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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / cutting hole in fuel tank
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Posted By Discussion Topic: cutting hole in fuel tank

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huggy
May-08-2007 @ 12:26 AM                           Permalink
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anyone got any proven method to drill a 1.5" hole in the top of my galvanised diesel fuel tank?..I am fitting a fuel sender unit (someone's stolen c70litres of diesel) into my tank.  I have an idea that if i fit a strong magnet to the top where i'm drilling then i can pull the swarf away thus preventing if from entering the tank. I cannot remove the tank, and would rather not drain all the fuel off. Any ideas?  and best tool for the job?

thanks

....huggy

billmaxted
May-09-2007 @ 6:45 AM                           Permalink
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I'm not quite sure how having a sender unit is going to help prevent losses any more than having an accurate dip stick.  A long clasp and harsp over the filler cap fixed to the deck would seem a better bet.

If your tank has an inspection hatch (many don't) then the safest way is to take that off and drill into that.  You will need the proper material to make a new gasket.

If not you would need a circular hole saw with a pilot drill to ensure that there is no risk of the disc falling into the tank.  A couple of sea magnets on top of the tank might help to retain any swarf but you would still have to exact it with only a 1 1/2 " hole to play with.

BIll...  

BroadAmbition
May-09-2007 @ 7:42 AM                           Permalink
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We had the same questions with our tanks, that is a hole to be cut in the diesel tank, waste holding tank, and one of the fresh water tanks.

A magnet was going to be no use whatsoever as all our tanks are S/steel.

So what we did was buy a GOOD quality hole cutter, with a slow speed drill. An assistant used a FINE water spray to keep the blade cool and our henry hoover on full pelt with the thin nozzle attachment all at the same time.  Success, and then of course there is always the diesel and water filters to rely on as a back up.  -  Griff




One of these decades we WILL finish Broad Ambition !!

ncsl
May-09-2007 @ 8:34 AM                           Permalink
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You could try this type of cutter with HSS toolbits fitted.

http://www.holepro.com/


Also place a small permanent magnet on the bottom of the tank as this will continually pick u and metal bits.

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ncsl
May-09-2007 @ 8:38 AM                           Permalink
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Huggy
By the way, I hope the fuel tank is NOT galvanised inside as this is not allowed with the BSS.

Just for info.  Not being funny.

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petemarr
May-09-2007 @ 9:04 AM                           Permalink
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If you have an access point big enough to get your hand in then a hole punch is the best to use.
No swarf at all. see link below.

http://www.tooled-up.com/Product.asp?PID=41316&Referrer=Froogle

Pete.
I love to go boating because it gives me something to do while I'm not doing anything.

billmaxted
May-09-2007 @ 10:13 AM                           Permalink
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Griff I am a bit amazed that any new S/S tank these days does not come with an inspection hatch. It does not effect the pressure test. If you get contaminated fuel it's a god send well worth the small extra cost.  The only poblem is to make sure that the hatch plate is located in a position where you can access it to unbolt it.

I admit I did not like the sound of a galvanised tank but how one can actually tell whether it is galvanised inside I cannot say, at least not until you have cut a hole and have the blank  Scared  .  Another resason for not doing so perhaps?

Bill...

BroadAmbition
May-09-2007 @ 12:38 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Bill, Well the water tanks x 2 are original, their location doesn't readily lend itself to inspection very easily, we cut a hole in the top of one of them (under where the new decks are now in place) If that sender ever gives up we are well and truly stuck.
The diesel tank in hindsight we could have asked for an inspection plate on the top of one side but it was not ever thought of until now that is  Blush   that comes with us lot being novices at this ere restoration lark.  We did however have a sump section with a drain plug installed within the new s/steel diesel tank, so we got something right.

The waste holding tank, the sender, on its removal could be used as an inspection hole, but it is the last place I would want to inspect!  -  Griff

One of these decades we WILL finish Broad Ambition !!

huggy
May-09-2007 @ 1:16 PM                           Permalink
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thanks for the comments.  Bill, i'm gonna also fit a locking fuel filler. Dont like the idea of a hasp fixed on the deck. Trouble is these locking versions are about £35.00.
Comes to something when we have to start doing this eh? Suppose its to do with the rising price of fuel.  I want to fit a fuel gauge as this will be a permanent indication to me.  I must admit that i dont religously check my fuel level, as i use very little and generally assume i have about half a tank most-times. Never imagined my fuel would be stolen. I'm in a very secure mooring, Brundall Gardens, but it could have happened at one of the hostelries nearby perhaps.
Are you saying Lord Paul that BSS says you must not cut a hole in a fuel tank that is internally galvanised?  Ive got mine anyway but would be nice to know this ruling. Is the problem potential rust? or what.
Regards to all

....huggy

billmaxted
May-09-2007 @ 1:40 PM                           Permalink
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Hate to say but 80% of fuel senders cease to work after the first season, frankly I would not bother if you have a straight down filler a dip stick hung over a bean can is much more accurate and a lot cheaper even Broom's do it on private craft   Wink  Clasps may not look good but they are obviouse.

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