A couple of tips on removing the gas tank.

1. I went to the hardware store and bought a valve stop to which I attached a piece of copper tubing the same size as the inside of the gas hose. From the other side of the valve stop I attached a long hose. When I disconnect the hose from the fuel pump I slide in the copper pipe attached to the valve. From that point on I can control the flow of gas by opening and closing the valve. It seems there is always more then six gallons in the tank. The vice grip trick is good but too much pressure can damage the hose and generally some gas drips between containers.

2. When removing the tank I leave the hex bolt on the tank neck attached while I remove the straps. It holds an empty tank in place nicely until I am ready to drop the tank. For the install I use a floor jack to help position the tank. Once in place I put in the tank neck bolt, drop the floor jack and then install the strap. Be sure to use pads on the straps.
Without the pads the strap can wear through the tank and cause a leak.

Dan the Pod Guy

-----Original Message-----
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 10:42:44 -0500
From: "DAVID CMELIK" <dcmelik@msn.com>
Subject: gas tank

In response to question about leaking vent hose . . .

First, be VERY careful. No implied warranty of any kind on my free advice.
;) You simply must vent the area in which you are working and have a fire extinguisher near by. Have a hose nearby too if possible.

Drive the car around until you have about 5-10 gallons of gas in the tank.
Disconnect the negative battery lead that is closest to the hatch.

Before you jack up the car, check the obvious-- see if the fuel sender gasket is allowing fuel to spill up into the recess area under the hatch area. Lift the carpet up of the right hand side of your hatch. Expose the union nut by removing the plastic bezel/cap with a putty knife. The cap is a black circle of plastic under the carpet toward the right hand side of the car facing forward and looking into the rear hatch. Once you pry the cap off, you'll see something akin a jar lid with "grippy" sides. This is the "union nut." If you have gas pooling in this recess, this is where your vapor is coming from. You need a new gasket. If not, continue.

Jack the car up under the aluminum cross brace and then put two sturdy jack stands at the appropriate rear jack points. As a rule of thumb, look at how much room you will need to drain the tank into your five gallon gas can. The stands should each (alone) support the weight of the car in my opinion.
Leave the jack itself jacked up under the cross brace for the moment. You may have to move it at some point as you are lowering the tank, but it is a good "safety" jack for now.

When you have about 5-10 gallons in the tank, drain it from the hose emerging from the tank. Use a vice grips with a torn rag or flannel shirt to protect the hose while pinching it off while you disconnect it from the fuel pump.

Drain it into an approved five gallon, red gas can. You may have to do this a couple of times depending on the angle of the hose and the nozzle on your can. I had a second car or another can I could drain into between drains. I pinched off the gas coming from the hose with the vice grips and flannel shirt.

Once the tank is empty, it is fairly light but not easy to work with because it is odd shaped. You'll have to check the manual and the Pirtle and Nichols sites to determine how many bolts hold the brace on, but the sender also needs to come out on top. That requires disconnecting the electrical plug and the vent hose. They were both stubborn on my unit.

I had to cut my old vent hose to remove the tank so that I could see the vent hose. YMMV, but the hose needed replacing anyway, and then I got a good look at it and how to string it back up into the innards of the car before I put it back. I used an English measure hose that was a tighter fit than the braided vent hose that came with the car (probably the original the way it looked).

So my short answer to your question is I think you need to remove the entire tank to get a look at the upper breather hose. If you are not sure it is leaking, I think you should check the gasket seal on the fuel sender before jacking the car. If gas is pooling there, you've found your problem.

David A. Cmelik
81 5sp "moosgrunmetallic"