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  #1  
Old 04-02-2014, 01:45 PM
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Can I use channelock pliers on fuel tank strainer?

I've read a few threads where people bought a 46mm socket to get the tank strainer off their cars. I'm trying to avoid something I will probably only use once, and wonder if anyone's tried a pair of wide channelock pliers on that? I don't know if the pliers would fit into that area, or if a socket is a must.

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  #2  
Old 04-02-2014, 01:47 PM
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It might ... I've had them a little more than finger tight to the other end of the spectrum where 46mm socket and a small breaker bar and a lot of mojo before it budged.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:49 PM
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It's never worked for me, but thats not to say its not worth a try. The strainer is aluminum so if you slip off a bunch of times you will trash it.

Also the bottom of the tank isn't flat so its hard to get a good bite on it.

Harbor Freight has a big 3/4" drive socket set, I use that. One of the American sizes is close enough to grab it.

What some have had luck with, and again this has never worked for me, but... They put a 14mm (?) wrench on the outlet hose and if its good and stuck in the strainer, it will take the strainer out with it when you try to turn it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:09 PM
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Lots of different tools have been tried to get the strainer out. The 46mm socket would be the tool of choice, however sometimes you don't have room to get the wrench on the strainer, either because the axle is in the way or the hole in the sheet metal of off-center, preventing getting the socket on the strainer. In my case the hole was off center and so I fabricated the "spanner" shown to try to get it out - even with an air wrench it wouldn't budge. I ended up taking the tank out to get a clean shot with a breaker bar to get the strainer out.



Many people report that the strainer can be removed by just unscrewing it with the hose fitting. Those are the lucky ones.

It doesn't hurt to try any of the strategies that have been successful, but you never know what will end up working for you.

When you put it back in, use a bit of silicone grease to help prevent dissimilar metal corrosion in the future and always use a new O-ring to prevent leaks. If the hole is off-center, do yourself a favor and grind out the hole to allow a socket to be used the next time.



You can make or buy custom strainer removal tools as well.
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2014, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach4 View Post

Many people report that the strainer can be removed by just unscrewing it with the hose fitting.
That has been my experience, more often than not. But I don't operate in the rust belt.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbach36 View Post
I've read a few threads where people bought a 46mm socket to get the tank strainer off their cars. I'm trying to avoid something I will probably only use once, and wonder if anyone's tried a pair of wide channelock pliers on that? I don't know if the pliers would fit into that area, or if a socket is a must.
There is one saving grace, the socket will also fit the fuel sender unit on top of the tank.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2014, 06:06 PM
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The only way you are going to undo the strainer with channel locks is to remove the tank from the car.

I bought a cheap socket from Northern tool and it worked a treat - also used for the tank sender
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:29 PM
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Tractor supply also carries sockets that big on the shelf.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2014, 04:56 PM
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I tried the Channelock pliers but the ones that were big enough left no room to turn them. The 46mm socket worked easily, once the rear of the car was on jack stands and the suspension was hanging enough to gain access.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2014, 01:19 PM
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Channel Locks worked fine for me.
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2014, 02:22 PM
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I read on the other site that 1-13/16 was the SAE size for that strainer. I have to do this next week.

The old strainer came off when I put a wrench on the hose twisted it. The two are joined together after 30yrs. I bought a new hose when I bought the strainer.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2014, 02:30 PM
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yup...channel-locks wouldn't budge mine on the 87...ended up buying a 1 13/16 socket....worked great. I also used it to pull my sender out and clean the contacts so my gas gauge will work. We're not talking a huge investment here...think it cost me about $10 at northern tool.

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