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  #1  
Old 09-25-2011, 03:30 PM
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finally took care of my fuel gauge problem...

Well, I had some extra time today so I decided to figure out one of the more annoying things on my '83 300D turbo. The fuel gauge does the usual jumping around, and never shows less than quarter of a tank. Really annoying, especially now that I'm driving it 50 miles a day.

I searched and read all the other posts related to this, and set to work. I decided to start with just cleaning the connector, but it was spotless. So I ended up taking out the whole sender and cleaning it. Thought I would share pictures of the process in hopes that it might help someone else out. Anyway, on with the pics:


removed the first aid kit


top of sender:



not too bad, pins where nice and clean:




since there was no problem with the connection, I decided to remove the sender. Channel locks did the trick:








fuel sender removed:



bottom cap removed:





gently tapped the sender apart:


yummy... I wouldn't be surprised if this has ever been apart




sender unit removed carefully:





gently cleaned with brake clean and a small toothbrush, with extra care cleaning the contacts:







reinstalling:


all set, lubed seal with some fresh diesel before installing:


had to do something about this foam insulation:






I am very happy with the result, fuel gauge works PERFECTLY now! I didn't even know there was a low fuel light! Needle is rock solid and doesn't bounce anymore.

This was a fairly simple job, took about an hour taking my time, being careful. Very impressed with this design, lightyears better than the late model VW senders I'm used to working with.

Check one more thing off of the LONG list of tasks to do on this car.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:37 PM
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Congrats! Wish that would have worked for me. I am going to take mine out AGAIN. I am a gasser, but same issue. Mine never goes below a half-tank.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2011, 04:29 PM
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I took mine apart this morning in the wagon and it was in pieces. All the gunk shown at the bottom of yours explains why my clean inline filter filled up with crud in no time.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2011, 09:24 PM
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I figure it's recommended, but is it necessary to have an empty or near empty tank of fuel before doing this job?
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2011, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd300td View Post
I figure it's recommended, but is it necessary to have an empty or near empty tank of fuel before doing this job?
Not really, the lower the fuel the less mess potential there is. If you're quick you can pull it out and get a rag on it before it starts leaking and then make a run to the pan. There is a tiny whole at the bottom on the side of the tube. If you can plug it before it leaks you're golden, as long as the nut on the bottom is tight. If the hole is not plugged you can also pull the tube up until the whole is out of the fuel and let it drain out.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:55 PM
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I am delighted to read this post. A couple of months ago my fuel gauge quit working. Been pretty busy and have not bothered to check the archives on how to repair it. But ------ I had somehow convinced myself that I would need to remove the entire fuel tank to access the unit. What a relief it is to see that, in the beloved MB tradition, repairs are straightforward. Love this car and surely appreciate this forum.
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John Schroader
bio burnin' 83 300D, '83 300 SD, '79 240D
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:13 AM
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Just removed the fuel sender and am not certain how to remove the bottom plate (photo #10). Surely don't want to twist anything off that doesn't need twisting. Any good advice is appreciated.
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John Schroader
bio burnin' 83 300D, '83 300 SD, '79 240D
"I've never met a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else" Ben Franklin
"You cannot permanently help a man by doing for him what he could and should do for himself" Abraham Lincoln
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2011, 11:22 AM
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snap ring pliers or something to fit the two notches. A modified flat headscrew driver does the trick too.

I need to replace my sender in the 240D.

Great pictorial/DIY
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2011, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schroader View Post
Just removed the fuel sender and am not certain how to remove the bottom plate (photo #10). Surely don't want to twist anything off that doesn't need twisting. Any good advice is appreciated.
There is a nut on the bottom with a rubber collar on it. The nut is round but has two notches in it. A pair of needle noise work well or a modified flat head screwdriver as TheDon stated works too.
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'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:18 PM
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Again, many thanks. Need to upgrade my bifocals, I guess.
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John Schroader
bio burnin' 83 300D, '83 300 SD, '79 240D
"I've never met a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else" Ben Franklin
"You cannot permanently help a man by doing for him what he could and should do for himself" Abraham Lincoln
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2011, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schroader View Post
Again, many thanks. Need to upgrade my bifocals, I guess.
It's kind of a silly little nut. I don't know what the rubber collar is for, and why not just a normal nut?
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'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2012, 01:57 PM
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Thank you so much for all these pictures! I work so much better with visuals. I have an '85 300SD I've been slowly fixing up, and this forum has helped me out a lot so far. I need to start posting more feedback, so this is a start!
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2012, 02:36 PM
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I haven't searched, but is the process similar for a W115?

Mine starts jumping around at 1/4 tank. Not always, and it tracks down to empty, but still something on my "to fix" list.
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