Gas Gauge: the elevator doesn't quite hit the top floor - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-22-2008, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel Gauge: the elevator doesn't quite hit the top floor

A minor annoyance that I'll live with unless someone knows an easy/inexpensive means of calibration:

When the tank is full, the fuel gauge only shows 4 out of 5 bars. The display self-test shows all segments working, and if I cycle the ignition on, then off and on in time to cheat the fuel pump timer (ie the pump doesn't run on the second cycle), it will show all bars.

This is proving to be a consistent behaviour. Has anyone else experienced this?

Doug
DL650 K6

Last edited by dtaylor; 04-22-2008 at 10:32 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 12:26 AM
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My gas gauge is pretty flakey on top. Sometimes the top bar never shows. Sometimes I get 75 miles on the top bar. The trip meter is your friend!

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 12:32 AM
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Can't seem to figure out how mine thinks either. I'd be under a gallon from full (trying to avoid top heaviness on the new bike) and it would light up. Once I got used to the bike, I filled it up all the way, and it took 5 minutes of riding to light the top bar.
The trip meter is going to be my friend unless those little digital bars start telling something that approximates reality. Whatever happened to good old analog gauges?
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 06:56 AM
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I have found it will read less on the sidestand then when the bike is straight up riding. I also get about 80 miles to the first bar and about 50 to each of the others.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtaylor View Post
<snip>
When the tank is full, the fuel gauge only shows 4 out of 5 bars. The display self-test shows all segments working, and if I cycle the ignition on, then off and on in time to cheat the fuel pump timer (ie the pump doesn't run on the second cycle), it will show all bars. <snip>
The fuel level is read by a float on an arm on the fuel pump that varies a resistance: low resistance for full, higher for empty. If the connectors have any resistance they will make the level read lower. The arm could be bent downward to make it read a higher level. (have to take the pump out). The reading is heavily dampened (slow to react) so that if doesn't fluctuate during leaning, braking, or lifting - so tilting up off the sidestand may take a while for an accurate reading.

DL1000K5
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 07:10 AM
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Mine does the same thing at the upper level of the fuel gauge, but the lower level and reserve light are pretty accurate. I wouldn't worry about it too bad.

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 07:55 AM
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Mine never reads the top bar & everything is flashing by 200miles but I never get more than 18 litres in. I rely on Trip2 for accuracy.

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post #8 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 08:47 AM
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There was a thread about this a little while ago:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/showthre...ighlight=gauge

It seems like this a common fault on the stroms..

Roar Bjørndal-Rasmussen
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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I had the same problem until I switched gas. I used Cheveron and it would only go up to 4 bars. When I switched to 66, full 5 bars every time. Strange, but still if I go back to Cheveron for a tank I will only get 4 bars.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-23-2008, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raindog View Post
There was a thread about this a little while ago:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/showthre...ighlight=gauge

It seems like this a common fault on the stroms..
Yup, it's a very common problem. The fuel gauge is really an ohmmeter that measures the resistance in the fuel level sender. Only a couple of ohms mark the difference between the 5th and 4th bar. That's a very tiny amount, enough that a poor connection somewhere can throw it off. Resistance in the sender increases exponentially as fuel level drops so there's a much bigger jump between the last bars, big enough that a flaky connection is just noise and doesn't appreciably affect the reading towards the bottom of the scale.

Like I said in that link, I was able to fix mine by unplugging the electrical connection to the fuel tank, cleaning it out with electrical contact cleaner, filling it with dielectric grease, and plugging it back together. I did that around 7K miles IIRC, and I now have 21K mi, riding in dirt and all weather, and it still works. It's an easy fix, the connector is on the left side of the bike underneath the black plastic trim piece. You don't have to lift the tank or even remove the fairings to get to it.

I suspect that fix will work for a lot of bikes. Since there is no grease in any of the electrical connections from the factory, it just takes a little bit of moisture or some oxidation to throw off the top bar.

- Jet Jaguar

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