Fuel tank removal: obsticle 1. Update! On obsticle 2 now! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 11-25-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Default Fuel tank removal: obsticle 1. Update! On obsticle 2 now!

So, as I have hinted at before... I have a rotted fuel sending unit.

I have all the stuff to replace (sending unit/new pump/sock/O-ring/filter). I got as much gas out of the tank as I could. I loosened the tank straps. I moved the exhaust off to the side... I still don't see how the tank is going to fit by the exhaust, but anyway...

I am trying to remove the filling pipe/hoses. Not happening. The rubber hose is really stuck to the metal filler tube... and the tank inlet. Plus the two rubber lines (fill and vapor recovery) seem bonded to one another. Any tips for removing this, short of destroying it? Is this part special? Can I just get new tube from the store if I mangle it?

Thanks in advance.

(edit) Its a '99 SLE (Sorry, had this info in my last other thread earlier today).

(edit) See below for full update...
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:56 PM   #2
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It might help what type of bonnie you have (year and trim level)
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #3
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You'll need to work a flat-blade screwdriver CAREFULLY around the rubber to break the bond. It'* hard work with very little clearance.

When dropping the tank, even though the exhaust looks to be in the way, you can tip the tank to one side. The parking brake cable will give you more trouble than the exhaust.

This is why a tank drop is best done with 2-3 people.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
You'll need to work a flat-blade screwdriver CAREFULLY around the rubber to break the bond. It'* hard work with very little clearance.

When dropping the tank, even though the exhaust looks to be in the way, you can tip the tank to one side. The parking brake cable will give you more trouble than the exhaust.

This is why a tank drop is best done with 2-3 people.
Yeah, but cloning is still illegal in this country, so I have to go this alone. Seriously, I have done this job on my fullsize van and Firebird... and so have dealt with larger, fuller tanks. This tank is relatively small, thin and empty. I only worry that I don't have enough ground clearance for the straps to drop... this was a big problem with the Firebird, and I mangled the straps somewhat because of it... I'm hoping the (apparently) removable fuel filler and thin tank cut me a break here.

I solved the parking brake issue but bending the corner lip of the tank a quarter inch... the parking brake now rests _above_ the tank.

Concerning the filler hoses... it sounds like you removed the hoses at the filler pipe side, not the tank side. I have been using the screwdriver method on that side as well... I can't fit the screwdriver in on the tank side. Also, since the hoses seem to be bonded, you can't remove one without the other... so its really hard to tell where the holdup is.

Did leaving the 7" of hose on the tank cause it to get hung up on anything? That is one of my concerns.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:48 AM   #5
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I had to buy new straps for my tank when I did mine. Both are the same size right out of the package. One was too short, the other was too long once installed. Tank is firmly in place though, so I aint worried.

If you don't like the screwdriver idea, let it soak in some PB Blaster or WD40.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:54 AM   #6
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I had the problem with the hoses when I replaced my fuel pump. It had to be a one-day job (daily driver) so I used my Buck knife and sliced them in half, replaced them. They cost about $25 to replace.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
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I always disconnect at the tank side on the fill and vent. Never the fill neck side.

I've done three old (early 90'*) this way with no problems. Not easy, but not impossible.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:35 PM   #8
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When I did my 98 SE, I unbolted the exhaust at the muffler (2 hangers) and let the whole thing drop down. Lots of clearance for the tank then. Parking brake cable was fun to maneuver the tank around. Ended up dropping the tank twice due to a defective NEW sending unit. On the second tank drop, one of the blind nuts for the tank strap decided to break, forcing me to figure out how to grind it off without blowing the tank up. Naturally, it was the one nearest the fill tube. Too much fun for one day. But it can be done by one motivated person.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:54 PM   #9
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If you have to go this alone (as I have once before with my old 99 SE), I recommend using a transmission jack (if you have one). The large flat surface of the jack combined with the great micro adjustment of the pivot points made the job SOOO much easier. You could even consider renting one for a day. It really made the job a lot easier.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:35 PM   #10
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I've done the drop and install by myself, and it really isn't that difficult.

I used jackstands, placed them under the tank (snuggly), undid the straps (had to cut one off though), then used my hydraulic jack to lower the tank once the stands were out of the way.

For install, I put the straps in first, ramped the tank up the straps so that the front of the tank was in the air so to speak, then massaged the tank in rough place (it was held up by the parking brake cable temporarily), and used a scissors jack to fine position it (and help me stretch one of the new straps in place). As Wren stated, it is much easier to take the fill hoses off at the tank than at the filler neck.
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