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Old 05-22-2005, 11:17 PM
firstdiesel's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: South Florida
Posts: 243
Fuel Tank Strainer

Hello all. It's been a while since the last post as there hasn't been much time to work on my '80 300TD (yes, wagon). I posted a while ago about bad fuel milage and rough idle below 1/2 a tank full. Found algae in the fuel and ran diesel doctor about a half dozen times.

The time came to jump in and do some fixin! Tanks out of the car and the fuel looks good, the Dr. did what it advertised. I think I got to it early enough. Looked inside and low and behold an extremely gunked up fuel strainer . How do you remove the fuel strainer? It fits a 22mm nut or what looks like a 7/8in nut. This thing is in there nice and tight! I couldn't get it to budge at all!

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for cleaning the tank since it is not in the car. I really don't have the time or money for a radiator shop type clean, and the tank doesn't look that bad at all. I have access to a low power pressure washer but there doesn't seem to be much access from the fuel sending unit hole in the top. There is no damage to the tank and my gauge read about 1 needle off of reserve when it quit and there was still 5 gallons onboard! That's milage I could use.

I checked the other posts and they were helpful but I didn't find my specific question. Any suggestions help as this is my first fuel tank teardown.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PA
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I'm not sure U have to clean the tank. I had a fungus (its fungus, not algae)contaminated fuel system. I used Biocor to kill the fungus and I cleaned the tank strainer with an air gun because I couldn't find a solvent that would dissolve the fungus. I was lucky, my strainer came out easily. In over 10,000 miles after the Biocor treatment, I had to replace only one in-line filter which I figured was plugged by the dead fungus.

For the strainer, work on it as best you can. Try vise grips and or heat, if you melt it you will just have to get another.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
The wagon fuel tank is very different from my 240 tank... which I took out and took to the local car wash.... with the tank screen , fuel guage indicator out... and the filler tube... I had great access to blasting out the inside... about 3 dollars in quarters...
Be sure to use air to blow out the metal fuel lines and return lines which stay attached to the tank ( if you have them) and any breather lines you have...
I put my tank out in the sunshine and set the shop vac to blow and taped the hose to one of the openings...
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:42 PM
firstdiesel's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: South Florida
Posts: 243
Great IDEA with the shop vac Leathermang! P.E. I looked inside and the fungus/algea never adheared to the sides or bottom of the tank. It just looks brownish in color but no black on the inside metal. I think that is normal for being soaked in diesel for 25 years. So, I'll just spray it out and dry it off and put in the new sending unit and fuel strainer. Thanks as always for the help.

My friend has a shop hear and we ended up welding a bolt and 7/8in nut together and it backed the strainer out pretty easily, I quess I was just using the wrong tools for the job, go figure.
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:09 PM
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Location: Geographically challenged on the S.W shores of Lake Michigan in S,E Wisconsin
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well if its not too late(it probably is,...)

go out and get 5 liters of isopropyl alchohal.

pour two in the tank(after plugging the holes) and shake it up for a few minutes then pour out. Doit it twice more. then it should be nice and clean and some of the brown on the sides should start coning off. then start using b20 or b100 if you can find it and keep the whole system really nice and clean.
[1981 300 td tdidi 165500 dark brown/palamino-Brownie-mine-3k miles of ownership
1983 240d 162+++ Anthricite grey w/ henna red interior and hella lights-wifes car-Red

the above two cars are for sale
and can be seen on the cars for sale thread here. pix also available.

240d-144+ Manilla Yellow w/ palmino interior-greasecar kit-Blondie-the college kids car

23" gt 21 speed still on original tires-still got the nubs
21" khs tandem
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