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Old 07-12-2015, 08:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 35
Fuel tank question

I have a 89 southwind, 454 gas engine, p30 chassie.

I just dropped the fule tank (90 gal I think. ...... things huge 5ft long almost 3 ft wide n 2.5 ft tall for half of it, then tapers down to about 6 or 8 in tall)

any way I wanted to replace fule pump and clean it out ( and all hoses while it's off any way)

is it possible to clean the tank out properly your self? should I take somewhere to be professionally cleaned, if so where? or would it be cheaper to buy a new one/ refurbished if they even have a replacement somewhere that would fit?

thanks for your help

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Old 07-12-2015, 10:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 167
As long as no rust has set up inside the tank, you're GTG. You have rust, there's no stopping it once it starts.

Yes, you can clean them out yourself. Just empty what gas is remaining and hose out with a garden hose and swish it around and turn upside down to drain water/gunk out. Do this couple 2-3 times(or more if needed) and you then replace what parts you need and reinstall.

If you have a couple sawhorses, turn tank upside down and garden hose it for even better effect of washing out.

I've done this to many tanks when restoring a vehicle or motorcycle. Yes they're smaller tanks, but principal is same.

I doubt anybody makes these fuel tanks anymore. Salvage yard only is my bet.

If you find you need a new tank, you could look at some pickup bed transfer tanks and see if they have one that would work. I've seen 25, 50, 100 gal tanks. They're more square than low profile, but they make many different styles.

If you need at least 60 to 80gal and you have the room, you could use 2 smaller rectangle tanks and just plumb in a transfer line. Just don't forget you need to also strap them down and this will involve custom work.

Del & Jerre w/Isis our English Bull Terrier
The Cougar's Den
1984 Fleetwood Prowler "E"
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:34 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 35
I heard that a that often there are baffles inside the tank makeing it hard to clean yourself, and I also heard that a radiator shop will clean them and 're coat the inside, is that true ? ( was planning on pulling radiator and having it 're cored any way)

and yes' Jay , I have plenty of space if I need to replace with 2 smaller tanks, ( forgot yo say it is on a 30 ft class a rv)

still have yet to figure out how your suppose to remove fule pump ( completely rusted over) to get a look inside, but tonight will be a good time to open up service manual and see ( just ran out of time last night)

I'm sure inside is nasty though since it was sitting not ran for at least 6 years before I got my hands on it
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:11 PM   #4
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Pinkey, there are some fuel tanks that had baffles and some not. Usually, the only baffle found in a fuel tank is around the tank's sending unit/fuel filter sock. This keeps the fuel gauge from going erratic like the older cars that when you sped off/brake you could watch the fuel gauge go back and forth.

With the advent of fuel injection it's even more important for baffles as you don't want the electric fuel pump to go dry with fuel slosh when tank is low on fuel, but molding these new plastic tanks with lots of baffles is easier than welding a metal tank with baffles. Also baffles in a plastic tank is more for strength than stopping the sloshing. That's usually why for only the one baffle around the fuel sender unit. My newer vehicles(fuel injection) don't have baffles and I can hear the fuel sloshing around when I park for the night. They, like your tank is made in such a way that all fuel is directed towards the sender/electric pump and molding such a way, to get maximum gallons of fuel without hanging too low, than just making a square/rectangle fuel tank.

As to taking out the fuel sender, on these older model vehicles, you get yourself a hammer and big flat tip screwdriver and hit the lock ring counter-clockwise to get sender out, which makes a hole to clean out tank.

What the inside of tank looks like is anybody's surprise. A flashlight will be your friend to look some of tank over with once you remove the sender unit. Don't forget to also get a couple new gaskets for the lock ring. Some sending units don't include them. Take old one in to match. OR, if you're good, you can make your own gaskets if need be. Auto store sells gasket material for this purpose.

I've never heard of a radiator shop doing fuel tanks, but if they know how, then go for it, if it saves your tank and they do a good job.

I know that factory did a tank coating for protection. I've heard aftermarket coatings can be good or bad. Lots of restorer's need to use coatings when restoring, so these guys would be one's to ask as to which coating is best. Last thing they want is a $100K street rod to go to crap from some bad coating clogging up the fuel system, or their $30K engine being ruined.
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The Cougar's Den
1984 Fleetwood Prowler "E"
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:01 PM   #5
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I've owned a few vintage 70s motor homes and trucks. I usually clean the tank out , after emptying it, at a self car wash using the wand. If there is some rust, you can put a chain in it and slosh it around to clean it out. Ive read some bad things about coating the inside so I've never done that. Some radiator shops will boil the tank to really clean it. You just have to call around to see who does that. You can also have a new custom plastic tank made in some cases. They can duplicate your metal tank into a plastic tank. I'm going to drop the 75 gallon tank in my 97 Aerbus because there is a small leak in the seam. While I have it down, I will have it cleaned, the seams re welded, replace the drop in fuel pump, and replace all of the fuel hoses.
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tank, fuel

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