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Old 03-05-2013, 14:30   #1
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cutting an opening into the fuel tank

Not quite sure which is the appropriate forum for this. I have a Jeanneau 409. It has 2 plastic water tanks and a plastic fuel tank. The water tanks have inspection hatches but the fuel one doesn't a no no in many circles. What would be involved in cutting an opening into the fuel tank? Can it done without getting a lot of crud mixed into the fuel?
All thoughts much appreciated
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Old 03-05-2013, 15:00   #2
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srah 1953 View Post
Not quite sure which is the appropriate forum for this. I have a Jeanneau 409. It has 2 plastic water tanks and a plastic fuel tank. The water tanks have inspection hatches but the fuel one doesn't a no no in many circles. What would be involved in cutting an opening into the fuel tank? Can it done without getting a lot of crud mixed into the fuel?
All thoughts much appreciated

We had to do that on my boat because there was already crud mixed into the fuel.

We pumped the fuel out and then used a blade saw to cut out a disk. A friend (what a friend!) did all this AND cleaned out the tank by wiping it with pieces of "engine diaper." Meanwhile I took the piece he had cut out to a fabrication shop. They made a steel plate and a diesel-resistant gasket to seal the tank again. I had an extra gasket made "just in case" I have to go through this again some day.

My tank is small -- 18 gal. -- and the price of having the tank cleaned and the fuel polished, around $300, didn't seem justified for such a small, accessible tank. It ended my fuel problems, so i guess it worked.
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Old 03-05-2013, 15:05   #3
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

Here is a link on the subject. This was on a aluminum tank in the end I used a couple of the Seabuilt fittings because they were so much easier and the port I had designed wouldn't fit on the second tank.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:22   #4
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Here is a link on the subject. This was on a aluminum tank in the end I used a couple of the Seabuilt fittings because they were so much easier and the port I had designed wouldn't fit on the second tank.
Thanks for both of these. Charlie, I don't see the link?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:11   #5
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

Sorry I didn't paste it Here you go -- Fuel Tank Acces Ports
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:54   #6
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srah 1953 View Post
Not quite sure which is the appropriate forum for this. I have a Jeanneau 409. It has 2 plastic water tanks and a plastic fuel tank. The water tanks have inspection hatches but the fuel one doesn't a no no in many circles. What would be involved in cutting an opening into the fuel tank? Can it done without getting a lot of crud mixed into the fuel?
All thoughts much appreciated
An inspection port in a fuel tank would be nice to have, but if your tank doesn't have one, I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over it unless you think you have a problem.

If it's a gasoline fuel tank, any cutting needs to be done with non-sparking tools. An electrical reciprocating saw would be a bad choice here.

You can buy inspection ports. Buy the port(s) first, then cut the hole to match. Be sure the location you chose doesn't have a baffle connected to it.

You should drain the fuel first. Clean up any debris from cutting the hole, then rinse the tank a few times to make sure any debris has been flushed out.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:44   #7
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

If the tank has a gauge, you could remove it to get some access to the tank. Be sure you understand why one of the 5 screws that holds it on is longer than the others before you try.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:50   #8
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
An inspection port in a fuel tank would be nice to have, but if your tank doesn't have one, I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over it unless you think you have a problem.

If it's a gasoline fuel tank, any cutting needs to be done with non-sparking tools. An electrical reciprocating saw would be a bad choice here.

You can buy inspection ports. Buy the port(s) first, then cut the hole to match. Be sure the location you chose doesn't have a baffle connected to it.

You should drain the fuel first. Clean up any debris from cutting the hole, then rinse the tank a few times to make sure any debris has been flushed out.

I'm sure you know what you're talking about, but several sources told me that standard inspection ports such as you see for water tanks will not hold up to diesel, which is why we cut a hole and made a metal plate with special gasket to go over it.

I would have rather had an inspection port.

My tank was filthy, by the way. The first "wipe" was with 1/4 of an "engine diaper." When it was passed up to me it weighed at least 2 lb. with gunk. I'm amazed my engine ran as well as it did.
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Old 04-05-2013, 13:39   #9
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Re: cutting an opening into the fuel tank

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I'm sure you know what you're talking about, but several sources told me that standard inspection ports such as you see for water tanks will not hold up to diesel, which is why we cut a hole and made a metal plate with special gasket to go over it.

I would have rather had an inspection port.

My tank was filthy, by the way. The first "wipe" was with 1/4 of an "engine diaper." When it was passed up to me it weighed at least 2 lb. with gunk. I'm amazed my engine ran as well as it did.
I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about but I'm pretty sure there's at least one company making inspection ports for diesel fuel tanks.

A web search would probably find out for sure.
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