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Old 06-26-2020, 08:33 PM   #1
custom10nut
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Temp Gauge issue

Just recently, my temp gauge has been registering near the “Red Zone“, under normal operating conditions, and will “Peg out” if I sit in traffic.
I’ve checked the water temps with a thermometer and it’s not over heating.
The sending unit is new, and the thermostat is working fine.
The gauge is it he original, that the truck rolled off the line with in 1970.
Is it possible for them to “Go Bad” and start reading “Hot”?
Would it fix the problem if I clean the contacts from the the Printed Circuit tothe gauge?
I just wanted to ask, before I go and buy a new gauge.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:13 PM   #2
gmc684x4
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Question 1 did the old sending unit do the same ?

Q2 do you have a clutch fan ?

Q3 fan shroud?

I had a 70 sb 4x4 4 blade fan with no fan shroud it would over heat in traffic when having lots of parked time i added fan shroud and 6 blade fan made a big difference
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:26 PM   #3
custom10nut
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Question 1: No. It read normal. Just past half way
Question 2: no. I have a non-clutch fan
Question 3: yes. I have the Fan Shroud in place.

Is it True that there’s are different sending units. As in, one type for a Gauge , and one type for the “Temp” dash light?
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

I think you may have an actual cooling problem if you notice the gauge moves just because you sit at a stop light, and reading goes lower when you are moving. Mine reads very steady at the same reading regardless of whether the truck is moving down the road on a 50 degree day, or sitting in my garage just running for 30 minutes or more on a 100 degree day.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by custom10nut View Post
Is it True that there’s are different sending units. As in, one type for a Gauge , and one type for the “Temp” dash light?
Yes, gauge type sending unit has a variable resistor inside to send different voltages to the gauge at different temperatures, while the temp dash light sending unit is a switch that grounds the wire to turn on the light bulb at a specific high temperature (250 to 260 F)

Last edited by dmjlambert; 06-26-2020 at 09:32 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Yes there is a difference the light has smaller range it eorks in and the guage sending unit works over a broader range

Do you have acess to a coolant pressure tester ?
Many parts stores may do loan a tool on these

You pressure up the system and leave it for awhile see if it drops in pressure over time
This will confirm any leaks in the system

Higher flow water pump and 6 blade fan or fan cutch fan can help
Clutch fan needs to be proper rotation for water pump
Example 88 98 the water pump pully goes in reverse direction

Sender could be a bit out of range as well
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:42 PM   #7
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmjlambert View Post
I think you may have an actual cooling problem if you notice the gauge moves just because you sit at a stop light, and reading goes lower when you are moving. Mine reads very steady at the same reading regardless of whether the truck is moving down the road on a 50 degree day, or sitting in my garage just running for 30 minutes or more on a 100 degree day.
I don’t think so. The temp of the coolant never gets critical. Sitting at idle for 20 minutes never gets over 195, as I’ve checked it with a thermometer.
I think my issue is with the type of sending unit,
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

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Originally Posted by dmjlambert View Post
Yes, gauge type sending unit has a variable resistor inside to send different voltages to the gauge at different temperatures, while the temp dash light sending unit is a switch that grounds the wire to turn on the light bulb at a specific high temperature (250 to 260 F)
That’s what I was wondering!
You wouldn’t happen to have a Part Number for the correct one, would you?
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

I just looked for a Part Number
The AC Delco P/N is showing 12334869
Is this correct?
I also found a number 1852, for a “with factory gauges” application
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:04 PM   #10
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Lectric limited has ones that they say are the closest you can get to original. I bought them for my 67 but I haven't run it yet so I can't confirm anything.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:08 PM   #11
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

The ACDelco part number is G1852 for the gauge type sender.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C9SM22
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Looks like “G-1852” is the AC Delco Part number, for the “with gauge” application
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:43 AM   #13
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Could it be as simple as needing to add a higher concentration of coolant?
I seem to recall that the issue started after my son (with good intention) flushed the coolant system.
I’m going to go get a new sending unit and replace the coolant to see if that fixes it.
On other thing I’m going to look at is my timing. It may be a little too advanced.
I’ll let y’all know how it turns out

Last edited by custom10nut; 06-27-2020 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:11 AM   #14
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

So I started my truck this morning, and the Temp gauge went all the way over to the right and then after a few seconds dropped down to cold. So now I’m thinking that maybe it is the sending unit. What do y’all think?
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:42 AM   #15
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Check the alt. regulator. To much changed my temp gauge.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:56 AM   #16
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

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Originally Posted by Blazer690 View Post
Check the alt. regulator. To much changed my temp gauge.
I’ll do that. Thanks
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:29 PM   #17
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

So I went over the list today. I checked the timing, and adjusted it.
Checked the connection on the alternator. Cleaned the contacts
Put thermometer in the radiator, and this is where I’m puzzled.
The temp gauge steadily rose from the time I started it, Til it pegged out
When I checked the thermometer, it read at 95 until the thermostat opened, and then it went to 140. Is this possible to run that cool? I even tested it with my finger to verify that the Thermometer is working, and I was hot, but not scalding hot.
As I said in the beginning, the engine has never had an issue with “Running Hot” so other than not being able to “watch the gauges“, I’m not too worried.
The next time I go into town I’m going to get another sending unit just to verify, my current one is good or bad..
It’s entirely possible that it’s a bad unit.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:44 PM   #18
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

I don't think thermometer in the radiator is all that useful to tell engine temperature. If your thermostat is bad, the engine could get hot and radiator temperature stay cooler. Perhaps one of those laser temperature guns pointed at a head near the temperature sensor would be a good reading. Those things cost just a few dollars nowadays ($20 to $35).
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:40 PM   #19
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Yeah I know, but at least I know the coolant is circulating. I’m just gonna get the new send unit, because I think that’s my issue
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:14 PM   #20
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

So I went and ordered an AC Delco unit. I’m hoping that fixes the issue
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:56 AM   #21
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

These things can be troublesome for sure. I guess using any aftermarket brand sender or thermostat can cause the gauge to read erroneously. I had an 85 blazer, all stock, the gauge read normally until I changed the thermostat. It then began going nuts like yours. Upon cold start up the gauge climbed and didn't stop until it pegged out. All I did was change from a 185 stat to a 160. I bled until I was sure all the air was out and it still read the same. I changed the thermostat, sender and even the gauge.
I put the 185 back in and it once again read normally.
Apparently changing the range it was designed to operate in doesn't always work well.
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:58 PM   #22
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

So, now I’m really stumped.
I changed out the T-stat and Sending unit with Delco stuff and still get the gauge running all the way to the right. I grounded the wire and it pegged out, so I know the wire has continuity.
The water is not boiling, and the truck runs fine.
Could it finally be the original gauge gone bad? Or maybe just a little oxidation breaking the connection?
Any insight is welcomed with open arms
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:45 PM   #23
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

When the key is in the on position, does the gauge read hot all the time, even when then engine has not been started for the day?
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:22 PM   #24
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

Nope. I start it up and it all the way to the left. After about 5-10 min the needle just makes a steady (not fast) sweep all the way over to the right. As I said numerous times, the truck doesn’t run hot, and this just started doing this one day out of the blue. I still drive the truck, but it just irritates me that the gauge shows hot all the time. I think I’m just going to order a new gauge and see if that fixes it
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:48 AM   #25
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Re: Temp Gauge issue

I have read reviews about sending units as I need to replace mine too. I know you looked up the model number and such as most did that as well. I read that you need the correct year of sending unit for your gauge and not the engine itself. There are a bunch of different years of units that all look the same but have different resistance inside the sending unit itself for different year gauges. A lot of people that bought the wrong ones had the gauge show as it was overheating and it wasn't. They put the stock unit back in and it ran normal again.

So seems to me the resistance may be off on your unit? Not sure if it is a year specific issue or if you had the right part both times and there is something off elsewhere. But wanted to share my experience just as an extra bit of knowledge.
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