DIY Fuel Gauge Swap

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So, i'm like a dog with a bone when it comes to doing things right.

my fuel gauge in my VDO cluster was never accurate. for one, it read backwards. and it was not even close to being accurate in terms of where the tank level was.

Up to about a month ago, i just assumed it was something i had to live with. then i had a little free time.

the gauge in these combo clusters needs a specific resistance range. something like 20-35ohms. the sender (VW beetle) i had - bought new - gave a different resistance range. 0-50 something.

so, after taking apart my sender - thinking i could fix it - i pulled the plug and bought a matching sender and gauge. $42 for everything.

In terms of quality - this thing is in a totally different ball-park. it matches the VW sending unit mounting holes in the tank, so it bolts right up and is completely adjustable.

step one - adjust to fit. measure the depth of the tank:

then adjust sender to fit depth:

  comparethe POS with the new one:

then adjust the swing arm:

then try to fit this in the tank.... oops - doesn't fit through the hole.

heat with pencil torch, then bend 180 degrees:


gauge time...

bend chrome trim off:

open it up:

spill the guts:


do the same with combi gauge - VERY CAREFULLY:

pop needle off with two screwdrivers leveraged over the screws:

take off the face (note: the screws were pretty tight and very thin flat blade)

take out the old gauge:

test cluster.... ahhh ya. be careful what wire you connect 12v to. i burned out my gauge and needed to buy another one ($21):

transfer gauge face over (measure/drill new holes)

after testing / adjusting while connected to the sender, i put a dab of regular white glue on the needle once i was happy with the sweep.

now comes time to modify the combi gauge to fit the new fuel gauge. It is deeper than the stock one, so i had to drill a hole:

hole saw was 1 1/8" i believe - perfect fit:

double test before closing it back up:
see 1/2 sender = half gauge? :)

empty sender = R on gauge :)

cleaned the glass and then bolted it back up. then i mixed a little epoxy to hold it tight in the combi gauge back/hole.