fuel tank removal/replacement

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Senior Member
Apr 17, 2011
Has anyone replace a fuel tank on the 34LRC? If so how did you do it? I have seen posts on other boat sites that talk about cutting the tank into smaller pieces to get out but putting back in multiple smaller tanks doesn't appeal to me. Could one cut the deck and remove the tank, install the new one and than replace/rebuild the deck? Probably ought to do both even though only one leaking now? Boat I am going to look at has one leaking tank so would hope to get some idea of the task to replace it. Owner has unhooked the tank and doesn't use it. Thanks
The PO had done just that before I bought the boat. He had to remove a couple stringers aft of the hatch and the flooring in that area to R&R the tanks. PM me if you need pics of the components removed for this repair. It was time consuming, he said, but not terribly difficult since this boat has relatively good access to all systems.
FlyWright, thanks for the information. If I purchase the boat I will be contacting you your guidance.
That's the achilles heel of the 34 Cal since the prop shafts can fling seawater onto the tanks if no protective steps are taken. Gil Marshall mentioned to me that many owners epoxied their tanks for protection and have 30 year old tanks today. Others have installed deflector shields with success. My boat's PO replaced the tanks and installed dripless shaft logs.
Continuing to ponder fuel tank replacement. 125 gal, on Californian 34LRC. Initial suggestons were cut the tank up to get out and go in with multiple smaller tanks that can get thru engine room hatch. At one time we decided we could cut the cockpit deck and go that way with just one tank. Recently looked at going thru the engine room hatch. Can get a 20x20x58 with out removing engine risers or decking. Original 22x17x77 so give up some fuel. Don't think we could get big tank back in even by cutting the cockpit deck aft of the sliding door bulkhead based upon my mock up tank and the engine room hatches. Than considered how does one work the exhaust system running down that side? Now back to multiple tanks, but just two so only one interconnect. Some one suggested leaving the old tank in place to use as a frame work for the new tanks. In that case does one strap the new tanks in place? How much of the old tank do you leave. 2-3 inches up from the deck all away around?

Existing tank has four lag bolts on the outboard side. Tank was apparently installed before the deck over it. Maybe can get to them by coming aft along side the engine, over the batteries but getting ones self out will be tough. Started taking out the lag bolts fore and aft of the tank. Finally resorted to impact wrench and than rounded two heads even using a six sided tight fitting socket. Will have to cut them. It looks as if will have to cut most of the tank out so one can get to the far side bolts and the offending two forward bolts. 4 inch screw lag bolts were screwed down into the stringers to fasten the tank flanges to the plywood platform. Nothing is easy. Any suggestions welcomed.
As far as removing the lag bolts, we were removing the rear fuel tanks out of my neighbors boat and ran into the same problem with the hold down bolts.* A fireman friend brought down a set of Sears Craftman bolt/nut removers and zipped them right out.**I don't know their official name, but they come in a kit with different sizes and look like sockets, they*have a spiral thread inside.* As you turn the ratchet they bite into the metal of the bolthead/nut*and it either turns the bolt out or breaks it off.* We broke one off flush with the stringer, but the rest came right out.

I don't know man, fuel tanks have to stay in there a lot of years and I don't know what your total fuel is.* But I wouldn't want to give up too much range.* Knowing the distance you say you run for fishing*and with those 3208's in there???* I would think you would want a couple*hundred gallons on board.* If I had to take the exhaust off, I think I would do it.* JMHO

Larry B
I can get the gals. back with two tanks on that side. The original tanks are 125 gal. each. I have room including the connection between them to keep same capacity in the new tank system if I go with two. I can't get a 125 gal. tank in even by removing the manifolds. In fact the mock up I built showed about 94 gal. was the best I could do with one tank unless I cut decking, stringers etc. I will probably go a few inches taller and decrease the over all length which will give me more room aft of the engine and transmission to facilitate servicing them and the exhaust system. 200 total useable gal. is sufficient for our use.

Appreciate the information about the special tool. I ought to have that set in my tool box. Will check it out. Thanks
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