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Fuel Tank Removal

In the past several years I have found that the gas tanks in all the cars we have refurbished have been rusty inside on the bottom. It is no wonder when you take two things into consideration, water is heavier than gasoline and the last VW sold in the US is more than 25 years old. The biggest problem this causes is not leaks but the filtering of rust flakes into the fuel line and then into the carburetor. Sometimes these rust flakes are so small as to get past a normal filter and then clump together in the bowl of the carb. I have had many people tell me about buying a new carb just to have the same problems again within weeks. The answer would have been to clean the carb and fuel line and replace the gas tank. There are treatments that can be used in the old tank to combat the rust that often times work well if done correctly. But I would usually rather save my time for something else and just go for a new tank. Replacing the tank is a pretty simple job. Of course it is a good idea to have as little gas in the tank as possible.

Remove the trunk liner and you will be able to see the tank beneath it. On the older VWs there is a small cable that operates the gas gauge. It is under a metal cap that can be popped off with a screwdriver.
Then you can lift the cable out of its groove and slide the ball on the end out of the arm in the gauge.
On the later cars there is just a wire to unplug. Now you can remove the 4 13mm bolts that hold the tank down.


The later cars will have a rubber filler hose on the neck of the tank. Loosen the clamp and remove hose from the tank.

There may be another vent line from the tank to remove. The vent on the older tanks is on the filler neck.
Now lift the tank enough to clip off the fuel line with a pair of needle nose vice grips.


Twist the line loose from the metal fuel line going into the chassis and lift out the tank.

Replacing the new one is just the exact opposite procedure, really. For more detailed instructions pick up Vol. 6 in the Bug Me Video series available at our web site.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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