Hello Oppo! Long time no post. Between travel for work and it generally being Really Cold, not much has happened worth sharing - until recently.

It was abnormally warm this weekend (60+ and sunny in NE Ohio in January?) which of course means I raked the leaves that accumulated in the front yard then got snowed on while I was on-site for work for two weeks in the fall.

Afterwards though it was wrenching time. The plan was to drain the Chevelle’s fuel tank, remove it, scrape off the old undercoating/rust above it, and POR15 the area. Removing the tank shouldn’t take much since I installed it in 2012.

Image via Home Depot but I got mine at Lowe’s

I recently picked up one of these things, which has a check ball on one end so you can start a siphon by moving it back and for as if you were... uh... using a shake weight. I looked forward to using it, and succeeded in getting about one gallon of gas out of the tank before the flow stopped. Figuring I just needed to go deeper in the tank, I tried for a couple minutes but couldn’t get a siphon to start. Removing the device revealed why.

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The plastic end came apart, leaving half the housing and the ball somewhere in the gas tank. This wasn’t a break, it was glue that had come undone. The packaging strongly encourages the use of these for gas, too. They used to make these out of metal...

Moving forward I jacked up the back of the car and disconnected the fuel tank. Nothing crazy there, just some hose clamps and a bit of pulling to get it all free. Bonus gasoline sprinking when the feed line comes open!

Then the next difficulty arose (which I didn’t take pictures of) - one of the straps had, under tension, deformed around the head of the bolt securing it, preventing that bolt from turning. After an hour+ of cussing and in the end putting vice grips on the shank of the bolt (between the strap and the captive nut) I was able to get it turning (surprisingly). In my excitement, I turned it, and turned it, and turned it...

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... and discovered that the “captive” nut had broken free from its captivity and sought to explore the world of Spinning. Now I’ve got one 9/16 wrench jammed up practically in the trunk and the other barely gripping the edges of the bolt’s head (no room for a socket with the bent strap). Eventually it gave way, I gashed my arm on the seam of the gas tank, and I was able to remove both straps, the latter 1/8 turn at a time.

This lead to the fact that there still was 10 gallons of gas in the tank, now balanced on my jack and very eager to slosh around, tip, and generally leak out all the lines I’d disconnected. It also turns out the new exhaust slightly obstructs getting the tank down.

30 minute task took 3 hours and was more difficult than removing the original 40-year-old tank was a few years ago (it leaked)

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I then drained the 10 gallons of gas into a couple cans so it can be put back later. I wiped the dirt (literal dirt - at one point in storage some chickens took up residence underneath and got dust everywhere) off and set the tank to the side, at some point I’ll take the filler cap off and try to dump out the residual gas and broken siphon parts.

With much scraping and overall elbow grease, the bottom of the trunk (which is what’s above the tank) and inside edges of the frame rails were prepped for POR15. The area above the tank was in prety good shape - not undercoated except around the edges and mostly original paint. There was some rust near the braces and a few spots where it rusted through from the other side (all of these cars have leaky rear windows) which is an upcoming project.

This morning I donned some gloves and applied the coating, which is such a huge pain (mainly because it does not come off of you or anything else without sandpaper) but produces such nice results.

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5-year-old smart phone + picture of black surface = potato quality. Yes there are some small holes.

Unfortunately you can’t see the frame rails in this picture, which look really nice too. I’ve ordered new hardware to put the tank back in (with washers under the head of the bolts this time...) but decided while under here for a combined 10 hours in the past two days that I should do the rear shocks and control arm bushings while the tank is out since it yields so much more room to work. Those were planned for this winter but I was going to hold off until later.

Next up is going to be wire brushing the trunk floor (again, I did it a few years ago but in storage it seems to have gotten quite damp at some point) to clean it up, putting POR15 in there (which should be way more pleasant since I won’t be working above myself), and patching up the pinholes with JB weld or seam sealer or some such hackery (hey you’ve got to pick your battles).

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Oh dear, I’ve gone off rambling again haven’t I. Sorry.