Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Fought The Tank And I WON

Tough battle today: I was going to leave the empty gas tank in because it seemed a pretty hard task to remove it. After studying the conversion manual, I discovered that I had to route some battery cables through the area where the tank was. Bottom line: The tank had to come out.

The VW shop manual says that to remove the gas tank, you have to first disconnect both rear brake lines, then unbolt and drop the rear axle. I spent half the day trying to figure out a way to remove the tank without dropping the axle, which seemed like a pretty serious job.

After attempting to saw the tank in half, with virtually zero success, I defaulted to the "school solution," involving dropping the rear axle. (The gas tank is virtually molded over the rear axle, so there is no way to simply unbolt it and remove it.)

I spent the entire after noon juggling four jack stands and a floor jack, and finally dropped the axle about six inches, allowing the tank to be removed. Other than a lot of maneuvering of jacks, it wasn't that hard, just time consuming. It was probably a good idea, anyway, since I discovered that the rear flexible brake lines were pretty well shot and needs immediate replacing.

I also gave the underside of the hood a good coating of "truck bed liner." This is a tough coating that will resist the fumes resulting from battery charging. I will doing the same coating the the engine compartment, after I get it cleaned up.

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