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  View original topic: Propane tank drain, replace, rebuild questions
fishgo Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:48 am

I've got dual tanks on an '83, the factory original and another unit added at some indeterminate past. Due to the age and poor appearance of the tanks, I've been thinking of replacement / rebuild of these as a summer project. However, recent events have accelerated this time frame.

I had my empty original driver's side tank filled a few days ago. This tank never had a fill problem nor leak problem but it was a trouble to fill for the first time this year (gasket on fill valve went bad and had to be replaced). Now there's a light odor of propane around that tank occasionally that I cannot locate (soapy water spray test). Odor comes and goes. I can occasionally hear a small hiss leak around the valves but cannot isolate it. The hard copper lines to the stove, fridge and Propex seem to be OK.

Passenger side tank has a propane odor when opening the operation valve. No leak when fully open or fully closed, but when turning the valve or left partially open.

I ordered a new tank already and was going to order valve parts and rebuild one of the two older tanks when I pull them off and inspect them. The better tank will get parts and paint.

Are there good rebuild threads like this one that I can also read: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=711958&highlight=propane+tank ??

I've got one tank that was just filled. How do I "drain" the tank either before I pull it off or after I remove it from the van? Running the stove is going to last a long time to drain those 3 gallons.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

dobryan Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:53 am

Those tanks are very robust and often just need surface rust cleaned up and the hardware replaced. You likely do not need to buy a new tank unless yours lived in the salt belt and is very crusty.

When I replaced the hardware on mine I dropped the tank off the bus and waited for a breezy day and opened the valve and let the propane come out free into the air. I am on 2 acres so I could find a place well away from any structure. The advantage of dropping the tank is you get to decide where it is safe to empty it...

fishgo Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:20 pm

Thanks for the tip. I've been poking around more and I think the smell was coming from the vent valve, which wasn't fully closed tightly. Hopefully that's the quick fix, but I still plan to replace one tank and rebuild another.

a2wolfsburggli Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:44 pm

fishgo wrote:
Are there good rebuild threads like this one that I can also read: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=711958&highlight=propane+tank ??



That's my thread.

Your options are:

1. Hook it up to a grill or heater with an adapter hose.
B. Run the burners in the camper till it's empty.
III. Disconnect from the regulator and open it up in a deserted field. Propane is heavier than air so it WILL settle to the ground. I DO NOT recommend or endorse this in any way.

As I sated in my thread, I have a propane garage heater that I connected it to.

baltik Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:48 pm

How did your paint hold up?

a2wolfsburggli Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:53 pm

baltik wrote: How did your paint hold up?

I was under there the other day for a brake line replace. Was going to take pics and forgot. It's still white. Don't see any rust or chips. It's dirty but that's to be expected. Zero complaints.

I'll get some pics next time I pull it out of the garage.



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