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Old 01-26-2019, 07:36 PM   #1
geminusprime's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 247
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: DT466E / AT545
Rated Cap: 72
Replacement for this fuel sender/sensor

My fuel sensor is in very bad shape (but still somehow works, even with what appears to be a disconnected wire), as you can see.

So, what I'm confused about is how many wires are supposed to be here. It appears as if there are one or two wires going into the L shaped rubber plug that goes down into the unit and tank. The other wire seems to have been soldered to a small tab beside the rubber cover, and isn't in the same wiring bundle as the two that do go into the plug.

I also don't see a connector within the first few feet of wire, which worries me if I have to cut wires and either resolder them or use a twist connector. Not a lot of space between the underfloor and fuel tank.

So, any suggestions as to what to replace this with, and what to do with the two wires? Will this one fit -

Vehicle is a 1997 International 3600 Vista.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:51 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Tango's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I found a great old (since the 1940's) gauge & instrument shop here. While buying other gauges, I mentioned the aluminum marine fuel tank I had installed and how I had no idea if the sender worked. He said bring it in and he'd test it for free. Sure enough, it was totally dead and the maker long out of biz, but...he was able to match the specs for my tank and pair it with a proper gauge. Only had to do a little sanding to get the new float to fit the hole.

Check in your area for a similar shop and best of luck. Just clean around the sender opening very thoroughly to avoid getting crud in the tank.
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,523
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Looks like you've got 2 wires in play for the gauge - one for the sending unit itself, and the other looks to be a ground. Since fuel tanks are often mounted with rubber straps between the tank and metal straps, they can be electrically isolated from the rest of the vehicle.

The pic for the separate wire isn't clear enough for me to see what it's all about. Extra ground, perhaps?
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:34 PM   #4
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 600
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Sure looks like only two wires, both leading into the connector. If it were my vehicle, I would use a toothbrush and try and clean it up all around to see what is what. On our vehicle, I did just that, but the connections were not as heavily coated as yours.
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