Draining old gas out of the X and FI system

KBabcock

True Classic
Getting ready to tackle the FI system and wanted to start with getting the 10 year old fuel out of the car. Was planning on pumping it out of the tank then using a scope to look at the tanks through the filler pipe. Well discovered the anti siphon metal grate in the filler neck (see picture) when I tried to scope how much gas was there. So the question is can I get the scope and a clear view through the gas feed at the bottom of the tank (assuming it fits the pipe) or do I need to pull the filler rubber hose off.
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Second part is after I drain the tank, I hear in later FI cars have some type of draining nut or something at the bottom but the person talking about it was not very clear as to what and where it is. I'll document it once I find it. So after its drained how do you get the old gas out of the FI system itself?
 

rx1900

1981 X1/9
Well...might be easiest to just unbolt and remove the sending unit from the top of the tank. That will leave you a nice 2" hole for your scope. You then can get a real clear view of the inside of the tank. As for draining it...just pop off that 12mm hose on the bottom of the tank.
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
I took the sender out to inspect my tanks ( 1 carb, 1 FI ). My only warning is to hit the tiny little nuts with some PB Blaster or similar solvent before you try to loosen them. The studs on the tank are really fragile and I snapped one off with very little torque.

With the sender out you can fit a drop light in there to get a better view. :) This FI tank was nice and dry, not sure if a drop light is a good idea if there are still lots of fumes present. ;)
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You can also check the condition of your float. They tend to fill with gas over the years.
soggy_float3.JPG
 

KBabcock

True Classic
I took the sender out to inspect my tanks ( 1 carb, 1 FI ). My only warning is to hit the tiny little nuts with some PB Blaster or similar solvent before you try to loosen them. The studs on the tank are really fragile and I snapped one off with very little torque.

With the sender out you can fit a drop light in there to get a better view. :) This FI tank was nice and dry, not sure if a drop light is a good idea if there are still lots of fumes present. ;)
View attachment 61927

You can also check the condition of your float. They tend to fill with gas over the years.
View attachment 61928
Nice advice Jim, thanks. With the Rust you saw in that picture did you do anything to mitigate it or thought it was OK?
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
Nice advice Jim, thanks. With the Rust you saw in that picture did you do anything to mitigate it or thought it was OK?
The rust in my FI tank is minimal by 40 year old car standards. When reinstalling the tank, the recommendation is to add an inline filter into the feed line from the tank to the pump. The added filter will protect the pump if the rust tries to migrate.
 
What I originally thought was rust in my tank turned out to be really nasty fuel deposits after I pulled the tank and had a closer look. I used OxiClean to clean the tank and it removed all the deposits. After the inside of the tank was clean, I was surprised to see what looked like some kind of a clear coating on the inside of the tank. Drops of water left in the tank for several days just beaded up and left no rust.

Once you have the sender removed, it does not take much longer to pull the tank since you probably want to replace the rubber elbow on the filler pipe since they are prone to rotting out.
 

KBabcock

True Classic
What I originally thought was rust in my tank turned out to be really nasty fuel deposits after I pulled the tank and had a closer look. I used OxiClean to clean the tank and it removed all the deposits. After the inside of the tank was clean, I was surprised to see what looked like some kind of a clear coating on the inside of the tank. Drops of water left in the tank for several days just beaded up and left no rust.

Once you have the sender removed, it does not take much longer to pull the tank since you probably want to replace the rubber elbow on the filler pipe since they are prone to rotting out.
I was thinking that, the Rubber elbow seems solid but I'm sure it is hard. My main concern is at present I can only get the car 18" off the ground with out getting additional equipment for a higher lift. Would this be high enough to get the tank out.
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
I was thinking that, the Rubber elbow seems solid but I'm sure it is hard. My main concern is at present I can only get the car 18" off the ground with out getting additional equipment for a higher lift. Would this be high enough to get the tank out.

You need about 24" under the car to get the tank down and out. Check this old thread.

Be careful, don't do this. 😲 Not my proudest moment, but I did get the tank out. 🙄
tank_swap_1.JPG

The next time I need to work on the tank I have the perfect tool. The X sits about 28" from the ground once it is on the trailer. So, you need a trailer!! :)
trailer_2.JPG
 
I was thinking that, the Rubber elbow seems solid but I'm sure it is hard. My main concern is at present I can only get the car 18" off the ground with out getting additional equipment for a higher lift. Would this be high enough to get the tank out.
That is likely close to the right range. I used a combination of concrete blocks and large (2"x6", 4"x6", 6"x6") pieces of wood to safely keep it in the air. The wood sat on top of the concrete blocks to isolate the car from the concrete and get the car to the right height. The front was also raised a bit for some other work. I only used a floor jack to do the lifting.
 

KBabcock

True Classic
Thanks guys, I can get it up there in a very non-OSHA approved way. Just don't like to do it.

On a side note Jim, that is the exact floor jack may father had in our garage, I think it was from Sears. Caused me to do a double take.
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
Thanks guys, I can get it up there in a very non-OSHA approved way. Just don't like to do it.

On a side note Jim, that is the exact floor jack may father had in our garage, I think it was from Sears. Caused me to do a double take.
Yep, it is from Sears. My brother and I bought the jack for dad when we were teenagers. Dad gave it to me when he could no longer work on cars. I bought a new big (20" lift) Daytona jack from HF, but this Sears jack isn't going anywhere. It needs a new o-ring or two, but still works.
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I have also used my engine hoist to pick up the rear of the car, so that's an option if you have a hoist.
 

Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

Waitin' On Parts...
Yep, it is from Sears. My brother and I bought the jack for dad when we were teenagers. Dad gave it to me when he could no longer work on cars. I bought a new big (20" lift) Daytona jack from HF, but this Sears jack isn't going anywhere. It needs a new o-ring or two, but still works.
View attachment 61933
I have also used my engine hoist to pick up the rear of the car, so that's an option if you have a hoist.
There were basically 2 different hydraulic cylinders on most of the light duty (1-3 ton) floor jacks sold in the USA in the '60s-'80s. There were probably a dozen different colors and probably 100 different brand names.

If you need to rebuild yours, it's just a matter of getting the right parts kit based on the model number, see eBay or Google for listings. The parts kits often cover a wide range by including several different seal sets for different diameter pistons.

I did my machine shop buddy's NAPA-branded jack and the only step that would likely be out of the capability of the home mechanic is removing the lifting cylinder's gland nut if you have the type with notches instead of hexagonal flats. We had to fab up a tool to engage the notches while clearing the taller center ram. It took both of us to loosen the gland nut, that thing had to be torqued to 400+ ft lbs and there was no way to put any power tools to it.
 

JKIDD

True Classic
Yep, it is from Sears. My brother and I bought the jack for dad when we were teenagers. Dad gave it to me when he could no longer work on cars. I bought a new big (20" lift) Daytona jack from HF, but this Sears jack isn't going anywhere. It needs a new o-ring or two, but still works.
View attachment 61933
I have also used my engine hoist to pick up the rear of the car, so that's an option if you have a hoist.
I have the same jack as well. was my dad's and has seen a lot of use since I was a kid... They don't build them like they used to...
 

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kmead

Glutton for punishment
To just drain on a FI tank you can drain nearly all the fuel out from the main fuel feed to the pump. It will drain quite quickly through that 10mm hole.
 

Jonohhh

True Classic
Just be very careful. Fuel tanks are most dangerous at very low fill levels and/or when vented to atmosphere with little restriction. Typically, fuel tanks are safe because the air to fuel ratio inside the tank is far outside of the flammability limits of gasoline, so even a spark inside the tank won't ignite the fuel. However, at extremely low fill levels while vented, this is not sure to be the case. Just take extra precautions :)

Examples of explosions are not all that common, but when they happen the result can be nasty.
 
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