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    Notice on 2021-2022 Fund Raising

Removing a fuel tank

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Here's a port

http://www.seabuilt.com/

Back in the good ol' days of the 80's, these were an off-the-shelf item at the legendary Doc Freeman's in Seattle.
I sure miss that boating mecca. :boohoo:

Regards,

Loren
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Keep the old tank or not?

Jeff, Marty brings up a good point, any sheet metal shop can fabricate a tank to your specs including an access port but I was just offering you an alternative to that in the form of at least talking to Dwyn. As an alternative to engaging his services, you might want to contact Berry Sheet metal at 949.548.3613. They made all the tanks for our boats when new and are still in business. If you're lucky, they might even have the original drawings for your tank. Good luck, Glyn
 

Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Thanks again Guys,

Loren, I remember Doc Freeman's very well. I am originally from the PNW. Probably 1st went in there when I was a kid in the 60's with my Dad.

Glyn, I did talk to Dwyn. He was great fun to talk with. He gave me a estimate of $350-$400 for his service but he really recommend that I replace the tank with a new removable plastic tank that can be easily removed and cleaned. He said a plastic one would last 20 years.

I think it's time to plan on cutting the 37 year old steel tank out. :esad:
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Access port.

Loren, Some of the later E31's came from the factory with a plastic access port, the brand name of which slips my mind, but the exact replacement was off the shelf at West Marine. Mine was horribly cracked and yellowed when I bought the boat so I replaced it with a new white one. Within months, certainly less than a year, it too was all yellowed and cracked. A quick call to the manufactured confirmed my suspicion that they were not intended for a diesel fuel environment, thus the quick degradation. I bought an 8" round, Bomar C4808 cast aluminum inspection plate, the one with the locking T-handle that is slightly larger than the original hole which I've had for years now. As to good old Doc Freeman's, I too miss the place as it once was, consignment, etc. I can't tell you how much stuff I bought from there sight unseen and was never disappointed. Dick Whistler was my contact there and a swell guy. As a matter of fact, I have a small 14" X 14" teak and holly folding table attached just forward of the galley island that I got from Dick. He told me that Doc Freeman's bought all the teak at the Ericson auction and that table was the last of them. So I have a genuine Ericson accessory table in the boat thanks to Dick that only cost me $20.00 plus shipping. Do you remember Dick Whistler, he passed away years ago? Glyn
 

Martin King

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Jeff,

I was talking about fabricating a new tank. Nothing wrong with
fuel polishing, but we are talking about 30 year plus steel
tank. It may not be leaking today, but trust me, it will
at some point. For my money, I would rather spend on a nice
welded aluminum tank and be done with it. My .02.

M
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
sigh.......

As to good old Doc Freeman's, I too miss the place as it once was, consignment, etc. I can't tell you how much stuff I bought from there sight unseen and was never disappointed. Dick Whistler was my contact there and a swell guy. As a matter of fact, I have a small 14" X 14" teak and holly folding table attached just forward of the galley island that I got from Dick. He told me that Doc Freeman's bought all the teak at the Ericson auction and that table was the last of them. So I have a genuine Ericson accessory table in the boat thanks to Dick that only cost me $20.00 plus shipping. Do you remember Dick Whistler, he passed away years ago? Glyn

I never met Dick, but Seattle guys talked about his prowess at finding big lots of boating gear to bid on. He knew a lot of people in the industry and was said to be the reason for much of the success of Doc's parts re-sale business. They used to have a separate (and crowded...) warehouse in Seattle open to the public where we could prowl the jammed isles looking thru masses of teak and hatches and lighting fixtures from production runs at Bayliner and who-knows how many other builders.
I heard that he became ill and had to reduce his travels and finally stop working -- it was a major blow to the company. He had reportedly developed a large handshake business with a ton of builders and vendors.

Loren
 
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Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Thanks again to all the replies from three of the most knowledgeable Ericson owners on this board. Good sound advice from all! I have decided to pull the tank out. Not sure at this point if I will go with plastic or aluminum.

All I know is that it will be a few weeks and many bucks before I am back at Sea because I only have weekends to deal with this. Just in time for Summer. :esad::mad:
 

Sven

Seglare
All I know is that it will be a few weeks and many bucks before I am back at Sea because I only have weekends to deal with this. Just in time for Summer. :esad::mad:

Rig a temporary portable plastic tank to get out on the water while you work on the long term solution ?

I'd try compressed air rather than a dowel (with diesel, not gasoline !). Are you sure the tank is steel and not aluminum ?



-Sven
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
He gave me a estimate of $350-$400 for his service...

A new tank from Berry won't cost much more...

Rig a temporary portable plastic tank to get out on the water while you work on the long term solution ?

I did this when my tank was out and I needed to get to the yard for a bottom job and shaft coupling work. Used a one gallon plastic gas can and cut a couple of holes in the top for fuel supply and return lines and secured it to a bulkhead with some nylon cable ties.
 
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Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Thanks Loren, I remember skimming that post thinking I may have to deal with that some day. Well the day (days) has come.

Top notch job btw!
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Who is Berry?

Jeff, Berry Sheet metal at 949.548.3613, at 764 Newton Way Costa Mesa, CA 92627 right down in your neck of the woods too, sort of. Glyn
 

Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Well here's what I am up against. The 37 year old steel (yes steel, did the magnet test) fuel tank. It does not look like there's that much fiberglass to cut at the base. It seems to be supported by a glassed in wood frame that you can't see in these photos. In the photo of the Port side there is a piece of plywood supporting the flange on the tank at the top that is bolted. Other than that I don't see where else I would need to release it from. Gotta experienced boat mechanic coming down Sunday am to come up with a plan to get it out.

Question: What it that copper tube that is coming out of the top in the first pic?

I know it looks pretty awful grungy down there. Once the tank is out hopefully I can clean it up down there and slap some bilge paint down.
 

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Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Mystery tube.

Jeff, Could that be the fuel return tube? Follow it to the other end to see if it terminates at the last injector. I say that because that's the way it is on my Yanmar 3GMF. Glyn
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Mystery tube.

Jeff, Apparently the high pressure fuel pump delivers more than the engine can use so the excess is returned to the tank. Or at least that's what I'm told. Can anyone verify that and at the same time look at Jeff's copper tube to see if it might be the excess fuel return line? Thanks, Glyn Judson, E31 hull #55, Marina del Rey, CA
 

Glyn Judson

Moderator
Moderator
Copper line.

Jeff, By the way, I've been told by smarter folks than me over the years going as far back as my Ford V8 flathead hot rod days, that copper is not the best choice of material to use when dealing with fuel. Apparently vibration can harden the relatively soft copper at a critical bend and over time actually cause it develop a crack all on its own allowing fuel to leak out and.......... We've all bent a clothes hanger wire back and forth until it breaks and I think that's probably what goes on with the copper but more easily. You might want to consider replacing it with an inexpensive length of rubber diesel/gasoline fuel line. Glyn
 

Jeff Asbury

Principal Partner
Sound advice. Thank you Glyn. It's wacky how it's all bent and twisted like that. Kind of looks like a Moonshine Still.
 
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