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1960 Starliner Gauges Inoperable

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Rick Triplett, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    Hi everyone. Would appreciate some advice. My dad's 60 Starliner has a fuel gauge that never reads above 1/2 and the temp gauge always reads cold. The sending unit in the gas tank has been replaced. The coolant sending unit has been replaced twice. When the leads to both gauges are grounded they are pegging full/hot. Gauges should be ok then, correct? Consequently, the grounds should be ok??
    The voltage regulator was replaced twice in the dash. I just replaced it AGAIN with a new electronic unit. It reads at a constant 5.5V. STILL reading 1/2 at the fuel gauge, nothing on the temp gauge. I've tested the resistance of the coolant sending unit and it tests at the correct resistance for varying temperatures.
    The fuel gauge will go to empty with about 1/2 tank of gas. But, it's always been like that.
    Frustrated!:mad:
    Please help.
  2. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Welcome to the FFO!

    From the '66 Ford shop manual:

    Both fuel and temp gauge erratic - Loose or corroded CVR ground, defective CVR, broken or loose wire from or to CVR, defective ignition switch.

    I would say with the parts you have replaced the issue is no longer parts and rather wiring, connections or body grounds/connections. (And assumes '66 is same as '60)

    Because you have some type of readings on the dash mounted gauges, this would indicate added resistance in those circuits. Again wiring, grounds or connectors have not the best connection creating added resistance.

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  3. redrag

    redrag Active Member

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    grounding gauges at the dash indicates gauges work. grou nd at the dash and ground at the sender are not the same thing.
    you have a voltage drop on the ground side. clean all connections to ground, including ground strap to engine
  4. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    Appreciate the response. That's where I'm leaning, also(bad common ground), but since the gauges are pegging, when their feed wires are grounded, does that eliminate the gauges? And does that eliminate(or reinforce) a bad ground?
  5. redrag

    redrag Active Member

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    reenforces bad sensor ground
  6. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    I think you're right. I'm going to try and run test feed wires(and ground wires) to the temp sender, voltage regulator and ground and see if we can get that temp gauge to move. If it does, then I'll just buy a Painless kit and rewire the whole car.
    I won't do the test 'til next weekend but I'll update to let you know. Appreciate the help.
  7. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    Have you checked the constant voltage regulator out?
    B9mz 10804 c
    E bay shows them
  8. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    Yes, the voltage regulator was replaced twice, by my father, with the old style armature kind of regulator. They are typically unreliable so I bought him a new transistor style regulator. It's measuring a constant 5.5v.
    FYI, these new style regulators don't pulse like the old style and can be measured with a digital volt/ohmmeter.
    Does anyone know EXACTLY how/where that gauge system grounds? I have a schematic but am not sure where the ground(s) would be. I'm going to put some temporary grounds from engine to frame and from frame to firewall?? Any other suggestions?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  9. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    Well, you're probably right about the ground strap to engine.... especially when you DON'T HAVE ONE! Yea, he changed engines years ago and never put a strap on(yea, I said 'strap on'). It's probably something that simple. It's something that I have been meaning to do but have dismissed it as "not needed". If it ends up being THAT, I will never admit it. :-/
  10. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    The battery grounds to the engine block.

    A 10 gauge or larger cable should go from engine to body. Also know that the body sits on rubber mounts to the frame. So the frame may not have a good ground either. There isn't much electrical that is connected to the frame however if you attach a ground cable from the engine to the frame, run another cable from the frame to the body. Doesn't have to be a monster cable, 10 gauge (or lower number) should be sufficient.

    Many times the instrument cluster has a ground on the far left or far right of the dash. Multi-wire harnesses will be connected to a ground point. And that vehicle has a metal dash so there is lots of opportunity to create a ground. Unlike modern vehicles with (weight savings) plastic.

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  11. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    atse3_mm_bing_net_th_3fbb1cb7de90c1c2b8a8e1f842bd6310._.jpg

    I'm talking about the regulator that fits on the back of your instrument cluster
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2017
  12. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Would love to see some pictures of that Starliner. No matter what condition.


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  13. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    Yep, that's what I'm talking about.
    B9MZ-10804-EADJ voltage reg.jpg
  14. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    OK. Now, the schematics show the grounds for the coolant sensor being right at the sensor(ie. intake manifold/heads/block.... rubber mounts :-/ )
    The fuel sending unit grounds right at the tank BUT there could be interference with undercoating??
  15. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    I will post a few this weekend.
  16. Rick Triplett

    Rick Triplett New Member

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    20170819951121021.jpg 201708199511235895HDR1.jpg Sorry it has taken so long to get back to the thread.
    UPDATE: The old negative battery cable was attached to the adjusting bolt on the front of the alternator. The new neg cable is now attached to the engine block. A new ground strap is attached at that same block-point and then to the frame.
    We now have needle movement on the temp gauge(see pic). Before, the needle would be behind the "C". Dad has a 180 thermostat in his engine. I believe that this is ABOUT where the needle should be at 180 degrees. Dad disagrees. At least it is moving. It is giving some indication of temperature. As for the fuel gauge, it is still not registering FULL. Next step is to put a temporary ground from the sender to the frame. If that doesn't get us FULL then the sender will have to be tested once again.
    Any suggestions, idears?? 201708199511235895HDR1.jpg 20170819951121021.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2017
    Action likes this.
  17. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Never apologize for being slow. This is a car hobby site everything take time.

    Thanks so much for the pics!!!!! There are a lot of reasons why there are not many 1960 Fords of any type left in the world. Good to see one in pictures.

    Grounds - Originally the - battery cable was grounded to the block. Some GM products in the 70s and 80s grounded to the alternator (generator for your era Ford) bracket. Not sure how that worked for GM and the alternator bracket is a poor location for any Ford. Typically at the rear of the engine block there will be a grounding strap from the engine block to the car body. That connection is needed to make sure the rest of the car has a ground path. A cable from the engine block to frame may not be the best because most of the body mounts on a body over frame vehicle have rubber insulators between the frame and body. An additional strap from frame to body may help as well.

    As to the fuel gauge. Sadly the fuel sender sits in a harsh environment. Especially if the vehicle sits unused for long periods of time. The fuel system in that ride is NOT closed and in a humid enviroment water may collect in the tank. If the sender is original there is a good chance it needs to be replaced. The float is sunk, the sender is corroded or ????? Do connect the tank and sender to a good ground. The next step may be dropping the tank. (I have that issue in my Mark III)

    Nice ride!!!

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  18. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    Nice ride

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