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Old 05-08-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
glennpm
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Default Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Hi,

I decided to start a new thread in adjusting the fuel level for my 1932 fuel gauge. This would be applicable to all the King Seeley hydrostatic fuel gauges that were used for many manufacturers.

I just finished cleaning my 32 gauge using phosphoric acid with excellent results. I flushed it with water many times after the acid cleaning. I used a pipe cleaner for the glass tube. Any water added after cleaning instantly registered in the glass tube.

The purpose of this post is regarding the calibration wire/s. My gauge has a wire that looks square on the end that is perhaps 3/32", I could not remove it.

I reinstalled my gauge yesterday after adding enough fluid to register on the "0" mark with the gauge leaned back at 25°. I then added two gallons of gas and rocked the car aggressively. The fuel only came to to a little below the 1/8 mark. I then added another 3.5 gallons so the total now in the tank is 5.5 gallons and should register at the 1/2 full mark and does not. since about 11 gallons is full, each 1/8 graduation should be about 1.375 gallons. Rocking the 32 and also inserting a fuel siphon hose into the tank and along the bottom and then pushing a little air in from my compressor, throttled down to low pressure, made no difference. Pictures at these two levels are attached.

Now to the crux of my calibration wire question:

- Should I add an additional 1/16" diameter wire or two to bring the level up to the 1/2 mark?
- The additional wire will change the "0" point so I'll have to remove fluid so this will be a little back and forth to calibrate.
- Adding more wire will decrease the volume of red fluid. This red fluid is supposed to be heavy, i.e., a high specific gravity, so I'm assuming that the fuel column in the tank and the head pressure from this fuel column will then register a higher point in the gauge due to the decreased weight of red fluid.
- If the wire I have and couldn't removed is stock I'm assuming, how come it it is so off in level now?

Perhaps my attempts at rocking the car and adding air bubbles don't have the same affect as a short drive on the road which I can't do right now. Do others notice the same level behavior, i.e., low in the gauge when the car has been sitting and then a quick rise to the correct and expected level when on the road?

Interesting calibration wire link:
https://forums.aaca.org/topic/180527...comment=898947

Thanks,
Glenn
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File Type: jpg 2.0 Gallons.jpg (30.1 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg 5.5 Gallons.jpg (42.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
deuce_roadster
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

I would drive around a bit before trying to calibrate the gauge. In my experience rocking the car will tell you if it is working but the fluid comes up higher when you actually drive the car around. At least the last one I did acted this way, my 33 phaeton. Also make sure your cap is making a good seal, the vent for the tank is built into the tank unit.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
glennpm
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Thanks Duece Roadster!


Seems like I'm measuring half what I should at this point and hoped to hear similar from someone and whether they had to resort to another calibration rod.


Okay for fun:


I'm measuring half the value of fuel



ID of glass tube is ~1/8"
Distance from 1/2 to F = 1/2"



Vr = 3.1416(.1255/2)**2 X 1/2"
so additional volume required = .006136


If I use a 1/16" copper rod;


Length of rod required = .006136 / [3.1416(.0625/2)**2 = .006236/.003068 ~2"

Last edited by glennpm; 05-08-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

This doesn't answer you question specifically but I think when they designed the gauge they gave a 2 gallon reserve like any modern gauge ,you don't want to be at empty when its on O , I would use brass not copper if it was me ,but others may differ ? Ted
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Hi Ted,


I replied from my phone, wanted to add an comment, but message didn't make it to the group it seems.


if I do add rod, I'll either get un-coated brazing rod or if I can't get a piece, a rod of copper. The capillary tube from the reservoir to the bottom of the glass I expect is soft copper so it must be okay for the corrosive red fluid.


I understand on the reserve of two gallons but with my current gauge and half a tank of gas, i would only have a reading of 1/8.


Glenn
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:07 PM   #6
JimG
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Glenn,


I think your logic and math seem plausible. I redid my King Sealy gauge a couple years ago but it only goes to about 5/8 when the tank is full. I have not tried it on true empty as I don't want to run out of gas just to find out what the gauge says. At least I have an indication of fuel. I would be interested in hearing whether adding another rod brings your gauge up to full. Keep us informed.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Ok Glen , I get your reasoning on the copper ,If you add more red liquid to get half a tank then at empty you will have 4 Gal reserve ,if you displace the same amount of Red liquid by adding more rod you may end up still with 4 gal at empty ,Not sure what the solution is I will have to think about it , I think my cars are likely fuller than I think, I don't go below 1/4 ,Ted
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

I had a 32 that I had a working fuel gage and drove it around locally several different times and it worked fine --Except when going over the Rocky's when it went to "0'" and so did Charlie"s 34 when we drove to Oregon to the hood River Meet from N.E. . I also would look in the tank to observe the level. Set it up per the directions. kerk
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Hi Ted,


If I add an calibration rod, I must remove some of the red fluid. The volume of the added rod in the reservoir will take the place of an equal volume of fluid if the rod is completely submerged.


Last year I never got above the 5/8" mark when full, Same experience as JimG.


I find it hard to believe that when new the fuel gauge never worked properly.


Thanks,
Glenn
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Thanks Kerk, at least someone saw correct readings!


Glenn
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

The more I think about this I can’t understand how making the liquid container smaller ( by adding the rod) is going to change the liquid level. The gauge is a u tube manometer and it measures pressure. As long as the gauge is not clogged, I don’t think it should matter what the diameter of the manometer is. One inch of water is the same pressure whether it is in a small or big tube. But if you try adding the rod let us know if it works.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:55 PM   #12
glennpm
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Hi Jim,


The weight per volume or specific gravity is greater than water for the red fluid. It is about close to four times heavier than gasoline on a volume basis. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrabromoethane).



Decreasing the volume of red fluid in the reservoir, that is supported by the fuel height, or the "head" of fuel in the tank; is decreased and has less weight by adding a rod/s. The volume of red fluid at each position such as full is of less weight than without the rods added, so will appear higher in the fuel gauge.



Another way would be to use another lighter fluid that doesn't evaporate easily but KS figured this out long ago and picked the red fluid.



These fuel gauges are manometers. A high specific gravity will have a less height that water. For example mercury with a high specific gravity, would be less sensitive to fuel height head changes but if the gauge was filled with water, the scale would be quite long and no good for the dash plus it would evaporate.

Last edited by glennpm; 05-10-2019 at 06:21 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennpm View Post
Hi Ted,


If I add an calibration rod, I must remove some of the red fluid. The volume of the added rod in the reservoir will take the place of an equal volume of fluid if the rod is completely submerged.


Last year I never got above the 5/8" mark when full, Same experience as JimG.


I find it hard to believe that when new the fuel gauge never worked properly.


Thanks,
Glenn
Mine reads perfectly now but never used to go over 5/8 full.

There are three possible reasons for this and mine had all of them

First problem is if, on the sender in the tank, there is a leak from the top cup then it won't go much above 1/2 full indicated

The second problem is if there are to many calibration rods in the gauge - I removed 6 from mine. With that many rods there isn't enough room for enough fluid to ever read full-I have one rod in mine now and as I say reads perfectly

The other think which I believe is relevant is that the aftermarket tank needs an adaptor to use the original fuel gauge I think that this lifts the sender higher and hence you don't get a full indication. I fixed this by getting an old rusted out original tank and cutting the gauge mounting part out of it (the top rarely ever rusts ) and welding it into a new tank

Karl
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Thanks Karl,


Your experience is very encouraging and glad to hear that someone reads a full tank.



Regarding the tank unit leak, was the cup damaged so that it wouldn't hold gas in the cup or was thee tube damaged in some way so that it leaked?
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

For real accuracy stick the tank. Never Fails!!!!
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Karl has obviously got his sorted ,I am happy with the way mine works my last fill up was to 3/4 it seemed to read ok but will fill it up to see ,After thinking about if (apart from leaks and faulty parts ) you can imagine the fill side of the gauge as a funnel as the liquid lowers the volume decreases or if the funnel was up side down it would increase ,this is more or less what the rod does ,So if you take a 1/8 brass rod and file it to a long taper and pointed it up or down in the gauge this may give the accurate reading and extra volume that Glens looking for ,or maybe you suspend a rod halfway up .A matching gauge and sender from the factory shouldn't need this .I don't know but it may be a way of calibrating ,it . (comments )
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennpm View Post
Thanks Karl,


Your experience is very encouraging and glad to hear that someone reads a full tank.



Regarding the tank unit leak, was the cup damaged so that it wouldn't hold gas in the cup or was thee tube damaged in some way so that it leaked?
Cup was damaged had a crack -and not holding gas in it -Karl
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:19 AM   #18
glennpm
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

Thanks Ted and Karl for your feedback!


I like your thoughts on the tapered rod. Thick on the bottom and thin on top may be the key.



I'm hoping to get more experience from other owners too, i.e., are most gauges indicating about 5/8 full with a FULL tank but when the car has been sitting for a while (like JimG)? Last year my gauge didn't go up at all most times however I now know after cleaning the reservoir and tube, that it was a little restricted.


Thanks,
Glenn
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

I didn't mention this before but EVERY tank unit I have refurbished needed to have little cracks in the cups soldered up. Some cups had multiple cracks Easy fix, they are very thin and the gas sloshing around must cause this.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:28 PM   #20
glennpm
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Default Re: Adjusting Fuel Level in King Seeley Gauge

I found that if the capillary tube is disconnected from the gauge that the previous gauge level I had at half full (1/4 mark) could not be regained by rocking the car to agitate the fuel in the tank. It made no difference at all. Probably the only way in the garage would be to remove the fuel line and blow into it to get some bubbles under and into the tank unit “bell”.

Next step will be to see how my cleaned gauge works on the road and whether I need more calibration wire or pull the tank unit and check it out. I believe it was crack free when I put it in two years ago with limited road miles since then.

Attached is a pressure head calculation I did for the tank and the gauge.
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