Potential fix to K-S fuel gauge operation problems

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    I have never had any luck with this system. Either on a Pierce, Rolls, Auburn, Duesenberg, or any other marque. We went through every one taking our time, ensuring tight connections, and while all worked for a while, every one, went from erratic readings, to non functioning. Now, with all the different cars, I expect that it isn’t me causing the problems, and while I have met people who say they work fine……..I’m not convinced they are working correctly for any length of time. Just the storm fronts/air pressure mass changing with the weather causes the Guage to go from full to empty, without any movement of the car, or change in the level of fuel. We used a car that has a correct reading every day, and after four days, it also was no longer working. I would like to see one read consistently for weeks on end while being driven. I am not convinced ti has ever happened.


    On more thought the system I propose probably wouldn’t work as shown – back to the drawing board. Bubbling air up under the air chamber with a stationary car probably won’t go through the tiny hole “C””. I suspect another part of the sloshing around of the gas in a moving car creates a slight pumping action in and out of the air chamber that allows the gasoline to drop out and the air to go in. Adding air directly into the air chamber itself would get around that problem but would have to be carefully controlled. It might add enough pressure to make the K-S fluid spill over the top of the instrument panel gauge or push gasoline into the air line.

    Since Ford with its large engineering and test organization also used these gauges I would think they worked probably okay for a couple years- with everything through-out the system pristine and new. With so many tiny tubes and holes in an open system with no filtering it makes for a problem for 80 year old cars that have sat. Even the manometer assembly on the instrument gauge could plug – my K-S fluid test samples now 4 years old haven’t turned to clear but there are solid deposits showing on the glass that conceivably could get into the capillary tube between the glass tube and the brass reservoir tube.

    I have tried to come up with some sort of electric/electronic gauge system that would look original – after all authenticity is only skin deep – but so far haven’t come up with any practical concept.



    The King-Seeley temperature gauge in my 1936 Auburn that I have owned for 50 years has always worked and I have never touched the gauge and the red liquid has never faded. On the other hand, The King-Seeley gas gauge in the same car has never worked correctly.



    The temp gauge is a sealed system.


    Yup, kind of a Rube Goldberg band-aid on top of a Rube Goldberg system. I regret posting it since after more thought I don’t think it will work.

    Nothing beats a working trip odometer with conservative guess on mileage. I have been depending on my Alfa trip odometer for years because the electric sending unit had to be replaced and the correct one for mine was no longer available. Still it kinda works and better than reading zero all the time. When it wiggles back and forth at least I know there is fuel in the the tank.

    Meanwhile I like the challenge of trying to make the K-S work, so thinking of other ideas that I can test before it actually must get installed in the car. I think they must of worked okay when new, I find it hard to believe they would have been put in so many cars without some testing beforehand. The ingredient they couldn’t test was several years of aging.

    I wonder if one of the impetus of the K-S gauge back then was avoiding having arcing and sparking of the variable resistor of an electric sending unit exposed to fuel tank vapors. I think the voltage is supposed to be too low to be able to initiate combustion which would explain millions of cars not exploding their gas tanks. Now of course they even bury the fuel pump in the tank.


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