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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone offer any insight as to why my fuel gauge suddenly stopped working. It was about half full, I did not add gas or do anything else to the bike. On Monday it was approximately half full. On Tuesday when I first got on to go to work I glanced at it and I believe it said about 1/4 full (I didn't check too closely because that was plenty of gas for my ride to and from work) but about 14 miles later I looked down and the gauge was below zero (I believe the light was flickering but could not be sure out in the bright sun, it is not on at all now). There are no blown fuses in the fuse box (behind left side cover) I took the spedo cover off and the connections seem fine and I filled the tank and shook it around a bit (trying to "unstick" the float). Still reading below "E". Is there anything else I can check?
 

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If the fuel gauge is stuck on "E"...and the connector isn't loose, you might have to look at the Fuel Level Sensor/FLS connector. EDIT: I've detailed this check after doing it on my bike in the entry below this one. The fuel gauge should show "F" with the 2 leads shorted, and "E" with them open. If this happens---your speedo assembly is probably OK. :) If not, then you'll get to discover how much KAWI overcharges for this unit... :(

If the fuel gauge operates OK with the electrical check, and you're SURE that the connector at the sensor isn't loose or broken - you're probably going to have to do a "Fuel Level Sensor Inspection" as outlined in the manual.
Unfortunately, this requires you to remove the tank...and then remove the sensor from the tank. It's on the right hand side of the tank right above the air cleaner. There's also a gasket between the sensor and the tank. If you're into replacing those when you dissassemble things, so you'll want to soucre that before you take it apart.

From the manual:
•Check that the float moves up and down smoothly without
binding. It should go down under its own weight.
If the float does not move smoothly, replace the sensor.
•Using a Volt-Ohm meter, measure the resistance across
the terminals in the fuel level sensor lead connector.
Black/Yellow to White/Yellow
If the tester readings are not as specified below, or do not
change smoothly according [sic]as the float moves up and
down, replace the sensor.

Fuel Level Sensor Resistance
Full position: 4 ∼ 10 Ω
Empty position: 90 ∼ 100 Ω



Hope this helps more than it hurts.
Personally, I'd bet on a loose connector on one end or the other...which will be the easiest/cheapest fix.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow! Thanks E. That is plenty of ideas. I'm really hoping it's a loose connection. (mainly because I already found out how much Kawi overcharges for the unit). LOL. I was messing around in front of the gas tank (installing the relay for a wolo badboy air horn) so maybe I pulled something.

Thanks again
 

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First rule of electronics...always look where you've been! :D

EDIT:

I don't like bum doping people. Just how I roll.
I was sufficiently curious about this problem to do a little exploratory surgery on my bike to validate my instructions.

You don't need to loosen your fuel tank to do an electrical test on your fuel level sensor. All you need in fact are an allen wrench, and a small piece of wire, or pair of needle nose pliers.
Pull the bezel off of your speedo assembly by removing the allen bolt in the rear and gently pushing forward and up.
You should see a 2-wire plug assembly on the front right side of the speedo assembly with black-yellow, and white yellow wires. Pull the plug apart. Turn your ignition switch on, and use the needle nose pliers (or wire) to short out the pins on the plug that is AWAY from the speedo assembly. It takes about 10 full seconds, but your fuel level needle should work its way to full. That means that the speedo assembly is up to scratch.
You can do a quick visual inspection on your fuel level sensor by looking at the tank bottom just above your air cleaner. It's a white, square assembly with 2 wires and a ground. If you have a Volt-Ohmmeter, you can test the pigtail that is attached to the FLS, but the connections seem to be insulated at the sensor (on my bike.) I took pix, but the test seems to be pretty straight forward without them.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, the good news (for me and my wallet) is that the gauge itself is ok. I shorted the wire (thanks E) and the needle immediately started moving. Now I just have to try all the other stuff to see where the problem actually is. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hey E, where is the pigtail for the fuel level sensor? or can I just test the wires where they attach to the white square thing? The wires there are black/yellow, white/yellow and light blue.

I went ahead and tried testing the sensor at the sensor. I set the ohm meter to 200 ohms and touched one lead to the black/yellow and the other lead to the white/yellow and the meter didn't react at all. Did I do the test right? If so I'm guessing that means the sensor is trashed.
 

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Let me ask a stupid question, did you try filling the tank up and see if the gauge moved back up? There are lots of forum threads (here and in other forums) regarding inaccurate gas gauge readings on 900's.
http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1027
Mine would drop like a rock after it showed 1/2 full and on E I rarely put more than 3 gallons in, the trip odo never indicated more than 150 miles traveled and the low fuel warning light never came on. After adding this "fix", I get about 190 miles (+/-) on a tank before it hits "E" and I put about 4 gallons in for a fill-up. At that point the low fuel warning light has not come on yet. Next tank I take it until it comes on to see where that threshold is.
 

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Let me ask a stupid question, did you try filling the tank up and see if the gauge moved back up? There are lots of forum threads (here and in other forums) regarding inaccurate gas gauge readings on 900's.
http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1027
Mine would drop like a rock after it showed 1/2 full and on E I rarely put more than 3 gallons in, the trip odo never indicated more than 150 miles traveled and the low fuel warning light never came on. After adding this "fix", I get about 190 miles (+/-) on a tank before it hits "E" and I put about 4 gallons in for a fill-up. At that point the low fuel warning light has not come on yet. Next tank I take it until it comes on to see where that threshold is.
The OP's original post mentions he filled the tank hoping something great would happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
re: non working fuel gauge

Good eye Sojourner. The first thing I did was fill the tank. It's not a problem of a not so great reading. The gauge is not working at all.
Yesterday I tested the fuel level sending unit at the pigtail. If I did the test right it's done for. I set the multi tester to 200 ohms and the reading I got from the sensor was -125.6 ohms and did not change when the float was up or down.
 

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Sounds like a bad sender, a little weird you have a negative reading. You did un hook it from the power so there was no juice running through it right?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
MrClean: I unplugged the connector at the front of the gas tank (the black/yellow and white/yellow wires) and tested there. Is there a separate power wire? BTW, I did not remove the sender from the tank, not sure why the manual says this is necessary. I simply reached in the fuel tank with a bent coat hanger and moved the float up and down (empty/full).
 

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The book probably assumes that since you're having problems you'll want to have the unit out in front of you and that the average mechanic wouldn't be able to fashion a float moving tool (they are right about that). No other power, those are the only two wires to the unit.

Sounds like you need a new sender. Make sure when they put it in that they bend it correct so that you don't need the resistor fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good call on setting the float right o avoid the resistor "fix". I hadn't thought of that. I believe for now I am just gonna go with the mileage method since there's still some riding time left because I know it's going to take the dealer a waaayyyy to long to fix it. I figure once winter is here and I won't be riding anyway, then I'll get it fixed because the wait won't bother me.
 

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A new gas gauge assembly can be obtained online from BikeBandit:
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/2008-kawasaki-motorcycle-vn900c8f-vulcan-900-custom/o/m17198
52005: GAUGE,FUEL 2529184 (7309267-001) $72.57
11060: GASKET,FUEL GAUGE 755996 (7294465-001) $13.82
It's not hard to drain the tank, remove the tank and and then remove and replace the assembly. If you're mechanically inclined at all, it's fairly easy. It's just a matter of some tubes and screws and bolts holding things together and plugging and unplugging some electrical connectors which are all keyed to only go on one way.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have the extended warranty on my bike so, I'm going to see if the sender is covered under that and have the dealer fix it. If not I will be ordering it from BikeBandit.

Thanks MRSPOCK
 

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I'm resurrecting an old thread here cuz I am having the same problem. Holy crap $85 bucks total. I think I will just do what I do on my CL350 and watch my miles.
 
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