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1981 280SL AT
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275 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hit the wall trying to get the fuel tank strainer out for all the same reasons as others have posted here....read and re-read many of the threads that dealt with the issue and didn't come across this solution so thought I'd share it. Apologies in advance should others have already made the discovery and I missed it in the threads somehow.

After trying in vain to back that 46mm nut out of the bottom of the tank, and yes, it was off-center, and yes, nothing would fit over it (why MB did not make that hole just a little larger is beyond me), and no, screwing the fuel exit hose back in and trying to somehow coax it out with that did not work. But, working along that premise we first applied some Loctite threadlocker, blue stuff and waited a couple hours which resulted in the first observable movement of the thing, albeit miniscule. To our disappointment, it did not hold and the exit hose just backed out.....another failed attempt.

At that point, we decided to go get some Loctite Threadlocker RED, apply and let sit overnight (about 17 hours). The next morning, using an open end wrench, beginning by moving it gently back and forth and only in very small increments, it gradually started moving more easily and for greater distances before breaking loose altogether and unscrewing. This averted the distinct possibility that we were going to need to remove the tank in order to get the thing out.

Hope this helps someone else get "unstuck" as it can be a major pain.....

Footnote: I think going with the RED was the ticket, although we first attempted with the RED after only a couple of hours and it DID NOT HOLD.....so, waiting for it to completely cure seems to be a necessary part of the process.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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6,663 Posts
I have not had to fiddle with my Fuel Tank -- so I am not all that clear
how you used that Red Locktite. Did per chance you make a photo?
Thanks
 

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Registered
1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,074 Posts
Carl what Anovak did was "bond" the fitting of the fuel hose into the strainer so both pieces came out as one unit. Clever idea.

 

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380SL diesel
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1,275 Posts
Very clever! The only potential problem I see is that if you want to try to reuse the strainer, you'll likely ruin it heating it enough to release the red threadlocker....maybe not in practice, but in theory. Maybe someone could experiment with that.

For the record, it's not that tough to remove the tank and while its out grind open the access port enough to get a socket on it for next time.

I appreciate the innovation in solving problems exhibited on this (and other) MB forums....and sharing them with the community.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,074 Posts
Very clever! The only potential problem I see is that if you want to try to reuse the strainer, you'll likely ruin it heating it enough to release the red threadlocker....maybe not in practice, but in theory. Maybe someone could experiment with that.
Fortunately both could be bought new for ballpark $50. Another approach would be to carefully chisel off the brass colored collar...metal is very soft. A short hand-held hacksaw blade would be another option. Remove the old hose and replace using a clamp rated for fuel injection. That's how I did mine.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,026 Posts
Using Loctite red was a great idea!

I have used it a lot in marine applications. For best performance need to make sure the thread surfaces are really clean and dry. Cure time at least 24hrs. To take apart needs to be heated to 250C

Can't recall if that hose end has a straight or a tapered pipe thread? If straight, and if Loctite doesn't work, perhaps a lock nut could be put on first to lock pipe into strainer?

Never had to change my strainer, so no practical knowledge. My hose attached to a hose barb (or maybe original hard pipe) that screws into the strainer.
 

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380SL diesel
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1,275 Posts
Another approach would be to carefully chisel off the brass emove the old hose and replace using a clamp rated for fuel injection. That's how I did mine.
Good point....old brain cells failed to remember that strategy - It's how I did mine too.
 

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1981 280SL AT
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275 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Carl what Anovak did was "bond" the fitting of the fuel hose into the strainer so both pieces came out as one unit. Clever idea.

Thanks! And yes, that is exactly what we did.

Very clever! The only potential problem I see is that if you want to try to reuse the strainer, you'll likely ruin it heating it enough to release the red threadlocker....maybe not in practice, but in theory. Maybe someone could experiment with that.

For the record, it's not that tough to remove the tank and while its out grind open the access port enough to get a socket on it for next time.

I appreciate the innovation in solving problems exhibited on this (and other) MB forums....and sharing them with the community.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
Thanks also and you are right as well.....I had the new parts on hand so wasn't concerned about re-using the strainer. Further, had we taken the tank out, that is the first thing we would have done, enlarge the access port - good point!
 

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75, 280Sl /5speed
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1,293 Posts
You might want to wipe a little anti-seize compound on the threads of the new strainer for easy future removal.
 

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R/C107 Moderator
1986 560SL: '84 500SL: '84 280SL 5 speed: other 107s
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31,781 Posts
I have removed two strainers. 500 and 560SL. I was lucky. Both came out with the hose attached. The 500 was not off center. The 560 was. Came out okay but I had to grind one edge of the new one to get it installed.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,026 Posts
I have removed two strainers. 500 and 560SL. I was lucky. Both came out with the hose attached. The 500 was not off center. The 560 was. Came out okay but I had to grind one edge of the new one to get it installed.
The picture of mine in post #6 doesn't 'look' off center, but angle of pic is not good.

Thinking that maybe the fuel tanks in newer cars were slightly different from the early ones, but the hole in chassis (body?) was left as-is?
 

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1983 380SL (us), Former owner: 1965 190Dc
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1,324 Posts
A 42mm socket will fit the strainer. Try to find a socket that isn't chamfered to the inside of the socket. You may have to modify the socket with a grinder. The object is to get the points in the socket to grip the points on the strainer.

Addition: 42mm is the size for an 83


I got lucky and the strainer come out when I went to remove the hose that screws into it.
 

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1981 280SL AT
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275 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all that, Walt. Mine is an '81 and a 280, which I didn't think would make any difference as far as the tanks are concerned. It does in at least one way as my strainer is 46mm......
 
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