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Old 03-04-2020, 02:18 PM   #1
dmorge
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Default temp gauge 1955

My ranch wagon has been converted to 12V I am running a reducer for the fuel and temp gauge. I have 6.1V at the gauge,and a new sender in the drivers side head.The gauge does nothing. I grounded the wire from the sender and still nothing.I do not have coolant in the engine,but thought I should see some movement? Any ideas? Dave
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Old 03-04-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
dmsfrr
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

You shouldn't need the voltage reducer.
"The fuel and temp gauges will work on 6 or 12 V and are not polarity sensitive."
https://www.ctci.org/battery-for-6v-to-12v-conversion/

The original gauges & senders are effectively self-regulating.
They work on current flow and heat, not voltage. (image below)
IF it's necessary, "a 10 ohm 10 watt wire wound resistor" may be preferable to an electronic voltage regulator.

That said... if you have voltage to one Temp gauge terminal and ground the other terminal the needle should swing across the gauge face. If it doesn't work the gauge usually has an 'open' circuit, a broken wire inside. An ohm/continuity meter should show you the same result.
The gauge may or may not be reparable. Sometimes it's easy....
A dash gauge repair shop may be an option.

Keeping oem style gauge & senders together is preferred to replacing one half of a pair with a reproduction part. The reproductions may not work accurately when combined with the old King-Seeley style gauge hardware from the 50's.
If you do need replacement parts try to find working used originals or NOS.

The '55/'57 T-Bird parts suppliers have replacement gauge & sender pairs for 12v conversion of 55's.
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File Type: jpg fuel gauge diagram c.jpg (72.2 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 03-04-2020 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 03-04-2020, 03:20 PM   #3
40cpe
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

The gauge rests on "H" with the ignition off. As said above, the gauge should swing to "C" when power is added and the sender terminal is grounded. I would ground the terminal directly to eliminate a possible open wire to the sender. If it doesn't respond, I would suspect a faulty gauge.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:14 PM   #4
dmorge
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

Thanks guys,boy I hate to take that cluster out again! My gauge stays on C so I suspect bad gauge,I have two but both are on C. Dave
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:34 PM   #5
40cpe
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

I gave you my experience with the gauge in my '55. This car was refurbished and converted to 12v when I got it. You might get more input before removing the cluster, I know it is a pain.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:04 PM   #6
dmorge
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

Thanks 40cpe,today I saw that the gauge was on H so I tried grding again and still no movement but after checking wire from sender it was a crimping problem. The gauge now goes out of sight when grounded. Still a couple days away from start-up so we will see but expect good results. Dave
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:17 PM   #7
40cpe
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Default Re: temp gauge 1955

Glad you found the problem. Good luck!
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