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Dropping the Fuel Tank on a '41 Cabriolet


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I am going to drop the fuel tank on my '41 Cabriolet because there is sediment in it. The sediment accumulates quickly in the fuel pump bowl and the car hesitates up a hill or wide open throttle and then stalls. The car has to sit for a while before it will start. Once it starts, it will idle fine forever, rev up strong and smooth but again, once you start driving, it hesitates and stalls. I took apart the carb and fuel pump today and no fix. I think it is getting clogged at the pick-up tube in the tank. Do these cars have an in-tank sock/filter? I haven't gotten under the car to take a look at what it takes to drop the fuel tank but am wondering if there is anything to watch out for?

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Paul My 48 Continental has a tank plug, I used a wand and carb cleaner and cleaned the tank out, of course after draining it. I left it in the car and just jacked one side and then the other to get the cleaner in all of the corners. All kinds of interesting stuff came out. I pulled the fuel hose on the tank and fuel pump, then using my air nozzle for the air compressor blew out the lines. It seems to have worked. Since I did not have any rust come out I am debating if I want to use the tank sealer/liner fluid or not. I did not find a filter on my tank, it does not mean that it did not have one as the pervious owner did some strange work on this car. Harry

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You know, I may try that first. I don't have any rust just this brown clay like stuff which could be rust, however, there are no "bits" of metal in this stuff. BTW, what kind of wand did you use? Any other suggestions are appreciated.

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Paul, you can take the rug out of the bottom of the trunk if it is still there, remove the screw in the cover on the floor of the trunk. That will get you to the guage sending unit. Take that out and you can get an idea of what is in the bottom of the tank. My 41 had something like concrete in the bottom and no amount of steam cleaning, pressure washing would even touch that stuff. The sending unit itself was totally shot, hardly anything left of it. The tank also had numerous pin holes in the bottom.

I ended up taking it to a local radiator shop and they sent it out to be rebuilt. It appears that they cut several small round holes in the tank and sandblasted it inside and out. Then they coated it inside and out with some sort of baked on material. Not cheap but I'll not have to deal with it again.

Tom

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PS,,,to take the tank out, remove the gas line, the sending unit, one bolt in the center front of the tank, two at the rear of the tank and it will come out fairly easy. On top of the tank will be two or three strips of material. Save these as the need to go back in as they prevent noises between the tank and the trunk floor bottom.

The nuts the bolts go into for the tank are caged nuts like the ones on the back side of the fender bolts. If you run into difficulty, I would spray liberally with a rust penetrant and go slowly to try and avoid either breaking the bolt or turning the nut inside of the cage.

Tom

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I would clean tank on car. Under trunk mat is a panel that lets you pull out the fuel gauge. Makes about a 3 inch hole to work through. Pull the plug in the bottom of the tank and you can flush it out. Lee

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That brown, clay-like subtance is usually very sticky, smelly and difficult to remove. It's a lacquer type subtance that forms after years of gas sitting in the tank. I would difinitely remove the tank and have it cleaned.

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Sending units are easy to find. You can go NOS for big bucks or simply use a Ford unit. Just about any aftermarket Ford vendor will offer one.

Also,,,you will only be able to see into the center section of the tank as there are two baffles that seperate the other two parts. If the one you can see in has that smelly junk in it, you can be assured the rest is the same. If you spill any of the stuff in the tank on the floor, it will take forever till the smell goes away.

Tom

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Just dropped the tank and it was pretty bad inside. The sender float looks like Swiss cheese plus a big hole. Off to the radiator shop now. BTW, is there a cross reference part # for the Ford sender?

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The regular old Ford replacement sending unit available from places like Mac's Antique Auto Parts will work. However you will need to do some "bending" in order to get the right arm length and "swing" to replicate the original. Keep the old sender for reference and you may have to tweak the new sender float arm a couple of times in order to get it to read accurately.

Here's a pic of the old one next to the replacement from Mac's.

post-31684-143138928885_thumb.jpg

Edited by peecher (see edit history)
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That picture is exactly what I needed. Thanks Peecher.

BTW, how many gallons of fuel does my 41 Cab hold? I figure if I put in 1/4 or 1/2 tank of gas that will help me to know how to adjust the sender arm. Do the new Ford senders come with a float?

Edited by Paul K. (see edit history)
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Type in Mac's auto, then look in the Ford section, years 32 through 48. You'll find a photo of the sending unit there. Complete with float, Like Dee said, you only have to bend the float arm a little to get it to read correctly. I don't have a clue how big the gas tank is for sure.

Tom

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