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First things first my friend. You must test the gage to be sure it is good. Normal procedure is: Switch off, unplug the wires from the sending unit at tank, connect jumper between the power wire and ground wire in the connector block, go to the switch and turn it to run position. If the needle goes to full, the gage is good. Turn the switch off. Now, be sure the connection is plugged in completely and you've a GOOD ground on the sending unit tab on the top of sending unit. No ground, no working needle. Use the test light to find if there's continuity with ground tab using power wire and touch the ground. No light, work with it till you do. Clean stuff to make the ground on tab work. Once test light does light between power and ground tab, your good. Gage should definitely be working now. If it doesn't work, this calls for replacing the sending unit in tank by dropping the tank first. Then it's easy to replace the sending unit.
I'd use a couple of resistors representing full and empty. Take connector loose from fuel level sending unit at gas tank, two wires, use resistor between the proper two wires, turn key just to on, you shouldn't have to start it. If gage reacts properly to both resistors, I believe the problem is the sending unit in the gas tank. If it still doesn't function properly, have to check wiring circuits and instrument cluster. The resistor ohms, 16 ohm--and 158 ohms. These are just generic specs.
Some ford instrument clusters can do a self test. The only problem I have is, I don't which years this applies.
With the engine off, depress and hold the odometer reset button. Turn the key to the run position and hold until the gages sweep, within 5--8 seconds. Depress the reset button once to advance to each stage of the self test. Turn the ignition to the off position to exit self test. This test is w/o outside input, so if all gages sweep except the fuel gage, I suspect the instrument cluster has a problem. I'm not sure if your instrument cluster has the self test ability?
In order to fix the fuel gauge problem, you will have to change the fuel sending unit. If the car has more than 100,000 miles I would recommend to change the whole fuel pump assembly, which would cost from $60-100 in the part alone which consists of the fuel sending unit, etc. This will definitely help your fuel gauge problem for sure.
This can be as simple as a fuse, please check all your fuses. Next can be a broken wire you will have to get under the car and check the wiring around the fuel tank forward, looking for damaged wiring. Next would be the fuel sending unit in the tank. Here is a picture of what it looks like and a bit of how it works. The fuel sending unit has a lever, that has a float attached to one end, and the other moves a potentiometer. The potentiometer tells the gage to move the fuel needle. If your is not moving the fuel sending unit may be bad or stuck. Picture.>>>>> It is mounted inside the fuel tank and you have to pull the fuel tank out to access.
As long as the car is running fine it's safe to say the fuel pump does not need to be replaced. However the fuel tank sending unit may need to be replaced assuming the fuel gauge itself isn't at fault. First check your owners manual if available for your fuse block info and check fuses then I'd look into the sending unit. Let me know if you need help with that
Sounds like your fuel gage sending unit has quit working. The fuel tank will need to be removed to gain access to the sending unit. Then you can replace the sending unit and replace the fuel tank to it;s position and your good to go.Good luck.