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2wd Gas tank Exposed - cut in half (pics)
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davideric9
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: 2wd Gas tank Exposed - cut in half (pics) Reply with quote

Just for the record I was having trouble with my van (2wd 1987) running well and it would sputter out and try to die. I would pull over and then it would seem fine and I drove it to work and home again. It did the same thing the next day, pull over near the house as it lost power, waited a few moments and then was able to drive to work with no problem, until I had to have it towed home when if wouldn't stay started.

I decided that the tank was the problem after replacing many parts. It ran great after the tank was replaced, so to be sure I really had this solved I needed to look inside the tank to see the problem, and I found it. The supply hose was no longer securely attached to the tank, so at half a tank the pump was sucking more air than fuel as the pump was not sucking fuel from the bottom of the sump.

Tank cut open with sawzall
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


filters at the center of the tank, in case you were wondering
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The supply hose as I found it no longer making a seal to the hose (not great focus)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


and to show it up close and pulled apart
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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xoo00oox
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have seen this problem a number of times over the years but never spent time to cut one open.
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for cutting one open, I always wondered exactly what was in there. I've heard some speculation but haven't seen inside for myself.

Did you rinse it out with water before cutting to reduce the kaboom factor?
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just put a gas tank behind a car, and run a hose from the tail pipe to the tank filler. Idle the car. The heat and exhaust will quickly evaporate the tank, and besides, exhaust has almost no O2 in it, and without O2 there is no risk of combustion.

We have done that for decades to prep tanks for welding/brazing.

WARNING: The fuel tank will get quite hot, even with just an idling engine, so be careful when you go to touch it!!!!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had always been under the impression that the outlet screen faced down and thus would somewhat self cleaning, but it looks like yours is facing up?

I find it strange that VW never redesigned the tank after they went to the water cooled engines and thus could have simplified everything.
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Racerrojo
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That stupid plastic tube. Don't understand why is not metal,
It's a $3 part the will cost you $200
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AdrianC
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
I find it strange that VW never redesigned the tank after they went to the water cooled engines and thus could have simplified everything.


I don't see how they could, tbh. There's nothing about the tank that'd vary water-cooled to air-cooled, and the expansion/breather tanks are needed because of the shape imposed by the position and the need for the gear linkage to go above it.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AdrianC wrote:
Wildthings wrote:
I find it strange that VW never redesigned the tank after they went to the water cooled engines and thus could have simplified everything.


I don't see how they could, tbh. There's nothing about the tank that'd vary water-cooled to air-cooled, and the expansion/breather tanks are needed because of the shape imposed by the position and the need for the gear linkage to go above it.


It would have been very simple to route the radiator hoses, heater hoses, and even a gear shift cable around the tank instead of up through the big divot in the middle designed for the aircooled's heat tube. This would have eliminated the wacko tank venting and the problems it pose plus maybe given a badly needed increase in fuel capacity. Without going out and finding and aircooled to look at, I would think it would have not been all that difficult for them to have even run the aircooled heat pipe up one side instead of through the middle and thus have eliminated their engineering FUBAR for all models.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to go OT, but seriously, the Vanagon was a run out model. Last of the kind. Why mess with parts that work for a decade? When SA got a hold of it they implemented a bigger tank. They had budget. The mother-ship did not plan for the Vanagon to last forever. They had the new Eurovan coming on line and meeting the requirements for more uniform common build parts. Read that as a water cooled inline engine with front axles.

The Vanagon was not safe enough any more, too for the US.

It was the last of the rear engined boxers that were to come from Germany.

It was a lame duck.

It just made no sense to mod the tank.

Sorry for the OT.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The basic tank design was used for the whole Vanagon run so they could and should have designed something better from the get go. The tank is a total redesign from the Bay Window bus and in no way a hold over so there was no reason not to make it better and probably cheaper right from the start. It's an engineering FU, IMO.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
The basic tank design was used for the whole Vanagon run so they could and should have designed something better from the get go. The tank is a total redesign from the Bay Window bus and in no way a hold over so there was no reason not to make it better and probably cheaper right from the start. It's an engineering FU, IMO.

SA did revise the tank.

The tank now only after 20+ years gives issue.

"it is an old car, what do you expect?"
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People have been having problems with these tanks for at least 10 years at this point, some much earlier. Any design this complicated is way more apt to give problems than something simpler would have. One thing that I have never liked about VW and that I believe greatly negatively affected their sales, is that they would tolerate problems for years before making an engineering fix.

Heck they had suggested modifications shown in the Bentley for things they were still not doing on the factory floor.
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see some pics of the SA fuel tank...

and how many gal.s did it hold?
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is just the same basic tank but longer toward the back. The frame crossmember has to be moved back for it to fit in any of our vans and longer tank supports go along with that. It held 6 more gallons.

All this crying about a simple to drop and easy to maintain stock tank. Babies.

Mark

randywebb wrote:
Let's see some pics of the SA fuel tank...

and how many gal.s did it hold?
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