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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!)

July 24, 2020 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.
  12. Get rid of the old tank
  13. Get new Tank and install kit from Van-Again
  14. On the new tank- Install the three rubber grommets in the top of the tank.  I use some vaseline on them to help them go in place.  Once they are installed, use a phillips screwdriver or alignment tool to be sure they are seated properly, and the hole in the center is round and as large as possible.
  15. I usually install the rubber hoses on the cross over tube with the plastic lines that go to the expansion tanks to make it as long as possible. 


    Install the cross over tube above the tank on the frame of the van.  There is a hook up there that it should hang on.

    17. Then you install the rubber hoses with the plastic lines on the top of the tank to the two side metal pipes on the tank.  Pull them a little away from the sides and tape them lightly to the top of the tank.  That way they aren't pinched when you install the tank.  

    18. I use a floor jack, support the tank in the center, tip the front edge up above the lip. 

    19. Jack the tank up until you can plug in the level sensor. 

    20. Once that is completed, continue jacking until the tank is in position being careful that the hoses on the top don't get pinched.   Once the tank is up, install the straps at the rear edge first.  Then line up the straps on the front edge with a screwdriver or alignment tool and install the bolts. 

    21.Now you can reach into the wheel wells and pull the lines that were taped to the top of the tank and pull them up to install on the expansion tanks.  You should also be able to reach through the wheel wells and push down on the tees until they pop into place in the top of the tank grommet.  Be sure you are installing the one on the passenger side into the correct hole as there are two of them.  You want to install that one into the hole that is closest to the center.

    22. Now install the grommet for the gas tank filler neck (lubricate the seal with vasoline and also clean the filler neck and lube that where it slides into the fill neck grommet with vasoline as well).

    23. Push the filler neck into place and line it up.  You will have to push it past where it is supposed to go and then pull it back a little to line it up.  Now you can install the vent tube that goes with the filler neck into the top of the tank grommet as well.  It should just pop right in if you have lubricated things.

    24. Finish installing the rubber lines to the expansion tanks in the wheel wells.

    25. Now you are ready to hook the tank up to the fuel pump and the return line.  That should be it.

Print this out, and stick it in your Bentley.

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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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