Date registered: Feb 2007
Location: Florida, USA
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fuel tank strainer removal on diesel cars
I recently removed and replaced the fuel strainer on my '85 300D and it was completely clogged with slime and sediment. After draining the tank, I proceeded to remove the strainer. To do this you will need a large socket - 1 and 13/16 inch to be exact (do not know the metric equivalent, but this size works well). The problem is that they do not offer such large sockets in 1/2 drive versions, so you have to get a 3/4 inch drive socket. I bought one from Sears for $ 26, only to discover that when I used a 3/4 to 1/2 adapter with my 1/2 inch breaker bar, there was not enough clearance because the axle joint can was in the way.
So I went to my local Harbor Freight store, got a 3/4 inch socket set complete with ratchet and breaker bar for $ 45 on sale. Using a 1 13/16 socket and 3/4 inch breaker bar, I got the strainer loose. Then I removed it, but suddenly another 4 gallons of diesel gushed out with surprising force. So have a large tub ready, which I fortunately had.
The old O ring on the strainer was completely flatened and I replaced the whole thing, although the old strainer can be cleaned with an old toothsrush in a can of diesel.
The drained diesel fuel can be successfully filtered using a paint paper filter inside a funnel and poured back into the tank. Just filter in from the tub into a plastic 5 gallon gas can and reuse.
You may want to consider replacing the short fuel tank outlet and intlet hoses with special fittings too. It is more than likely that they are the original hoses, more than 20 years old at this point.
Last edited by p100; 07-27-2009 at 12:08 PM.