Sediment Bulb Removal

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Sediment Bulb Removal
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Monday, July 04, 2016 - 09:50 pm:

I'm having issues with contamination in my gas tank, which came from a bad batch of gas a couple of years ago. I can't pull the tank out from under the seat. There isn't enough clearance. It probably comes from a new toe panel I had made from a pattern for my car when I restored it in the early '60s.
Here is my problem. Since I can't remove the tank, I'd like to unscrew the sediment bulb, but I'm hesitant because I'm afraid I may kink the gas tank, which is original to the car, a 1913.
Obviously I can't use a flame, but I'm wondering if a commercial heat gun might melt the lead gasket around the outlet, so I can clean it out? I think it may not be hot enough, and again I'm afraid to use force on the outlet cap of the sediment bulb for the same reason I sited above.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell, Huntsville, AL on Monday, July 04, 2016 - 10:17 pm:

I'd first try to trim out the seat area so you can get the tank out. If it should get to the point that you need a new tank, you can't get one in if you can't get the old one out. Once you get the tank out you could take it to a radiator shop for a good cleaning.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Monday, July 04, 2016 - 11:07 pm:

Do you think you are having a thin buildup of "stuff" on the brass screen inside the bulb over a period of driving miles?

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 12:13 am:

No, I got some bad gas a couple of years ago. It seemed ok for a while, but is acting up again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andria Myers----------Long Beach, CA on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 05:47 am:

I also had intermittent problems with gas, lite rust, water, etc. Finally I changed the tank - in a Roadster - $150 and 1 Hour - Priceless. Henry is very happy!!

Other than that...maybe a soldering iron to melt the lead?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 09:17 am:

If at all possible I would try to remove the tank.

After nearly 100 years a good cleaning would really help. While its out the bulb could more easily accessible to remove and repair.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 09:24 am:

So what do you do? Sit there and stare at it? Either the bulb comes off or it doesn't. As far as the tank goes it wasn't a very good idea locking it in place to begin with. Sorry to sound so harsh but you've dug a hole and it's getting deeper. Go for the bulb. So it's an original tank. So what. If it's shot or goes bad when trying to fix it end of story. It's doing you no good either way. And if it gets wrecked removing the bulb guess what: you're going to figure out how to pull that tank pretty quick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 09:42 am:

Larry I wasted almost 10 years playing with a bad gas tank in my Chalmers-Detroit because the gas tank could not be removed from under the seat. Would run OK for for a while and then die. I finally bit the bullet and replaced it. It was a lot of work but well worth it. I only wish I had done it right off and not spent years of frustration.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 10:24 am:

Larry: Had same problem on one of my 11s. Had to pull body to change tank. Lot of work, but was worth it. Dan.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 10:37 am:

The sediment bulb has a conical thread just like the spark plug - usually it'll unscrew without damage if the tank is solid, though you may need a really large pipe wrench :-)

Outlet fittings with a lead gasket hasn't been possible to unscrew for me without lots of heat - and that's with a torch towards the cast iron until dull red, then letting it cool - so I had to take the bulbs off the tank first. Your '13 would have a brass bulb, so it would need less heat than rusty iron - and it may even melt if it gets too much heat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 10:45 am:

I dislike the idea of heat intensely. Two of my uncles got blown up welding "empty" tanks. I'm with Charlie. Go ahead and unscrew it. If you have to lift the body, lift the body. That will be less hassle than chronic fuel starvation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul iverson freeport ill. on Tuesday, July 05, 2016 - 11:06 am:

I got a similar thing with our 16 I cant get the line loose going in to the cast iron bulb it will turn but the line is froze in the fitting. I got the shut off working and good fuel flow so I havint done any thing other than squirt pen.oil on it. my plan was to fill the tank with water and heat the fitting. its the original brass line and to me if I ruin a original part thats a failure. but I am doing this for fun not on the clock


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Sunday, July 10, 2016 - 09:44 pm:

Update! I was able to remove the sediment bulb today with a 7/8 combination wrench. I was almost ready to give up when I felt it move. Needless to say I'm very happy. There was no crap in the sediment bulb, but when I blew it out with compressed air some powder came out, which is what has been causing my carburetor to malfunction. Even though it appears to be clean now, I'm going to tank it tomorrow for awhile to make sure there is no more powder!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Beaumont on Monday, July 11, 2016 - 01:15 am:

Hi Larry; Don't beat yourself up for not being able to remove the gas tank. To my knowledge, ALL brass T gas tanks up to the metal under-seat door 1915's are not removable without taking the body off, similar to many other cars including my old 1910 REO and current 1911 Cadillac. They just didn't expect the car to outlive the gas tank. There is a product available in gallons called ESPRIT (available online or on Ebay) that will remove rust but not grease or varnish, from anything, including gas tanks. You mix it up to 10 to 1 with water, and it is NOT an acid, it doesn't remove any base metal. It uses some kind of osmosis action?? Anyway, the temptation is to use it straight, but that doesn't work at all. It works best with 3 to 4 gallons of water added. Less effective with 5 or more. If you have any powdered rust in the tank, this stuff will remove it completely whistle clean in a day to 3, depending on how bad it is. I have used it, and seen a friend use it time and again with complete success on Model A's which have a difficult to remove gas tank. You can then drain and re-use it in an old plastic cooler for other rusty items until it is spent and loses its effectiveness. It can then be poured down a drain, its non-toxic. Best, Jeff


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Monday, July 11, 2016 - 09:31 am:

Thanks Jeff, hope all is well in Atascadero. My gas tank is nice and clean, just as it was in 1962 when I put it in. Two years ago on the HCCA Sierra Vista Tour, I got some bad gas, and have been having problems ever since. Hopefully, this will be the end of it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 11:41 am:

Here is an added bit of trivia. I put that sediment bulb in when I was 19 years old, with a NOS outlet and screen. I just discovered the outlet was countersunk for a ferrule which I used. I decided to replace it with a NOS early outlet and screen, but it is not countersunk and can only take the felt packing. It's amazing the little things that appear along the way.


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