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NEW BedLiner Project
Vanagon Gas Tank Repair a.k.a
(warning rant alert:)
My gas tank starting leaking again, and to me it's a horrible design, to me I would have used a filler hose , vent tube and sending unit and that would have been the end of that. But it's not on this brainiac design, There is a good write up from GoWesty and what goes wrong with the tanks , to see it click here
Here are the parts you need by part# (to make your own kit)
3ea small grommets- N90100401
1 ea Gas tank filler grommet-251201139A
1 ea Middle plastic line with two "T" on each end- 251201147B-
4 feet of 5mm braided low pressure line-
1 pack of tyraps
My Westy on a road trip
On-line Part Kits
Or you can go here and order the parts Click Here
This webpage is easier to figure out what kit you need so Click Here
Parts needed to add to the kit (for either the on-line store you bought or your kit you made from the above listed parts)
1 ea package of fuel injection hose clamps (these don't cut into the hoses like regular clamps will)
4 feet of 3/16" fuel injection hose (AutoZone sells them in a box which are two feet long per box) for the metal gas tank vent tubes
4 feet of 1/4" fuel injection hose (AutoZone sells them in a box which are two feet long per box) for the bottom of the tank fuel injection lines.
On the verge of repeating myself. You need this extra stuff to replace the connections to metal vent tubes, and you also need to replace the fuel lines that are the supply and return lines on the bottom of the tank. There never be a better or easier time to do this.
Also by getting a little too much hose it will make it easier to route the hoses, and replace them all. The extra length of the hose also keeps you from getting in a bind.***NOTE*** Put electrical tape on the end of the hoses when routing them to keep dirt out of the hoses.
1 ea spray can of bed liner (to make it look purty), also you will need some Vaseline for the grommets and a pack of rags
The Two different fuel filters the small one and the big one (mine is an 1984 and a half model yours may vary, but not much), after messing with a dirty tank it's good to have new filters so plan on replacing them
Gas Gauge Sending Unit? It's good to change it out, but I went with the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality and left it alone.
Gasoline resistant RTV,1 Roll of paper towels, and a wide roll of foam weather stripping tape (I'll show you later why you need this)
Okay Okay...you don't need these...I'm just being an a$$ and showing off my new tool set! YES! ! !
Tools you will need
2 ea Nylon Hose –Pinch Pliers (used to clamp a hose to keep fluids from running out of a hose)
Empty gas cans to drain the gas out (try to drive the tank on empty)
13mm socket , extension and drive to remove the straps
1 ea razor knife , used to score the old hoses off for easier removal.
1/4" nut driver for the hose clamps, and some saw horses
Phillips Screw driver for the hose clamps
Cinder Block--( Yeap it's that high tech at my garage)
Couple of big flat tip screw drivers for prying, and to hold the tank in place (I'll get to that later)
Time needed for a first timer like me
5 hours (from staging the tools out to putting them all back all clean ,painting the tank and dropping the van back on the ground with a reasonable lunch break) I did this in my driveway...man I want a garage...and just a little side note it took longer to make this page than the actual work.
$$$$$ saved (assuming it would take a non VW shop four hours, $70 x 4 hours =$280 plus tax) plus the price of of marking up the parts
So go to the ATM machine and pull out $280 and put in your pocket, carry it a day, then deposit $280...see where this is going ?!...pay yourself to do this. it's just monkey work and you will do it right! In the beginning when I had my van .I paid two separate shops to do this, so I got empowered and learned to do this myself.
Difficulty Scale (1-10) 1= Oil Change. 5= Replacing all 4 of the fresh air cable cables in the dash ( Patience is needed for that job!) 10= Engine swap and rebuild
Difficulty= 2.5...maybe a 3 ?...it should be easier now that you can see it done here
See the run marks on the tank...if you smell gas or you have this look... your tank leaks.
So let's get going and get this P.I.T.A over!
Before you really get started, raise the van, on some ramps. Make it easier for you so you don't struggle to get to something , and you’ll have more patience ...you will need it later. Remember to chock the wheels so you don't make the Darwin Awards.
Here is a written explanation *NOTE* the following pictures are not a detailed note by note instruction, they are here to help fill in the blanks and to keep you interested.
1.Un-hook the battery , I mean you are working with gas you know. Also put out the cigarette fool.
2. Unhook the fill-up hoses going to the tank and pull them out you know the small line that hooks to the filler neck on the body and over flow line out of where the tank that is mounted on the van( this is the same spot you stick the gas station hose in when filling up at the gas station).
3. Unhook supply and return lines one is on either side of tank and drain the fuel (think and plan your work before doing this) * Note a full tank of gas will hurt you, it's heavy so drain the tank.*
4. Undo the two bolts (13mm) that hold the metal straps to the front frame
of the van.
5. Remove straps by pulling the tab in the rear of the strap out of the slot
it rests in. It helps to pinch the tabs so they will pull out easier.
6. The rear of tank will now drop down.
7. Cut the two lines from the side of the tank that go to the expansion tanks
above front wheels you are going to replace them no matter how good they look.
8. Now pop loose the other plastic expansion lines from the top of the tank.
9. Unscrew the three screws that fasten the filler neck into the body and
push it into the tank farther so you can move it over to the wheel well.
10. Pull out the filler neck slowly.
11. Tank should drop straight down, make sure to unplug the sender unit wiring doh!
Here is the van on ramps
so let's get going!
Here is the first thing I did,
side note: you will come back to this; once you remove the expansion tanks, and drain the fuel , you will come back and drop this out and remove it , by pulling, and tweaking the filler tube out of the tank, slow and steady works better here
Stick a rag in the tank to keep the trash outta of your tank
It helps to remove the expansion tanks in the wheel wheel (This shot is from passenger wheel wheel)
Notice the rag in the tank, also this is a good time to replace all the hoses, later I will show you what mine looked like. Also the gaskets had shrunk up and I added RTV when I went back, I think this added to the gas fumes I was smelling due to the old gaskets. (driver's side picture shot)
Note the tires...I think its time for new ball joints
Drain the tank...then go make a sandwich....
Use pinch pliers to keep gas from running out, when you think you have gotten all the gas out, some will be left
Remove the straps with your 13mm socket set, and then remove the straps. Note the screw driver it keeps the tank from falling on you. Also note the pliers and hose , you will replace this 1/4" hose , and you can get it local from your auto parts store. (The camera is pointed towards the driver's side)
(The wires dangling are extra wires that I un-dressed ,most go to gauges and other assorted things I installed yours won't be like this)
Here are the hoses and sending unit you will unplug (Driver's side)
Here is another shot showing the other side of the hoses, note when you are there, you need to put the crossover tube back like it is/was routed If not they will pop out when you go to re-install everything (This picture is showing the passenger side, the screwdriver is to show scale)
Time to clean and prep the outside of the tank with a water based degreaser, cover the holes up with rags
Notice the ghetto plastic scraper , you don't want to use metal and cause a spark (boom!)
Spray on bed liner curing in the sun, notice the pliers also notice the dent from previous owner....nice
I used a gasoline resistant RTV, that is also non-hardening and pliable it helps cut down on future shrinkage on the grommets ,notice how the new hose is installed on the metal vent tube. Also notice how the grommets are installed!...do it before installing the tank...make it easy on yourself (B.T.W. The tank looks brand new now!)
Here is a mock-up of what you will be re-installing, notice the extra long hoses dangling off the tank, this made it MUCH easier when installing the tank. Also by doing the mock-up you can visualize how it will be installed. The light gray 5mm hose is the hose supplied with the GoWesty kit, the 3/16" black hoses that you see on the sides are from the local store and I'm showing you the box that they came in. (for scale) The outlets on the bottom of the tank which you can't see in this picture are 1/4" and they go to the fuel filter (passenger side) and the "return" line (driver's side)
Also note the hole in the corner of the tank, (look at the picture, now look to the right closest to you,) you are going to stick a long ty-rap thru it, to help you hold the tank in place so it doesn't hit you in the head later.
Here is the cross-over tube getting ready to snake thru to get it into position, don't cut the ty-rap, this way later when you stick you hand on it, it won't cut you.
(there is now a gap in the pictures or lack of .I needed all my hands to place the tank)
This picture is of me on my back looking up at the front driver's side of the tank
Okay here ...notice the ty-rap...I used the tyrap to hold the front of the tank, before installing the straps. The hole is the factory hole that is in the corner of the tank. (It keeps it from falling back down while you reposition yourself)
then I used this cinder block in the back of the tank, by doing this you can now, get your hands above the tank to install and push in the cross-over tube and over flow tube, without it falling out and you cussing like Popeye the Sailor man on a bad drunk The block gives it enough tilt so you can stick your hand above the tank and get down to business.
Also on the reinstall, tilt the tank so that you can get the front of it under the lip in the front beam and then just push it up so it is level and then you can
slide the end of the straps back into the slots without a problem. You will have to play with for a little bit, this is the hardest part, so if you get mad...walk away, come back and it will fall right in!
After installing the cross-over and overflow tubes. I lined the straps with this stuff (bought it on eBay) wide foam weather stripping will work too
It helps keep the straps from rubbing on the tank, after this reinstall the straps
okay this shot is from the passenger side wheel wheel, you now push the filler tube back into the tank, notice the Vaseline on the gasket, this helps it to push, (that's what she said) and don't force it, you don't want to roll the gasket into the tank
the two hoses dangling in the bottom of the picture will now hook to the plastic expansion tank.
okay here's a tidbit, the sleeve that connects to the filler tube , take it off/out of the tube and grease it up with Vaseline (inside and out) , then install it on the neck; then install the hose. It makes it a lot easier on installing and keeps you from tearing the sleeve. Also the Vaseline swells the rubber and cuts down of fumes , which in turn will help you pass your emissions test when they sniff the gas cap. (cheap kicks)
Here is one of the expansion tanks removed , and the inside and outside cleaned
Use more of the same RTV, to help out the shrunk gasket
and then install sensor back into the expansion tank (this is the same picture from above I didn't take a picture of the cleaned up tank being installed sorry)
Done!! AND INSTALLED! ! ! !
Time for a fill up...well do you feel lucky punk...well I did ...AND NO MORE LEAKS! ! ! YIPPPPPEEEEEE!
Lessons Learned :
Here is why you want to replace all the lines with new.. (the on-line kits you get don't give you enough hose so go buy some extra hose to completely replaced your fuel lines).
I was very lucky! This line was hooked up to the metal vent tube to the expansion tank on the passenger side and was seeping gas out of it.
Here is something else I did. The wheel wheel expansion tanks had some wiggle to them, so I used the rest of the RTV and added it to the space between the tank and the body of the van to help adhere the tanks to the van and it gives the tanks support.
***ANOTHER NOTE*** Put electrical tape on the end of the hoses when routing them to keep dirt out of the hoses.
One other note,
The kit from GoWesty was $90 dollars OUCH!, so for the future I kept all my parts, and then I smeared Vaseline on the old grommets, and put everything back in the plastic wrappers and the box my new parts came in and put them on the shelf. I want to see if the Vaseline will make them swell back up, if so...the next time I will just rotate the parts. I see this tank job being needed to be performed every 3 years.
Here is a bad picture...sorry...of a fuel pressure gauge I installed after the last filter and fuel pump for that warm fuzzy feeling on long trips
*** Okay let me note if you do any of the above I just posted it will kill you, and YOU WILL blow yourself up and the surrounding 5 block neighboorhood. You will make the 6 o'clock news and your kids will be orphans. Then the lawyers will get involved and ban all people from working on their own vans, later the politicians will get involved and ban all the Westys ...thanks to you no less ...so how do you live with yourself ? ***