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Fuel Gauge Issues


Active Member
December 27, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Southeast Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Sport 4x4
The fuel gauge in my X hasn't worked since I got it, and I'm trying to diagnose the problem. First, I pulled the gauge cluster out to see if the wire going to my fuel gauge had any voltage...It's pretty apparent that it does, because it shocked the hell out of me.

My fuel gauge sits on E when the engine's running, but it sits at about 1/4 tank when the truck's shut off. I think that it's a grounding issue, not necessarily a bad sending unit, so I'm trying to see if there are any breaks in the wire that goes from the fuel gauge to the actual tank. There's just one problem - amongst all of the wires that go along the frame from front to back, I have no idea which color wire is the one that goes to the fuel gauge.

Does anyone know which color wire it is that's bunched with the rest of the wires for the electrical system that goes to the fuel gauge?

I have a '93, in case the colors of the wires changed from year to year (I don't see why they would, but just in case).

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According to my haynes manual its a yellow/white wire that goes from the gauge to the sending unit. And I think on the sending unit the ground for this is Black/yellow to Black/white.

I have found the float gets a pin hole and causes it to sink, thus no reading in the gauge.
this was the problem with mine and according to my son the this is very common in Maine where he live and works.
Just my 2 cents worth

Good luck

94 explorer xlt 3" lift assusie locker in front Ford posi rear 3:73 gears for gas mileage 265x75x16 Hankook MT"S on Incubus off road 16x8" wheels

That could be a very likely possibility, in this case. I checked the wire for voltage, and it works fine - there's no breaks or exposures in the cable. So I'm going to drop the fuel tank tomorrow and see if either the connector at the fuel tank is loose or bad, or if that float is toast.

when you are ready to drop the tank mark the direction the fuel line and return line connect to the fuel pump / sending unit (because if not then when you goto put it all back together the lines may be stressed from a new angle) .the electrical connector for the pump is on the left frame rail just past the axle...kinda hard to see but it's there( removeing the spare is a must) ,you will have to pull the tiny keeper that hold the connector on the frame off ( good luck trying to put it back but not that important ).

i have heard that some have just replaced the sending unit part of the pump but imho it's just better to replace it as a single unit instead of trying to disasemble it .....when one goes then it's just better to replace it all you know. pay special attention to the oring that sits below the pump unit top where it seals against the tank ( tank seal) with wear and years ...when you take it off and more importantly if it's never been touched since the truck was new the o ring will need to be replaced if it did not tear when takeing off the tank ring ( metal locking ring ) .

All right, I'm in the process of dropping the fuel tank so that I can replace the fuel pump (and the bad sending unit), and I'm having a problem. I have all of the lines and wires disconnected, except for the fuel line that connects directly to the fuel pump (the small one with the medal-braided hose.) I can move it out slightly and twist it, but it won't pull straight off like it's supposed to, as if it might be vapor-locked. Is there a special trick to getting the line to disconnect from the pump so I can pull the tank out from underneath the truck?

Thanks for the help :)

The same tool used to replace the fuel filter has to be used on that fitting as well, to release the line.

Yeah, we went down and got the tool at Autozone, and we got it off. It was a real pain, even with the tool, as everything was rusted out, but we got it. We got the new pump in, but I broke the fuel tank locking ring, so we had to order a new one, and it won't be here until Tuesday. At least that'll give me time to re-paint and rust-protect my skid plate :)

Was the float bad? If it had gas in the float, it was leaking and was the reason your gauge wasn't working.

That would be a good thing to know before you button it all back up...


check the float, that has been my demon when my fuel gauge doesn't work.