Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The house is in Kingsport, TN. Boats are on Watauga Lake and in New Bern, NC
Thanked 42 Times in 38 Posts
Rep Power: 10
When we bought Irish Eyes in 2004 the surveyor suggested that the fuel tank be cleaned. I did it. It is not hard, but don’t expect to do a perfect job. To start off lay your hands on enough empty 5 gal jugs to hold the fuel that is in the tank, a few rolls of paper towels, a bushel of rags, a plastic netting type kitchen scrubbing pad, a wooden stick about a yard long, a plastic putty knife, a couple of trash bags, few feet of fuel hose, some paint thinner, a tube of Permatex Type 1 (Hardening) Sealant from an auto supply store, a small mirror, a flash light, some duct tape, clothes you don’t want to keep, and some way of cleaning up before you get in your car to go home.
Disconnect the fuel line after the Racor filter and after the electric fuel pump. Attach the length of fuel hose and put one end in a 5 gal jug. Tape one wadded up rag over the alarm horn with the duct tape. Turn the key on and begin pumping the tank empty filling the jugs one after another. When the tank is empty; stop. Remove the hose and reconnect the original fuel hose. Take the rag off the horn.
Clean off the top of the tank around the inspection plate. Scratch match marks on the plate and on the tank top so you can put the plate back with the right orientation. You might also want to scratch a line around the edges of the plate. Carefully pry off the plate and clean up the tank top and the plate bottom being careful not to bend the level gauge float wire.
Now, dig in. All that residual fuel and black junk on the tank bottom has to come out. The putty knife, rags, paper towels, and kitchen scrubber, will be your tools. The stick and duct tape will make your arm longer and let you get to the far corners. The paint thinner will help get up some of the more stubborn bits. A baffle will keep you from getting to the whole tank, but you will lose interest rapidly anyway. Try to keep the mess to a minimum putting the dirty rags and paper towels in the trash bags as soon as they come out of the tank.
When the tank reaches your personal cleanliness target, do like a surgeon and be sure you left nothing behind. Clean the tank top around the opening and the bottom of the inspection plate with paint thinner. Wipe it off and let it dry. Put a thin wide bead of the Permatex on the top of the tank just inside the screw holes with a circle around each screw hole. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want the stuff to ooze out into the tank when you put the plate back over the hole. Give it a couple of minutes to partially dry. Without messing up the level gauge, install the inspection plate. Put a little Permatex on each screw and tighten them up, round and round, a little at a time. Go and clean up. Give it a day. Go home. Have a drink. Figure out some responsible way to get rid of the filled trash bags.
Now it’s time to refill the tank. You may want to calibrate the level gauge now either by refilling the whole tank 5 gal at a time from jugs, or by later really irritating the boy at the fuel dock by having him fill your fuel tank 5 gal at a time. Fill the tank completely to check for leaks at the inspection plate. It might also be a good time to change the Racor and maybe to drop its plastic bowl and wipe it out. Bleed the fuel system before you start the engine.
1988 PSC 34