Friday, October 8, 2010

Fuel Tank Restore

While I had the engine out, I decided to pull the gas tank. I had noticed that the filler tube on the gas inlet was cracked and potentially the cause for some of the strong gas fume smell inside the bus (we had to roll windows down quite a bit on the drive back from Santa Fe). The only way to replace this piece is to remove it from the inside, which requires pulling the tank out , which requires removing the engine.

Pulling the tank wasn't too hard with the engine out. I followed Richard Atwell's DIY Fuel Tank Restore thread. I was shocked at the amount of rats nest hiding out behind the firewall after pulling it off.

As I looked closer, and while holding my nose, I saw the skull of the culprit!

It turns out it wasn't only the skull; it was the entire skeletal system from skull to tail and toes included! Oh man, did it smell. Pee and poop coated the bottom of the tank bay and I am still spraying it down and scrubbing it out. I can't get the piss smell out of my nose...

The tank itself looked pretty good, dirty, but no noticeable holes.

I wonder what rat hair and pee/shit does in regard to resistance drop? My gas gauge never did work below the half way mark...maybe I know why now (pic of the sending unit).

I ordered a POR-15 Fuel Tank repair kit from Don at the POR-15 outlet on eBay:

POR-15 AUTO FUEL TANK REPAIR KIT GENUINE POR15 (Item Number: 230383638934)

I opted to go the full kit rather then follow Atwell's mueratic acid route.

I am planning to prep the tank and apply the POR-15 this weekend.

I also ordered a new fuel filler neck (PN211 201 119) and a sending unit (PN211 919 051A) from Bus Depot and am awaiting their arrival. Finally, I have ordered 7.5 mm fuel line hose and clamps from Smallcar and will replace all fuel hose from tank to engine for safety's sake.

I hope to have the tank done and reinstalled by the end of the weekend. Once I have it reinstalled, I need to carefully consider the throttle body position on the Subaru air intake manifold. In its current position, it interferes with the firewall and possibly the tank. The solution to this is to flip the manifold around, rotate the wiring 180* and create a custom alternator mount since the stock location won't fit with the throttle body flipped around.

I honestly am considering keeping the air intake and throttle body stock so I can retain the alternator and a/c compressor in stock location as well. However, this will mean either not installing the firewall or modifying the firewall to accept the air intake fittings. I don't even know if it is possible until I roll the engine under and mock it up into rough position to eyeball everything.


  1. Has anyone done a Subie install in a Bay and kept the air intake and throttle body stock? If I leave the firewall off, will the air intake hose/pipe fit with a 90* or 135* silcone elbow off the throttle body?

    And would it be wise to istall a fire repression system if I leave the firewall off?

  2. Hi, I'm doing a restore on the same vehicle and year. I'm doing the fuel tank right now. I'd like to change the lower rubber tube on the filler neck above the fuel tank, but I'm having a difficult time finding a replacement part. Can you offer me any insight?

  3. Joshua,'
    I followed Richard Atwell's excellent write up. I bought approximate hose length from a local auto store and then cut to size as Richard explains to do. I believe the link to the"ratwell" write up is in my blog under the fuel tank restore. Or you can go straight to and check out his fuel tank restore thread directly. Good luck!