Can resistive fuel senders/transducers be repaired/reconditioned?

Aviation Dude
  • Can resistive fuel senders/transducers be repaired/reconditioned? Aviation Dude

    I need to replace two fuel senders in each wing of a Socata TB20, and a replacement is almost $500.

    I wanted to know whether a shop exists in the US that reconditions these?

    After some research, I'm still not sure if reconditioning resistive fuel senders is common practice at all. I only heard anecdotically about it

  • While I have no personal experience with refurbished or reconditioned fuel senders, I did some research, and there do appear to be shops that will work on aviation units. An alternate search has some different results.

    These results imply that that it is both legal to recondition fuel senders, and that there are a few options within the US.

    For the record, I wasn't able to track down a manufacturer or part number for the units used by SOCATA, which makes it a bit more difficult to research. I do know that Cessna senders can be found for under $300 at McFarlane, if that gives you a price comparison, or in case one of those is the right unit. Aircraft Spruce has even cheaper units (Rochester and Westach) but I'm not sure why they are so cheap; often the parts Spruce carries are not for certified aircraft, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Either option is certainly cheaper than the price SOCATA seems to have quoted.

    Good luck with your search, and if you find a shop or a part number, make sure to update (or comment on) your question!

  • There are shops that do this and egid gave you a couple of hints on how to find one, but your local mechanic can probably recondition your fuel sender about as well as any of the specialty shops, as long as they're not squeamish about opening up the unit (and as long as the unit can be opened up - I'm not sure about the TB20 senders).

    What's basically involved is cleaning the resistor element and wiper contacts, making sure everything is making good contact through its full range of travel, and verifying that the sender is still within a reasonable calibration range when you're done with the cleaning (you can use your other, working sender to determine what's "reasonable", or verify using your fuel gauge).

    The Comanche folks have a nice article on reconditioning a (really beat up) fuel sender, and technologically they're similar to automotive fuel senders, so this article about reconditioning Corvette fuel senders may also be useful to get an idea of what you're in for.

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