Installation of a VDO fuel sender in a Willys CJ2A
Note: This page documents the install of a VDO fuel sender along with an
aftermarket fuel gauge; it does not contain information about how to
install an aftermarket fuel sender to work with the stock gauge.
The (International Harvester)
fuel gauge which was installed in my Jeep when I got it wasn't hooked up and the spot where the ammeter would go
was empty. I checked out the sender in the fuel tank and it was all rusted
up and wasn't giving me sane values when I checked it with an ohm meter,
so I purchased a VDO fuel sender (part number 226-001) and a VDO Series 1 fuel gauge
(part number 301-301). I also
purchased a voltmeter to match. (part number 332-341) The Series 1 gauges are really classy
looking. Simple, classic white numbers and a white needle and a chrome
rim. They are side lit also. I bought them from egauges.com (Don's Sport Vehicle Sales).
Their website was very informative, he is actually cheaper than Summit
on the guages and especially so given that his shipping charges are
reasonable as opposed to Summit's $10 handling fee. The shipping was
very quick as well, I had the guages a couple of days after I ordered
The VDO fuel sender works great with a couple of caveats. It is
supposed to work in a tank as shallow as 6" (the Willys tank is 6.5"),
but if you follow the instructions from VDO, there is no way to make it
short enough, the plastic piece that holds the float will simply not slide
far enough up the bracket to obtain the proper distance between the top of
the sender and the middle of the float arm. I improvised, flipping the float
unit upside down and installing the float arm on the opposite side of normal in order to
compensate (otherwise the gauge would read full when the tank is empty and
vice versa). The only permanent modification required to the sender was
drilling out a threaded hole a little bit bigger in order to fit a screw
that goes into the plastic float unit through the metal bracket. The
other caveat is that although the sender has the same bolt pattern as
the Willys tank, it is a tiny bit too big to fit through the hole, so
I used a rotozip tool to open up the tank a touch. (You don't need
much, maybe 1/16" all the way around. I tried various methods of catching
the junk before it could fall into the tank like putting shop towels into
the tank, using magnets, etc. but a good deal of metal flakes still got inside.
It was going to take forever to try to get them out with a magnet, so I just
pulled the tank which is super easy and flushed it out.
Unfortunately, I don't have step by step pics of the modifications I performed,
but the couple of pictures below should help you to determine how it was done.
Click on any pic to bring up the full sized version.
The "back side" of the sender.
001 - 263 KB
The float arm side of the sender.
002 - 230 KB
This page was last updated
Fri Sep 8 01:49:05 EDT 2006