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Fuel Tank Restoration

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Posted 01-03-2012 at 12:25 AM by BPVan

After my Disc brake upgrade the van was driving as if it were out of fuel. Puzzling as the tank was half full and the fuel pump was new I decided it might be time to pull the tank. Having to use a reservoir tank directly to the carb to get it home verified this.

After draining 20 gallons out of the tank and pulling it out, it became evident that sediment had built up in the last 40 years and the original sending unit needed to be retired. Since this is a custom 29 gallon tank put in in 73, stock tanks are 14 gallons, this one had no leaks, and there are no tanks available for these vans without modification I decided to restore it.

I soaked the tank in vinegar for 10 days (yes, 29 gallons of vinegar). I needed a substance I could dump out that was non-toxic. After this it got and hour of baking soda rinses to neutralize. After drying time I used the POR-15 metal ready and let it dry again. I then used a Quart of POR-15 tank sealer.

I ordered a new sending unit as well but decided to modify it so it would work correctly in the larger tank. Jeff came over and helped braise on a section of coat hanger to the float arm to extend it so it could swing the full height of the tank.

All lines were blown out and I replaced the radiator hose that was being used for the filler coupler . All is running well now though I also had to replace the fuel pump as I think sediment got into it and was blocking the check valve. I have made two trips to the airport as well as Newcastle and Bellevue and fuel delivery has been solid.
Some pictures:

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