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.
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.
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.
But I didn’t
So the cleaning commenced!
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.
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.
Eventually my “better do this right” drive was satisfied and I allowed it to sit and dry.
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.
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.
And I can safely say I have never paid so much for tiny rubber parts.
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.
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.