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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,


This is not a topic to discuss the merrits or benifits of a fuel tank drain. I do not care about whether it would benifit or not. I do not care if you do not think the fuel has time to settle.


What I do care about is how to do this. Has anyone done it before? Is there a known low spot in the tank. What if I park on a slant? What is the tank material? How thick is the tank? What are the best sealants and parts to use?


I understand a drain has many possible side effects. Such as a leak. Also what do you do with the drained fuel? I have already dealt with these issues and am ready to put in a tank drain. I just need some input. I have never even looked at my tank and have no idea what's going on back there. I figured with a little input I could at least tear into it without being ignorant. Any thoughts about how to accomplish a leak free, reliable tank drain in the lowest spot would be appreciated.Edited by: Bronco
 

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I don't know the specifics of the tank, but it should be pretty easy to do. Flush the tank VERY well, pick your spot and cut the hole then weld in the drain. Depending on the thickness of the tank you may want to reinforce the area around the drain. A small patch of 16 or 14 gauge sheet metal should work just fine. If the metal isn't perfectly clean you will end up with fuel seepage through/around the weld. This happened to a guy I knew once. His welding skills weren't quite up to the task. I simply brazed over his weld to stop the seeping. Worked like a charm.
 

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Oldmans process will work IF you have a metal fuel tank. My 04 has a PLASTIC tank and I have no idea where you couid get some additional material to strengthen the area you would put the drain in or what type of adhesive you would use to "glue" the additional material to the tank.


Maybe one of the guys on the forum who has a lot of recent body repair experience could shed some light on the subject. Lots of plastic and adhasices are used in the new models.
 

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I'm also interested in the "How-to's" of adding a tank drain. Seems like it would be a valuable mod to make. The tank on my 03 is plastic and IIRC, the tank on my 98 K3500 was plastic as well. I looked at the tank a while back and it seems that it slopes down toward the front and forms a low spot. One thought is to place the drain on the vertical face of the tank facing forward (so it won't hang down) then jack up the back of the truck for a complete drain (??).


Edited by: jbplock
 

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Bronco


I've been thinking about installing some sort of a drain also after a bad experience while on vacation last year.(the kid at the gas station filled her full of unleaded)
I thought about going with a "switched" lift pump, capped at the outflow end, and tee'd into the feeder line with a shutoff valve going forward to the engine, (to prevent draining the whole system while draining the tank.) This way I wouldn't have to worry about having a drain connection possibly leaking on me. Might sound like a lot of $$$ to spend but believe me when you are stuck with a tank full of water or gasoline
and you want to get travelling again it's worth it. In the future if I add a secondary filtration setup on the truck I could utilize the lift pump.Not sure if this idea would work, just a thought.
Edited by: TC Dmax
 

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I too had wanted to install a drain in the tank until I had learned that the tanks were made from plastic. I wonder what type of plastic this is ( ABS, PVC, OR PP, OR OTHER ) and how thick the tank is as Bronco had inquired about. I too had thought about inserting a drain valve even in the plastic tank, but I am unsure of what it's overall reliabilty would be due to it's thickness.


Some of my thoughts would be to drill and tap the desired location, insert a brass threaded drain with a flat rubber washer & flat metal washer & nut on both sides, and tighten. Then apply JB weld to both ends of the tank and to the drain to prevent any leaking. The problem with this type of setup is that it would cause the drain to be the thichkness of the nut and washer setup off the bottom of the tank.


I do know that JB weld works very well with kerosene over a long period of time, as I had used this setup on a garage heater with a 5 gallon galvanized bucket with out ever a drip over a three year period.


My other thought was to bag the tank drain and go with a Caterpillar Fuel water seperator ( I think "Hoot" was the one who posted a picture on this site of it ) along with the Nicktane Cat filter setup. This would allow you to determine if you were getting large quanities of water and then you could drain the tank if you felt necessary without sacrificing the tanks integrity with a valve. My questions on this installation would be:
<UL>
<LI>What type of vaccum drop would there be on the fuel system?</LI>
<LI>Would it then be necessary to run a lift pump due to the increased vaccum created on the system?</LI>
<LI>Has anyone checked what type of vaccum drop occurs with a plugged filter? Or filter/filters with 15,000 miles? I.E. Cat & OEM, OR similar combinations?</LI>
<LI>Does anybody know if the 04 fuel system has the same vaccum requirements as previous years?</LI>[/list]


My thoughts are to install this Pre OEM on the steel line on the frame in front of the fuel cooler with the Cat Fuel Water Seperator first then the Nicktane setup second. The line from the tank would enter the Fuel Water Seperator first then into the Nicktane Cat setup and from the Nicaktne setup to the cooler. If a lift pump was needed it would be installed in-between the fuel cooler and the Nicktane setup, and run about 5-7 LBS PSI to the injector pump. I do realize I would have to build a new mounting bracket for this setup, but that wouldn't be an issue as I have tools on site for this.


Any and all comments are welcomed as I am sure there is something I have overlooked, or someone may have a better idea. My new truck is on it's way, and I have the Nicktane setup in hand. I just haven't decided on which way to go, just when I think I know for sure I read some more on this site, and it enlightens me more
??? Or it just makes me realize that there is more than meets the eye.



Sorry for the long post, but I too am looking for a way to keep moisture free and clean fuel to perserve our High Pressure injection system.


Fran
 

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I believe they are made from a Polyethylene Alloy.
 

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The Helms manual has a whole section on plastic materials in our trucks. All you have to do is find the code on the part and the manual will tell you the type of material.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the great input. Any one with a Helms care to chime in with the exact specs. on the plastic?


If an epoxy is needed, I have sourced a 2 part that will be guarenteed to work. Marine diesel industry.


Edited by: Bronco
 

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I believe Max Power is right. I once had a plactic fuel tank crack on a gasoline motorhome. I called around and from my research found there's no way to plastic weld or glue it. I didn't believe it so I tried all kinds of epoxy, even a big epoxy fiberglass patch, nothing worked. Finally I cut a hole in the tank and made a inspection plate like you'd have on the tanks in a boat. I cut an oval shaped hole, and out of 1/8" aluminum sheet made a one inch wide oval shaped backing ring 1" bigger than the hole in the tank with drilled and taped holes to catch screws for the inside. Then I made a plate for the out side that was matched drilled off the other piece. I then match drilled the tank from the plate. I put the 1" wide oval backing plate inside and screwed on the outer plate with a piece of gasket material between it and the tank. It worked but there's no way I'm going to cut a hole in my trucks new tank.


BTW Inspection plates on boats are always on the top of the tank not the bottom.Edited by: MOTO HEAD
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello,


All of this talk about rust and warranty issues due to water in the fuel has made me go back and dig this one up.


I never explained why I was after a drain. First most water and sediment will settle to the bottom over night. A drain could be used every week or whenever to drain off the bottom 4-5 OZ. of fuel and then put in with your used oil and shipped off to the recycler! Second, if you add a demulsifying agent, water will travel to the bottom almost immediately. You could then drain without even allowing settle time.


I have found several valves, the only problem is you have to fasten nuts to the inside of them. This would require sticking your arm in the tank.


Does any one know if I removed my tank and the sending unit, could I fit my arm in the tank to fasten some pieces to the back of a drain?
 

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Bronco -

MH provided the key for getting a backing plate into the tank. Make an oval hole. Thank you MH. Saved me a lot of work (and likely grief).
 

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May be you could drill a hole in it and put in a valve cord, like on yer tires???
 
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