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dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty? *WOO HOO FIXED *

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by docgab, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Greetings all,
    For the past couple of days, I have smelled a slight gas odor (fuel not flatulance!!). I was getting ready to leave for a weekend camping trip and happened to be looking in the rear wheel well and noticed that my fuel tank seems to be leaking. There are wet spots on the tank that also dripped onto my exhaust. When I wiped it, it looked like oil, but smelled like gas. The truck sat for a bit before I bought it and I thought it might be cracked hoses on top of the tank. It appears dry on top though and it seems to be leaking from the "seam" of the tank.

    I obviously need to drop the tank to see for sure. It seems like a pretty straight forward job, but I have a few questions:

    Are there any surprises I should be aware of?
    Things I should replace while I have it out?
    If I do need a different tank, is used alright or would you all recommend new?

    All help is appreciated!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Are there any surprises I should be aware of?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Gas tanks are heavy and awkward. Don't use a floor jack without some sort of load spreading device (IE board) that will help to prevent from damaging the tank when you drop it.

    Remember there are hoses hooked up to it from the frame, so you can only drop it so far before they will start to bend and hold the tank up.

    Remove the ground wire first thing. My truck it's on the front passenger side of the crossmember right in front/above the tank. Make sure to disconnect the other wire(s) to the sender at the same time if you can reach them yet.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Things I should replace while I have it out?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just make sure all the hoses are ok. If the leak isn't apparent when you pull it, I'd remove the sending unit just to make sure there isn't something wrong with the o-ring seal for it. Very unlikely that is causing what you are seeing, so if you find a problem, leave the sender alone.

    When you reassemble, make sure the wires are connected and the gauge works *before* bolting everything else back up.

    [ QUOTE ]
    If I do need a different tank, is used alright or would you all recommend new?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'd go used if not TBI. GM tanks are well made IMO (at least in metal quality and rust proofing) and as long as you don't have a TBI one (which are almost always broken internally) a used tank is fine. But I wouldn't pay more than $50 for a used one, you can get the most expensive (TBI) tank for about $130 brand new. If buying used, I'd not get one with any more than minimal surface rust, and I'd pull the sending unit out and make sure the inside is not rusty. I have yet to see a GM tank rusty on the inside on all the vehicles I have worked on, including a 1967 Firebird that had been sitting outside for *years*. Not saying it's not possible, so look inside before purchase.
     
  3. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    Very informative/helpful post. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Thanks much. I'm gonna try to get the tank siphoned and dropped tonight. Will follow up with what I find.
     
  4. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    OK. It turned out to be a cruddy fuel line. They were all looking kinda shabby so I replaced them all. I have a new problem now though. My fuel gauge is pegged. I made sure to hook up the ground wire (thanks for the heads up on locating it, I would have missed it when dropping the tank). The only snag I had was when I dropped the tank, The wire you pull off of the nipple got a good stretch as I couldn't get it off so I dopped the tank a bit and forgot about it. I did take the fuel sending unit out to clean the o-ring etc. I am going to recheck the ground wire tomorrow. Any other ideas?? Thanks.
     
  5. Don

    Don 1/2 ton status

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    When You stretched the wire, the wire itself, most likely seperated, and the plastic stretched, just replace the wire, with one of the same gauge, and You should be good to go. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. ZonkRat

    ZonkRat 1/2 ton status

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    Where did you find TBI tanks for under 150$?The one on my 88 is leaking with over 1/2 tank in it and the dealer wants 475$ for a replacement tank.I told them that would buy a lot of soap and they didn't know what the soap was for.I'm getting prices of 100$ or more for a used tank. /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  7. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    www.rockauto.com...
    bought two from them last year for around $150 shipped...price has come down this year to about $90...the do not have the plastic baffle that will crack...they have a steel baffle instead...and way cheaper than $475...

    dw /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  8. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    [ QUOTE ]
    When You stretched the wire, the wire itself, most likely seperated, and the plastic stretched, just replace the wire, with one of the same gauge, and You should be good to go. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Good call! Luckily for me it was just a male/female connector halfway up the frame, plugged it in and we were good to go. Thanks for the post. Fixed it just in time as I had seriously OVERestimated how much fuel was left in the tank. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif Yikes, I hope I can make it to town tomorrow!! lol /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: dropping/replacing fuel tank difficulty?

    gas tank thread

    Last post is one with a link to the place I got mine.
     

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