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142 Gas Gauge Lazy

The gas gauge in my '73 142 will not work in the morning. After an hour, or sometimes less, it'll register, but first thing in the morning it is out cold. The back window leaked for a while, but the inside of the trunk is now bone dry and the problem still exists ... where do I look next? The oil pressure light is also lazy but not in complete sympathy with the gas gauge. Is there a connection?

Jim says: The first question I have is, "how's the temperature gauge?" The gas and temp. gauges are supplied with power from a voltage stabilizer on the back of the instrument cluster, and if both are acting weirdly, the stabilizer is the usual suspect. It's a small (1-1/2" X 1/2" X 3/8") metal box with three plug-in connections on one side. Of course, you won't notice a temp. gauge problem with the engine cold.

Next, I'd look for corroded or loose connections, especially in the area that was wet. It's a good idea on an older car to loosen and retighten all the electrical connections every once in a while, anyway.

Also, when the gauge is failing, check the voltage on the sender terminal on the gas tank hatch cover. If there's approximately 10 volts of pulsating DC, the problem is in the sender; if not, it's likely in the instrument cluster -- possibly the circuit board. They've been known to crack and give intermittent trouble.

I'm not sure what you mean by "lazy" oil pressure light. The only connection between the light and the gauge is the circuit board; check that the connectors are seated.

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