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Vangon Articles - How to Drop and Reinstall a Gas Tank on a 2wd Vanagon (replacing lines and seals too!)


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How to Drop and Reinstall a Gas Tank on a 2wd Vanagon (replacing lines and seals too!)

August 5, 2014 3 Comments Ask Ken, Fuel system Ken Wilford

If you want to replace all the rubber fuel lines and seals on the tank we sell kits that will help you out.

gastankkit1 for 84-92 Vanagon with plastic filler neck
gastankkit2 for 80-84 Vanagon with metal filler neck

Please look in the passenger side wheel well to be sure which filler neck you have before ordering if you have an 84 model.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Unhook supply and return lines (one either side of tank) and drain fuel or siphon fuel out of filler hole (quicker).
  2. Undo the two bolts (13mm) that hold the metal straps to the front frame of the van.
  3. Remove straps by pulling the tab in the rear of the strap out of the slot
    it rests in.
  4. Rear of tank will drop down.
  5. Remove two lines from the side of the tank that go to the expansion tanks above front wheels.
  6. Now pop loose the other plastic expansion lines from the top of the tank.
  7. Pop the small line that hooks to the filler neck (overflow line) out of the tank.
  8. Unscrew the three screws that fasten the filler neck into the body and push it into the tank farther so you can move it over to the wheel well.
  9. Pull out the filler neck.
  10. Tank should drop straight down.
  11. Unplug sender.

Reinstallation is reverse of removal except I would undo the one nut that holds the expansion tanks in the wheel well on both sides so you have more line to play with. Also when reinstalling the expansion tank lines remove the rubber grommet that seals them to the tank and pop this into the tank first while you have the tank out, then pop the lines into the tank.

A lot easier than trying to pop these lines back on with the grommet still on the lines (tried this for about 20 mins and gave up!)

You can use some Vaseline for lubrication if necessary.

Also on reinstall tilt the tank so that you can get the front of it under the lip in the front beam and then just push it up so it is level and then you can slide the end of the straps back into the slots without a problem.

Print this out, and stick it in your Bentley.

If you appreciate the help we have given you here please support Van-Again with your parts purchases. Thank You!


Ken Wilford April 4, 2017

I would not do this. Instead I would just replace your old tank with a new one if you thought there was a problem. The interior of the OE tank is complex. It isn't like the old gas tanks that were mostly large open spaces with a few baffles. There is a screen. There is a sump that is separated from the rest of the tank. The old OE tanks go bad over time and should be replaced if you start to see rust inside or sediment in fuel filters. We have new ones available that I have been installing for the past 15 years. I have confidence in them. Let me know if I can help you further. Ken

VanRich April 2, 2017

Hi. I am in the process of changing hoses. They main reason to drop the tank is to coat the inside and outside with KBS coating. I've been told just now not to do it because of screens inside the tank may get blocked. I've done a bit of digging and found a couple guys who ignorantly coated the tanks and haven't had problems in over a decade. Can I get your thoughts?

Tony Sudney January 8, 2016

Hey Ken I have sort of a horror story about my Vanagan gasoline tank. Must have been in the late 90's the van was starting to sputter while driving along, took it to a dealer where I was friendly with a mechanic, whenever I brought the van in for service he was the one that worked on it. With this problem he found that the fuel filter was loaded with rust, replaced the filter and I drove off. Didn't take but a couple of weeks and the van was sputtering again, this time the mechanic told me the gasoline yank was loaded with rust and would have to be replaced at a cost of over $600.00. Well, a time earlier I noticed the gasoline filler overflow vent in the rear part of the right front wheel well, at that time I didn't like what I saw. When I was told about replacing the tank I called Volkswagen of America, which at that time was headquartered just North of Detroit, explained to them that I thought it was an engineering blunder that caused the tank to get water inside and rust. I argued that the overflow vent in the fenderwell was the cause. The plastic vent pipe from the gasoline filler pipe was fitted into another pipe that was of a larger diameter and loose, which created a funnel in which the water thrown up by the tire in wet weather drained down into the lower pipe and thus into the fuel tank. They called back in a couple of hours and told me to get to the dealer. The tank was replaced for $300.00, and the mechanic taped the plastic pipe connection with some good vinel(??) tape... Tony Sudney

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