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Old 11-11-2012, 18:48   #1
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Question Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Our 1984 Cooper 416 is leaking diesel when the tank is filled above half and we heel to starboard. The tank is buried under the galley and probably has a curved outboard side to fit against the hull. An inspection camera on a long gooseneck doesn't show anything, but there must be a hole high up on the outboard side. The tank is aluminum, and original with the boat, a 1984.

I'm faced with either cutting it out and replacing with a couple of smaller tanks or disassembling most of the galley and getting it out in one piece. Has anyone done this job on a Cooper?

Many thanks!

Doug Steinfeld
S/V Folie a Deux
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Old 04-12-2012, 19:46   #2
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Just saw your post. I have seen the job done and it is a tough one to do. If you are still working on it I can give you the name of a friend who had his done also I can send you pictures of the top of my tank to give you some kind of Idea of what has to be done.They went in under the stove and cut it out then made three tanks that hooked together after they droped them in. My friend david took pictures of the whole process. I hope the job is done and you are at sea.
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Old 11-12-2012, 16:39   #3
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Hi Redcoat,

Thanks for the info and offer. I'd appreciate any photos you have. I haven't started this job yet, although I just bought a heater so I can work through the winter.

One issue I have is that the original owner fitted a pneumatic fuel gauge system, and a couple of years after we took ownership the sender -> gauge tubing turned brittle and fell apart. I stupidly didn't plug the sender, so after a few fill-ups we had diesel on the top of the tank. From what I could pull out I believe there was some woven material on the top of the tank (which was now saturated), and I'm pretty sure the bottom of the galley sole is saturated to some degree as well. So I have some motivation to rip it all out in the process of replacing the tank.

Our galley is highly non-standard. We have a locker where the stove would normally be (gimballed, outboard). If you're facing that locker there is a counter to your left, along the bulkhead that separates the galley from the table below. On your right, along the bulkhead that separates the galley from the aft cabin is the sink, and then then furthest inboard, a fixed 4 burner stove with oven above. Although it seems counter-intuitive, my wife has never complained about the lack of gimballs (and has never had anything spill) in the 23 years we've owned this boat.

Anyway, photos would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-12-2012, 18:40   #4
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Hi Doug.After I saw your post I have tried to call him. He is in La paz on his cooper now.If you check my album I have posted a photo of my stove area.He went in right under the drawer under his stove and cut the tank out. It pop right out and they cut that part of the sole out. Then they cut the tank out and had three tanks made that they dropped in that
somehow connected to each other.End up with about 75 gallons. I will keep trying David and I will get you contact info.At onetime he had started a Cooper page but I haven't seen it lately
So hang in there and I will get you some contact info.
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Old 11-12-2012, 18:48   #5
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Also My boat has a access right in front of the stove that I can lift out and I have inspection port I can clean my tank out.Sole sits flush right on the tank.The access that Cooper has If front of the Galley sink you can reach in and drill below your fuel tank and drain if you think its full and sloshing around outside the tank.PM me and I will answer any ? I can if you want to talk on the phone.
Regards and good luck.
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:35   #6
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Got your PM - thanks. I also posted a couple of pictures of my galley in my album. I know that the tank extends all the way under the outboard locker (as that's where the fill and vent hoses attach). If I do wind up disassembling then perhaps another access panel like the one in front of the stove would be a good idea for an inspection port/cleanout like yours.
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:39   #7
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Doug thats nice. I'm jealous what a wonderful use of space.
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:42   #8
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Thanks, but note, though, that there's no icebox in the photo. My icebox is where your nav station is (so I use the main cabin table when I need a big chart open). I also don't have inside steering.
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Old 11-12-2012, 19:55   #9
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

I don't know what i would do without the inside steering . I have a big autopilot and sleep in the pilots berth underway, comes in pretty handy.
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Old 11-12-2012, 20:03   #10
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

I think it depends on the amount of time at your disposal. I was two weeks out from leaving for Mexico (from San Diego) and didn't want to get into it. I chopped the top off my tank and used the space for beer / wine / soda. I dropped a 12 gallon tank into the stern. Actually worked a lot better than I thought. The worst part was using the safety siphon to drain a five gallon jug into the tank every ~10 hours of motoring.

Hardly ideal, not perfect, but I made it down the Baja peninsula and if I had tried to do it the "right" way I'd still be sitting in San Diego. The previous tank (that I ripped open) was 90 gallons which is *a lot*.

My plan is to make up a series of smaller tanks plumbed together out of epoxy and plywood, and put them in the space of the old tank.

A link to my blog post about it:

http://www.therebelheart.com/blog/20...fuel-tank.html
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Old 11-12-2012, 21:07   #11
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Just think what you could have done in twenty days
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:08   #12
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Hi there,

I'm the guy Redcoat is referring to who had his diesel tank replaced in San Diego by American Tanks. I have some photos I will post on this site.

David Bereznai
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Old 15-12-2012, 14:31   #13
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Hi again,

I have posted about 30 pictures.

The search terms I set were:

Cooper416 diesel tank replacement

Regards,
David
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Old 12-02-2014, 18:42   #14
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

I thought I'd revive this thread as I've recently revived this project. Last year the project got put on hold, but sailing last season showed the need to get it back on track. I'm only 1 day into it, but pretty psyched to get some serious work done. The major accomplishment last weekend was to cut out some of the subfloor over the tank so that I could see what's going on. My suspicions of diesel soaking the subfloor (that I mentioned in an early post in this thread) were confirmed, so I've decided to take the hardest path and rip the galley out so that the subfloor can be totally replaced. I most certainly don't want to damage the cabinetry in the process and I'm pretty encouraged by the oscillating tool I used to cut out sections of the parquet floor. The blade made a very thin cut and was very easy to control. I've never been a fan of sanding with similar tools, but this thing really cut well. Not bad for a Harbor Freight "disposable".

Anyway, I've added a couple of pictures to my album, and I'll try to keep a running report going in this thread.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:46   #15
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Re: Cooper 416 Diesel Tank Replacement

Disassembling the galley is proceeding. The forward cabinetry is out, the outboard sliders have been removed, and the galley sink is out. All the tile on the countertops has been removed (we're looking forward to countertops that are much easier to keep clean!), as has all the underlayment. I'm hoping that the remaining work is just removing the aft cabinet face frame and that the oven/stove and its cabinet can remain in place.

If I'm lucky (or good), the tank will be ready to come out by the end of tomorrow's session.

Photos of the current state are in the album.
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