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Old 03-04-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
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Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Finally got it cut out. 1982 Californian, 34 LRC port tank. Followed advice from the forums--dawn soap, suds, shop vac blowing air thru the tank until got a cut or two made.

It was aluminum--started with craftsman counter rotating saw. Worked great until it quit. Throws chips all over the place. Could not use it exclusively due to difficulty of getting to the far side of the tank. Used in conjunction with a sawsall. Ran out of metal cutting blades, but found the blade for cutting wood and nails worked better. Finished the job with sawzall. The tank was bolted down in three different place on the outboard side. Impossible to get to until we cut the tank out. We cut down to about 3 inches from the bottom and removed it piece by piece. Baffles every 16 inches which complicated the process.

Only one gotcha--son-in-law, using one of the sawzalls ran out of short blades and put in a long blade. Forgot about the muffler and cutting down thru a section of the outer tank wall cut in to the muffler. Ouch$$$. It is plastic I believe, but shopping for a new muffler. Will also replace the clamps and the rubber connectors while tank is out.

Going to pull the 8D batteries out and replace with two each start batteries *and house batteries group. Actually one of the 8Ds has failed and son-in-law can use the other one on his shrimp boat so not a big expense there. Going to replace the battery terminal connectors on the 4/0 wire with from the perko switch with actual battery terminal connectors, using a flag terminal connector as necessary.* Will move the battery boxes forward a few feet to make them easier to get to around the front of the engine.

Thanks for all the advice.





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Old 03-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #2
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Well played RaymondInteresting that you had to cut the tanks apart to get to the mounting bracket

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Old 03-05-2012, 05:29 AM   #3
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

using a flag terminal connector as necessary

Get them by the box at NAPA
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #4
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Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Awh--he is great- I am blessed to have him--my daughter is a challenge. He tells our friends he geta "stipend" for taking her off my hands. He is 62 and I'm 78 so one has to make allowances for us when we get going with power tools--but it didn't blow up on us. I told him I would make the first cuts since I was more expendable than he was.

Now, attached are pictures of the cut. Just thru the front half. Can it be patched or considering the appearance of the muffler and the cut we should start over again. It is a big muffler--picture doesn't do it justice. Probably 5 inch which is what the rest of the systems is.

Attached is a picture of the bottom of the tank which I finshed taking out today. The three flanges on the side were on the back side but they were not fastened into a stringer. Just thru the plywood board supporting the tanks with a bolt and nut. Of course completely hidden by stringers. Had to grind them off and than take a punch to finally get the bolt lose, than able to bring the bottom out thru the cabin hatch. Why they didn't put those flanges on the inboard side where they could be reached is beyond me.

-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Monday 5th of March 2012 11:41:56 AM
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:14 PM   #5
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

As much work as you put into taking the tank out an all, I'm thinking that replacing it with a new muffler would be a good choice.

Larry B

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Old 03-06-2012, 05:10 AM   #6
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Chances are the muffler is just fine...if it were me and I had to repair because money was tight...

I'd vee the cut, fill with Marinetex and make* 4-5 wraps around the muffler with glass tape and high temp resin if you can find it but the Marinetex will take the brunt of the heat so any resin will do.* My preference would be with adhesive qualities higher (epoxy, vinylester, polyester) but high temp anything would be on top.* Make the wrtaps spread and overlap a few times (not all wraps on top of one another).

Sand the whole muffler lightly to clean her up and sand well where the repair is (down to clean glass/resin).
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Wow! Would hate to have to pull a tank out of my PT, simply no way to get to it. I'll say a little prayer for them right now!
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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RE: Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

whooa some big jobs on the forum these days..
did you have to expand the hatch access (ie cut open the floor)?
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:16 AM   #9
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Follow up to cutting out a diesel fuel tank

Made sure the cut pieces would go forward and out the cabin hatches. The distance between the two inboard risers on the 3208 was the determiner there, but just being able to cut the tank up with the*baffles every 16 inches made the pieces small enough. The full length and width of the base remained but was able to rotate 90 degrees and take that out in one long piece.

Now putting in new battery system. Two 34s in parallel and two 6volts in series for the start and house batteries respectively. Made up connecting wireing harnesss using top post battery terminals and replacing the perko connections to the batteries with top post battery connectors as well on the battery end. Using "flag" type terminals were necessary. Will still put all the small wire connections on the "thumbscrew type posts", but the 4/0 wire ends will go directly to the top posts.

While tank is out pulled the exhaust system from the risers to check the outboard riser. Had found the inboard riser 5/16th raw water circulating holes were plugged with black "goop" so figured the outboard was the same. It was. Soft stuff so easy to drill out. Suspect the starboard engine maybe the same but haven't seen temp increase like on the port.

Going to replace the cut muffler. Thanks to this forum was able to find a pair available and they will arrive Monday. Picked up new "bump" rubber connector yesterday at WM. Special order.

-- Edited by Fighterpilot on Wednesday 14th of March 2012 06:17:47 AM

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