Simple and cheap gas gauge solution

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by mountain80, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. mountain80

    mountain80 Member

    So after running out of fuel for the first time DOH! I came up with a simple cheap solution besides looking in the gas tank. It occured to me that one of my old snowmobiles had a set of clear plastic tubes on the side that would visually allow me to see yhe fuel and oil levels , as the the gas level drop so does the corresponding level in the tube. Simply teeing off a line just after the petcock and fastening in some manner beside the gas tank would allow you to see at a glance exactly where the fuel level is in the tank!!


  2. TwoWalks

    TwoWalks Member

    Had a cheap gas gage on my ultralight airplane. It was a float with a wire. The wire stuck up through a hole in the gas cap. The wire was color coded so I knew when I was full - half full - prayer full.:smile:
  3. mountain80

    mountain80 Member

    how do you keep the gas in the tank from sloshing out?
  4. Good thinking!....I like the plastic tube idea...I would love to find a translucent or maybe even clear gas tank....

  5. POPS

    POPS Member

    gas gauge

    What about adapting a petcock from an old scooter with reserve built in ? That should do the trick....POPS
  6. mountain80

    mountain80 Member

    Whatever works, as long as you can get a second line out the level will be shown, absurdly simple but effective, I am going to pickup the line and t fitting this week .
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Use a piece of clear fuel line, put a small colored bead inside that will float on the fuel, but is too large to slip through the barbed fitting. See the fuel level at a glance.

    Or, take the gas cap, drill a hole in the center big enough for a small piece of threaded rod from a crafts store to be be mounted and locked in place, then take a Lego barrel, drill a hole through it that will fit the rod, take a fine (22 gauge or so) piece of wire and mount in the barrel, sticking up through the next gauge size bigger vent hole in the gas cap. Like TwoWalks says, it gives you a visible indicator of fuel level.
  8. TwoWalks

    TwoWalks Member

    The hole was just big enough to allow the wire to move and the float would block the hole when the tank was full.
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    So, is the Lego barrel the float that bobs up and down with the fuel level and is guided upward and downward by the threaded rod that passes thru the Lego barrel?

    Mountain80, my cap has a 1" thick anti-slosh device under it, and the tank has baffles built around that device. This device has four small holes on its bottom and two holes on its side to prevent sloshing. The tank's depth directly under the cap and its anti-slosh device is 3". So I drill the device and lock the 2.5" long threaded rod onto it. Then I drill completely thru the anti-slosh device and thru the cap.Then I attach a 4" wire the thickness of a paper clip directly under the gas cap hole onto the float and poke it thru the hole in the gas cap.

    Is that correct, SimpleSimon?

    Then I attach a "Jack In The Box" antenna ball or something smaller onto the top of the protruding wire for special effects.:cool:

    Since the teardrop tank is mounted on a slight decline, there will be a little fuel reserve when the antenna ball bottoms out and rests atop the tank.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2008
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Petty much what I was picturing, yes. I suggested a Lego barrel, but any small float type device will work fine. I have some prescription eyedrops bottles that would work fine. I like the Jack in the Box ball idea as well. Make sure if your wire guide hole is say, 20 gauge, you use the next smaller gauge size wire in it - no room then, really, for any sloshing.
  11. candlerslim

    candlerslim New Member

    clear tank

    Howdy folks, Here's a little something. I think a clear tank would be cool. Built in site glass? PVC will stand up to gasoline. Spudtech sells 1 foot sections of 4" clear schedule 40 PVC for $32. Standard end caps from lowes will fit the ends. I have had a piece of this clear PVC in a jar of gas for about 4 months with no change in hardness.

    Here's the link.
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    that's cool candlerslim and clear line and gas float

    that's cool candlerslim

    that also helps to answer another thread that's around here some where
    regarding how plastic holds up to gas
    I do wonder if ((all)) plastics hold up to use with gas ??

    I have found that with some rubber o-rings
    they melt fast in gas -- causing a gooey problem

    I have been working part time now for 12 yrs ?? testing water wells for GPM
    regarding the clear line and float with rod methods used to see gas level
    if you notice large water tanks used in the back country
    these are just two of the simple things used -- which work very well
    so as to tell -- exact water level in storage tanks

    works in the big tanks
    works in the small
    you can tell what you got
    in one and all

    ride that thing
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  13. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Dang it! I wish you people would stop coming up with good ideas. Now I have to add a sight glass to my gas tank....and knowing me, it will be real glass with brass brackets....

    I like the idea of just a glass tube beside the engine. All you need is an attachment to the bottom of the tank, and one at the top and for the tube to be as tall as the tank and next to it. With my tank, I think it would fit particularly well.
  14. Flapdoodle

    Flapdoodle Member

    I made mine last year.

    The tubing is vinyl, the fittings are from Rainbird lawn irrigation systems. Both came from Ace Hardware. In spite of adding a dash of acetone and Seafoam, nothing has dissolved yet.
  15. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    you will like the out come -- a cool riding THING

    you will like the out come

    sounds like you want -- the killer kind !!

    as I think it was Bolt's mentioned
    even though you will be able to see the gas level -- very easily
    if you find the right size little black or red floating ball to put into tube

    it looks pretty cool

    it's a cool riding THING
  16. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member


    Your not kidding a gage of that nature would look tough on that old style bike tank!

    Just another idea to run past you guys.

    Do you think for one that a glass tube would put up with the pressure of a ferrell fitting such as seen in a brass 90* elbow. IF it would be enough to seal the gas in, your in business... Just use two 90*'s pointing at eachother with the glass in between!

    Make it easier and drill two holes and solder nut's with the thread size to match the other end of the fitting over the holes in the tank!