Attempt to repair fuel sender unit (part #8000A1400) - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Attempt to repair fuel sender unit (part #8000A1400)

My low fuel like spontaneously stopped working a while back. No flickering, no erratic behavior, just one day it never lit up again.

The manual has a simple test for checking the fuel sender. I've attached a screengrab of it below, and you can also see a simplified execution of that test on THIS THREAD, where SpainF4 ran the test but only built his circuit through pins 3 and 4, and it worked.

The problem with this test is that if it is negative--that is, the light doesn't come on--that doesn't tell you whether the thermistor is bad, or whether there's just a connection issue somewhere between the 4-pin fuel connector and the thermistor itself. MV doesn't care, because they intend for you to replace all of it.

A new fuel sender is north of $250 in the US. You can buy an entire fuel plate, including sender and pump, for around $150-175 on ebay, but then you're never quite sure how far away THAT fuel sender is from giving up the ghost.

That seems like a lot of money if the issue could be fixed by cleaning up/repairing one of the connections inside, or replacing just the thermistor at the tip, which I've found similar ones for less than $40 around the web. I wanted to find out whether fixing the unit itself was possible instead of buying a whole new one. This could also open the door to being able to raise the thermistor higher with a spacer or washers of some kind, so when the low fuel light comes on, you have a little more warning before empty.

So far, my conclusion is that it would be possible if there was a way to remove the resin sealant. That would give you access to fix the wiring connections, and also remove the thermistor entirely and test it by itself, which you can do just with a multimeter reading resistance while you dip it in/remove it from liquid.

I don't know how to do that, I've never worked with the stuff. Anyone? Maybe it liquifies in boiling water or something?
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 09:38 PM
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From the 910S manual from Donsy's site pin 3 and 4 are for the sensor and 1 and 2 are powering the pump. If I'm looking at the wrong manual please correct me.

To test that the connection between the thermistor and the plug is ok or not you can carefully shave the insulation from the white and black wire in your pic without breaking the wire and test continuity from there to the plug.
If there's no continuity there's your problem, then test the resistance of the thermistor by dipping it between a glass of water with ice cubes and then a glass of very hot water while connected to your previous test points
and you should see the resistance rapidly fall as the temp gets higher.

You probably already searched on how they work but http://www.resistorguide.com/ntc-thermistor/ a 10K thermistor is most common because they have a working range between -20c to +150c

I guess you already checked continuity from the mating plug to the dash and that's ok.

Google 'de-potting electronic circuits' about how to remove the resin, it's epoxy so it won't dissolve in common solvents, paint stripper with dichloromethane also called methylene chloride will soften the top layer
then you have to scrape it away a layer at a time, don't know if it will wreck that tube or not. Glasses, gloves and a well ventilated area are mandatory

They only safe way to remove it is via mechanical means, If the problem was a broken wire you could dremell out all the resin, fix the connections and re-pot it.
The caveat being you would have to find fuel proof & vibration resistant epoxy and if it fails later you have fuel leaking straight on top of a hot motor.

P.S.
how did your dash LED fix go?

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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baba Zanetti View Post
From the 910S manual from Donsy's site pin 3 and 4 are for the sensor and 1 and 2 are powering the pump. If I'm looking at the wrong manual please correct me.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. That is the correct manual; same wiring as the 750 S that I'm working with. And that would make sense for the wiring to be the way it is diagramed in the manual, BUT you get continuity to pin 2 from both the ground on the fuel pump connector AND the ground on the thermistor, and no continuity to pin 4 from the thermistor ground. The Knurl had similar results when he checked his. If it wasn't all epoxied in so well, I'd assume there's a short, but because of how the piece is assembled, I think it's more likely some screwy MV wiring...

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To test that the connection between the thermistor and the plug is ok or not you can carefully shave the insulation from the white and black wire in your pic without breaking the wire and test continuity from there to the plug.
If there's no continuity there's your problem, then test the resistance of the thermistor by dipping it between a glass of water with ice cubes and then a glass of very hot water while connected to your previous test points
and you should see the resistance rapidly fall as the temp gets higher.
That's essentially what I was working towards, but stopped because there's no way to disassemble it to fix independent components (unless you drill out the epoxy). That's the crux of the decision: If you can repair the wiring inside, it is worth verifying whether the fault is the wiring or the thermistor. If you can't, it doesn't really matter what the culprit is, the thing is broken and you have to replace.

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They only safe way to remove it is via mechanical means, If the problem was a broken wire you could dremell out all the resin, fix the connections and re-pot it.
The caveat being you would have to find fuel proof & vibration resistant epoxy and if it fails later you have fuel leaking straight on top of a hot motor.
I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. I feel like it ought to be fixable and it's really just my obstinance pushing me to take a crack at it. I am considering drilling it out, which would trash all the wiring in the process, and testing the thermistor by itself/rewiring/re-potting. My concern there would be what you stated about a fuel leak, of course. There's a lot of room in that tube in which you can fill it with epoxy and get a nice tight seal. It's tempting, but also time consuming, and I may just cave and decide the time it would take me to repair is more valuable than the $150 I'd spend on ebay for a whole fuel plate assembly.

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P.S.
how did your dash LED fix go?
Still going. I practiced soldering/de-soldering on a little circuitboard to get more confident with my technique and to zero in on a temp setting that works. I'm fighting a war on multiple fronts: fuel sender, dash LED, I was troubleshooting alternator+battery but wrapped that up, getting my microtec set up with a lambda sensor to autotune on a closed loop...
The dash is the lowest priority because it's so accessible that I can finish up everything else and reassemble the bike and get it rolling, and come back to the dash as I have time for it. Ideally, I'll have it all done this week, but we'll see what life has to say about that

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 05:42 AM
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Because of the way thermistors work, they need heat to produce continuity. The circuit heats up with applied voltage and no neat sink. When a temperature limit is reached, the circuit closes via action of the thermistor and then continuity is gained and your light comes on.

This is why the circuit shows open with a standard continuity test.

The thermistor stays cool (no continuity) while immersed in fuel. When the fuel drops below the thermistor, the heatsink is removed and continuity is gained.

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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 05:58 AM
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I seriously doubt a wiring failure has occurred inside the potting material. After all, how could it? the wires are immobilized and sealed. No way to flex and bend, no way to wear and short or break.
I would suggest cutting the thermistor off with some lead wire attached. You can then test continuity and insulation of the wiring to the connector, and test the thermistor independently with ease.
You can then solder in a short length of similar gauge wire with heat shrink tubing to reconnect the thermistor or a replacement.

Don't forget continuity and insulation from the pump connector back up to the dash.

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentservice703 View Post
Because of the way thermistors work, they need heat to produce continuity. The circuit heats up with applied voltage and no neat sink. When a temperature limit is reached, the circuit closes via action of the thermistor and then continuity is gained and your light comes on.

This is why the circuit shows open with a standard continuity test.

The thermistor stays cool (no continuity) while immersed in fuel. When the fuel drops below the thermistor, the heatsink is removed and continuity is gained.
And based on the diagram for the test with the test light, we know that pin 4 is the side of the connection that gets opened/closed, and pin 3 should have continuity to the positive lead up the center of the thermistor (I haven't exposed any of that wire to check). What I'm not understanding is why the negative side of the thermistor also has continuity to pin 2

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I seriously doubt a wiring failure has occurred inside the potting material. After all, how could it? the wires are immobilized and sealed. No way to flex and bend, no way to wear and short or break.
Yeah, when you put it like that, it seems painfully obvious that there was no need to suspect the connections inside. Lesson learned.

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I would suggest cutting the thermistor off with some lead wire attached. You can then test continuity and insulation of the wiring to the connector, and test the thermistor independently with ease.
You can then solder in a short length of similar gauge wire with heat shrink tubing to reconnect the thermistor or a replacement.
I think Ed's got the fix here. Then it would just be a matter of finding a similar thermistor, and plenty abound on the internet. Is heat shrink submersible in gas, is there a special kind you would need to buy?

It might be difficult to get the new wire and heat shrink coiled back into the plastic housing. There's a little vent hole on the side, and perhaps you could use a small pin to hook the wire inside the tube and try to work it down in, pulling the thermistor back to its perch on top

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Don't forget continuity and insulation from the pump connector back up to the dash.
Right. One thing at a time. The sensor failed the test on its own, so fixing that has to happen.

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler325i View Post
What I'm not understanding is why the negative side of the thermistor also has continuity to pin 2
As pin number 2 is the ground for the fuel pump, perhaps they are bridged together as shown:

Name:  F4 312R Fuel Sensor Circuit.jpg
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by silentservice703 View Post
Because of the way thermistors work, they need heat to produce continuity. The circuit heats up with applied voltage and no neat sink. When a temperature limit is reached, the circuit closes via action of the thermistor and then continuity is gained and your light comes on.

This is why the circuit shows open with a standard continuity test.
If you are measuring resistance across the thermistor when isolated it should show high resistance at room temp (e.g. ~10K) not infinite if its OK,
This would show if the thermistor is good or has gone open circuit and needs replacing.
I agree that there would be a constant current source when its in circuit as a liquid level sensor. The link I posted earlier describes the self heating effect.

The tests posted earlier would show connection between the plug of the sender and the thermistor are good or not, then testing the connection between the harness plug and the dash LED should eliminate bad connections there.

Wires do fail in potted enclosures as anyone who owned a 1970 -> 1990 Ducati will tell you but its unlikely now days but easy to test in this situation.

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 06:49 AM
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The wires in my wife's 2007 Ducati Monster 695 failed in the potted enclosure...so it can occur even on more modern bikes.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 02:22 PM
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I have been looking at this thread as I also have the same problem and in addition my carbon tank is leaking at the rear mounting spigot, I have sent my tank away in the hope that the leak can be repaired. In the meantime I have purchased a 1000 tank as a spare and I intended to install my 750 pump into the 1000 tank should the carbon one be unrepairable . Unfortunately the mountings are different on the two tanks, the 750 uses bolts to hold the pump plate and the 1000 uses nuts onto pre installed studs. So the question is can the 750 plate mount to the 1000 tank and before someone says try mounting it and see I sent the 750 pump and plate away with the carbon tank and it probably will not be back until the end of summer. Glenn
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