Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I picked this bike up used and it's been treated less than kind but I'm working on that. The gas gauge does not work. Not the mis-read problem - it doesn't work at all. It appears that the float is functioning when I look in the tank. I haven't taken the gauge cluster all the way off the tank to see if there is anything wrong. I did try the resistor mod to see if that was the problem but still no dice. I'm also not sure if the low fuel light works because I haven't run it that far down yet. It's not a major problem because I'm used to using the trip meter and not at the top of my priority list for work on the bike but I thought I'd see if anybody had any suggestions. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks for having a look.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
I picked this bike up used and it's been treated less than kind but I'm working on that. The gas gauge does not work. Not the mis-read problem - it doesn't work at all. It appears that the float is functioning when I look in the tank. I haven't taken the gauge cluster all the way off the tank to see if there is anything wrong. I did try the resistor mod to see if that was the problem but still no dice. I'm also not sure if the low fuel light works because I haven't run it that far down yet. It's not a major problem because I'm used to using the trip meter and not at the top of my priority list for work on the bike but I thought I'd see if anybody had any suggestions. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks for having a look.
What DOES the needle show? Is it pegged to either empty or full?
Does it move when the key is turned on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Have you filled the tank yet? The gas gauge shows empty for quite a while (without the mod) before the light comes on. Having 1/4 tank of gas in there will peg the needle to 'E'
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Ah - good question. The needle sits on dead empty and doesn't move a bit when the key is turned on. Also, filled the tank all the way a couple of times now. Down about 2.5 gal each time.
That's a help. OK, go the fuel gauge connector, where you attempted the the resistor mod-
Disconnect the two halves of the connector. This is the connector that has the white wire with yellow stripe, and the black wire with yellow stripe.
Take a jumper wire, and jump across the two terminals in the female terminal side of that connector.
(These are the metal terminals that look like a "B", not the "blade" type terminals.)
Turn on the key, and wait a couple of minutes. If the gauge is working normally, the needle should peg on "full".
If that happens, the fault lies in the tank sender, or a wiring problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That's a help. OK, go the fuel gauge connector, where you attempted the the resistor mod-
Disconnect the two halves of the connector. This is the connector that has the white wire with yellow stripe, and the black wire with yellow stripe.
Take a jumper wire, and jump across the two terminals in the female terminal side of that connector.
(These are the metal terminals that look like a "B", not the "blade" type terminals.)
Turn on the key, and wait a couple of minutes. If the gauge is working normally, the needle should peg on "full".
If that happens, the fault lies in the tank sender, or a wiring problem.
Today 11:57 AM
Thanks - I will give that a try tomorrow when the weather is better and I can roll it out of the garage. I need more work space and lighting but those are the things you have to live with when you rent. If it ends up being the sending unit in the tank I'll probably just live with it. It's not a big enough concern for me right now to tear all that apart when I can just go by mileage. Is failure common on the sending unit? The bike's not that old but probably sat some since it only had 7500 miles when I bought it. I will post up the results when I get time to try the jump. Thanks again for the input. It's very much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've been feeling under the weather the past two days and took today off work to try and get feeling better. Went out today and jumped the female connector. The gauge went up to full. I assume this likely means the sending unit is bad unless I have a cut wire somewhere. Given that I have to empty the tank and lift it from the bike to replace the unit, I may just live with it for a while. Is it as big a pain in the a$$ as I imagine it is to change it? Trying to think of how I could check for a wiring problem to see if it actually is the sending unit. My brain is not working well right now due to my current illness. Suggestions? Thanks for the help thus far. It is greatly appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
I've been feeling under the weather the past two days and took today off work to try and get feeling better. Went out today and jumped the female connector. The gauge went up to full. I assume this likely means the sending unit is bad unless I have a cut wire somewhere. Given that I have to empty the tank and lift it from the bike to replace the unit, I may just live with it for a while. Is it as big a pain in the a$$ as I imagine it is to change it? Trying to think of how I could check for a wiring problem to see if it actually is the sending unit. My brain is not working well right now due to my current illness. Suggestions? Thanks for the help thus far. It is greatly appreciated.
Now you know that the gauge and the power that drives it are fine. The only other thing in this circuit is the sender itself, and that is the other side of the connector that you used the jumper on.
If you have an ohmmeter, you can measure across the male (spade) terminals in that connector to verify if the sender is bad. Depending on the amount of fuel in the tank, you should get different ohm readings if the sender is good. This test is done without the key on, btw.
If the tank is full, the ohmmeter should read around 4 to 10 ohms. (use the ohms x 1 scale)
If the tank is near empty, the reading should be closer to 100 ohms. (use the ohms x10 scale)
So, any reading between 4 and 100 ohms will indicate that the sender is OK.
But, since you are getting an empty reading when everything is hooked up, you will most likely be seeing an infinite, or open condition at this connector.
The wiring in question is only from that connector to the tank sensor, so unless you can see an obvious wiring break, you could reasonably assume the sender is bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I don't have an ohmmeter but I'll see if my dad or father-in-law does and check it if they do. I ran my fingers along the lead from the sender as far as I could under the tank and didn't feel any damage to the wrap around the wires. I couldn't quite feel it all though. I also didn't see any damage to the connections on the bottom of the unit. Might get it outside today and get up under there with a flashlight to see if I can see more. Feeling a little better today so I may mess around with this. I'm wondering if it's a pain to get the gasket on the sending unit to seal up when you install a new one. With my luck I'd end up with an incurable fuel leak...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I had the EXACT same problem with my 07 when I purchased it used. pulled the tank and sender found a broken wire on the sender. I ended up just soldering it back together and its good as new (other then the low reading). The gasket is a soft pliable rubber, I had no issues reusing the same one. about 3 weeks past the repair and no leak noticed so far. Now I just gotta wire in a resistor and should be better then new.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
I had the EXACT same problem with my 07 when I purchased it used. pulled the tank and sender found a broken wire on the sender. I ended up just soldering it back together and its good as new (other then the low reading). The gasket is a soft pliable rubber, I had no issues reusing the same one. about 3 weeks past the repair and no leak noticed so far. Now I just gotta wire in a resistor and should be better then new.
It's great when you can do the repair like that; it's probably better that the dealer would have done it, not to mention the cost factor. You'll love it with the resistor mod. I recommend a 270 ohm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I had the EXACT same problem with my 07 when I purchased it used. pulled the tank and sender found a broken wire on the sender. I ended up just soldering it back together and its good as new (other then the low reading). The gasket is a soft pliable rubber, I had no issues reusing the same one. about 3 weeks past the repair and no leak noticed so far. Now I just gotta wire in a resistor and should be better then new.
Where was the broken wire located at? I'm not against taking it out and doing some soldering but my major problem is that the tank is full and I don't have a siphon here right now. I can easily pick up a cheap pump siphon though. I also checked the float with the tank full the other day just to make sure it didn't have a hole or something and wasn't floating but it appears to be up with the level of the fuel. Glad your repair was an easy one!
 

·
BOTM Winner, December 2013
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
why not wait untill the tank is low on fuel to do the job... as in ride it untill the low fuell light comes on..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The only problem with that is weather and time right now. I've got things to do this weekend that will eat up time and the weather is supposed to go in the toilet on Sunday. Obviously that would be the ideal solution :D . I also greased the suspension linkage on the bottom of the bike yesterday and I'd say it was in need of it given how much grease it took. I need to get the oil changed in it too sometime soon...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
ah, don't worry about it... mine is screwed up too. Not even the famous 270 resistor helped. Back in the day:D Lol, we didn't even have gauges. You opened the cap and shook the bike or looked in... good to go if I see gas...

Kidding a little but just use your trip odometer. I stop every 150-175 miles. still only takes about 3 gallons. Water break or butt break by then usually anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
to get to the wire I fixed I had to pull the sender. On the sender itself there is a metal cover over the wire, bend the prongs back to remove the cover and access the wire. the wire was extremely thin and fragile I ended up unwinding a wrap to have a little more room to work. I wouldnt attempt it with a whole lot of fuel in the tank (I only had about 1.5 gallons and was fine) because when you take the sender out you have a big hole in the bottom of the tank.

this link has some good pics of the sender
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2009-Kawasaki-Vulcan-VN-900-Free-USA-Shipping-Fuel-gas-sending-unit-/200832580429?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2ec28dfb4d

the 4th and 5th pix show the metal cover pretty well.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top