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Removing fuel tank and not blowing up
#1
Hey folks,

My fuel tank is the first part I wanna remove from my car starting a (probably) 100 years restoration ;-)

How do I do this without causing a fire or blowing myself up? I'm scared about doing this up to the point where I think about causing sparks by wearing woolen clothes when it's really cold outside. Also I don't have a garden or yard where I can leave the tank. It's probably going to have to remain indoors. What's a good way to prevent a garage filled with fuel fumes?

Any tips or pointers are very welcome!

Thanks,
Vincent.
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#2
Siphon as much gas out as you can, then drain the rest by removing the sending unit. Store the fuel in approved containers. If the fuel is still good, add some Sta-Bil to it, or put it in another car. If it has turned bad (you'll be able to tell by the smell) you will have to dispose of it at an approved facility.

Replace the sending unit. After removing the filler neck tape over the opening with duct tape. Lower the tank enough to remove the vent line and cap the vent tube. This will help contain the fumes in the tank. There will probably be some gas left in the tank, after you get the tank removed take the tape off and remove the sending unit, dump out whatever gas, sludge, and rust is left in the tank. If the tank is usable you don't want any remaining gas to turn to varnish. Set the tank outside during the day to let it air out.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#3
Pretty much what Don said, and don't smoke or use a oxy-acetylene torch,

Removing the tank is actually quite safe. The danger is the fumes, not the actual fuel. Remove everything around it first, the fuel line and sender connection, the vapor line above the rear axle. You don't need to completely un-thread the nuts from the strap bolts, just enough so you can slide them to the side and out of the keyhole slot in the rear crossmember.

Once you have it out and drained, the only way to de-fume it is to fill it with water.


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#4
as mentioned... yes drain what fuel u can get out... it'll make easier to handle and no slosh around as much. do disconnect battery, disconnect both inlet/outlet fuel and unstrap. would be really nice to have extra hands too.
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#5
Removing the fuel tank is really no big deal, as long as you take precautions as the other guys have mentioned.  Basically, just make sure you don't have a flame or spark source nearby when allowing fumes to escape - if the openings are covered/sealed, you shouldn't have any problems.  I've removed plenty of fuel tanks on my trucks, Jeep, and other cars over the years for various reasons, and never had any issues whether they had fuel in them or not.  It sounds like a scary prospect, but unless you have a Pinto, it's really no big deal.   rofl

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#6
Put a lot of penetrating oil/ liquid wrench, or something on the retainer strap bolts.  Clean those up as well as you can to reduce the amount of effort there.   

I would run the tank as dry as you can, but I would not remove the sending unit.  I hate when gas comes pouring out on me or the garage floor.  As stated earlier, the fumes are the stuff that will ignite easily.  So stuff a water soaked towel in the opening after removing the filler neck, plug the fuel hose coming out of the sending unit and slowly drop that beast.  Mine was stuck even after removing the straps, so I had to kinda pull it down.  That is where it is nice to support it with a jack incase it is heavier than you thought.

kcmash
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#7
[You don't need to completely un-thread the nuts from the strap bolts, just enough so you can slide them to the side ]
yeah but before that, that's when you have nuts that were days before you try dipped in penetrating oil. On both the 71 and 73, they were really not planning to get loose. Just like the leaf springs bolts.. Now on the 73, with de-rusted bolts/studs and a nice layer of grease, I've removed the tank twice last summer for my EFI install and got them loose like if they were new. If you force too much, the squarish shape on the body will go round...

for the removal,
I have this garage jack with a large round surface. I roller it under with a big cushion (used in classroom for young children). then loose the bolts, and just roll it out.
takes 15 minutes. where 10 goes into inserting or removing that $%^& tank filler tube into the tank rubber Smile

73 modified Grandé 351C. Almost done. 
71 429CJ. In progress
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#8
Thanks for all the advice guys, very useful. I got a jack, I’ll put a piece of wood between it and the tank.

The bolts look clean and copper greased, think they’ll come off real easy.

If I want to put the car on stands, do I put them in spot A or B?

[Image: c0ccfb9e7e5c37b6f594f2529c542813.jpg]

Cheers!
  Reply
#9
(01-27-2019, 01:02 PM)A Wrote: Thanks for all the advice guys, very useful. I got a jack, I’ll put a piece of wood between it and the tank.

The bolts look clean and copper greased, think they’ll come off real easy.

If I want to put the car on stands, do I put them in spot A or B?

[Image: c0ccfb9e7e5c37b6f594f2529c542813.jpg]

Cheers!
  Reply
#10
I put the jack stands under the axle at back and the torque boxes up front. Basically anywhere solid and structurally strong. Use common sense!!
Best tip for not blowing yourself up, don't smoke while you're doing it!!
Just having a bit of fun,
Geoff

I learn something new every day!
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