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mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions
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BRBa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 3:11 pm    Post subject: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

The following pertains to a 1973 std Beetle in Kubelwagen configuration, but since the Magura fuel gauge has 11 66 on it, I am posting here.

What I am wondering about is what is involved in reorienting or replacing the float(s) inside the gas tank. Right now, the cap on top of the fuel tank seems to be on backwards, with the "channel" or bracket that accepts the cable from the gauge oriented to the front of the car. As can be seen in one of my horrible pictures, the one with wiring, etc. , there is not a lot of clearance between the top of the gas tank and the underneath of the hood and on this vehicle, and unlike on a real VW Beetle, there is no direct access to the top of the gas tank. So, I might be able to get a wrench or short screwdriver squeezed into mine to remove the cap, but then what? Is it simply a matter of rotating the assembly 180 degrees and can this be done with the float and arm and all that in the tank, or... does it have to be removed and repositioned? I prob. ought to take the assembly out and inspect, but is that possible in the limited space I have to work with, maybe three inches? I might/could remove the gas tank via the right/passenger wheel well, with wheel off (it's more open than a real Beetle) but that is no guarantee. I would love a functioning gas gauge but am trying to avoid a frustrating can of worms, and one option, like on the real Kubel, is just to have a calibrated dipstick to put into the tank (fancy expression for a stick with notches in it). I think the KW tank was cylindrical in shape, but it would not be hard to come up with something for this one, if getting the float/arm/cable/gauge to work proves impractical or impossible. Thanks for any ideas. This forum has been a great resource for me.

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finster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

I'm thinking that messing with the sender cap with limited access could leave you with problems of poor sealing and vapour leaks. if it were mine I'd be making a dipstick - it will be guaranteed to be reliable and accurate - by emptying the tank and putting known amounts of fuel in to calibrate. oh, and carry a jerry can!
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matthew henricks
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

If i understand you correction the cap is what you can see and is on backwards. Do you know for sure that the cable mount is also coming out the wrong way too? You may just have the cap on backwards and the actual sending unit is correct.

Below the cap you will find the sending unit and they are separate pieces.
The sending unit is held on with six screws and below it is the main seal. The image below is a Magura sending unit. (The VDO is similar) Not sure if you can spin that around inside the tank but for sure you need more than 3" of clearance to get it out. The main float takes the entire diameter of the hole in the tank to get in/out so you need that much space. (6-7")

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BRBa
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

Thanks gents for the responses. There is no cap (as seen in the followup photo of another car's cap). The sending unit is nekkid and I can pinch the top of it and move the internals back and forth. I was pondering how a unit, or a cap with five fasteners, could be installed backwards, and then a lightbulb went off in my dim head and I found a picture of a 1967 with the hood open and noted the filler is on the left (driver's) side, whereas on a Kubelwagen, replica or real, it's on the right (passenger's).

So my gas tank is "backwards".....

(After sending out my original post, I wondered how a piece with 5 fasteners could be installed backwards, and now I know - it is not, the tank is. Oh well.)

I once talked to the man at KoobleKraft in NM which makes replica KWs (Steven Bishop) about this and he seemed to never have encountered a need to drop a gas tank to get at the gas tank float, but thought there might be enough clearance if it was removed from its supports and lowered. The very useful pic provided by Matthew really hits home with what is involved with removing the float.

Anyways, onward. I'll prob. have to make a dipstick.
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BRBa
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

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EVfun
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: mechanical fuel gauge for replica Kubel - some questions Reply with quote

I do recall the existence of some gas gauges that looked like the old one you have, but electronic and designed for the later Bug sender. The later Bug sender fits, and works right, in older gas tanks that originally used the mechanical gas gauge ('61-'67.) Wires do a quick 180 degree turn a LOT better than a cable. So, if you can get the room to swap the sender, and can find the electric version of the gauge, that could get you a working setup. With the float on an arm you need quite a bit of room to roll it out of the tank.
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