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MG MGA - New tank sender from NOS / Scarborough Faire

Well I should have known that I shouldn't buy there......

The new tank sender is attractively priced, and looks the part with a twin contact along the spool. The problem? The resistance is only from 0 to 18 Ohm, so the fuel gauge is never going to work correctly with it, it is so far out of spec from the 0 - 70 Ohm of the original. Fortunately bought over eBay, so I don't have to argue with her ladyship about quality in order to get my money back!

Short message: looks tempting, won't work, don't buy.
dominic clancy

Could be that they supplied you with one for a different car as they do sell many models. I wouldn't hold it against them provided they sent you a correct one and paid for the postage to return the dud. Anyone can make that sort of mistake I suppose.....................Mike
m.j. moore

The type of sender is only characterized by the shape of the arm and the gauge type it has to work with. The spec of the spool is the same in all cases where the MGA type fuel gauge is used.

It's just made to the wrong spec, and they should not be selling it as it cannot conceivably work to produce an accurate reading on the gauge.
dominic clancy

Dominic, -- If you still have it in your possession, please send me a picture. I would like to post it in my list of Faulty Replacement Parts. If perchance they ever manage to send you a good one, I would post that amendment as well, but I wouldn't count on that type of hardware production correction happening any time soon.
Barney Gaylord

Good that you tested it first! I have had this happen so many times , with this and other cars...
I would rather pay more, and get what I want...But it doesn't seem to matter what you pay...It's the "luck of the draw !"

The last defective part that I bought was a radiator drain tap.(from Moss)...It wasn't cheap...Beautiful looking, solid brass, and began to leak at the lever pivot, as soon as I filled the radiator. Sent it back, but didn't ask for a replacement...what was the point?

So what will you do for a correct sender?
E B Wesson

Quite often NOS units come up for other cars such as land rovers from unusual places such as Malaysia. The difference is the arm length and shape. They are expensive (around $100) but I have managed to alter the arm to make them suitable for the MGA.

M Wellard

I will take pictures. I have an old one that I can modify for the application, which is an early midget. The old one leaked in vertical position, but on the midget it sits horizontal on the top of the tank between the tank and boot floor. But as others have pointed out, it's only the arm that is different, electrically they are all the same.

and there has been no response to the refund request from SF.
dominic clancy

They are not electrically all the same. They may have different resistance range for various applications. Some work backward from others for increasing or decreasing resistance. Except for shape of the wire arm, other mechanical parts are similar.

The MGA sender unit should have 0-ohms resistance when empty, and about 70-ohms resistance when full.
If it has more than 3-ohms resistance when empty the gauge will never go to empty.
If it has less than 70-ohms when full the gauge will never reach the "F" mark.
If it has more than 70-ohms when full it will peg the gauge beyond the "F mark.

Plus or minus maybe 20% error from 70-ohms might be compensated for by re-calibrating the fuel gauge (which then becomes a non-standard instrument).
Barney Gaylord

Sorry Barney, maybe I should have been clearere.

All the different senders are matched to their gauge. In the case where the same gauge is used ( MGA, early B, Frogeye, early midget, AH etc). The senders are electrically identical and are only diffferentiaited by the arms, which are different lengths and have different bends, but all use the same float.

In this case the gauges are different in that some have smiths and others have jaeger faces, but inside they are the same, not the later temperature operated strips of the later gauges that require a twist-in locking ring for the sender.

It doesn't alter the fact that the sender I have is not at all suitable to be matched with the early type of fuel gauge used in the MGA and the other cars listed above, regardless of the labeling differences. Screw-in senders were never used with the later temperature activated gauges.
dominic clancy

This is where a better man than I would refrain from saying "I told you so."

Hope you are able to get your money back without too much hassle on your part, and lots of annoyance on hers.
D Rawlins

I wish you good luck with having a replacement unit sent. SF and I had a very public fight on this board, about a headliner unit for my coupe, and the final results were far from satisfactory. Althought I received a second unit, many months later, it was less than satisfactory.

I suggest that you simply caulk it up to doing business with SF and move on.
Gordon Harrison

Ahah! At least I was not stupid enough to do business direct, but with the added protection of eBay as platform, and at least the buyer protection from eBay is pretty good.....
dominic clancy

Still no reaction from SF/NOS, so the eBay complaints process will kick in in the next couple of days.

Here's the photo that Barney requested. It is very well made, just to the wrong specification for the 2530 gauge!

dominic clancy

I bought one from Moss, and I checked the resistances. I recollect they were not good but I needed to close the tank and get on with the job. Now I find it works fine, at least full tank =100 and M/T = 0.
Art Pearse

Dominic, she's gonna cut you off now. 8^)

> Lastly, but most importantly, by monitoring our
> feedback continually, we can determine if a buyer
> leaves us unjustified low grades. If this is the case,
> we will block that buyer from future purchases. There
> are people in cyberspace who have unrealistic
> expectations or are not very honorable. If you are one
> of them and do us an injustice, you won't get a second
> chance.

D Rawlins

My Moss sender unit operates in a fashion, at least it shows full when the tank is full but when it is nearing empty the needle in the gauge suddenly drops to showing half full and refuses to drop any further.

So if you dont notice the sudden movement of the needle you dont really know how much fuel you have left.

I was once following someone elses MGA on a long distance run over a mountain range and he pulled in after 300 miles to fill up, to my surprise, my tank had only had a pint or so of fuel left in it.

So I now keep an eye on the trip meter, start to look for fuel after about 200 miles, begin to worry at 250 miles and at 300 miles begin to look for somewhere safe to breakdown!

c firth

Thanks, Dominic. Got it. See here:
Barney Gaylord

I don't think this is the same unit as the Moss one, maybe you should make it clearer that SF /NOS is offering this particular paperweight
dominic clancy

I believe you met my brother, Mark, when you joined Dave Godwin in Nairobi for the Cape to Cairo, and beyond, drive a few years ago.
Could you please send me a private email to
Many thanks,
P. Tilbury

Still no response from NOS so tomorrow I have to escalate to eBay to get a refund. Pete, I have mailed you directly with contact details.
dominic clancy

It is amazing that whenever the subject of a problem with SF comes up on this BB that it progresses into a major battle. AND, at the same time many members sing praises to SF and their owner. Is it just arrogance on the part of SF to ignore complaints IE: SF is perfect so there are no problems.

It is time for SF to step down from her high horse and realize that not everything in life is perfect.

It reminds me of the hotel in the USA that tried to fine clients $500.00 if they left a critical remark on Lasted about two weeks and then the bad publicity killed tem and they ahd to revoke the policy and apologise publivly.
Gordon Harrison

I have a very nice email from Peter Tilbury who is trying to mediate with SF. He says that SF have had no notification of my complaint through the eBay system, which I find very hard to believe but am willing to give the benefit of the doubt. In spite of his intervention and his notifying SF of this issue, I have still heard nothing from SF directly.

I am a reasonable person, so will wait to see what happens over the next 24 hours. But it doesn't say much for a company that it can't keep an eye on its ebay messages. I am sure they keep a very close eye on the messages that include a sale!
dominic clancy

Nothing heard overnight, so now escalated to an ebay case..... It's a pity that even though Peter made it quite clear that SF is aware there is a problem, it has no effect.

Ho hum
dominic clancy

In your very first post of this thread you give Ms Bruce a good backhanded smack...and now your whining in an international form that she has not contacted you. Peter should not have to mediate for you two....suck it up and give her a call to work this out...C.B. get to the bottom of this ...the MGA community needs as many venders as possible....just a thought.........Tom
Thomas Koch

Give her a call? Been there, tried that. Her parts are all perfect, she is infallible. Once she has your money, it is hers. Good luck.

D Rawlins

Mr Koch,
I would guess that you have dealt with SF before and had a pleasant transaction. There are many people out there that have experienced the same pleasant situation. BUT what you must understand, is that when something DOES go wrong with an order from SF, the client is left in limbo with no notifications, generally no replies, no explantions,no recourse, NO' NO 'NO.

This is not about slapping SF in the face. This is about the owners single minded attitude that is my way or the highway...when she is confronted with a problem. It would be of great help to her company if her customer service, simply acknowledged Domenics remarks, investigated his issue, supplied her version of the issue and setlled the issue.

How complicated can it be for someone at SF to take one of the mentioned units they have in stock....and test it with an voltometer. What, that might take maybe 10 minutes of their time. And maybe 20 minutes if they were to check more than one unit. How simple, how quick and how easy to find out if Domenic is correct.

This whole issue,has become blown out of context. No response to a clients complaint, by SF,leaves them open to public attack. SF simple needs to RESPOND AND MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

Gordon Harrison

Furthermore, if a vendor is skimming internet groups, and retaliating against customers who post about their bad experiences, that's a problem. FWIW, I don't necessarily think she is, because I think her attitude towards anybody who has a complaint is most likely equally sh*tty.
D Rawlins

The compliance is just being ignored. There has been no response from SF to the eBay Case, so eBay has now just told me to send it back and I will get a refund.

The only flaw in the process is that SF has to confirm receipt of the return. And because they don't react to messages they will probably say I am outside of their 14 day returns window..... And I have to pay the return shipping for the part which will probably not be refunded by SF either.

I will ship the part back over the weekend, and continue the chronology of dealing with this as it progresses.
dominic clancy

Is there any option for a return receipt, or delivery confirmation from Switzerland to the US?
D Rawlins

Only if I use DHL or Fedex, which would cost me more than the part in the first place.
dominic clancy

Ebay have just announced that they have changed the rules regarding incorrect or faulty parts. The Seller is responsible for return postage and if they refuse, ebay will credit the buyer in full for the original cost and freight. They will then seek compensation from the seller. Wonder if that is just a UK thing?
Neil MG

Still not a single word from SF. I posted the unit back to SF this morning, but have already received an email from eBay that my money will be refunded:

"eBay ruled in your favor in your dispute case, and a refund of $55.24 USD was sent to your PayPal account for your purchase".

So if a part has to be bought from NOS / SF, I suggest doing it over eBay as it unfortunately seems to be the only way of having any warranty and chance of getting your money back if the part is defective.

This is my second encounter with SF to leave a bad taste: The last one was when I wanted a new distributor and contacted Jeff Schlemmer. He gave me a price, but because I was in a hurry, and he had just sold a batch of the right spec to SF, he suggested I went there. After calling SF and it taking 15 minutes to get a price, it turned out to be double the price Jeff had quoted me. I know everyone needs a profit, but as Jeff almost certainly gave a trade price, I declined and bought directly from a (rather shocked) Jeff and accepted the short wait. He was much nicer to deal with all round.

It's a real pity that a company like SF that apparently has a good reputation for parts that are mostly OK, and a huge amount of specialist knowledge, can be so pig headed about fixing things when it goes wrong. Good customer service is the sign of a good company, heading for the bunker is not.
dominic clancy

There is nothing I need badly enough, that I'm going to put myself through that.
D Rawlins

Interesting thread. But what would be very helpful is where can we get a decent tank sending unit that actually works?
b dryden

I'm surprised. I've called Cecilia and had very good service in the past. Maybe going through eBay is different? I've always dealt with SF directly. And I think my sender came from them, but it was awhile ago.
Ira Spector

Apparently SF contacted Peter again and suggested they have received nothing from ebay. His comment to them that they should be emailing me instead of phoning him had no effect. But I am very grateful for Peter's repeated attempts to get SF to react.

If the ebay reporting system was "broken" there would be thousands of ebay traders up in arms over refunds. The ebay forums are silent on the issue, so I can only deduce that the problem is absolutely not with ebay!

But I have my money back, and hope that this thread has been useful as a diary of what you can expect if you have a problem with any product bought from NOS Locators as an ebay seller.

I think as an editor would say, correspondence on this should now be closed.
dominic clancy

2 years ago my sender packed up- did the usual tests as per Barneys instructions and realised the sender was dead- Bought a replacement off the shelf from Brown & Gammons and calibrated my guage as per Barney and it has worked perfectly since- full when full shows half when 5 gallons have been used and goes down to nearly empty with 1 gallon left( I test it Frequently with my dip stick and it is pretty accurate)
P D Camp

I would be shocked if there is anything wrong with Ebay's message system that is keeping just one vendor's messages to and from a customer from getting through. And as noted, if it were more widespread than that, we would have heard about it before this.

SF trying to blow smoke up Peter's ass does make some amount of sense, if you think about what she is really trying to accomplish. Which isn't taking care of the issue with Dominic's order or retaining him as a customer.

Most of SF's defenders/loyal customer base seems to be centered around the NAMGAR organization and it's national GTs, plus people local enough to be able to pick up their parts in person from her location. If somebody is certain to show up on her doorstep (or at a national meet attended by a few hundred of her other customers) with a low quality part in hand, demanding satisfaction, there is a more direct incentive to make sure those people get good parts that look, fit, and work as they are supposed to.

But if, however, you are just some guy in Switzerland (or Alaska), who is very unlikely to ever show up on her doorstep demanding satisfaction, and particularly if *her* supplier sent some percentage of iffy parts, who do you think is most likely to get the occasional reject?

What's interesting and different here, is that Peter tried to intervene, and since he is a visible part of NAMGAR's leadership, his concerns DO have to be addressed (or at least paid lip service to) whether she really wants to or not, or she risks alienating her base a little.


D Rawlins

I came to SF rather late in the day after being p***ed off with the quality of Moss parts. I have only had a handful of orders but I've been completely satisfied with the service and pleasd at how helpful Cecelia is. However I've not had to return anything yet so I've no experience of her after sales service.
But her Ebay arm NOS Locators appears to have an impeccable feedback record with over 32,000 dealings and no negative feedbacks in 14 years. Interestingly the handfull of neutral feedback ratings have mostly been with tank sender units (but not MGA). I accept that most ratings will be given before the purchaser has had chance to completely assess the part in use but, even so, it's still an impressive record.
What puzzles me is why the negative feedback rating doesn't seem to include Dominic's purchase. If that were my experience I would have to give a negative feedback rating despite Cecelia's threats.
I think this is the only way to get her to improve her after sales service.....................Mike
m.j. moore


There is no connection between SF and NAMGAR. However, we do consider her to be a great asset to the MGA community (my personal opinion), and her support for MGA owners is unquestionable.

The fact that she supports NAMGAR's GTs by having a trader's booth whenever possible, only helps the car owners who attend. This is usually more than 150 people who have driven to a GT, and who will have to drive home again. Parts she supplies at a GT sometimes gets people on the road again. For example, three MGA owners ordered windshields from her at GT39.

She does not have to respond just because I happen to be a staff member of NAMGAR, but I wish she would!

P. Tilbury

Yesterday Peter wrote a very pointed mail to SF with me on copy, with the very clear request that I be contacted.

What did it achieve?

Nichts, nada, noed.

And that is the end of the story for me. I expect the feeling is mutual if SF has read this thread, but I very much doubt they have bothered.

I contrast this behaviour with Jeff at LBC, who I have happily dealt with and even met on a trip over here with a bunch of great people. He DOES know about great customer service, as do for example Dave Dubois, Jeff Schlemmer, Worldwide Auto Parts and Brian at bmcautos. These are just a few examples of the best USA based dealers and suppliers I have dealt with over the last 20 years and where I have received not only quality parts, but good prices and polite, friendly and expert help.

This hobby is quite a small community, so I hope that we can equally communicate who the good and less good companies are, and also let each other know where service or parts are substandard. We are in the end customers, and we should also be voting with our feet / wallets where companies don't understand this.

dominic clancy

This thread was discussed between 05/08/2014 and 02/09/2014

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