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Discussion Starter #1
2008 Glide with only 23,750 on the odo:
The fuel gauge has always been fine, indications have been accurate but yesterday that all changed...
When turning the main switch on, instead of the normal, slow needle sweep across to full (I filled up the tank 30 miles ago) the needle now jumps VERY rapidly to full. Then when stopping if I stop abruptly the needle swings erratically back and forth between full and 3/4. (Almost as if it's indicating the fuel sloshing back and forth inside the tank) then the needle stabilizes again (Possibly as the fuel settles) I've been told that somewhere in the system the gauge indications are dampened so wild needle movements based on sloshing fuel are not indicated.
Does this sound like whats happening?
Gauge?
Sender?
Wiring?
I've asked 3 different "experts" and gotten 3 different opinions. I need a tie breaker please...
 

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2008 Glide with only 23,750 on the odo:
The fuel gauge has always been fine, indications have been accurate but yesterday that all changed...
When turning the main switch on, instead of the normal, slow needle sweep across to full (I filled up the tank 30 miles ago) the needle now jumps VERY rapidly to full. Then when stopping if I stop abruptly the needle swings erratically back and forth between full and 3/4. (Almost as if it's indicating the fuel sloshing back and forth inside the tank) then the needle stabilizes again (Possibly as the fuel settles) I've been told that somewhere in the system the gauge indications are dampened so wild needle movements based on sloshing fuel are not indicated.
Does this sound like whats happening?
Gauge?
Sender?
Wiring?
I've asked 3 different "experts" and gotten 3 different opinions. I need a tie breaker please...
This sounds like the sending unit in the tank. Have you changed the filter out yet? Also would be a great time to replace the inner hose inside the tank. Notorious about developing pin holes. Always not if, but when it will do this. This area is where I would start.
 

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HD issued a service bulletin for fuel filters cracking in the tank on 2008 models. Check their website and have your VIN # handy to type in to see if you are affected. They were replacing them under the service bulletin and fixed the problem on later 2008 models.
You may also try to re-seat the connection on the back of the gauge for starters......Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm the original owner of this bike, and after thinking about it I DO recall that fuel filter campaign being carried out not too long after I bought the bike new. (But for some reason cant find the paperwork in my records...)

A bit more trouble shooting: Last night I went out to the bike in my garage and while on the kickstand turned on the power, but did NOT start it. The fuel needle swung instantly to full. I then stood the bike up and the needle dropped to approximately 3/4. I rocked the bike enough to get the fuel sloshing in the tank and the needle started swinging quickly back and forth between roughly 5/8 and 7/8. Just as soon as I could no longer hear the fuel moving, the needle stopped moving too. Before shutting the power off I set the bike back on the kickstand and the needle returned to full.

I should note that I've been a professional mechanic for 30+ years, starting with small engines, and now commercial jets, and this just doesn't seem like a sender to me. The system appears to be indicating correctly, but whatever manner they use to dampen erratic movement of the needle caused by sloshing fuel has failed. HOWEVER I also admit I don't know how this specific SYSTEM works, which is why I'm not ashamed to ask for help, and greatly appreciate getting it.

One last thought, I just got the bike up and going after 6 months hibernation (I live in Colorado) but this time I forgot to fill the tank as I normally do, and it sat all that time with less than 1/2 tank. I wonder if that could have caused this problem...
 

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Don't worry about the fuel lines having pin holes that was 2006 and earlier problem and HD solved that in the 2007 and later models.
Also the fuel filter housing being warped is not the problem, if you have any pin holes or housing warpage the bike will not run good once the fuel level drops down to the point where the fuel system starts to suck air, you will know if this happens because the bike will act as if you have a tank of bad fuel.
The best place to start is the sending unit in the tank, it is unlikely that the wiring is a problem and I never really heard of the fuel gauges going bad on these bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well thanks for the input everyone. She goes to the dealer tomorrow. One of the parts clerks there used to have his own business and did the cam and tune on my bike. When I spoke to him today he thinks it's a sender too, so as I said I'm glad I asked all of you since clearly I don't understand this particular system. Furthermore we discovered today that it has a stored ECU code, so we'll see what that is while they have it.
 

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Don't worry about the fuel lines having pin holes that was 2006 and earlier problem and HD solved that in the 2007 and later models.
Also the fuel filter housing being warped is not the problem, if you have any pin holes or housing warpage the bike will not run good once the fuel level drops down to the point where the fuel system starts to suck air, you will know if this happens because the bike will act as if you have a tank of bad fuel.
The best place to start is the sending unit in the tank, it is unlikely that the wiring is a problem and I never really heard of the fuel gauges going bad on these bikes.
I hate to disagree with you Mark, but it is an ongoing problem. Just changed out a 2012 2 weeks ago and another friend had his go bad on a trip last year. His was a 2011. Same thing, the inner hose rubbing the inside of tank. Filters are usually good for 30,000 miles or a little more according to how clean the fuel tanks you buy the most gas from. We see it all the time when doing 20,000 mile checkups and test fuel pressure before dynos. Just one of the many maintenance things we need to take care off.
 

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I hate to disagree with you Mark, but it is an ongoing problem. Just changed out a 2012 2 weeks ago and another friend had his go bad on a trip last year. His was a 2011. Same thing, the inner hose rubbing the inside of tank. Filters are usually good for 30,000 miles or a little more according to how clean the fuel tanks you buy the most gas from. We see it all the time when doing 20,000 mile checkups and test fuel pressure before dynos. Just one of the many maintenance things we need to take care off.
If the fuel lines where rubbing then it could happen but that is mostly a installation issue, fuel line problems in a 2007 and later bike don't happen too often. Hell I am still running the original fuel lines in my 08 without a problem.
In 2007 HD change to a more durable fuel line that wouldn't deteriorate in the fuel over time like the 2006 and earlier models did. They also changed the rubber in the front motor mount in 2007.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well folks, I got the bike back from the shop today, the 2 engine codes were nothing. The tech cleared them and they didn't return.

But the big issue was the erratic fuel gauge needle. He tested the fuel gauge and it tested good. Then he tested the sender and he "says" it was defective so he replaced it. (And the fuel filter since it's right there) When I picked up the bike ($320) and turned the main switch on I immediately noticed the new sender made absolutely NO difference. :(

So tomorrow I guess I'll go back to the dealer and tell them since I spent the better part of 300 bucks having the sender replaced to no benefit, how about a nice deep discount on a new gauge...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well just to put the finishing touch on this thread, the "nice deep discount" I was hoping for ended up 10% which barely covered the sales tax, but no matter, bottom line the new gauge solved the problem. Needle moves nice and slow, and doesn't react to fuel sloshing around in the tank.
 
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