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Old 07-19-2014, 11:25 AM   #15
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I'm just getting the fuel tank back in after replacing the generator fuel line in my 99 National Sea View w/ F53 Ford Chassis. I have a Generac 4500 KW genset. Some things I learned:

1. Check before diving into the job:
a. The draw tube for the genny doesn't reach as low in the tank as the engine fuel line. That's so we don't run ourselves out of gas with the generator and then can't drive the rig. Make sure your fuel tank isn't low. The tube might be above the fuel level. Should be above 1/2 full maybe? (FYI: You can do it. I lowered my tank 3/4 full)

b. I ran a short length of fuel line from the gen into a gas can, ran the primer, then ran the generator just to be sure that there wasn't a problem with the fuel pump on the gen.

2. I did this job while parked at the RV park and manged to get it done! So as one earlier post said - it's not an impossible job. I used a floor jack borrowed locally - NO, I don't carry floor jack around. I put wood under the tank/on top of the jack to distribute the weight. I also had to use bottle jacks (in the support straps) at each end to manage the lowering process. As a "belt & suspenders" safety I also used ratcheting tie-down straps at each end hooked to the frame,to cradle the tank and SLOW was the operative word. The ratchets turned out to be a help lifting the tank back in and aligning the holes for the tank supports to the frame.

3. Once I got the tank down to reach the fuel line I could see that it was cracked. A previous owner had replaced a section from the gen to where the line disappears into the frame, so it was deceiving - THAT section of hose didn't look too bad. I R & R'd the hose and (another ) Before putting the tank back I decided to fire up the gen just to be sure I fixed the problem. I hadn't.

4. If you look back at the photo (above) that Peter posted of the tank and fuel fittings, you'll see an "adapter" between the gen fuel line and the tank pickup tube. That is a "quick-release" fitting that requires a special fuel filter/fuel line wrench similar to the ones used for a/c. (Easy parts store item- 1/4 inch line) If you have the tool it comes right off - if you don't... good luck with that. I thought it might be a necessary check valve. It's not. Other than providing yet another component that can fail, it serves no purpose. It failed. There is an O-ring in there that cracks and leaks, and the gen fuel line loses prime. So I recommend that you remove that "weak link" and attach the fuel line directly to the fuel pump pickup tube. After I did that the gen ran fine.
5. Just for anyhow I put the fuel line in plastic protective "wire loom" as an added protection against chafing. Only cost $4.

6. Hope this helps the next guy. Also: reinstalling the tank required some nudging and tweaking to get the straps aligned with the holes in the frame, but overall they lined up fairly easily. Unfortunately two of the nuts on the inside of the frame rail broke off in the turning, which would require pulling the tank again and doing some welding - not an attractive prospect beside a fuel tank.
I have aftermarket levelers, and they chose to mount the two rear ones right over the support strap for the tank. It was a long time getting those four bolts out. The bolts are too long to use a ratchet and socket, but short enough that they WILL come out.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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Nice work Mennoted, surgery was successful and the patient survived.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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I did this same job on our 97 dolphin. I ran a hard line with insulated frame clamps and short pieces of silicone based fuel line on each end for connections to tank and gen. No future problems for the next owner.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:05 PM   #18
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Good job Mennoted,
The ratchet straps as a safety net is a good idea. If a floor jack wasn't available, would think the whole job could done using the straps by letting the tank down one notch at a time.

Chuck
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:27 AM   #19
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Great thread guy's. Because some day I will need to do this.
Two questions,
Is their anyway to reach that quick-release to disconnect the line without dropping the tank?
I wonder why the generator fuel line rots before the engine fuel line??
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:28 AM   #20
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1. The straps I used were only "tie-down" straps and didn't have the "horsepower" to do much lifting or lowering. You'd have to use the heavy equipment ones for any real lifting. My tank was nearly 3/4 full when I did the job, so I'm thinking in the neighborhood of 400+ lbs..

2. A lot of people ask about an easy way to the fuel pump, but cutting through the floor isn't a good option. Not sure what you'd cut through on the way, (water tank maybe?) and you'd need pinpoint accuracy or a pretty large hole to get access. Even then, if the line is clamped to the frame along the way you'd still be sunk. Sometimes there ain't no easy way. FYI I didn't have to drop the tank to the ground - just enough to reach in and disconnect the fitting. Of course if you are replacing the pump it would have to come all the way down to get the pump out.

3. The engine fuel and vent lines are made out of better material and appear to have a "coating" over them to protect them from rot. The gen line is just the usual rubber, reinforced fuel line. (1/4 if you're wondering) I put my new line in a hard plastic "wire loom" to protect it a bit.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:44 PM   #21
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I was thinking the 2" heavy duty racket straps. As long as I do it at home I have a 10 ton long frame floor jack my neighbor gave me when he shut down his shop. My tank is full now, I'll have to wait until after our next trip and not refill it. My line is not leaking now, I want to change it before it does. I'm going to look for some marine grade line for mine.

Thanks,
Chuck
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:18 PM   #22
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Wish some of you all that have done this lived near me. I could use extra hands and know-how. I'd buy the beer and burgers.


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Old 08-23-2014, 02:56 PM   #23
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slinnjr

On my '99 national I cut a square out of the floor under the bed. This allowed access to fuel pump and generator line. I cut carpet a little larger, sealed the wood edges and screwed a piece of 1/2 inch plywood over the hole. I now have easy access to top of tank while on the road.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #24
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Can't do that on mine. The grey tank is directly above the gas tank.


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