348 Fuel Tank Removal

My gas tank decided to spring a leak on me late last year, and I finally got the gumption to removing it about a month ago. So what follows is the "how-to", and yes I took plenty of pictures for you kids.

So here it goes......
Step #1.
Disconnect the battery.

Get the car in the air and remove the rear wheels, 
and wheel well splash guards. 
I used jack stands to keep the car in the air.

Step #2.
Now that you have the car in the air you will want to remove the 
covers on the bottom of the car to expose the gas tank.(pic#1).

Step #3.
Now you will want to disconnect the wires supplying power to the fuels pumps.


Once you have the connections off you will notice that they have different 
size holes. This is so that you don't screw up and put the wrong wire on the 
wrong place. After I remove nut's or bolts I like to put them back in the 
hole/stud that they came off of. This is so I don't loose them, and so I 
know where they go.(pics#4-5).

Step #4.
Now disconnect the fuel gage sending unit clip.(pic#6).

Step #5.
Drain the remaining gas from the tank via the drain plug next to the connections. 
Be sure to have a bucket under it to catch any gas that is left in the tank. 
Before I drained my tank I drove it until it was practically empty.(pics#7-8).

Step #6.
While you still have the bucket under the fuels pump, disconnect the fuel 
lines from the pump. When you do this don't just open them up right away. 
The fuel lines still hold pressure and gas in them even though you 
drained the tank. So you will want to just crack the lines open and let the 
pressure slowly bleed off. If you don't you are gonna give yourself 
a nice gasoline shower. So just crack the lines and let the pressure 
bleed off, then remove them all the way.
When your are opening the lines use two wrenches. 
Put one on the nuts for the fuel lines, and the other on the 
nipple end nut attached to the pump.(pic#9).

Step #7.
Next you will be disconnecting the fuel vapor lines on the top corners 
of the tank. I used a pair of pliers to pinch the sides of the 
quick connect lines. You will be pinching the open side of the quick connect. 
There are to little hooks under the closed sides that click in place when 
the line gets pushed on to the nipple.
When you are pinching the clip you will want to pull up on 
it at the same time.  Be careful not to scratch the nipple. 
These lines are quick connect, 
but they aren't quick disconnect. D'oh.  
Mine had been on the car for 18 years, so the seals are a bit stubborn. 
They will come off though. That line that you see disconnected it from 
the a/c. I have it completely disconnected in my car. 
You will still be able to get to that quick connect with the a/c line connected.

Step #8.
Remove the fuel filer & over flow lines from the gas tank.

Step #9.
The next thing is to get the shift cables out of the way. 
They run right under the tank so they need to be move out of the way 
before the tank can be dropped down.
Remove all the nuts holding the shift cable cover to the bottom of the car, 
then take the cover off and put it out of the way.(pic#13).

Step #10.
Remove the nut holding the shift cable bracket in place, and then 
take the bracket off.(pics#14-15).

Step #11.
Next you are going to disconnect the shift cables from the selector. 
I use a wrench on the back side to hold the bolt still, then put the socket 
on the other end and remove the nut using the ratchet.(pic#16).
You will also want to disconnect the parking break cable and get it 
out of the way. And make sure you are in a well ventilated area. I had my 
garage door wide open, and was running a fan at full speed to help get the 
gas fumes out of the garage.

Step #12.
Now that you have the cables disconnected push them out of the rubber boot.(pics#17-18).

Step #13.
The next thing is to remove the nut in the center of the shift cables, 
under the car. I left it in place to hold up the cables while I disconnected 
them from the gear box. That way I didn't get smacked in the face when 
they were off at the ends.(pic#19).

Step #14.
Now go inside the cabin and remove the shift ball off of the shift stick. 
Then remove the screws holding the shift gate in place. Disconnect the 
reverse light switch and unscrew it from the shift assembly box. Go back 
under the car and remove the four bolts holing the shift box to the bottom 
of the car. Lower the box out of the car and get it out of the way.
You actually can just remove the cables from the the bottom of the stick shift.  But I just wanted to get the whole thing out of the way.(pic#20).

Step #15.
Remove the nuts holding the tanks to the guides on the frame on 
the left and the right. To get easier access to the nuts, loosen the brackets 
holding the fuel filters in place and then side then down. 
You don't need to remove them. Just slide them down and out of the way. 
As I said earlier, I don't have my a/c lines hooked up.(pics#21-22).

Step #16.
Support the gas tank by rolling the floorjack under it, and centering it in 
the middle of the tank. Now you can remove the nuts holding the gas tank 
support brackets to the bottom of the frame, and remove the brackets. 
Pay attention to direction that the curved part of the bracket is facing 
when you remove it. The part that curves up goes back on towards the 
cabin of the car.(pics#23-24-25).

Step #17.
Before you can completely lower the tank out of the car you need to 
remove the support bushings from both sides of the tank.
Lower the tank so that the bolt slides out of the guide slot 
attached to the body. Then get a good grip on the bushing, unscrew it 
counter clockwise, and remove it. You must remove the bushing or it will 
get hung up on the frame, and you won't be able to lower the tank out.


Go double check that you have everything disconnect, and then remove the tank.

Here is a shot of the empty space where the tank was.
I wonder if I could fit in there?(pic#28).

Yes I can!
Another successful do-it-yourself job!

Ah yes, you are probably wondering how long it took? I took me just over 
3 hours to remove it. But keep in mind a big part of that was me fooling around with the camera getting the best pictures for you guys. 
Had I just put my nose down and not fooled with the camera so much I could have had it out in around 2 hours. 
As you can see in that last picture I'm holding the tank with one hand. 
It's pretty light as it's made out of aluminum. It weighs about 
35 pounds dry, with both fuel pumps and the sender still inside. I remove the pumps and the sending unit, and then reweighed the tank. 
It came in at 23 pounds.(pics#29-30).


Step #1.
Remove all the nuts holding the pump to the bottom of the tank.

Step #2.
Gently pry the pump up.
I used a plastic cat-claw that is used for removing door panels. 
Both the tank and the pump are aluminum so you don't want to mar them. 
We don't want it leaking when it goes back in.(pic#32).

Step #3.
Now carefully slide the fuel pump out of the tank.

Thats it's.
Here is a shot of the pumps out of the tank.

Here is the inside of the tank. I took the picture from inside the right 
side fuel pump hole. You are looking left towards the fuel filler neck, and 
the tank is laying on it's back. You'll notice that the middle baffle is missing, 
and can see where the spot welds are pulled out on the right side of the picture.

Here is the cause of my tank leak. The CRAPASS spot welds that pulled out. 
The middle baffle was COMPLETELY off. I could hear it rattle around as soon 
as I had the tank out of the car.
I found a guy at a marine boatyard that is willing to weld on the tank. 
But I have to take it out to him so he can have a good look at it. 
He was saying that he needs to see what gage the aluminum is. 
I also told him that is was a gasoline tank, and he said that it 
wouldn't be a problem. He'd give it a good washing and then hit it 
with some sort of gas before he started to cut on it.(pic#38).

Text and pics are copyright to ernie.

Last Updated, June 15.08.

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