c107 fuel tank woes

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old timer
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c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Tue 09 Jul, 2019 4:50 pm

Hi All. Removed the fuel tank out of my 350 SLC and took it to Redi Strip in Blacktown to have it dipped and cleaned due to the inside of the tank being dirty and rusty as the car has been idle for a number of years. Went to pick it today as was informed by Redi strip that the plastic container inside the tank ( I think it's the vapour tank) had dislodged itself and was loose. Only remedy suggested by Redi- Strip was to cut a panel out of the side of the tank, take out the plastic container, clean it as it is full of dirty fluid, refix it where it needs to be placed and weld the panel back into the tank. Can someone explain the function of the plastic container and its purpose? The only problem I can see with this operation is that the weld would have to be seal tight otherwise it will leak fuel. The other choices I have is to find another 2nd tank but I assume it will have the same issues being dirty and rusty due to age or I could look into a fuel cell. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers Laurie

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by CraigB » Tue 09 Jul, 2019 7:40 pm

in hindsight, wish i had said what i was thinking earlier, but then thought no harm in what you were doing. I have seen some pretty dodgy tanks saved with acid wash and then a tank sealer rotated around. But where to now - I would put the word out for another tank local to you or also maybe another tank out of another more common something might be similar enough. Will have a look what is around here for comparison purposes. Someone will have one, just a matter of how hard to find one. but i have no idea about the canister they are talking about.
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 5:18 am

Hi Craig. Yes a bit of a disappointment with the result. Coincidentally they have done 3 Mercedes tanks in last month with another like mine ready to be done which they are now refusing to do because of what has happened to my tank. The plastic chamber is fixed to inside at the top of the tank. Have located another tank om Ebay but looks worse than what I already have and its $500. Was really looking forward to installing the clean tank as I have parts on the way from Autohausaz to finally get the car started. Thank you for your reply.

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by CraigB » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 10:32 am

The problem is with the forum these days is that activity is much less - still lots of good people giving good advice, but not every day and not every model. I think 500 is crazy and I feel pretty sure there is a tank within driving distance (ie. no freight) for a lot less money. I think I have one here but haven't checked condition and freight for something so big probably heaps. You could search back through W107 posts and see if people near you have posted about cars and send them a message - may not have a tank but may know local suppliers. I think recently I saw two whole cars for about $3k..... if you have the space go into business selling parts and say $100 tanks.... will get a lot more sales than asking 500!

Other suggestion is you may get more contact via facebook. Ozbenz, I know there is a 500slc page and must be another 107 one you would think, there is a couple of mercedes parts ones. Someone must have one, just a matter of finding it!

Have you had any quotes for how much to cut your tank open? I imagine it will cost a bit because there is a bit of stuffing around welding tanks. Don't be tempted to do it yourself or a random mate..... I know personally of at least one person who didn't live to tell the tale.
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 11:06 am

Hi Craig. Checked the tank this morning and also found the bottom of the tank around where the strainer plug goes several pin holes of rust. Would not have picked this unless tank was chemically cleaned. So in a way its a God send as it would have eventually leaked. Have contacted a couple of sellers on Ebay but for some reason they don't reply. I am not a real big FB fan but it appears that's how most Forums are going these days. I will post an ad on OZBenz and see if I get a reply. Cheers mate.

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by merc-304 » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 1:06 pm

PM ozbenz head who is Florians from Byron Bay contact i think
If Florian dosent have one he may know who does.
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by Djenka018 » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 4:22 pm

Excuse my lack of knowledge, what is the issue with opening and closing a tank?
I would think that with good welding any tank can be patched/repaired if it is not rotted too much, can it?

Perhaps as an alternative to original tank a custom made can be fitted?
'80 450SLC 3-continental

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 5:15 pm

Djenka018 wrote:
Wed 10 Jul, 2019 4:22 pm
Excuse my lack of knowledge, what is the issue with opening and closing a tank?
I would think that with good welding any tank can be patched/repaired if it is not rotted too much, can it?

Perhaps as an alternative to original tank a custom made can be fitted?
Valid point which I may attempt if I cant find a decent 2nd hand unit. Thanks for your input

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by CraigB » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 5:30 pm

Anything is possible, just a matter of cost and time. I was looking for most cost effective solution and keeping in mind originality and relative value vs cost - ie, I wouldn't spend hundreds of dollars on an aftermarket tank, getting it approved etc to ultimately devalue an otherwise original car. The issue with welding is its not something I would do. I know of a guy who i thought was pretty clever and will never know the details but welding a tank blew the iron off his shed and killed him - just something I'm not prepared to risk, just like getting under a car on a jack without jackstands.... I know of two families that lives have been destroyed by that one. I imagine most workshops would charge more than what i would expect to pay for a good used tank... and so why I was suggesting what i would do and have a good look for a good used tank.

If its just pinholes, seen plenty of vintage car tanks that have been saved by using one of those liquid liners like you get from KBS, but at this point i would still chase a tank and try and get one close. One guy I would be pretty sure would have one is a guy at Horsham with a huge collection. I don't know his number and I believe you need a contact who will put you in touch with him.
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by CraigB » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 5:35 pm

How did i get the idea you were Melbourne! Shane Herbert knows 107 and is great at sourcing parts, mainly new, but worth a try. I will message him now
Craig Baulderstone
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450SEL Boris
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by merc-304 » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 5:38 pm

Have you had a look at any poly tanks lots of sizes /shapes avail best range is in Marine applications..
Whitworths have stainless tanks on there site..if your handy with tools to fab some brackets etc may be a gd way to go
There is nothing hitech about welding or patching tanks thorough cleaning is all thats required..i spent 35 yrs in oil and gas industry doing fuel holding tank and LPG bullet repairs.

There was a Ford ModelXF or Ea i think that when converted to LPG they cut some of the original fuel tank away and welded it up to fit LPG under the car..so a LPG installer may be a gd place to get a tank patched.

Mermad has Brazed tanks before.
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by Aegean » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 7:00 pm

Considering that a new one is US$3300, I don't think $500 is unreasonable if it is serviceable. I have one, but have not looked at the condition of it internally. But, you are not going to get one that is perfect inside without some cleaning. Remember also that an SLC one is different than an SL. Same for the sender unit.

Give me a call Laurie and will have a chat. I am overseas next week.

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 6:04 am

Aegean wrote:
Wed 10 Jul, 2019 7:00 pm
Considering that a new one is US$3300, I don't think $500 is unreasonable if it is serviceable. I have one, but have not looked at the condition of it internally. But, you are not going to get one that is perfect inside without some cleaning. Remember also that an SLC one is different than an SL. Same for the sender unit.

Give me a call Laurie and will have a chat. I am overseas next week.

Craig
Hi Craig, will do

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 6:14 am

I am hoping I can find a good 2nd hand unit, if not I will then cut mine open and try to repair. The guy at Redi-Strip assured me it would be ok to weld as the chemical cleaning process has eliminated all traces of petrol and fumes. I am in no great rush to get things going so I can wait a tad to see if a good unit turns up somewhere. If I do cut the tank, I will post pics up so we can all see what's inside. Cheers

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by AMG » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 9:33 am

I don't know how you feel about the cutting up bit, but the pinholes are usually repaired on tanks with what used to be lead wiping. i.e. molten lead, acid flux and moleskins to wipe it into joints - just like the old "lead sleds" back in the day.

Obviously soldering or brazing can effect a repair as easily, but occasionally with distortion depending on the filler material and temperature. It is safe to use a low temp 60/40 solder (plumbing supplies) and a heavy copper tip on the end of a blowtorch, so long as you correctly flux the area.

You will be able to file finish it and filling holes is easy. If you want to worry about fume etc, let me just add that back in the day fuel tanks were repaired in this way (with the hot copper slug but no flame present) with the fuel tank absolutely full of fuel - i.e. petrol. yes. the risk is only there if you 'have no idea what you're doing' and of course the increasing general lack of common sense these days and the safety nazi movement has seen that we adopt different practices which were not entirely unnecessary, but are simply there to protect the complete idiot from killing themselves, but more importantly others.

So let's just put the rant bit aside for the moment and see....

cut the tank apart along the seam (perimeter) and braze it back into position after splitting it in half - let's call that option #1.

cut a hole in the tank along the side and patch it, then braze it into place - option #2

remove the fuel sender and cut a large diameter hole directly around this hole, enough to get your arm inside and retrieve the breather tank. - you can then refit the breather tank (I suggest you make a metal one - use bright zinc plated thinwall sheet not zincalume or gal. rivet and solder the tank to the top of the tank, refit the cutout.

Lastly, the most time consuming method would be to create a composite tank. Whether you choose to use fibreglass or carbon-aramid reinforcing is entirely a cost proposition, but weight for weight, fibreglass is 7 times stronger than steel and carbon-aramid is almost double that... but this leads to the creation of plugs from the original tank, the need to line the tank with sealer (easy enough) and use the appropriate bonding adhesive on the join as well as an additional laminate on the external side of the join for additional strength.

Marine yards fabricate this kind of thing all the time, but bear in mind they are not always cheap. They will however have the facilities and materials to fabricate a fuel tank.

I don't see it as being an issue regardless of the method used to repair. My only concern is that the breather tank is correctly positioned.

I would also investigate the swirl pot area, and the tank strainer threads and the external o-ring mounting surface as well.


Your last option is to send your tank to brown davis in bayswater, who can recreate the existing tank in alloy. and despite the fact that it may cost over a thousand dollars, you could be sure that it would be correctly fabricated, and safe.

they make tanks as one-off's and also do a lot of long-range tanks for 4x4's etc. I'm not sure if they still fabricate alloy rollcages, but they used to do that as well.

the 120L polished alloy 'droptank' hanging out the arse end of a holden torana used to be a 'bling thing' and if they are confident in letting something hang out in the breeze like that then an alloy SLC tank is not going to be a problem.
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 4:48 pm

Hi AMG. I must say a big thank you for a very descriptive and informative reply. I intend to cut open the tank tomorrow as per your option 2 and see what happens from there. I did my apprenticeship on heavy Earth moving equipment and Diesels way back in 1968 and the tradesmen of the day were in a class of their own. One particular older guy at the time was in his late 70'"s/80's and he could just about do anything with steel/metal. He was a boilermaker/welder/blacksmith. Have not seen anybody like him since. I will report my findings tomorrow.

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Fri 12 Jul, 2019 11:57 am

Cut the fuel tank open this morning and took a panel out. You will see from pic's that the chemical dipping cleaning process is not very thorough. It is my opinion that the Vapour chamber was incorrectly installed when the tank was made. Locating lugs on the Vapour chamber are supposed to go under the metal ring which is secured by a nut which also holds a metal spring clip I assume for movement. Instead the lugs were sitting on top of the metal ring with the spring clips running parallel with the slots of the Vapour chamber hence it became loose as metal spring clips had rusted. So it is my judgement not to waste any further time on this tank and[/attachment][attachment=5[/attachment]
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by CraigB » Fri 12 Jul, 2019 2:55 pm

Great photos, thankyou. Good feedback on the dipping effectiveness too - not sure I would want to put fuel in that! I heard back from Shane and he doesn't know of any tanks and said SLC's parts are getting hard to find. I bought one cheap and was under pressure to move it on to the crusher to the aims of a tidier yard..... glad I'm messy and its still there to raid for parts!

Me, I would be chatting to Aegean who is local to you and 'for my money', $500 to put the right thing back vs chasing plastic tanks etc and fitting - maybe there are no legalities about doing that and a copper or roadworthy checks happy with it, I would have thought some sort of engineering etc involved - (worth checking first) - but I put some value on my time and hassle for all that and the 500 starts to look a lot better.

but you have a range of 'advisors' here and go with what fits best with you - just putting a different point of view to think about.

Also if you want to go with an original tank, was chatting to a club committee member last night and he was saying how he has 9 x slc's in various states of repair here in Adelaide. I didn't ask about a tank but can chase for you and also a price. Its just the freight - weight won't matter but if you put the dimensions of your tank into Ego courier website from postcode 5051 in Adelaide, you will get an idea of how much.
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Fri 12 Jul, 2019 6:15 pm

Hi Craig, still toying with the idea of taking the tank back in pieces to Redi-Strip and see if they at least do a proper job in eliminating the rust which is in all the feed pipes. I have a friend who runs muffler repair shop close by and he is an excellent welder who said he would have a crack at it. Might show him 1st. Keep you posted. Might advise the other PM who was wanting pictures of a cut up tank. Cheers

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by Djenka018 » Sat 13 Jul, 2019 11:01 am

It could be silly me, from pics that tank does not look bad at all to me.

If tabs holding the vapour contraption rusted away but the tank body still has healthy chunk (and it looks from the pics as if only the surface rust), I would look into spot-welding a copious amount of tabs, strips, whatever-it-takes to secure the plastic contraption to endure a nuclear holocaust and save the rest.
Pictures tell a 1000 stories but hide 1000000 of them, tank could be as a sieve and then all this is pointless.
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by merc-304 » Sat 13 Jul, 2019 12:13 pm

That tank is in great nick for its age ..Scrub the inside by hand with a scourer and vinegar repair the pinholed areas [weld patch] delete the plastic vapour tank weld back in your HUGE opening maybe add some baffles ?..KBS or POR tank coat the inside about $120 .
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 8:04 am

Djenka018 wrote:
Sat 13 Jul, 2019 11:01 am
It could be silly me, from pics that tank does not look bad at all to me.

If tabs holding the vapour contraption rusted away but the tank body still has healthy chunk (and it looks from the pics as if only the surface rust), I would look into spot-welding a copious amount of tabs, strips, whatever-it-takes to secure the plastic contraption to endure a nuclear holocaust and save the rest.
Pictures tell a 1000 stories but hide 1000000 of them, tank could be as a sieve and then all this is pointless.
Hi Djenka. The plastic vapour tank should have been secured under the round metal rings with metal spring clips over the top secured by the nuts. Done this way the vapour tank would have never come free. I believe it was a manufacturing fault were the lugs were placed on top on the round metal rings and secured only by the spring metal clips which did not go across the lug but ran parallel with it. I agree tank might be worth saving as other 2nd hand ones could be worse. I am going to give it a go. Thanks for your input

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 8:13 am

merc-304 wrote:
Sat 13 Jul, 2019 12:13 pm
That tank is in great nick for its age ..Scrub the inside by hand with a scourer and vinegar repair the pinholed areas [weld patch] delete the plastic vapour tank weld back in your HUGE opening maybe add some baffles ?..KBS or POR tank coat the inside about $120 .
Hi merc-304 See my reply to Djenka. I know what the function of the vapour tank is, question is can the tank function without any problems without it. If I secure it back the way I think it should have been, I don't think it will pose any further problems. It's difficult to explain in words I will take some further pics showing how I found the vapour tank and how I think it should be. The huge opening was cut as I knew from looking inside the tank the vapour chamber ran the full length of the tank and it was the only way I was going to get it out also I did not want to cut across the ribs. Cheers and thanks

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 8:56 am

Hi All. Ok I have taken some pics which I hope will be self explanatory. Bear in mind tank is upside down. If my theory is correct about wrongful installation of vapour tank at manufacture, it should not be a problem hopefully when it all goes back together. What do you think. 1st pic is locating lug for vapour chamber inside tank. 2nd pic is size of vapour chamber. 3rd pic is how I think vapour chamber should have been installed. 4th pic is how I found it
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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by Djenka018 » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 9:55 am

Is it possible that oval piece that looks rusted was indeed rotted by rust and it was in a similar shape as the disc?

The disc you think it should have gone to support the plastic contraption (vapour related) could be a spacer.

If anything, I'd be contemplating using stainless components for fastening the vapour tank... be done with it forever.
'80 450SLC 3-continental

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Re: c107 fuel tank woes

Post by old timer » Sun 14 Jul, 2019 5:22 pm

Djenka018 wrote:
Sun 14 Jul, 2019 9:55 am
Is it possible that oval piece that looks rusted was indeed rotted by rust and it was in a similar shape as the disc?

The disc you think it should have gone to support the plastic contraption (vapour related) could be a spacer.

If anything, I'd be contemplating using stainless components for fastening the vapour tank... be done with it forever.
The disc is round and very thick. The oval spring clips are in their original shape and act as some sort of shock absorber. They may have been a bit wider than they are now as rust has definitely reduced their size and this was the cause for the vapour tank to slip out of their grip. If they had been installed across the plastic lug they may have still stayed in place. I still believe the correct way should be as pic 3 and if I get to reuse this tank that's how I will be doing it. I have played with it in both versions and that way works best. Cheers Djenka

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