Fuel Tank Removal

Things that are of general interest.
User avatar
john26
Tin star
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:01 am
Contact:

Fuel Tank Removal

Postby john26 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:20 am

I am a long time follower of this site and am looking to the pros for help.I have a 1966 26' FB.I really want to remove the original aluminum barrel fuel tank and replace with a smaller poly tank.After struggling to remove all hoses and straps I have managed to move it to the rear hatch area but it will not come out?What am I missing?I have tried everything short of cutting up my deck...Help
1966 Marinette 26 Flybridge single 351w
1990 Sea Ray 160
1992 Reef Runner
1984 Oday 23

brokebill
Tin star
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:59 pm
Location: bill@erinet.com

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby brokebill » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:40 am

I think that in previous posts you have to remove the fasteners holding the decking material, then the decking material, and then some of the supporting members which are bolted in, good luck.
Bill Melke
Dayton, Ohio
28' Sedan Restoration
On the hard in Constance KY.

User avatar
Busia
Royal Aluminum Star
Posts: 306
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:21 am

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby Busia » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:55 pm

First, I would never, never use a plastic tank for gasoline. I don't even like the plastic jugs. The problem is static electricity making a spark and starting a fire or an explosion. That is why proper gas hoses have a ground wire in them to drain the static charge.
On my 32 I removed some braces and the fuel tank came out the rear hatch. I replaced it with a welded aluminum tank. It has a ground wire to bond it to the hull. How can you bond a plastic tank?
BUSIA
located in Ketchikan, Alaska. Gods country
32 foot Marinette express. (no fly bridge)
twin 350 Crusader (Chev 350) engines
1:1 Borg Warner velvet drive transmissions
Closed cooling (antifreeze in the engine)
Proud to be retired IBEW

jralbert
Site Admin
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:15 pm

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby jralbert » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:13 pm

from the USCG - Here is what appears to be a good read on fuel tanks. A quick scan of the document, by the way, doesn't show a prohibition against plastic tanks in general though it may contain some specific requirements. It does clearly mandate that if any parts of the fuel fill are metallic, they have to be grounded:

http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/Ass ... 002.01.pdf
-joel-
former owner 1988 '32 FB Sedan
Chesapeake Bay
twin 318 / 240 hp
Potomac MD

User avatar
john26
Tin star
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:01 am
Contact:

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby john26 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:03 am

Thanks for all the info.
All my deck bracing is welded in place.Surely they made provisions to remove the fuel tank without ripping up the deck.
I worry that my 53 year old tank might be pitted and or filled with debri/gum.The gauge on top of the tank is inoperative also.I just figured a smaller poly tank would be the best route and the Moeller below deck fuel tanks appeared to be USCG approved.I surely want to be as safe as possible.Should I fix my gauge and clean out my current tank?
What do you folks suggest?
1966 Marinette 26 Flybridge single 351w
1990 Sea Ray 160
1992 Reef Runner
1984 Oday 23

User avatar
bcassedy
Royal Aluminum Star
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:05 am
Location: Aurora, In.
Contact:

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby bcassedy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:58 am

This may sound "off the wall" but I'd suggest an internal video inspection of the tank to check for pitting. How...? I can't say I've ever used one, but there are inexpensive long neck cameras that could provide you with information. If worst came to worst (and cost comparison of just replacing the tank) you might be able to hire someone who does "confined space" videos.

As for gunk in the tank, I recently pumped out my starboard tank using a switched 12v pump from NAPA connected to a weighted end tube. I removed the sending unit and used this hole for the clean-out. Using the pickup tube connection will only get you what's in the immediate are of the tube and won't get down to the bottom of the tank as the end of the pickup tube is about an inch from the tank's bottom. The outlet from the pump could go into a large plastic container (temporary as gas will eat at some plastics) where you can see what's coming out of the tank. If your boats blocked up at an angle, that could be a plus - the accumulation of crud could be isolated at the low end. You can use a copper tube connected to the tubing to direct your pickup into that area. If your tank has baffles in it, you can still use the copper tube, just attach it to the weighted tubing (weight - slip a section of copper tube/brass pipe over the end and secure it with thin wire so it doesn't move up/down the plastic tube) up the tube somewhat. This'll let you move the copper/plastic tube around and the "hanging end" of the weighted plastic tube can then swing around the bottom where it can pickup crud. One of the best ways I could figure out to clean out the tank.

NOTE - wiring the pump....
I used alligator clips on a long run of wire from the batteries. At the pump end I installed a toggle switch on the NEGATIVE lead (this keeps sparking at bay). ALL connections wrapped in electrical tape and/or shrink wrapped to avert any chance of a spark!! Inlet side of the pump had plenty of plastic tube to allow pump to be safely and securely set down in place while I manipulated the pickup tube. Outlet tube was long enough PLUS some extra to allow for placing tube in/out of collection/inspection container without disturbing the pump - IE: I wanted the pump placed so that no motion on either pickup or outlet tubes would disturb it.

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge
Located in Aurora, In.
Twin 318cu in Chrysler
1.5:1 Velvet drive trannies
Fresh water only

User avatar
john26
Tin star
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:01 am
Contact:

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby john26 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:19 am

Bill
Thats a good idea and I actually have one of the cheap optiscope cameras on a 10' wire that hooks to your phone.Like 20 bucks..I was afraid that it would not be safe in the tank fumes..My big issue is that I cant access the sender or fill without removing the tank.The fuel gauge is viewed through hole in floor. Do you think the tank was installed before they welded in the deck structure or am I just not holding my mouth right?

John
1966 Marinette 26 Flybridge single 351w
1990 Sea Ray 160
1992 Reef Runner
1984 Oday 23

User avatar
bcassedy
Royal Aluminum Star
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:05 am
Location: Aurora, In.
Contact:

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby bcassedy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:36 pm

John,

Unsure on placement. If you're trying to remove with fuel still in the tank, that's gonna limit the different ways you can maneuver the tank. My 32' FB has 2 tanks. The starboard tank (bless Marinette...) had its sender port and fuel pickup ports on the inside which made it majorly easy to go with the procedure I described. The port tank (curse you Marinette... :( ) in on the outside (near the hull). I've managed to scrunch my (lord, do I need to go on a diet!) frame enough to reach the sender port a few times to replace the sender unit.

If you feel removal of the tank is a necessity, there's still fuel inside AND you can reach the pickup tube fitting, you can use standard plumbing fittings to put a copper tube on it with a bend that'll allow a plastic tube (double screw clamps to hold in place!) and pump on the remaining gas into 5 gallon cans. I had to do this last season when it became evident that the fuel in the tank was crap (long story... :oops: :oops: :oops: ). Had to trash out 60 gallons... With the tank empty (or nearly so), you'll have more potential for twisting/turning tank to get it out, it there's room. I can't believe Marinette didn't foresee someone needing to remove a tank on a 26'er.

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge
Located in Aurora, In.
Twin 318cu in Chrysler
1.5:1 Velvet drive trannies
Fresh water only

User avatar
Busia
Royal Aluminum Star
Posts: 306
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:21 am

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby Busia » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:52 pm

Don't know about your boat ( can you post a picture?) but on my 32 I cut a couple braces that were in the way and the tank came out the rear hatch. If you have an aluminum tank I would just remove it, clean it and re-install it. If you have the magnetic fuel gauge you can get a new one from a propane dealer.
BUSIA
located in Ketchikan, Alaska. Gods country
32 foot Marinette express. (no fly bridge)
twin 350 Crusader (Chev 350) engines
1:1 Borg Warner velvet drive transmissions
Closed cooling (antifreeze in the engine)
Proud to be retired IBEW

User avatar
john26
Tin star
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:01 am
Contact:

Re: Fuel Tank Removal

Postby john26 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:51 am

I have my tank moved over to hatch due to its length it will not clear the hatch.As you lift the port end up it strikes the starboard side before it clears hatch.My main objective is two fold.One is to get away from a 70 gal tank to a 25ish gal easier to consume and cheaper to keep full during winter, also my fear of possible corrosion in a 53 year old tank that has never been removed.This boat is all original except for the 72 351w powerplant.Is possible that they did not make provisions for tank removal?Or am I missing something.I will try to get pics.Do you folks know any member with a 66 26" that may shed some light..Thanks for all your help and insight

John
1966 Marinette 26 Flybridge single 351w
1990 Sea Ray 160
1992 Reef Runner
1984 Oday 23