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Premium Member
1984 380SL, 2000 BMW Z3
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392 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I ran my tank the lowest I've ever done, past the last mark and before the light came on. Put 10 gallons in it, started it and the needle didn't move. Turned it off and started it again. No move. Did the obligatory fist hammering on the dash and still no move. Well crap! :mad:. Continued on the way home after about a 50 miles round trip.

On the way I ran over a few rough spots in the pavement and viola! the needle moved!!

My theory: The float went down into the garbage at the bottom of the tank and stuck. Lesson learned: Don't let the fuel level get that low again.:eek:
 

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL
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973 Posts
Unlike the lever-style floats in some cars (think toilet tank), I believe the SL's float operates inside a top- and bottom-vented aluminum tube. Tank sediments might not get in there in any great quantity, but maybe the two resistance wires the float electrically bridges (assuming this sender is like the similar-looking VDO sender on my old VW van) are gummed up toward the bottom. Some Techron added to the tank (preferably when low on gas and allowed to work its magic overnight) might dissolve it and save you a lot of trouble. Best of luck, bud.



Good road,
 

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82 380SL 96 SL500 03 SL500
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6,164 Posts
If you could get it to stick in the full position you'd never need to fill up. :D

I almost always run until the low fuel light comes on. At that point, from experience, I know I can go almost another hundred miles.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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22,562 Posts
I guess I should consider myself very lucky that I have run the tank dry, and pushed the car into a gas station, and had absolutely no problems in my 1973. Ironically (lucky) though, I decided to put injector cleaner in with that ~5 gallons of gas I put in. ( I wanted it concentrated like it would have been in a 10 gallon tank small car.)

Perhaps it is always a good idea in these cars to put injector cleaner in with any fill up after letting the tank run low.
 

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1979 450 SLC 5.0
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486 Posts
Do the gray market Euro Spec cars (i.e. my 1979 450 SLC 5.0) have the low fuel light?

I can see it on the gauge, just wondering if it is there on all cars, or optional, and mine might not ever light up.

I filled mine for the first time since I bought it last week, and from "R" it still had 7 gallons in it when it was "1/1".

The ow.ers manual hints at a reserve amount. Did I have 3-4 gallons left before the light came on, and was just being a scared newbie?

JetPaul
 

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1979 450 SLC 5.0
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486 Posts
That is awesome Fonzi!

AYEA!

looks like mine is pretty Damn close with about 7 gallons remaining at "R".

Mine does bounce around (and only when its this low) between R and 1/4.

JetPaul
 

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1979 450 SLC 5.0
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486 Posts
While I was working on the A/C yesterday (i have cold air!) My low fuel warning light came on sitting at the hangar on my grass runway.

Here is a pick of where I hideout on the weekends!

The twin is mine, the single belongs to buddy, and the hangar is his too.

I have 8acres on the runway, and am putting up a hangar as well

JetPaul

Sent from my ADR6400L using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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1979 450 SLC 5.0
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486 Posts
Looks like my gauge is completely bizerk between 1/4 and empty. It has done it three times now. The low fuel light comes on still showing 1/4 tank , hit a bump, and the gauge drops to ZERO!

Sent from my ADR6400L using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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Registered
1979 450 SLC 5.0
Joined
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486 Posts
Unlike the lever-style floats in some cars (think toilet tank), I believe the SL's float operates inside a top- and bottom-vented aluminum tube. Tank sediments might not get in there in any great quantity, but maybe the two resistance wires the float electrically bridges (assuming this sender is like the similar-looking VDO sender on my old VW van) are gummed up toward the bottom. Some Techron added to the tank (preferably when low on gas and allowed to work its magic overnight) might dissolve it and save you a lot of trouble. Best of luck, bud.



Good road,
I have put enough techron (and I swear by that stuff! Better than anything STP ever dreamed of!) And there is no change below 1/4 tank. Still unreliable!

JetPaul

Sent from my ADR6400L using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 
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