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1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

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  • 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

    I had a GM dealer install a new LIFETIME fuel pump and sending unit in my 1996 tahoe just over a year ago. Last week i noticed my fuel gauge was bouncing all over the place due to the fuel splashing around. I took the tahoe in expecting to get a new sending unit or the fuel gauge fixed. The dealer told me that this fuel gauge problem was common in 1996 Tahoe's and other vehicles and in 1997 they made an "update" kit to fix the fuel gauge. They recommend not doing it because it would cost several hundred to fix it with labor and the "update" kits weren't known to last that long anyways. I have searched online to find this 1997 fuel gauge update kit notice with no luck. I am wondering if the dealer gave me this story so they would not have to fix the fuel gauge covered under warranty. I find it hard to believe that if i put a new sending unit in my vehicle that my fuel gauge would still fluctuate like this..... but thats what the dealer is saying.
    --1991 K1500 with Cepek lift, 3" body lift, 15x8 MT II's with 35" Mud rovers, 15x12 rockcrawlers with 38.5" swamper boggers, Sony XPLOD CD, External tranny cooler, "built" 700R4, 14 bolt SF with detroit locker, 4:56 front and rear gears, Dual shocks up front, Tom woods Double Cardan rear driveshaft.

  • #2
    Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

    Do you have an aftermarket fuel tank?
    88 K1500 5.7 220K SOLD
    95 K2500 5.7 336k SOLD
    96 K2500 6.5 171K
    06 Trailblazer LTZ

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    • #3
      Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

      I had a 1996 GMC YUKON that had the same problem, with the factory fuel pump/sender and the replacement one, also have a GMC pickup that does the same thing and its a 1997, i think that's just the way it is.
      :fsc:
      1996 GMC Yukon 3" lift 33" AT's
      1997 GMC K3500 Sierra Reg. Cab Long Bed

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      • #4
        Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

        Is this the same issue as the servo in the gauge itself?

        It "waves" very fast... As in the tip of the needle moves maybe a quarter of an inch (point-to-point) at a rate of maybe 10-20 times per second. WAY faster than fuel sloshing could ever make it move.

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        • #5
          Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

          Originally posted by FinalBreath
          Do you have an aftermarket fuel tank?
          Same gas tank that came with it when i bought it with 90,000 on the truck and now it has 230,000. I had an issue with ground wire being the problem once upon a time 50,000 miles ago but this is deffinately not a ground wire issue.
          --1991 K1500 with Cepek lift, 3" body lift, 15x8 MT II's with 35" Mud rovers, 15x12 rockcrawlers with 38.5" swamper boggers, Sony XPLOD CD, External tranny cooler, "built" 700R4, 14 bolt SF with detroit locker, 4:56 front and rear gears, Dual shocks up front, Tom woods Double Cardan rear driveshaft.

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          • #6
            Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

            Originally posted by thekl0wn
            Is this the same issue as the servo in the gauge itself?

            It "waves" very fast... As in the tip of the needle moves maybe a quarter of an inch (point-to-point) at a rate of maybe 10-20 times per second. WAY faster than fuel sloshing could ever make it move.

            When i park the vehicle with the ignition on and jump on the rear bumper i can make the needle move like you describe above without moving. This is just one of them little things that annoys me after 1 year of a new fuel pump and sending unit.
            --1991 K1500 with Cepek lift, 3" body lift, 15x8 MT II's with 35" Mud rovers, 15x12 rockcrawlers with 38.5" swamper boggers, Sony XPLOD CD, External tranny cooler, "built" 700R4, 14 bolt SF with detroit locker, 4:56 front and rear gears, Dual shocks up front, Tom woods Double Cardan rear driveshaft.

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            • #7
              Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

              This so-called "update" is actually a completely different sending unit design, which also will not fit in your old tank as the lock ring design is different, and then on top of that the fuel line hookups to the sender are different (now they are quick-connects.)

              They're mischaracterizing (either intentionally, to BS you, or because the person telling you was an idiot) a design change that came about in 1997 for the trucks. Some have the old sending unit, some have the new one where the pump & sender are integrated in a plastic can, the assembly is ridiculously expensive too. Your 1996 has the regular sender with the pump that is easily swapped out and costs about $100 for a new Delphi brand pump, vs. the new design where both are swapped as an assembly and the bastard is in the $300 neighborhood.

              Anyway sounds like your sender is toast. If it's a so-called "lifetime" setup, why don't they replace it? What do they mean by "lifetime" ???

              Richard

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              • #8
                Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

                Originally posted by someotherguy
                This so-called "update" is actually a completely different sending unit design, which also will not fit in your old tank as the lock ring design is different, and then on top of that the fuel line hookups to the sender are different (now they are quick-connects.)

                They're mischaracterizing (either intentionally, to BS you, or because the person telling you was an idiot) a design change that came about in 1997 for the trucks. Some have the old sending unit, some have the new one where the pump & sender are integrated in a plastic can, the assembly is ridiculously expensive too. Your 1996 has the regular sender with the pump that is easily swapped out and costs about $100 for a new Delphi brand pump, vs. the new design where both are swapped as an assembly and the bastard is in the $300 neighborhood.

                Anyway sounds like your sender is toast. If it's a so-called "lifetime" setup, why don't they replace it? What do they mean by "lifetime" ???

                Richard

                I have had problems over the years with fuel pumps only lasting me about 1 1/2 years give or take. I had a couple napa fuel pumps that crapped out just over a year later so i called GM and they told me they would install a new sending unit and fuel pump that would be good for the life of the vehicle. No milage or expire after x ammount of years so i opted for it with the bad luck over the years with fuel pumps.
                I argued with the guy and he insists a new sending unit will not cure my fuel gauge needle bounce. The new sending unit and fuel pump with labor cost me over $700 last year. I am very tempted to take the tahoe to another GM shop and not let them know i have a GM gaurantee on the current sending unit and fuel pump to have it re-diagnosed then when they try to sell me another sending unit drop my reciept in there lap to have it fixed. I know it might sound shady but i would be willing to bet if i swapped out my sending unit the gauge would be fixed, but if i did that then it would void any warranty on the current sending unit and fuel pump. What should i do?
                --1991 K1500 with Cepek lift, 3" body lift, 15x8 MT II's with 35" Mud rovers, 15x12 rockcrawlers with 38.5" swamper boggers, Sony XPLOD CD, External tranny cooler, "built" 700R4, 14 bolt SF with detroit locker, 4:56 front and rear gears, Dual shocks up front, Tom woods Double Cardan rear driveshaft.

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                • #9
                  Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

                  How much does it move? Like when you come to a stop does it move 1/4 tank?

                  in every 90's gm vehicle i've owned, when you get below 3/4-1/2 tank the gauge will move around when stoping, leaning on the car, turning, whatever happens to slosh fuel around. The more fuel in the tank the less the gauge will move, since theres less room for the fuel to slosh and move the sending unit arm. Thats just the way i've always known it to be. How does it act with a full tank?

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                  • #10
                    Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

                    Originally posted by 91chevywt
                    How much does it move? Like when you come to a stop does it move 1/4 tank?

                    in every 90's gm vehicle i've owned, when you get below 3/4-1/2 tank the gauge will move around when stoping, leaning on the car, turning, whatever happens to slosh fuel around. The more fuel in the tank the less the gauge will move, since theres less room for the fuel to slosh and move the sending unit arm. Thats just the way i've always known it to be. How does it act with a full tank?
                    Full tank it is pinned on F of course. As soon as you burn 1/8 of tank the needle will bouce around. The more fuel you burn the more the needle has to move. I have ridden in other vehicles like you have experienced where the needle sways side to side but this needle jumps side to side. Going down the highway just changing lanes has the needle jumping side to side. Up till recently the fuel gauge never moved like this and stayed very true unless you stopped suddenly and even then it didnt do it unless you were down around 1/4 tank or less.
                    --1991 K1500 with Cepek lift, 3" body lift, 15x8 MT II's with 35" Mud rovers, 15x12 rockcrawlers with 38.5" swamper boggers, Sony XPLOD CD, External tranny cooler, "built" 700R4, 14 bolt SF with detroit locker, 4:56 front and rear gears, Dual shocks up front, Tom woods Double Cardan rear driveshaft.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

                      My tahoe does the same thing. Also when I fill it, It goes past line and past the F.
                      95 Tahoe 4D, Flowmaster 40, Magnaflow cat/y pipe, TBI mods, TBIChip, Dyna Mod, B&M shift kit, 4.10s, nitto terragrapplers 285/70/17

                      09 Silverado 1500 5.3 ecsb, Airaid Jr. Intake, Diablo intune diablew tuned....waiting for tcm support..

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                      • #12
                        Re: 1996 5.7 Tahoe Fuel Gauge update. Does it exist?

                        My gas guage started this REALLY FAST BACK AND FOURTH movement today. I checked (and completely pulled out) the fuse and no luck. I'm going to disconnect the battery overnight and see if that does anything. I know how far I can go on a tank so I'm not worried about running out of gas, it's just annoying to look down and see it jumping like that.

                        I had my fuel pump replaced a few years back with an OEM, and it's been fine. This needle buisiness just started though. Logic tells me it would HAVE TO BE pump/float related. I could be wrong though.

                        Jay

                        '98 ECSB, Edel Headers, Magnaflow Cats/CatBack
                        K&N, Pully, Ign.Kit, D/S Rotors, SS Lines, BB 89 Tune
                        Built 4L60E w/ Vigilante 2800 Stall
                        http://photobucket.com/R3215T3R/ (Toyvrolet Drag Truck/S-10 Drag Truck)Pics.

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