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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:27 pm
Posts: 1
Year and Trim: 1996 Bonneville
I just bought a '96 Bonneville SE that the gauge is pegged at full. I've been reading that this is a common problem. I want to fix this because I can't stand having an inop. fuel gauge. My first question is if the dorman sending units I see for sale on the internet are any good? Second, I don't really want to drop the tank. Is there a spot in the car I can cut an access hole in the floor to replace the unit and where would that be? This is a beater car, so I woulden't lose sleep over cutting a hole in the floor and re-patching it back up. Any help would be appricated. Thanks, Eric


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Resident Gearhead
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:38 pm
Posts: 1854
Year and Trim: 1997 SE Anniversary Edition
catalina68 wrote:
I just bought a '96 Bonneville SE that the gauge is pegged at full. I've been reading that this is a common problem. I want to fix this because I can't stand having an inop. fuel gauge. My first question is if the dorman sending units I see for sale on the internet are any good? Second, I don't really want to drop the tank. Is there a spot in the car I can cut an access hole in the floor to replace the unit and where would that be? This is a beater car, so I woulden't lose sleep over cutting a hole in the floor and re-patching it back up. Any help would be appricated. Thanks, Eric


I got the cheap Chinese one from RockAuto and it worked well.

Forget cutting the floor, the gas tank it pretty much in the middle of the car. You'll need to drop the tank. Run it down VERY low and drop it down. Fix it outdoors.

Be sure to get the dealer gasket with three prongs on it to reseal the tank. The crappy one that comes with the unit will be a nightmare to install and will leak. Also, use vaseline on the inside of the two fuel hoses to the tank so they're easier to install.

Put some gas back in the tank when you're done and have an assistant bleed the fuel line at the fuel rail under the hood. He will hold the valve open with a screwdriver (valve looks like a tire stem on the fuel rail) and you will turn the ignition off and on until gas flows from the valve.

Coupla hours with two guys. A lift would cut that time in half but I was forced to back the car up onto ramps.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:28 am 
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Posts like an LG3
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:33 pm
Posts: 373
Location: Wantagh, NY
Year and Trim: 1997 Bonneville SE 40th Ann Edition
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The Dorman sending unit is made in China by Spectra. I just replaced my tank/pump/sending unit/and FPS for the 2nd time in 5yrs.(tank rusted out again) The 5yr old sending unit was a China made Spectra and it still worked fine. Tank has to be dropped and its a tough job if you dont have a lift. Do use the GM tank seal as the OP suggested. Also the fuel guage is not accurate with this sending unit. Stays on full too long- there is a TSB to correct this common issue.


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