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Is there an easy way to drain the fuel tank?

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Old Oct 20th, 2018, 13:24   #1
clarkey1984
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Default Is there an easy way to drain the fuel tank?

Hi all, as the title suggests really.

The t4 has just over half a tank, which will inevitably go stale, and the se is quite low, so I plan to take the fuel out, ideally without having to take the sender out, and driving to work and finding the little submersible I've got there, is there an easy way? I know on some cars there's a tank bung you can remove, and you can also get away with popping a hose off in the engine bay and let the fuel pump do the work, but I'm unsure of the fuel pressure involved on these so don't fancy firing fuel around at a few hundred bar as that's not exactly safe.

Many thanks in advance
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Old Oct 20th, 2018, 17:47   #2
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What I've done in the past is disconnect the fuel return pipe at the engine end, attach a hose and run the engine. Everything it doesn't consume will be pumped into a container you've directed the hose at. Half a tank might be pushing your luck with this method though, especially once it gets warm and pumps fuel more frugally.

What I would do is pull out the fuel pump relay:


If you look at the diagram on the relay, the photo isn't too clear, I think it was pins 30 and 87. I doubt I need to tell you how a relay works.


You'll notice it is the pins which are perpendicular to each other.


So you just shove a piece of wire in there and the fuel pump will pump forever!


I don't need to tell you to be careful with petrol. It's, erm, highly inflammable.

This will of course drain the battery, but you can still start the engine. If it's standing you could attach a battery charger while you do it. Or you could connect a pair of jump leads and run your other car to maintain the battery. If you're storing the car for any time you'll need to nurse the battery anyway otherwise it'll die.

The difficult bit will be attaching the pipe, I think. Not done this since pressure fittings became norm. Usually it was simply a case of undoing a jubilee clip. I'll leave your engineering skills to that test. :-)
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Old Oct 21st, 2018, 11:47   #3
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Absolutely top notch advice canis, although I used the main feed in pipe as couldn't seem to spot a return, although I do vaguely remember reading that t4s don't have a return to tank which might be why, I also used a switch in the wire as it made things easier to control.

It's also fair to assume that the intermittent misfire I was getting is fuel pump related, as despite draining in this way putting the pump under more load than it would normally be, I was getting about 20 seconds worth of pumping before the note changed and was accompanied with some wonderful grumbling noises, a bit like when a submersible is running out of fluid to pump, plus loads of bubbles, killing the power for a couple of seconds and then resuming cleared it for another 20 or so seconds, it did this from when I started at about half a tank until I finished leaving it just on the red, glad to know I've found the cause, albeit in a bit of an unorthodox way.
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Old Oct 21st, 2018, 16:31   #4
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Brilliant two posts which I never would have thought of. The relay bypass and putting a switch on the bypass! Could come in handy at some point!
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Old Mar 27th, 2019, 21:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkey1984 View Post
Absolutely top notch advice canis, although I used the main feed in pipe as couldn't seem to spot a return, although I do vaguely remember reading that t4s don't have a return to tank which might be why, I also used a switch in the wire as it made things easier to control.
Hi - can you tell me how to find this fuel tube that goes into the engine so I can disconnect it and direct it to my external canister?
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