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Trying to Drain Fuel Tank

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by farmtruckman, February 22, 2009.


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    1. farmtruckman

      farmtruckman Member

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      Trying to drain gas tank so I can replace fuel pump and can't get tube down far enough to hit gas. Tank is full but keep hitting something. Have tried smaller tubes and twisting around. Any suggestions or a secret way of draining tank?

      FTM
       
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    3. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      Why do you need to drain the tank in order to replace the fuel pump? Cauz the fuel pump and sender can be removed (as one unit) even with fuel -- and if you empty it, you'll have to refull it again anyway afterwards.

      But if you're absolutely sure the fuel tank must be drained, you could remove the high pressure line and put it over a fuel-safe container while you turn the ignition on -- this will force the fuel pump to suck all the fuel out and into the container. My ghetto setup of draining the Explorer's fuel into the Civic before being discarded:

      [​IMG]
       
    4. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      I think the reason he is trying to drain it cause the fuel pump doesn't work... so turning his key on isn't going to do anything. Dropping a full trank is pretty tough. There probably some anti splash baffling in the neck (don't know for sure)... in my gm, i was able to push down a piece of garden hose that I attached to a small pump. I would say you are probably getting stuck on the transition from the rubber section to the metal horn of the tank.
       
    5. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      from the manual:
      Remove the gas cap to relieve the fuel tank pressure.

      Disconnect the fuel filler tube at the fuel tank.

      Use Fuel Storage Tanker to siphon the fuel through the evaporative emissions valve opening. (or use one of the bulb siphons, it will just take a long time).
       
    6. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      Ahaha you're absolutely correct -- woops.

      As for dropping a full tank, you dont really need to empty it to change the pump. Use a floor jack to lower it while some one stabalizes it. If you're going to disconnect the fill hose (and breather), as you saw in my pics, surgical gloves (blue in the pics) and some rubber bands work great to stop evaporation.
       
    7. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      That battery near the tank makes me nervous. Hopefully it is sealed and there are no fumes. Lets make others understand this.

      Also, any container that receives fuel should be approved for the job and sitting on the ground and not on anything else. This is to prevent any static electricity issues.

      Safety first!
       
    8. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      I was afraid too but after sealing off all the ports with parts of a glove and with a fan blowing from the back (mid-atlantic summer) towards the garage opening, I'm still kicking.

      EDIT -- this might make you even more nervous: after the liquid fuel was evacuated, the tank was filled with water and sawed (reciprocating saw) in half [​IMG]
       
    9. TomCat_Ford

      TomCat_Ford Active Member

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      Try shaving some material off from the tip of the fuel tubing that you're trying to get into the tank. I recently drained the tank on a '96. I have a 12V electric fuel pump with standard fuel line. All I did was take a knife to the line to angle it. The angled cut allowed me to get it in there... I was unable to get the tube in there without the angled cut.
       
    10. farmtruckman

      farmtruckman Member

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      Fuel Draining

      Guys, All great ideas. I am going to slant cut my tube now. Still trying to get the clips off of the fuel inlets at the tank. What a b***h! Any secret to these? I went to Auto Zone and the tools they have would work for the filter lines but not the large inlet filter. The "stickys" in this site talk about fiddling with them but I can't see how they come off. Do they spread apart wider or do they shove upstream like the fuel filter lines? Tried shoving two thin screwdrivers and spreading it apart with no luck. Will now remove spare to get better access but with all the jackstands in the worldl, I still get nervous crawling under this thing.

      BTW, we used to weld on gas tanks, but you have water FLUSHING through them. The slightest amount of vapor is explosive beyond comprehension.

      Thanks everyone for help, keep the tips coming. Winter ain't over here in the NW so I still need my X!

      FTM:)
       
    11. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      Maybe this can help (do you have HF in WA??)
      http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=66373

      I always keep an extra jack or two just touching to backup the jackstands. Virtually Impossible for both to fail. I did read once about jackstands failing, ironically it was a HF jackstand.
       
    12. farmtruckman

      farmtruckman Member

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      Back on the Road

      Just finished installing fuel pump and everything back together with minimal parts left over. Thanks to everyone for ideas. Learned alot from postings and a little patience.

      1. Problem getting off fuel lines? Push forward all of the way,then try special tool to press in tabs in fitting. I pulled too hard and bent tabs into a position that really locked on fitting.

      2. A Ford/Chevy door handle removal tool can be ground out to make the removal tool to get the large fuel filler off. Couldn't find a dedicated tool anywhere.

      3. Use a trans jack or m/c jack to lift tank. Boards just hate staying in place with a floor jack.

      4. Wash your gasoline soaked clothes when your wife is NOT expected home for a while.

      Again, thanks for help.

      FTM:D
       
    13. buckaroo banzai

      buckaroo banzai New Member

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      Hey

      I would like to drain my fuel tank. Would it be safe to disconnect the fuel line at the fuel filter and turn the ignition to on and let the pump push it into a gas can?

      This way i could see if the fuel pump is working... (ive got no pressure at the shrader)

      thought i would try something simple like putting new g
       
    14. buckaroo banzai

      buckaroo banzai New Member

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      (Thought i would try something simple like putting new gas in the tank.)
       
    15. Skippy1357

      Skippy1357 New Member

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      Hello buckaroo,
      Did you try draining your tbank like you were going to in youin question?
      And if so did it work? I think it's a great idea so I don't want to try it. If you tried it didn't work for you? If it worked then that probably meant that your pump is then, right?
      Were you able to find the problem from the fuel filter towards the engine?
      I have a lot of questions, I am learning how to do this also. I am sorry that I am no help to you and any answers. Thank you very much for your time.
      Skippy
       
    16. XLTrunner

      XLTrunner Active Member

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      This thread is 5 yrs old...and, buckaroo hasn't been on this site since. But, maybe someone else can chime in with their experience.
       
    17. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      I have drained a bunch of Explorer/Mountaineer tanks by siphoning through the filler neck. I use a piece of clear 3/8" OD tubing. I cut the tip at about a 30 degree angle and before inserting it I fold the tip over. Doing this allows me to get the hose past the lip of the tank's filler bung by rotating the hose while pushing it in. I also insert a small funnel in the top of the filler neck to hold the splash-back guard open and allow the hose to be easily withdrawn.

      Note: This method has worked on multiple 4-door Ex's and a 2-door Sport, but it will not work on Sport Tracks. It's not a fast method due to the small diameter of the siphon hose, but it works.

      Another option is to disconnect the filler hose at the tank and put your siphon hose directly into the tank. Doing this allows a larger diameter hose to be used and is therefore a quicker way to drain the tank, but it helps to raise the rear of the vehicle first.
       

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