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Old 26-03-2011, 20:06   #1
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Repair Fuel Tank or Just Replace?

I have a below bilge fuel tank and it leaks. The leak is located in the fiberglass around the fuel uptake fitting. The inside of the tank is deteriorated and full of algae growth. Should I attempt to repair it, and suffer the consequences if it leaks again. Or should I attempt to replace it with removable tanks?
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Old 26-03-2011, 21:15   #2
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

I don't understand... the tank is below the bilge and is made of fiberglass?
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Old 27-03-2011, 13:16   #3
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

If it were me I'd clean it out using all means necessary including steam if I could and then remove the fuel "uptake" fitting and clean around it to determine what is damaged then patch it with epoxy. Replace the fitting using gasket material that is compatible with diesel fuel before calling it fixed.
kind regards,
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Old 27-03-2011, 13:30   #4
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

Yes, my fuel tank is built into the bilge. So the observation plate to my fuel tank is at the lowest point in my bilge.
Is that normal? Cuz' when I found it I had a blonde moment and was like WTF?
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Old 27-03-2011, 13:31   #5
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneP View Post
I have a below bilge fuel tank and it leaks. The leak is located in the fiberglass around the fuel uptake fitting. The inside of the tank is deteriorated and full of algae growth. Should I attempt to repair it, and suffer the consequences if it leaks again. Or should I attempt to replace it with removable tanks?
Can you cut out the section around the withdrawal tube and fabricate an access port patch with another withdrawal tube attached? If that’s the case I would as earlier mentioned steam clean the tank and take a good look around. If found sounds then replace the cut out with the fabricated panel and attach to the tank with brass “T” nuts after I faired the surface.
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Old 27-03-2011, 14:46   #6
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

Quote:
Or should I attempt to replace it with removable tanks?
You might do better to do something in between. Rebuilding the tank you have leaving it in place could be the easier solution. All my tanks can be removed and hauled out the companion way in about a half day with some help and no destruction of the boat required. In a perfect world that would be what I would want.

You need to fix the problem and consider the idea that you are going to repair the tank properly. You'll get to an OMG moment and decide if a new tank can be inserted easier than fixing the problems in the old tank. Until you can get a good look at the inside of the tank and can inspect the inlet, outlet, and return you won't know really what the problems are. Leaky fittings and a tank clean may be the whole deal or not.

A pro can clean a tank in place for a reasonable fee. I've watched it being done a half dozen times. Being dirty is very fixable. Leaks are bad and can be fixable. Adding a set of accerssible access ports would be something you really need if you don't have them now.
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Old 27-03-2011, 14:54   #7
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Re: repair fuel tank or just replace?

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Originally Posted by AnneP View Post
I have a below bilge fuel tank and it leaks. The leak is located in the fiberglass around the fuel uptake fitting. The inside of the tank is deteriorated and full of algae growth. Should I attempt to repair it, and suffer the consequences if it leaks again. Or should I attempt to replace it with removable tanks?
When a fuel tank ages it deteriorates so, it's best to replace it.
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