Fuel Sender on a 2002 170 DC - Trouble Shooting and replacement?

Zzotto21

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
FL
Hello All:

I have been using my 2002 Triumph 170 DC for about a year and half now. The fuel gauge never worked. I recently got ambitious and started diagnosing the problem. I have replaced the gauge as it was “stuck.” Meaning, with a full tank, the gauge read empty, but as I tapped the gauge, with each tap, it moved closer to full, until it was pegged. Then after a trip, it never moved off full.

I was able to get an identical Faria fuel gauge off of Amazon and installed it. Still, nothing.

So I began to trouble shoot the fuel gauge/sender issue.

The gauge is properly wired as I checked it with a meter.

I then jumped the sender contact with the ground on the gauge and it went right to full.

I then located the fuel sender, which is in a ridiculous area, photo’s to follow, and jumped the sender connection to the ground. Nothing. The gauge did not move.

Based on what I have learned, that means the gauge is working, the wires are intact, and the sender is bad. Can someone please confirm this for me?

Now, back to the ridiculous place for the fuel sender. There is a deck plate right in front of the motor. One would think that deck plate would have been placed somewhere near the fuel sender. But nooooo……….! The fuel sender is towards the bow port side about 6-10” from the deck plate:

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Has anyone ever removed the sender without removing the rear deck - which requires the motor to be removed? Is there enough room to lift out the old sender and insert the new one?

And what sender? I know there are two kinds, one with a lift arm and one with a float on a rod/pole that just goes up and down. And what size? I know I need to know the length of the sender I need.

And and all help is appreciated.

Oh.. If you are contortionist, can you come down to mid coast FL and help a guy out?

Thanks,

Bob
 

Dave_L1

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Pine Island
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Florida
Hi Bob!
This is being discussed on other threads at this time, but from what I can see the best option is to either cut and install a new access point, or cut the present one larger so you can reach it...

Would help if we could see a top view of the rear deck / splashwell and mark where the preset sending unit is located below it, this so we could recommend which type of hatch would work ;)

Best,
Dave
 

Zzotto21

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
FL
Just spoke with Carl at Merritt Marine. What a great guy!

He told me that what I have to do is take out some of the screws in the front of the rear deck, take the left hatch cover off where the seat is, and then I can lift up the front of that rear deck 10-12” and that gives you enough room to work and get the old sender out, and the new sender in! He said that the read deck can bend way further than that and there will be no issues.

I never would have thought that it could bend that much And I would not have tried that.

Beats the heck out of removing the motor or trying to get the sender out in that little space, which since he told me he thinks the sender is 12”, I doubt I could get it out, but who knows?

He was not 100% positive that the sending unit is 12” but he said he was pretty sure.

I will keep this thread alive and put more photo’s as I do the work.

If anyone knows for sure I need a 12” fuel sending unit for my Triumph 170 Dual Console, can you please confirm that?

Stay tuned….
 
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Zzotto21

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
FL
Anybody know the correct length for a fuel sender on a 2002 170 Dual Console?
 
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Zzotto21

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
FL
Just spoke with Carl at Merritt Marine. Again, great guy!

Tank depth is 12”. Carl indicated that a fuel sender between 11.25 - 12” will work.

I am going with an 11.5” fuel sender from KUS. I only want to do this once and I want to make sure that once I have everything apart, no easy task, I have no issues with the new fuel sender. And as an added bonus, I will know I have just a little bit of fuel left in the tan when the gauge reads “E.” Which I will never see because my Yamaha 60 runs on air, or so it seems!

I will be taking photo’s and video’s of the work I will do to accomplish the replacement if anyone is interested. Hopefully within in a week or so.

Bob
 

Dave_L1

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Florida
Awesome, and we can do a write up on it once you have all of your information collected and can send it over :cool:
 

Germik

Registered Member
Premium Member
I have replaced the fuel sender on both my Triumphs. The first one was a 2002 150 Fish. And as Carl (at Merritt) suggests, the front of the splash well can be bent up foe better access, but you have to remove a bunch of screws, Then I had to wedge a 2x4 under it to hold it up while working. That model had a 12" sender, but my current Triumph, 2014 170 Sportsman has a much shorter sender. Can't remember exactly, but it was between 6' and 8". To make access easier I took out the 2 lousy access plugs, and replaced them with a 12" x 15" x 1/2" starboard. To be sure I didn't weaken the complete splash well, I glued a 2" strip of 1/2" starboard under and inside my cut out. My new access panel is bolted with 1/4" ss bolts, 3" apart. I also used ss Tee Nuts. Now I can remove the panel to work on the pumps, in 1 minute with a electric screw gun or 10 minutes with a screw driver. Also on my 2014 Triumph, the boat was advertised as having a 14 gallon tank. Well, they put in a 20 + gallon tank. So when you fill it up, it stays on full for a long time, before coming down. On another item, can anyone tell me how to remove the live well pump? The intake is under the boat, not out the back of the transom, and I want to install a shut off valve between the pickup and the pump, so when the pump gets plugged up, I can pull it out to clean it, while still in the water.
 

Alex621

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
CT
I’m interested in this thread! I might be replacing my sending unit as well if it doesn’t prove to be the gauge itself or just a bad connector somewhere. My question is if bending up the splash well is going to work since I have the jump seat rails and backrest. I would be pretty hesitant if I have to remove them and then have to try to put the screws back in. Once taken out I’m wondering if I would have to fill the holes by plastic weld if I want the screw to get a good bite again. Since people might grab those seat rails when hopping in and out of the boat they have to be rock solid. Cant put those back in with spun screws!
 

Dave_L1

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Pine Island
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Florida
I’m interested in this thread! I might be replacing my sending unit as well if it doesn’t prove to be the gauge itself or just a bad connector somewhere. My question is if bending up the splash well is going to work since I have the jump seat rails and backrest. I would be pretty hesitant if I have to remove them and then have to try to put the screws back in. Once taken out I’m wondering if I would have to fill the holes by plastic weld if I want the screw to get a good bite again. Since people might grab those seat rails when hopping in and out of the boat they have to be rock solid. Cant put those back in with spun screws!
That is always an concern (loose screws) and you have several methods to reinstall them with the fastest why is to heat up the screw (if that is what is used for those seat rails when taken out?) with a torch some, and then run them back in slowly so it melts back around some it.

Personally, knowing how people grab stuff when on pitching decks and falling backwards. I would almost be tempted to use small toggler system for the seat rails, more on that method here:

https://www.performanceoutdoors.net/media/16-using-toggler-bolts-with-roplene.10426/

Hope this helps!
Dave
 

Zzotto21

Registered Member
Premium Member
State
FL
Well, Triumphers, I now have a working fuel gauge. With a new sending unit and a new fuel gauge. I will amplify what I did now…

After diagnosing the issues, I discovered I had a bad fuel gauge AND a bad fuel sender. I was not sure about the wiring. So I bought a new Faria fuel gauge off of Amazon, as well as a 11.5 inch fuel sending unit. I also bought Permatex 80019 Aviation Form of Gasket, just to make sure I over-killed he project. And I am glad I did.

The fuel gauge went in very easy, except for the part of working under the console on your back. I have the 170 DC and just manipulating the tiny washers and nuts was a pain in the …. Well, you know what I mean. But, I got it installed in about 60 minutes from the start to finish. That was a few weeks ago.

Last Sunday, about a week and half ago, I brought the boat home because it would be easier working on it in my garage than at the marina where I keep her on her trailer. And I was correct. Much better to have access to all my tools at home than to try to remember to bring everything with me, even though I keep my boat about a mile from my house.

1. So on Fuel Sender Day, I started off by disconnecting the battery. Just to be safe.

2. Then, I removed everything away from the stern of the boat. I want a clean work area.

3. I then opened the deck plate on the rear “splash cover/deck”.

4. I cut the wires to the fuel sender. Why? I wanted to check the wiring.

5. I connected the new fuel sender to the wires.

6. I reconnected the battery.

7. I tested the fuel sender, fuel gauge, and wiring by moving the fuel sender black ring up and down and watched to see if the fuel gauge went from full to empty, etc. And it did. Wiring intact!

8. Disconnected the battery again.

9. I then removed the rear port seat/cover on the “splash guard/cover” by removing the screws on the hinge attaching the cover to the “splash guard/cover.”

10. I then started removing screws that hold the “splash guard/cover” in place. There were two on the top side port, a bunch along the deck, two top side starboard, and I think that was it. The idea was not to take it off but to be able to lift it up a bit to give me more room to get to the fuel sender and to be able to take it out.

11. Once I removed all the screws I thought were necessary to remove, I lifted the “splash guard/cover” up and wedged 2x4’s under it. It did NOT go up 10-12”, as I was only able to lift it up about 4” or so. Maybe a little more. But that was enough. See the photo’s above as to the area I am talking about. And I worked “blind” for a lot of what follows, for obvious reasons.

12. I put a piece of electrical tape on the fuel sender and left a few inches on the tank. More on this later.

13. Once I had some more room to work, I used a ratcheting, stubby Phillips head screwdriver to remove the 5 screws holding the fuel sender onto the tank.

14. I started to lift out the fuel sender and realized it was the old “arm” kind of fuel sender. By titling it sideways as I lifted, I had more than enough room to remove it. Easy Peasy.

15. Once out, I took the electrical tape that I had on the fuel sender and draped it onto the gasket. I did this because I knew that the 5 screws are not symmetrical! I needed to know the exact way to replace the new sender unit into the tank. So by knowing which way the old sender was in the tank, I knew how the new sender had to go in. I took the old gasket off, that had tape on it, put it on the new fuel sender, and transferred the tape to the new sender, leaving the tape onto the tank so I could line it up correctly. You could use a marker as well.

16. I then used a little of the Permatex on the tank and on the bottom of the new gasket. Some say this is overkill, but in my case, it was not. And note that I had the screws already through the fuel sender AND the gasket So I did not have to insert the screws through the sender, gasket, etc, while working “blind” under the “splash guard/cover”.

17. I then positioned the new fuel sender in the same position I hoped the old one was in onto the tank To line up the screws with the holes.

18. I then started to tighten the screws and all went in smoothly except one. It is stripped. I tightened everything as best I could and I thanked goodness for using the Permatex. I am hoping that 4 tight screws, one “loose” screw and the Permatex will be sufficient for a good seal.

19. Once the fuel sender was tightened down as best as I could get it, I then reconnected the battery. I went to the key and turned it on and - SUCCESS! A working fuel gauge/sender! See photo’s below.

20. I removed the 2x4, rescrewed in all the screws I took out, replaced the hatch cover, replaced the deck plate, and I was finished.

It took me about 90 minutes or so but I was taking my time, being safe with disconnecting the battery a couple of times, etc., to install the new fuel sender. I was surprised at how little I could raise the “splash guard/cover” as Carl from Merritt Marine thought I could get 10-12”, but that was not the case. He was correct, however, in that I was able to lift it enough to give me more room to work and get the old sender out and the new one in. Carl was a huge help! THANKS, CARL!

Although Carl did say that I could use a 12” fuel sender, I opted for the 11.5”. Why? 2 reasons: 1. I did not want to have a situation where everything was out, removed, etc. and the new fuel sender did not fit for some reason; AND 2. I like the idea that I will have a little extra fuel on board if it should ever get down to “E”. Which I have never come close to doing while having an F60 Yamaha that seems to run on air!

So my experience on replacing the fuel gauge and fuel sender was good! Not the easiest project but far from the hardest. Just learn as much as you can, go slow, be safe, and get ‘er done! And save a bunch of money to boot!

Bob

PS: Next, I will tell you all about installing Bennett Marine trim tabs!

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