Recently I asked about replacing the cork float on my old Dodge truck's fuel gauge sending unit. I thought I had solved the problem with a Styrofoam float. But the Styrofoam, which at first seemed impervious, over several days softened and soaked up the modern gas. So I went back to my post and read through the replies again. There had been several good suggestions, and I thought I'd go with new corks coated with airplane dope. Of course nobody here in Podunk sells airplane dope anymore, so I went online. But while there wasn't a huge amount of money involved, there 's just something about shipping doubling or tripling the cost that rubs me the wrong way. So I decided to try my hand at making my own brass float.
It took just a few inches of .005" shim stock.
I used a 13/16" socket as a form for the end pieces.
I cut the parts that would fold over...
...and hammered them over the form.
The soldering iron was just barely hot enough to do the job, but I managed to solder all the seams.
I soldered the float onto the sending unit arm and stuck it into a tub of water the check for leaks. There were no bubbles.
It might have turned out prettier before I became a shaky old man, but it will be where nobody's going to see it. At least it works.
Cool! I love 'how to' posts.
I like it. I need to make one for my 47 Hudson. For my Model T floats, I coat them with blue PVC pipe glue.
Nice job, Steve. I had a suspicion that the life of that foam float would be limited.
Just great Steve, just like they'da done on the farm
He Steve, a quick suggestion to make the next one easier, make the cylinder first then solder each end on a piece of flat sheet, then trim the excess off with scissors. It will be lighter and there really is no need for all the overlap on the ends. Not bad though and no one will see it until they have to replace the sender.
I love it! You even use my favorite form to shape the end pieces.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Yup, that's ugly ! Can't wait to see your how-to video on building a mud fence !
Seriously, I love this kind of git-it-done stuff.
For six bucks you could have gone to the grocery store and bought a bottle of cheap wine and used the cork! If you don't drink wine, you can always use it to cook with. Just ask Julia...
: ^ )
Six bucks is cheap wine?! I guess the only thing that's cheaper here than in the States is wine.
Great repair Steve. There's nothing stopping Mr. Thrifty. I too have to REALLY need something before I buy it when shipping triples the price. Yesterday I looked into getting some more Permatex Ultra Black on Amazon... 6.98 + 17.15 for shipping. I'll figure something else out.
Gee Steve !! You are a Wurlitzer
I would have bought a $6 bottle of wine and used the cork. Then enjoyed the wine!
I bought the $4 float from Snyder's but waited until I had a lot of T parts in the same order, so the shipping was divided between lots of parts. I'm not retired yet, so sometimes I buy readymade parts
Wait till you guys see the shipping costs on a mud fence !
You could check with a plumbing/heating supply or contractor. Some "Maid of the Mist" air separators have a float quite like that inside. Nice work on that one.
one trick about making brass floats. If you solder all the ends and the float is air-tight, it can collapse as the air inside cools. To avoid this, most floats have a tiny hole in them away from the seams. After the seams are all done, and the float has cooled off, then you solder the hole shut--if the brass is already tinned there, it should just take a quick "swipe" of the soldering tip, so it doesn't heat the float up much at all.
I used one half a quadrajet carb float to repair the fuel gauge on my Pasquali tractor. Works great.
All fixed up and ya didn't have to go to town.
Form FOLLOWS function. :-)
Dave Gingery told me and a buddy many years ago...
"If it works, that's the right way to do it!"