The Saab's gas tank got warshed

Illustration for article titled The Saabs gas tank got warshed
Photo: Akio

In an attempt to end my ongoing “murder all the fuel pumps” saga, I decided to pull the tank on the Saab and get the gas tank cleaned. This is a thing I should have done years ago when I first got it back, but I didn’t want to thinking it would be too much trouble. Instead I decided that breaking down about every fifth time I take it out sounded like a reasonable idea.

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I never said I was smart.

In all honesty I thought the crud would eventually get worked through given all the fuel system cleaner running through. After the first pump died, I assumed we were almost though. The second pump died so soon thereafter I assumed it was a bad pump. The third... well here we are.

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Anyway, after dropping the tank I called around for someone to clean it. For whatever reason this is a job relegated to radiator shops. The closest one was recently purchased and I’ve been advised to steer clear, so I called the other one. They were happy to do it later in the week and guessed it would be about $125 but that may change after they look at it.

That seemed... a little steep.

Given the tank is plastic and the odd way the fuel pump mounts allows me to put my entire arm into the tank, I decided to save the money and do it myself. Luckily I have a slop sink in the basement. I usually have a hose attached to the cold tap for watering seedlings (Yes I grow seedlings in the basement. No it isn’t what you think.) but for this project I swapped it over to hot. Given the hot water tank was about six feet away BOY WAS IT HOT. I was actually afraid of melting the crappy coiled hose.

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But I didn’t

So the cleaning commenced!

Illustration for article titled The Saabs gas tank got warshed
Photo: Akio
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Not really knowing what I was doing I opted for the “scrub everything” method. After a general rinse and clean, I let it soak in some purple Simple Green. Then I scrubbed every square inch of the inside of the tank I could reach using an old dish brush. Again thanks to the large fuel pump opening, I was able to get to about 95% of the inside surface with the brush and give it a good scrub.

Illustration for article titled The Saabs gas tank got warshed
Photo: Akio
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I want to say the inside was disgusting, but it really wasn’t that bad. There was enough particulates that I don’t think fuel pump #3 would have been the last, but the grime wasn’t apocalyptic by any means.

After a good scrubbing and rinsing... I scrubbed and rinsed again.

Illustration for article titled The Saabs gas tank got warshed
Photo: Akio
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And again.

And again.

Eventually my “better do this right” drive was satisfied and I allowed it to sit and dry.

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Looks pretty clean to me!
Looks pretty clean to me!
Photo: Akio

Then it was time to order new bushings. I’d emailed my preferred parts supplier, eEuroParts, earlier in the week, but they ever got back to me. So I went to my non-preferred supplier, eSaabParts, as they seemed to have what I needed. In all honesty the only reason I don’t use them is because they don’t acknowledge Saabs built before 1986, which can be exceptionally frustrating when your Saab was built in 1984.

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Anyway, shout out to eSaabParts, they had excellent parts diagram and 3 of the 4 things I needed in stock. Even better they’re not one of those dickhead parts supplier who obfuscates the OE part number, so I was able to find the bushing they didn’t have at another supplier. eEuroParts, oddly.

Despite eSaabParts helpfulness in this, and eEuroParts lack of helpfulness, I ended up ordering everything from eEuro because they had everything in stock.

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And I can safely say I have never paid so much for tiny rubber parts.

Illustration for article titled The Saabs gas tank got warshed
Screenshot: eEuroParts
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Holy crap.

But I would happily pay that to not have gas fumes in the cabin and have to drop the tank again. In fact, I did pay that.

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So here we are.

I’m going to let the tank dry for a few days and then go over it with a clean cloth to make sure I got everything. If all looks good, it’ll (maybe) go back in next week after the new parts arrive.

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