[T3] Fuel Gauge Grounding Solution

Jim Adney jadney at vwtype3.org
Thu Jan 26 09:20:21 PST 2023

Over the years, many people, including myself, have noticed problems with 
odd behavior of the gas gauge, especially with the key off and the E-flashers 
working. It was pretty clear to me that this was a grounding problem, but I'd 
never managed to figure out a solution.

The problem is that the fuel gauge cluster depends on it's spring retaining 
clips to make a good ground to the backside of the dash. Over time, as the 
plastic dash pad shrinks, this connection becomes poor or nonexistant. VW 
should have fixed this in '69, when they added grounds to everything else, 
but they didn't.

I finally got around to looking at this situation and I see that I can add a 
ground wire to the bulb socket that snaps onto the back of the fuel gauge. 
Connecting the other end of that wire to a good ground will solve this 

This is an easy solution for '69-on Type 3s, where there are good ground 
connections readily available under the dash. It, or something similar, should 
work for earlier cars, but might require some modifying/innovation.

If you have good soldering skills, I can send you the wire and connector that 
you can solder in yourself, for $5.

If you prefer to mail me your bulb holder, I can add the wire and do the 
soldering for $10.

Postage increases those prices to $10 and $15, respectively, so the best 
thing to do, as always, would be to combine these purchases with something 
else you need me to do, so they can all ship together.

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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