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Drop the tank any way,it is only held in by a maximum of 4 bolts.Don't weld it while it is empty.either fill it with water or Nitrogen .At a pinch you can run a hose from a running gasoline car exhaust pipe to the tank filler,this will fill the tank with carbon monoxide and displace oxygen ,Making it safe to weld or whatever.
 

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The tank you have also has a return ,right?,it's the same tank as the 300Se,220Se etc and where you bridging peice was is normally where you would find the feed pump for the Mechanical fuel injection on the gasoline cars.No pump,there froe they put a bit of pipe there in it's place.Diesel is corrosive because it's hydroscopic .It attracts water and that is what ruined the connector pipe.plus old age[8D]
 
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