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    Fuel tank cracked, leaking-gctid777783

    Well I found the source of my gas leak. Massive crack on top edge of fuel tank. The good news is I know a good aluminum welder. Bad news is the tank is buried under glass and plywood. Weird? Not sure why they saw fit to do this. The tank appears to be set in there and not really attached so maybe that was their thinking. Now I must chop toget it out for repair. Unless I'm missing something here.



    1998 ciera express 2252 hard top
    5.0 mercruiser alpha1G2
    15.25x17p 3 blade stainless

    #2
    Yup, most fuel tanks are glassed into the hull and some cutting and reglassing is necessary for replacement. Good you know of a qualified welder but most times the aluminum will be severely corroded and or pitted On the bottom and a new tank will be required.
    Dave
    Edmonds, WA
    "THE FIX"
    '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
    (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
    The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
    Misc. projects thread
    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

    Comment


      #3
      Can you easily get at the crack? If so, and this is going to sound nuts, replacing the air in the tank with inert gas, like helium, argon so CO2, it can be welded in place. I can hear people going nuts and screaming ringtone now, but after watching a few you tubes of guys going it, and living, I used argon in my tank while drilling a fuel pickup hose in the gas, yes, gas, tank of my Encounter.

      I connected a hose from an argon tank to the gas fill with a bunch of foam taped around the feed hose then taped to the hull so it didn't fall out, covered everything on the front of the motors and all of the fuel lines with wet blankets turned the gas on and waited until I could smell it coming out of the gasoline tank vent, then went to work with a hole saw and a wrapped deWalt 18v drill.

      Just saying, it can be done. It depends on the condition of the rest of the tank.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
      MMSI 367770440
      1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
      Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

      Comment


        #4
        Yeah well I can see a crack, along the top edge in back. It wraps around and down the side a little and I don't think I can be sure that it's welded all the way unless I remove it. It's also the only part of the tank i can see, so if there is more cracks or corrosion somewhere else then I need to see the whole thing. I'm wondering why a qualified tank builder would have such crappy design as to start cracking though? Seems exceptionally bad to me. I mean, car fuel tanks go through a lot more abuse and have a very low failure rate last I checked! Rant over, now to get at grinding glass, my favorite task in the whole wide world.
        1998 ciera express 2252 hard top
        5.0 mercruiser alpha1G2
        15.25x17p 3 blade stainless

        Comment


          #5
          Had this on same boat you havnt missed anything that piece just above the tank I think was put there to protect the tank once you cut that out you still can't lift the tank out unless you pull the motor. 1998 the tank went in hate to be a bearer of bad news but the life span of the tank is 15-20 years back then they didn't paint the tanks to seal them just sat them on rubber strips. There is a subfloor under the tank with a small amount of glass in places mine was rotten was a easy fix once tank was out. I cut my tank out leaving motor in and going through the process of having 2 tanks made which will increase capacity and hopefully let me keep more weight forward by running pre merely on the rear tank.

          Comment


            #6
            Oh shoot well that sucks. Man I hope that tank mfg is out of business. That would be a safety recall item in almost any other industry. Well if I have to fab a tank then that plain sucks. At least I'm pretty sure I can make one that won't leak.

            Is there any reason not to use stainless steel instead of aluminum? Only adds a little weight really.
            1998 ciera express 2252 hard top
            5.0 mercruiser alpha1G2
            15.25x17p 3 blade stainless

            Comment


              #7
              From what I've learned aluminum tanks were the right choice for boat builders around the world but not much long time research so installation was what company's thought were best practice and over the years they have all learned alot. If I could I would go with plastic Molar tanks but the import costs make it the same as stainless steel. From what I've found on Google even stainless can corrode if the right environment is created. The subfloor under the tank is what I think created my issue so the new subfloor looks like Swiss cheese and glassed both sides I am hoping to achieve as much air flow as possible with the size of the contact points between floor and tank as small as possible. Our boat is 20 years old this year with a 2 year old motor and I was gutted when I found the leak we only bought her middle of last year but with the improvements I can't see why we won't enjoy her for another 20 years.

              Comment


                #8
                "Norma stitz" post=777830 wrote:
                Is there any reason not to use stainless steel instead of aluminum? Only adds a little weight really.
                Stainless shouldn't be used for fuel tanks. Most insurance companies and the Coast Guard have very specific recommendations abut construction, size, etc. Aluminum is the materials of choice. Light, doesn't fatigue like stainless, cheap and doesn't rust.
                Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                iBoatNW

                1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                Comment


                  #9
                  A boat including its tank doesn't last forever. Welding it in place would be a really bad idea. It's bad enough welding a gas tank but then you have all the leaked gas in the bottom of the boat that you can't get out. As like under the tank and so on. Also you would have all the fiber glass to keep from burning.

                  The tank is most likely more rotten below than what you see above. To repair is a waist of time.

                  Belive it or not this tank wasn't leaking until I pulled it. I pulled it because the other side tank was leaking. Those are penciled sized holes but we're sealed off by the crap and corrosion under the tank.




                  What you don't see is most likely worse than what you do see. This tank was 37 years old. The other side was replaced the year before. It had leaked 50 gallons into the bilge. The boat smelled like gas for months after even though cleaned up and tank replaced. A good.reason to always run the blower
                  1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                  twin 454's
                  MV Mar-Y-Sol
                  1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                  Twin chevy 350's inboard
                  Ben- Jamin
                  spokane Washington

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Been there, done that , this is a on going problem with aluminum tanks and it has to come out, is you replace with same type of tank, coated with epoxy.
                    Slightly modified 2859 6.5 Diesel Bravo III X drive
                    96 Dodge 5.9 5 speed Gear vender OD.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Is it a viable option to cut a large access port in the top of the old tank and install a fuel bladder in place?

                      Quick search and looks like these guys do it: http://atlinc.com/atl-marine-fuel-bl...tallation.html
                      Terry
                      1999 Bayliner 3388
                      Twin Cummins 4BTA
                      Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
                      Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "TenMile" post=777891 wrote:
                        Is it a viable option to cut a large access port in the top of the old tank and install a fuel bladder in place?

                        Quick search and looks like these guys do it: http://atlinc.com/atl-marine-fuel-bl...tallation.html
                        IMO This is an option, however from what I understand the cost of the bladders are near the cost of the new fuel tank. Gaining access through the cut opening of the original fuel tank would be tight for removing the baffles and smoothing down the interior on a smaller cruiser.
                        Dave
                        Edmonds, WA
                        "THE FIX"
                        '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
                        (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
                        The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                        Misc. projects thread
                        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I remember when I had my 1963 Chris Craft Constellation it had twin 50 gallon galvanized tanks mounted up high and dry. That boat was 29 years old at the time and the tanks were in excellent shape. On my current Carver the tanks are aluminum but also mounted up high and dry. Fairly easy to get at should there be a problem.
                          Rick Grew

                          1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

                          2004 Past Commodore
                          West River Yacht & Cruising Club
                          www.wrycc.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My trawler has two 300 gallon fuel tanks that are made from plain black iron. They've been going strong for 36 years now. As long as tanks are kept dry, it really doesn't matter what they're built of. That's just hard to do on a 22 foot boat with a tank located in the bilge.
                            Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                            iBoatNW

                            1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I cut out the potable water tank from my 3218 in place because it was leaking and noticed those same pencil holes. Those pencil holes were some kind of spot weld from baffles inside the tank to minimize the stress from sloshing. I can't remember but there were two or more baffles inside. If it was the same tank maker out of Washington that could be where the holes in your fuel tank came from.
                              Dan
                              Frostbite Falls, Minnesota
                              Claudia V. III
                              1988 - 3218
                              Gas Drives

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