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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > New Fuel Tank - questions
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Thread: New Fuel Tank - questions Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-17-2009 06:57 AM
celenoglu All petroleum products should be accepted as explosive. The best method is to use the exhaust gases of a running engine. Use a proper diameter metal tube (or rubber if the gases are already cooled down) to transfer exhaust gases to the inlet of tank. You can even weld the tank under this conditon.
02-17-2009 06:46 AM
ambianceack I saw this ad in a magazine last night for fuel tanks. I do not know anything about the company but there web site is SpeedyTanks.com: ACW Marine Fuel Tank Fabrication Experts Perhaps talking to them before cutting the tank might offer some more insight on your project. Another thought would be to take some good measurements of the existing tank before you cut the tank, good enough that you can draw the all three dimensions on a piece of paper. It might be easier for reinstalling and securing using a similar design.

We replaced our head hoses last year. They were easy to remove but difficult to reinstall. I warmed the hoses on my dashboard of the van then installed, it seemed easier to work them when warm. Laying them in the sun also helped.
02-16-2009 11:37 PM
sailingfool You should put a new alu tank in, you can get one custom made for around $500 or so, it will be the right solution. Use the old one as a pattern, reduce the size of necessary to get a tank that you can slide back in place of the original. You won't be able to sell the boat if you put a plastic tank in it...perhaps you could give it away.
02-16-2009 10:29 PM
SteveInMD If you are worried put some dry ice in the tank. The CO2 will fill the tank and sparks will be no problem.
02-16-2009 08:38 PM
Capnblu My dad taught me a lesson when I was real young. He took an empty metal coffee and put about a cup of diesel in it, he then proceeded to throw lit match, after lit match to show me that it was a very safe fuel that would not light easily, even when spilled. He then proceeded to show me how good it worked with GASOLINE! Good old dad! I still havn't forgotten that one. Since you have your tank out already, how about going to your local rent it store, and renting a hand held metal shear. You can zip that tank into small pieces alot faster and cleaner than a sawzall. Just start at your sending unit hole, and let er rip! No sparks etc., just in case your nerves wont let you pull the trigger on the sawzall.
02-16-2009 08:21 PM
sailor25b I have already cleaned out the puddle with my Jabsco pump. There's only a coating of fuel in the tank. I'll call my diesel guy for advice.

Haven't decided on what tank to replace with. Its an odd shape, so I doubt I'll find anything like it, so I'll have to take whatever fits. That is, unless I have one custom made. Hmmm.

I've seen the plastic Moeller types that come in odd shapes and sizes, so I may go with one of those.

This is one of my main winter projects. The other is to replace my head...
ugh!
02-16-2009 08:15 PM
Rockter Fill the tank with water and you can saw all you want. Fill it to the brim and float all the remaining diesel out the top.
Leave it full, and you will be able to saw the top off.
02-16-2009 07:56 PM
xort Can you soak up the fuel with old rags and put them into a plastic bag for disposal?
02-16-2009 07:47 PM
ambianceack To be honest, I am not really sure if fumes would be an issue. I think it should be ok since the tank will be able to vent out the hose connections. That is if the hoses are disconnected. Beyond that, diesel has a relatively high flash point and it would take some hot sparks to iginite it in air (e.g., >100 F ?). If I remember correctly, diesels run on compression not on an ignition source. That is no spark plug, so I am thinking the sawzall should be ok. Have you tried calling a diesel garage or scrape yard?

I just pulled my tank this weekend with the intention of installing (cutting) an inspection port in about two weeks. Hopefully, I can let you know how cutting the port goes. Seriously though I am not to concerned since I was able to drain the tank down to nothing using a jabsco hand pump and no fuel was in the tank while pulling out of the hold.

My question to you is how are you going to install a new tank if you cannot remove the whole old tank?
02-16-2009 05:00 PM
sailor25b I finally got down to work after avoiding the inevitable. I decided to tear out the old leaking diesel tank, and I am really glad I did. After struggling to move the oddly-shaped aluminum tank out of its well between the stringers, I found about two gallons of fuel in a puddle OUTSIDE the tank! No wonder we had such an awful smell all the time!

Now, after trying unsuccessfully to maneuver the tank through the lazarette opening, I realize it must be cut apart.

So here's the next question: will the diesel fumes ignite in the tank if I try to sawzall it apart? I will try to drain it empty of diesel as much as I can, but is it dangerous to make sparks? I know it's not gasoline, but better safe than sorry. My internet searches on the topic are inconclusive.

TY
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