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Siphon hose fell in gas tank…

Started by ethanrmerc, 09 March 2024, 09:00 PM

ethanrmerc

I was siphoning out my gas tank (sat too long) and the hose slipped and fell into the tank. Anyone know of the best way to get it out? I have an endoscope with a claw attachment and that did not work...
1973 450SE

daantjie

You can remove the fuel gauge sender unit by removing the back seat rest and parcel shelf, I think from memory the access is under the medical kit tray.  Make sure you have a large drip pan handy to catch fuel spilling from the sender.  Then you'll need a strong light to see where the hose is.  Think safety and keep a fire extinguisher handy plus good ventilation and respirator.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

Jed

pretend it never happened and walk away... :o (we won't tell anyone)

but seriously, is it all rubber? how long? will it hurt anything?

when was the last time you replaced the fuel strainer in the bottom of the tank?
Maybe its time and you might be able to pull it out the bottom?


1979 Mercedes 6.9 #5206 - restored
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #6424 - ongoing restoration
1976 Mercedes 6.9 #484 - restoration?

ethanrmerc

Thank you both, was looking for your first answer Jed... i will "remember" it when I change the fuel filter.
1973 450SE

raueda1

I hate to say it, but I'd strongly recommend getting it out, or at least not ignore it indefinitely.  Leaving it in is an experiment in the long term effect of gasoline on PVC or whatever rubber it was.  I've already done that experiment in my pre-retirement career.  It generally isn't nice.  In the case of rubber, at a minimum it's likely that the tubing will swell and lose mechanical integrity.  Then it's subject to falling apart with b its of hose stuff in your fuel and messing up filters the rest of the fuel system.  In the case of PVC you risk extracting the plasticisers with a similar end result.  This wouldn't be overnight, to be sure.  But by ignoring it you risk having to the job that you seek to avoid by leaving it in.  In fact, the job would probably end up being a lot bigger if crp gets through your fuel system. If it were me I'd get it out.  I can't suggest some obvious way, but there must be one.  My thoughts go to endoscopes and those long grabbers on a flexible shaft, but I haven't tried myself.  Removing the sender gives a pretty big hole to poke around it.  Good luck!
-Dave
Now:  1976 6.9 Euro, 2015 GL550
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

ethanrmerc

Quote from: raueda1 on 13 March 2024, 08:38 PMI hate to say it, but I'd strongly recommend getting it out, or at least not ignore it indefinitely.  Leaving it in is an experiment in the long term effect of gasoline on PVC or whatever rubber it was.  I've already done that experiment in my pre-retirement career.  It generally isn't nice.  In the case of rubber, at a minimum it's likely that the tubing will swell and lose mechanical integrity.  Then it's subject to falling apart with b its of hose stuff in your fuel and messing up filters the rest of the fuel system.  In the case of PVC you risk extracting the plasticisers with a similar end result.  This wouldn't be overnight, to be sure.  But by ignoring it you risk having to the job that you seek to avoid by leaving it in.  In fact, the job would probably end up being a lot bigger if crp gets through your fuel system. If it were me I'd get it out.  I can't suggest some obvious way, but there must be one.  My thoughts go to endoscopes and those long grabbers on a flexible shaft, but I haven't tried myself.  Removing the sender gives a pretty big hole to poke around it.  Good luck!

Endoscope and grabber was my first attempt... to no avail :(
1973 450SE

raueda1

Quote from: ethanrmerc on 04 April 2024, 09:28 AMEndoscope and grabber was my first attempt... to no avail :(
Did you go in through the fuel gauge sensor hole on the top of the tank?  My recollection is that the opening is a couple inches wide (though my memory isn't what it used to be). Anyway, I'd think that you'd be able to at least see the tube from the top. Or maybe extend a small mirror on telescoping shaft through the top to look around? Unless of course it's lodged in the filter neck, but then presumably you wouldn't be able to siphon the gas out.
-Dave
Now:  1976 6.9 Euro, 2015 GL550
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0