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TOPIC: 1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 15 Mar 2017 15:18 #1

  • ruakiller
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Good morn'n all

After fuel line clogs plagued the beast over a series of months, and chasing it with advice and aftermarket chemicals didn't help, I trailered her and pulled the engine and drive. At this point (and borrowing pictures from other posts), I am ready to actually remove the fuel tank. Does anyone have experience pulling the tank without removing any of the sundeck or transom? If the picture is correct, that looks to be about a 6 foot tank and I have about 3 feet of engine compartment to pull it out of. Any magic tricks or wisdom to share?

Secondly, someone suggested I have the tank cut in half since I have zero ambition to use that much fuel nor leave that much fuel in the tank. I think the longest I would ever be on the boat is overnight or two, and that would be docked somewhere with no fear of running out of gas. Center of gravity issue? Forgive me, I fly planes not boats.

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1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 15 Mar 2017 15:34 #2

  • kevinv123
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This is it right here. A 2850 but similar I would assume if a sunbridge. Pull the engine(s). Lift out tank. It might be a little stuck. Be prepared for surprises.

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1986 Contessa Sunbridge 2850 Twin AQ225D/280's
"Miss Guided"
Jewel Pint Marina,
Harrison Twp, MI
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1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 15 Mar 2017 15:40 #3

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You will have to cut the floor out of the aft cabin(if it has one). I'm not familiar with the layout but I am guessing by the number designation just a few feet shorter than a 2850. This pic is looking forward from inside the engine compartment towards the bow. The very lower edge of the picture is the bulkhead that holds the tank in the rear most face. And for capacity, "I have too much fuel on board" said no captain ever. I am having mine made almost 3" taller with an add'l 30 ish gallons of capacity, to just over 150 gallons.

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1986 Contessa Sunbridge 2850 Twin AQ225D/280's
"Miss Guided"
Jewel Pint Marina,
Harrison Twp, MI

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 15 Mar 2017 20:26 #4

  • TommyT
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That's my boat and tank in the first picture. I'm certain that I would not have been able to get the tank out without cutting out the lower deck. The tank was foamed in along with a bit of fiberglass too. I doubt I would have been able to pull it out from one end even if there was room in the engine compartment. I can't see a way to get it out without cutting the lower deck and a section of the engine room / cave bulkhead. The tank measured 7' long, 32" wide and 8- 1/16" tall. -Tom.
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1977 Saratoga Sunbridge 2550. A project that's coming together here- www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...nbridgetotal-rebuild

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 17 Mar 2017 14:23 #5

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ruakiller wrote: ............... I trailered her and pulled the engine and drive.


I can't offer you any suggestions re; the fuel tank, other than to suggest that you NOT try to repair it.
Either have one custom built to match the existing (I'd not reduce the capacity) or find a supplier who can give you an exact replacement!
One of our members was able to get one delivered in only 3 days! :)


I will suggest that while your Volvo Penta engine is out (assuming that this is a GM V-8 ), this is a prime oportunity to replace the PDS bearings and seals!

You also mentioned that you pulled the stern drive.
When going back together, install the Intermediate housing/lower gear unit, and install the Transmission last!

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Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set
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1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 17 Mar 2017 15:32 #6

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From my experience, you never have enough fuel and yes it is a project, I will add a picture of how my tank was glassed in giving you a hint tat the floor need to be cut.

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Old Glue

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 18 Mar 2017 11:59 #7

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Good job I don't look forward to ever doing this on my 89 1/2. 2155.
Thankfully I'm leak free.
I say another guy on YouTube doing it and his advise was not to foam it in they need air around d them. If I find the link I'll attach later. Good luck.

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1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 20 Mar 2017 04:41 #8

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Funny that is exactly how I not only envisioned pulling it out but it looks just like I thought it would. Getting started this weekend, thanks for the help!

Vic

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1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 21 Mar 2017 14:35 #9

  • westkal
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Below is some info on fuel tank installation ( from the Boat Design Forum)

Note (6) tank cannot be supported by foam

Not knowing the problem with your tank, perhaps some of the incorrect mounting procedures contributed to your failing tank


I am assuming that this is a GAS tank, not diesel?

ABYC has specific requirements for mounting aluminum tanks into boats
These are some of the important points.

1) The tank cannot just sit on a flat surface because if you get water between the bottom of the tank and what it rests on, in the absence of oxygen, you will get corrosion
You must either set the tank on strips of plastic or on solid plastic. This plastic must be permanently adhered to the tank with a marine adhesive to keep water off the aluminum

2) Any straps going around the tank require the same treatment, ie glued strips to the tank before the straps go around

3) All fittings for the tank have to be either aluminum or stainless, never brass/copper

4) Any metal components of the fuel tank must be grounded to the ground of the boat and the resistance to ground must be less than 1 ohm, so the filler neck, the tank and the level control if it is metallic must be grounded.

5) If you are connecting rubber fuel line to the the fittings you require 2 stainless gear hose clamps per joint, same with filler hose. You have to ensure that the worm is stainless as well. Most automotive clamps have a galvanized worm and will rust
There are also some other stainless clamps that will fill the requirement especially for the larger filler hose

6) The tank cannot be supported by foam

7) and ensure that you use Marine grade hoses for the filler and the fuel line,

While ABYC allows foam around tanks, there are quite specific requirements to achieve a compliant installation. Obviously due to the chance of creating a corrosive environment for the tank. Better to leave this off the table, and leave room all around the tank, ensure that your existing tank has some way of shedding water into the bilge so your new tank will not come in contact with any water.

You could private message Ike who was involved with writing the ABYC specs. Once you get him started on foam, you will probably not consider it.

Re the plastic strips to mount the tank. I have seen UHMW plastic (ultra high molecular weight) used in this application. Normally it is white and slick and people sometimes call it Teflon.
There are better choices only because it is difficult to get a good bond with adhesives to this material. For the sealant to attach plastic strips to a tank, something like a marine sealant adhesive 3m 5200 would be fine. Not RTV silicone sealant
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Last Edit: by westkal.

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 21 Mar 2017 14:47 #10

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ruakiller wrote: Good morn'n all

After fuel line clogs plagued the beast over a series of months, and chasing it with advice and aftermarket chemicals didn't help, I trailered her and pulled the engine and drive. At this point (and borrowing pictures from other posts), I am ready to actually remove the fuel tank. Does anyone have experience pulling the tank without removing any of the sundeck or transom? If the picture is correct, that looks to be about a 6 foot tank and I have about 3 feet of engine compartment to pull it out of. Any magic tricks or wisdom to share?

Secondly, someone suggested I have the tank cut in half since I have zero ambition to use that much fuel nor leave that much fuel in the tank. I think the longest I would ever be on the boat is overnight or two, and that would be docked somewhere with no fear of running out of gas. Center of gravity issue? Forgive me, I fly planes not boats.


So is the tank ok other than some fuel line clogging issues?
Do you have a Racor style filtration system on it?
As aluminum will not add dirt into your system, then the only source of "junk" material in the tank is poor fuel. Over time occasionally the inside of fuel lines will corrode and be an endless supply of fluff in the line.

Seems like a lot of cost and effort to replace a tank that may be fine.

If the tank is a gas tank, not diesel, ABYC required an antisiphon fitting on the draw line. This was a spring loaded poppet that would open when the fuel pump pulled a vacuum on the tank to get fuel to fill.
The purpose was that in the event of a fire, and a hose burned through, the fuel would not continue to "siphon" into the flame. These can be temperamental in an old tank as they restrict flow. A 1/4 teaspoon of debris can clog the valve.

Also, your draw line pickup might have a screen on the bottom which can plug up. It is difficult to remove the pickup as if you try to undo the fitting into the aluminum threaded coupling on the tank, the aluminum will often gall, making the insertion of a new draw line or fitting impossible.

I see in the picture that the guy has a brass fitting plugged into the tank. This is a corrosion problem waiting to happen.

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Last Edit: by westkal.

1986 Bayliner 2550 W/Sunbridge, fuel tank removal 27 Mar 2017 04:19 #11

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Aside from the other items I was talking about on this former post, if you look at the pictures of the fuel filter, this is a continuous issue. Admittedly I'm naive to this issue, but I am sure it's within the fuel tank.
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...od-fuel-tank-removal

I bought the boat on a derelict sale for $800. Engine turned over (just didn't start), no water in the bilge after 2-years of sitting, all I had to do was dust it off and have it towed in for a bottom service and engine restart. Too good to be true, well it was. So $6000 plus and I was off and running (IO work, carb rebuild, little electrical, new batteries, new oil pan which took a worldwide search to find). Anyway, she ran fine for months then proceeded to have fuel issue after fuel issue. So yes, the issue is within the tank. I pumped out almost 80 gallons of mostly fresh gas. Most of it worked well in my truck, lawnmower, motorcycles...until I got down to the last 5 or so gallons.

So I've heard about grain alcohol and a bunch of other ways to clean it out but I'm sure there's a better way

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