gl1000 as the title suggests and I'm fixing little thing here and there. I have a very simple yet silly sounding question:

Is the fuel gauge supposed to register when the bike has the key turned to the on position?

Or does it only register once the bike is actually turned on?

Thanks!



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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:29 am

With the key "on".The gauges can be a bit slow moving.They don't jump about.
It applies 12 volts to a 7 volt regulator that operates the temp and fuel gauge.
The regulator often goes bad.Test it.
12 volts in,7 volts out and a ground wire.
If it's bad,there is a electronic replacement offered on this site...(Store section)..

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby fauslyfox110 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:58 pm

Thanks for the reply, I shorted the wires at the sending unit as per Randakk's instructions and the needle went up and actually passed FULL. It did this rather slowly. I asked him if this was normal, he responded to my post stating it should be "prompt," and not go past the "full" white marking.

so I decided to test the sender and the regulator:

Fuel sender was a bit off, 4 ohms at full, 85 at empty so its soaking in vinegar now to clean it up

So here are my results after testing 7v regulator:

Red and white wire- read out only 10.9 volts (not 12, might be battery? I havent charged it in a while. or what else could it be?)

Green and black wire surprisingly read 7.01 volts so if its broken its only a bit broken

But then the common terminal where the 7 volt output wire connects to the fuel gauge (one of the little thing bolts) read 3.01 volts. (and i checked at the connector like 10 times to make sure)

I'm assuming the 3.01 volts correspond to the electricity needed to raise the needle to a certain spot?

If so should I worry that when I short the two wires on the sender unit the needle takes a while to move to full?

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:41 pm

the 3 volts may be on the wire that goes to the sensor.
something like this....
12 volts to the regulator....7 volts output goes to one meter lug.....the other lug goes to sensor that has a variable resistance and is grounded.
As the resistance changes,the voltage will change and the meter moves with it.

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby fauslyfox110 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:24 pm

That makes complete sense. Thank you!

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Placerville » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:40 pm

I'll comment on Randakk's 'prompt' remark. I'm translating his meaning as, "It should start moving as soon as you tell it to by turning the key to the 'ON' postion." Meaning, it moves 'promptly' upon turning the key. However, the speed with which it actually moves can be described as "slow and deliberate." It doesn't 'jump' to a position, it crawls. From your description of your voltage, everything seems OK. Cleaning your sending unit with vinegar is a good idea but, cleaning with vinegar leaves a residue behind. So, be sure to open the little box and clean the interior of the unit after it's done soaking. Be very careful of the two little exposed wires that come from the winding.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby 1grouch2u » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:58 pm

While we're on the subject- I've got continuity through my fuel level sending unit- but it's a terrible mess, and my biggest problem is that the float is completely missing! What -and how- would be a good way to resolve this problem? Thanks.

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Placerville » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:44 pm

If your float is missing, I'd suggest that you look for another sending unit on eBay. Yes, you could try to find something to replace that float but, it would need to stand up to permanent immersion in gasoline, be of the correct size, floatation characteristics and attach properly. If it were me, I'd find a used one. If your sending unit is working, it's possible that you could find one that wasn't working but had a float that you could swap out? I see several sending units currently for sale on eBay. Tip: When you replace your sending unit, install it with a new rubber gasket (still available from Honda for less than $2. If you don't put a new one on, you will probably have a leak. Put it on dry, no sealant. Use some lubricant on the locking rings to help them rotate and seat more effectively.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby 1grouch2u » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:02 am

Placerville wrote:If your float is missing, I'd suggest that you look for another sending unit on eBay. Yes, you could try to find something to replace that float but, it would need to stand up to permanent immersion in gasoline, be of the correct size, floatation characteristics and attach properly. If it were me, I'd find a used one. If your sending unit is working, it's possible that you could find one that wasn't working but had a float that you could swap out? I see several sending units currently for sale on eBay. Tip: When you replace your sending unit, install it with a new rubber gasket (still available from Honda for less than $2. If you don't put a new one on, you will probably have a leak. Put it on dry, no sealant. Use some lubricant on the locking rings to help them rotate and seat more effectively.


Ya know, that makes enough sense I might want to try it that way... Thanks :)

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby cbx4evr » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:18 pm

1grouch2u wrote:While we're on the subject- I've got continuity through my fuel level sending unit- but it's a terrible mess, and my biggest problem is that the float is completely missing! What -and how- would be a good way to resolve this problem? Thanks.



I'm parting a 79 GL1000. I still have the complete fuel tank. If the sending unit is the same as what is in your bike it's yours for the cost of postal shipping from Canada.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby JellyBelly » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:57 am

My 78 has a problem registering the right amount of gas...voltage regulator problem I think. When under 12v it registers the right amount but when about 13-14 it registers way past full. lol. Or just whenever it feels like telling me how much gas I have left it'll let me know. Since the new paint job she has been treating me right and telling me correctly 9/10 times...hehehe.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:50 pm

JellyBelly wrote:My 78 has a problem registering the right amount of gas...voltage regulator problem I think. When under 12v it registers the right amount but when about 13-14 it registers way past full. lol. Or just whenever it feels like telling me how much gas I have left it'll let me know. Since the new paint job she has been treating me right and telling me correctly 9/10 times...hehehe.


That sounds like a shorted 7 volt regulator - is your temperature gauge doing the same thing?

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby JellyBelly » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:11 pm

No. U know sometimes the fuel gauge is fine. I thought it had to do with voltage but I've been paying closer attention and i can't figure out a pattern. It's on my to do list. Currently rebuilding carbs on the 77 to sell or use as a loaner for our FAITH riders motorcycle ministry.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby swr1977 » Sun May 25, 2014 9:20 am

I don't know if anyone is still reading this forum but I'll post here and if I don't get a response I start a new...

I have a 1978 GL1000 and the fuel Gauge always reads less then what I have except when I have just filled it. If I refill when the gauge says empty I can only get between 2.5-3 gallons in it, the temp and voltage gauge work fine so I'm not thinking it's the 7v reg... I'm leaning more toward the sending unit.

What do you all think?
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Placerville » Sun May 25, 2014 1:07 pm

You are probably correct. Often, when fuel gauges start acting up, the first place people look is at the 7 volt regulator without taking into consideration if the temp. gauge is working or not. In your case, the most likely cause of your problem is that one of the two wires coming off of your sending unit winding is broken. It's a relatively easy fix if that's the case.

Remove your seat. Siphon the fuel from your tank and remove the sending unit. Remove the little box covering the inner workings by bending up the three little tabs. You will now be looking at this:

Image

In this photo, the wire on the left has broken and is no longer soldered to the 'hot' post (as is the other wire). Due to your description above, this is probably the case with yours. If so, clean the end of the existing broken wire, solder a similar gauge wire to it and then to the post. However, if both wires are attached, further inspection is required. If that's the case, re-post and I'll walk you though it.

Now that you're at this point, you should probably consider the need for tank cleaning. Because your sending unit is out of it's hole and you've got a good view into your tanks interior, what do you see? If you see rust, it's time to clean both your tank and sending unit. Don't re-use your sending unit gasket. New one's are available from Honda. No sealant. More info here.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Fred Camper » Sun May 25, 2014 2:09 pm

Keep in mind that most of us can only get 3.5 gallons in when you first hit empty. I have heard folks say it can be adjusted but many of us accept that and use the trip odo for fuel timing.

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Placerville » Sun May 25, 2014 3:33 pm

Fred Camper wrote:Keep in mind that most of us can only get 3.5 gallons in when you first hit empty. I have heard folks say it can be adjusted but many of us accept that and use the trip odo for fuel timing.


Fred,

I've seen those comments before.

I think that, in many of those cases, the reading on the gauge (empty) is actually incorrect prior to putting the fuel in. It's caused by one of the winding wires breaking and, as a result, the ohms are off, sending a misleading signal to the gauge. The gauge will still work with one of the wires broken, it just doesn't work right.

As far as adjusting a sending unit, its accuracy is set at the factory through the hole marked by the (black) arrow. Sticking a small bladed screwdriver in there and moving the toothed plate back and forth moves the winding a tiny bit, which adjusts the ohms. Once that's set at the factory, it virtually never needs to be touched (unless someone's been playing with it). Also, bending the float bar, as some suggest, is a sure way to put everything out of whack.

From my experience with these units, it's one of two issues that causes them to send the incorrect reading: 1. A broken winding wire or 2. The little arm isn't making consistent contact with the winding from end to end (usually because someone has been playing with it). If a piece of paper slides between the arm and the winding with zero resistance, it should be adjusted. To do this, the Phillips screw (brown arrow) can be backed off a bit and the arm can then be moved a tiny bit closer to the winding. A piece of paper slid between the arm and the winding should meet with a small amount of resistance.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby swr1977 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Thanks for the help and advice Placerville. When I'm feeling brave and get the new gasket ordering I'll try taking it apart. But if the wires are broken I think I'll try to find a replacement rather then trying to fix it!
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby swr1977 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:14 pm

Fred Camper wrote:Keep in mind that most of us can only get 3.5 gallons in when you first hit empty. I have heard folks say it can be adjusted but many of us accept that and use the trip odo for fuel timing.


I do use the trip odo for fuel timing! I usually don't go over 100 miles being I don't like hitting my reserve!
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Placerville » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:22 pm

swr1977 wrote:Thanks for the help and advice Placerville. When I'm feeling brave and get the new gasket ordering I'll try taking it apart. But if the wires are broken I think I'll try to find a replacement rather then trying to fix it!

You'll only find used units that won't be in any better shape than yours. When you take yours out, open the box, take some photos and post them. I'll help you through it. If it's repairable, and you don't feel you can do it, I'll fix it for you.
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby swr1977 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:39 am

Placerville wrote:You'll only find used units that won't be in any better shape than yours. When you take yours out, open the box, take some photos and post them. I'll help you through it. If it's repairable, and you don't feel you can do it, I'll fix it for you.


I'm sorry it took so long (1 & 1/2 years is way to long) But I'm finally getting to this project.

Float is out & here are the pictures. I can see one wire going to the hot post but the other wire I don't know? Isn't it supposed to attach under the post to ground? It looks like it just stops at the end of the winding.

When I test the unit (as you can see from pics) I get readings almost what you have in your repair instructions. To me it seems to be working fine and I shouldn't be getting an empty reading on the gauge when I have 1/2 a tank.

I'm confused... any help would be greatly appreciated.
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full position meter reads 8.1 ohms
full position meter reads 8.1 ohms
empty position meter reads 85.3 ohms
empty position meter reads 85.3 ohms
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:03 am

Everything looks good.The winding has just one connection,to the meter.The wiper arm is the ground so to test this,you would have to ground the mount to the bikes frame.Keep in mind that there should be a green wire attached to the sensor mount.Don't rely on it just being mounted to the tank for a good ground.

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:05 am

You can test this by hooking both wires to it and moving the float,as the resistance changes,so should the meter.Don't forget the ground wire.

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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby swr1977 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:46 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Everything looks good.The winding has just one connection,to the meter.The wiper arm is the ground so to test this,you would have to ground the mount to the bikes frame.Keep in mind that there should be a green wire attached to the sensor mount.Don't rely on it just being mounted to the tank for a good ground.

You can test this by hooking both wires to it and moving the float,as the resistance changes,so should the meter.Don't forget the ground wire.


Thanks for the help/advice ... I have the unit tested and it is working as it should. I've also cleaned it per your instructions in the "how to tutorial". viewtopic.php?f=13&t=22808 And also have it sealed with the SealAll just waiting for it to dry now. When it's dry I'll reinstall it and try draining & refilling the fuel tank watching the gauge as I do, so I can see if/what is wrong with the gauge. If it's still inaccurate I'll check the voltage regulator and maybe replace it if need be!

Trying to get the old gal ready for summer and also a show that's in Snohomish, WA in May... hopefully I can have her ready by then!
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Re: 1979 GL1000 Fuel Gauge

Postby Solina Dave » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:14 pm

I spotted this sending unit on Ebay. I'll have to say that I'd rather run out of gas, or at least go on reserve, rather than pay $700 to have this one delivered to me up here in the "Great White North." http://www.ebay.ca/itm/HONDA-NOS-FUEL-U ... N3&vxp=mtr

Dave :lol:


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