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Everyones nightmare, Gas tank is leaking


Thankfully this is on my parts unit BUT, it has roughly 40 gallons of 15 year old gasoline in it and as I was walking by it the other day I smelled gas. I figured it had to be coming from something else since it did not smell like 15 year old stale gas but nope, it is leaking out the bottom of the tank. Now I have to figure out how to drain it and where to put it! I kind of figured this might happen since the main reason I got this was that the guy had backed it into a hole and was never able to get it out. I have a thread on here somewhere of the recovery of this unit. It had a pretty substantial dent in the tank right at one of the mounting brackets and I always wondered why it did not leak out. Unfortunately the in tank pump does not work or I would have pumped it out long ago. Now the fun starts. Did I mention it is raining and has been for three days so the ground is good and soft. Great for jacking the thing up!

By the looks of it, it's too close to the ground to even put any kind of a drain pan under it, but it sound like you planned on jacking it up a bit until the rains came. 

So, how to get it out and what to do with it... 

This will obviously take a while, but it would work... siphon it out, say a gallon at a time and pour it into a burn ring, or barrell and burn it, a little here... a little there...


I did have to jack it up. One tire on that side is flat so the other tire sunk into the ground a bit. I pulled the line off of the pressure regulator which on this one was right out in the open and had been leaking. I hooked a line directly to the line coming from the tank and put a pump on that and figured I had it made, I was just going to pump it out through the factory line. Well, that did not work because either the fuel pump is clogged solid or the pickup is clogged solid but nothing would come out. I drew a 20" vacuum on the line and the vacuum held! That is quite a blockage. I blew pressure back through the line to try to open it up and I heard bubbles but it took a lot of pressure and it still held vacuum. The pump in the tank "should" just pass fuel though but something was not going right so that idea died on the vine. The fill on this unit was straight in from the back which is great because it gives me clear access to the tank filler opening. I ended up cutting the filler hose off the tank thinking I would just stick a length of 5/16 metal tube in there to the bottom of the tank and pump it out that way. Nope, the filler travels almost the full length of the tank so the metal tube would not be able to reach the bottom. I ended up putting a 2 foot length of hose on the end of the metal tube and fed that all in and when the hose cleared the fill tube it dropped straight down into the tank bottom. SUCCESS! Hooked up a cheapo electric pump I had and hook that to jumpers to my truck and started pumping into five gallon cans. 11 cans later!!!!!! I got air. I filled a 55 gallon drum plus a few cans from this thing! The gas did not really smell all that bad for 13 years old and it did still readily burn but it was pretty dark and I know the generator did not like to run on it so it will be going into my military heater for my garage. Sorry, I did not get any pictures of the pumping process. There was not really much to see but a line of five gallon cans and an old guy in extreme pain running them to a 55 gallon drum and pouring them in. Plus it was cold and very windy. I was not really in the mood for picture taking. So now it is empty, I don't have to worry about it anymore. The local authorities have passed another ordinance saying that any stored vehicles have to have the gas tanks removed so I will be removing this one. It is a stupid ordinance because I seriously doubt people are going to take the tanks out of their stored summer drivers or works in progress. But this is one I will not have to worry about them hassling me about. And since it is a parts unit I will just cut the bolts , hoses and wires. It will be on the ground in minutes. LOL. I can still move the vehicle around with a five gallon tank inside.

Wow, that was a lot of rigamarole to go through!  But, you got it out.  Yeah, "remove gas tanks" from stored vehicles?  Seriously, they must be really bored and hard-pressed to come up with new ways to hassle people.


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