Fishing in the fuel tank

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BJ1
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Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:09 pm

It's not often I ask for help on here but when I was filling the tank on my newly restored SO42 the other day the rubber nozzle from my 20l army can fell off and went straight down into the tank. I was mildly irritated and used about five minutes of seriously vile language! Anyway:

1 Do I leave the thing in the tank until I begin to see black bits in the filters or
2 Do I try to fish it out? Anyone have any great ideas about how I might do this?
3 Pull the engine that I have just installed and take the tank out?

Anyone know if I can safely stick a camera in the tank?

Surely I can't be the only one in the world to have done this - or can I claim my prize now?

Cheers
Brian
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Who.Me?
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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by Who.Me? » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:56 pm

BJ1 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:09 pm
Anyone know if I can safely stick a camera in the tank?
Try attaching a mirror to a stick and shining a torch down the filler neck first to see if you can see it?

I reckon it'd be fine in there for months, but I'd worry that it'll start to break down over time like fuel lines do, or that bits will just get knocked off as it bounces around in there and block the filter(s).

If the tank is now pretty full and the rubber tube floats, try jacking up the side of the van that the filler is on, so it floats 'up' toward the filler neck and see if you can fish it out from there.


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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by Red Devil » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:50 am

This would be completely hit and miss and would genuinely need you to go fishing with the chances of catching being limited but it was the only thing I could think of. Perhaps combined with above it may work?!

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cht605/ ... gKJDvD_BwE

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by vwJim » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:54 am

You can get pretty cheap inspection camera devices that connect to a smartphone. I think you'll never grab it unless you have a camera to guide you. You'll have to drain the tank, but that'll be easier than removing the engine + tank.
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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:14 pm

Red Devil wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:50 am
This would be completely hit and miss and would genuinely need you to go fishing with the chances of catching being limited but it was the only thing I could think of. Perhaps combined with above it may work?!

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cht605/ ... gKJDvD_BwE
Good call - I have a shorter one but this 24" grip could probably reach the thing! Thanks
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:15 pm

vwJim wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:54 am
You can get pretty cheap inspection camera devices that connect to a smartphone. I think you'll never grab it unless you have a camera to guide you. You'll have to drain the tank, but that'll be easier than removing the engine + tank.
Thanks Jim - not sure how one of those cheap cameras would react to petrol fumes though!
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:17 pm

All good ideas - thanks guys!
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:28 pm

Have ordered a borehole camera and drained the tank. Fishing should start on Friday - wish me luck!
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by vwJim » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:32 pm

What camera did you order in the end?

Good luck.
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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:54 am

vwJim wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:32 pm
What camera did you order in the end?

Good luck.
This one Jim https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2M-3-5M-5M-U ... 2749.l2649

Haven't tried it in the tank yet but it works very well on both Andriod phone and workshop W7 laptop. Doesn't work with W10 though. Come wit a neat little mirror attachment as well as software on CD. I went for the 5M version.
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by vwJim » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:21 am

Cheers.
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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by BJ1 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:10 pm

Well I tried the endoscope which gave me a nice view of the bottom of the tank but couldn't see the fuel can nozzle which had migrated to the spout end of the tank - the invisible end. I did see some weird dark shapes on the tank bottom though. So bit the bullet this morning and pulled the engine and tank. Took out the sender and could see the horrible nozzle lurking in a dark corner so fished it out with a wire hook.

The weird dark shapes at the bottom were blobs of half dissolved self-amalgamating tape that held the nozzle to the can. Washed them out with brake cleaner then pulled the in-tank filter which was almost blocked with more goo. Cleaned it with brake cleaner. Had awesome takeaway roast lunch from our pub - yum. Put tank and engine back in (solo effort pulling it but needed help from the management to steady it when it went back!). Filtered fuel back in and the old bus runs again! Here is a pic of the nozzle just before I burnt it with a demonic grin as it went up in a puff of black smoke!
IMG_20200329_175427981[1].jpg
1966 Westy in Velvet Green - being restored
1967 Devon from Devon still in Devon
1967 Sundial from Idaho
1971 Westfalia from LA
1971 patina Delux from Montana now living in Germany
1972 Devon now owned by No 1 son!

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by type21f » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:52 pm

Result!

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1965 Type21f
Westfalia Hamburg Type155i 003 viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64012
1965 Devon Caravette, L360 L289 Hammock, Tent, M W Pop
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Peebles 1964 Devon Caravette Gentlux Pop

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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by vwJim » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:49 pm

Lol
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Re: Fishing in the fuel tank

Post by Red Devil » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:34 pm

Well done. Not the days work you wanted or will want again I’m sure but at least it is sorted.

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