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extended fuel tanks and fuel senders

Started by heliogal, January 24, 2012, 02:52:17 PM

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Hello everyone - I'm looking for information and advice on fuel senders and gages.  We're looking to replace ours and are curious as to what's available, and what works best.  We're familiar with the factory helio senders, and are talking to JAARS about an STC they have to modify some Beech parts, but does anyone know of any other options?

I was told that automotive senders were used as factory stock on some of the helios but that doesn't seem likely to me.  Does anyone have any history on that?

I appreciate any ideas that are out there!

Thanks - Kristin

Doug Johnson

When I put my Helio together I went with Electronics international FL-2F fuel level gauges.
I went with Capacitance type senders because they don't react so quickly to fuel sloshing but there are some tricks to getting them to work properly. I was still working on some problems when I sold my Helio, they may be working by now.

The resistance style senders are much easier to set. I used two dual gauges one for the left and one for the right. I also used their fuel totalizer because it was the only one that had a fuel pressure feature. They are 2.25" gauges I liked the totalizer and if I had kept the Helio I think I would have liked the fuel level Gauges also because I had figured out what I was doing wrong.

some people find these gauges little small especially if they have the over 40 eyes but they worked for me with my bifocals probably because the lights are so easy to see, besides what are bifocals for.

The easiest way to go is replace all your engine gauges with one screen. Think Ken Berger chose that route.

You can also put your flap indicator on it and if you turbocharge the Helio. which you probably should if you're going to be landing up there on the glacier, you already have the gauges.


Ken Berger

The original senders are the old style resistive senders (Stuart Warner as I recall).  They can still be rebuilt by Airparts of Lockhaven.  As Doug mentioned, I added the JPI 930 engine monitoring system to my H295 and that system really makes the old senders work better.  The JPI calibration makes the old senders dead on accurate (as long as they are still working) and the electronics of the display smoothes out all of the sudden movements that I used to get when the senders went to the gauges.  Electronics International now also makes a very comparable unit to the JPI 930.

You will also want to talk to Jim Metzler who can fill you in on the upgrade that JAARS has done with their fuel senders.  I can send you more details back channel if you need them.


Thanks for information - I wish we could go with the capacitance style but as we may be putting SC on a 135 certificate I'm not sure our local FSDO would go for it.  I have installed an EDM 711 with the fuel flow meter and with minimal adjustment it reads pretty darned well.

The JAARS guys have been great and are getting some info together for us, but I thought I'd just see what other ideas were out there.

Thanks again!


Doug Johnson

I was looking at Kens nice panel I just happen to have a picture. It just needs some electronic gyros now, as Gordon says its only money, right.

I was comparing the JPI and EI. The JPI doesn't seem as cluttered and it has the HP computer, but if you're trying to unclutter the panel and want more functions there's the EI.

I don't know it would be a hard decision.


Gordon Cragg

Good Evenings Guys and Gals;
For the last several months I have been looking at replacing my Jurassic Gauges and dials with a "STATE OF THE ART"??? Electronic Engine/Fuel Monitoring.
Why? Actually a simple economics equation. After replacing several of the old fuel transducers..and...still having a crappy fuel indication system,I was tired of the $200+ replacement costs an alternative had to be available??? Well, the coupe de grace was actually the trip to deliver the H-295 to Jim Metzler. What happened you ask?, Well, I have always tracked my fuel consumption via the old time, cruise chart, how goz it. Not real scientific but good enough for gov't work (or what ever cliche' you want to use). Always seemed to work!! I have always followed the accepted practice of burning 2:00 hours out of the inboards, then turn on the aux pumps for a period to refill the inboards. When I got on the ground after 4:25 in the air I was calculating a burn of 67.5 gallons.
I actually had full inboards and still had 7+ gallons in each of the outboards. So what? With the current system...I didn't really have a good idea of exactly what my consumption and fuel remaining was.
So I have decided to go with the Electronics International MVP-50P with the P-300C transducers. State of the art , no questions, just write the check. Not for everybody, but if you are looking for max fuel, engine monitoring etc. It seems to me to be the way to go. 


I think like an engineer, compute in my mind as I fly like an engineer (probably out of fear), and never felt I had enough info on the panel in the airplane I acquired a couple years ago to do so. I also felt such an expensive engine would be better taken care of if I had more info. Bottom line, after much deliberation, talking to other users, I went with the EDM 930 that Ken Berger has in his as well. Very expensive, I rationalized it by thinking what I might save in the engine by having much more and better info. After a season of using it, I cant think of one thing I dont like about it. I give it the highest recommendation. As far as fuel monitoring and management, the info is dead on, as backed up by plenty of mental back up and lots of paper trail computations. Using all of this info, my fuel burn in cruise on floats all last season was 12.3 gph. My previous average fuel burn was 13.8. At $7-9 per gallon in AK, this is a good savings. Cleaner panel, more info, less weight, but more expensive.

Gordon Cragg

I have been made an E.I dealer for their systems. Now that we have two operators with the JPI-930's and both seem to love them, my question is why did you both go with the JPI and not the MVP-50P? Is there something I am missing. My dealer cost on the -50P is $4,295.00. Was comparable costs a factor?? FYI this price does not include the transducers.
Gordon Cragg

Ken Berger

At the time I did my install, JPI had an STC for for EDM 930 for all Helios but EI did not.  JPI was also less expensive, at least for retail pricing.  Now that EI also has a comparable STC for Helios, I think the decision would be alot more difficult.