1986 38-200 Fuel Tank Removal

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
If you do decide to go after that strut, the attached picture shows what I've found digging into our 1986 35-3. A slight wobble was detected by the surveyor and we have to fix it for insurance. The wobble was less than .080" but there was a little water weeping out. I used an endoscope camera to look under the water heater mount and it looks dry and intact so I think the weepage was infiltrated salt water. To avoid tearing the water heater out, I'm going to try to do the fix entirely from the bottom. (fingers crossed)
I ground and chiseled the glass away. Then I ground slots in the screws so I could back them out. I was able to lower them .250'-.300" before I met any significant resistance. Based on another owner's sketch from his '87 E34, I'm expecting we will not find bolt heads. I need to remove the shaft before I can go further, though. What really surprised me was how much non-structural material there was around the mount, the lighter material around the strut plate. It's the consistency of old window glazing putty. Small wonder it started to wobble over 35 years.
I wonder if it's fair to assume the strut on an E35 and E38 from the same year would be built the same?
Anyway, FWIW,


  • E35-3 prop shaft strut 74 sm.jpg
    E35-3 prop shaft strut 74 sm.jpg
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
This has segued into "strut territory", so a link or two may help.


Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
For fuel tank issues, see also:



Member III
While the tank is out, don't forget to have those access ports installed! The 54Gal has a baffle so I put in two ports. Life is so much easier when you know you have a clean tank every season!