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544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by Harley Johansen on
Monday, 12 May 1997, at 3:05 p.m.

This car runs fine until gas level falls below the bottom of the filler pipe, although tank is still nearly full. An open-end 5/16 tube is visible at bottom of filler pipe, with open end pointed upward. My old tank does not have this. Am I looking at the intake tube? Car ran fine until gas level fell below the end of this tube, then gets fuel starved. I took the gas guage float out and looked into tank. Gas level is full at top of the guage opening. It would be nice to know if anyone else has seen this type of tank. Thanks, HJ


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by Jim McDonald on
Tuesday, 13 May 1997, at 11:08 a.m.

Yes. that's the intake tube; it's rotated 180 degrees. It should point down and end 1/2" from the bottom of the tank. I believe that the tube can be rotated by turning the fitting on the outside of the tank at the outlet.


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by John Erickson on
Tuesday, 13 May 1997, at 11:32 p.m.

DON'T TRY TO TURN THE FITTING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TANK!!! I just pulled the tank out of my 544 because someone had gotten a little carried away tightening the fuel line and broke the whole fitting assembly loose from the tank. Its just soldered in there and it won't take too much to break it loose. Then all your gas will leak out until it gets to a level below the fitting. This is not something you can rotate. Behind the large washer you can see is a square tube in a square hole.

When you look down the filler pipe, the open-ended tube you see is the vent pipe coming out of the top of the tank. The other end of that tube can be seen as it enters the top of the fuel tank in the trunk opposite the spare tire. Its under a little round plate and is sealed in the trunk opening with a bunch of putty.

I can't imagine what is causing your problem. I would drain the tank (I'm so glad there is a drain plug) and pull it out. Its really pretty easy. It took me less than 15 minutes. Once its out, you can poke things in holes and see if anything is really wrong with it. There may be debris in the tank or maybe your fuel filter is plugged or your pump is giving you problems.


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by Jim McDonald on
Wednesday, 14 May 1997, at 10:35 a.m.

Very interesting! The fitting which holds the pickup tube on my spare tank['63] screws into a fitting which is soldered into the tank. Given this, I could see how the tube might be turned upside down; if it were soldered in, one wouild think, as you say, that it would leak like crazy if it were rotated. The 544 gas tank is certainly the worst feature of an otherwise fun car.


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by John Erickson on
Wednesday, 14 May 1997, at 10:07 p.m.

You are correct. The fuel line connects to a fitting that is screwed into the tank. The fitting must be removed to get the tank out of the car. I just wanted to make sure no one attempted to move the position of the pick-up tube and to identify the tube that you can see looking down the filler pipe. My only complaints about the tank are that it only holds 9 gallons and that there isn't a screen over the end of the pick-up tube.


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by Harley Johansen on
Wednesday, 21 May 1997, at 5:03 p.m.

FYI, I tried lowering the fuel pump to a level below the tank bottom, but still have the problem. Pump starts pounding like tank is empty, and there is a whistle sound at the carb which sounds like air escaping. So I'm going to connect an extra pump that I have, directly to the tank outlet and see if I can pump it dry. If this works, then I must have a problem in the pump/line system. The symptoms describe an air leak prior to the pump.

I discovered the source of the open end tube inside of filler pipe. It is a vent built into the lower filler pipe (the part attached to tank), extending through the filler pipe side, to be connected with hose to upper vent on tank. It is stubbed off (bent over) because I have another one at top end of filler pipe above the rubber boot. My line into the pump is new hose connecting to pipe extension from tank fitting and clamped tightly at all connections. thanks for advice. HJ


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by John Erickson on
Wednesday, 21 May 1997, at 7:41 p.m.

Harley, you're confusing me. "I tried lowering the fuel pump to a level below the tank bottom" - you must have an electric pump. Sometimes the lobe on the cam that drives the mechanical pump gets worn enough to render a new mechanical pump fairly useless.

"It is stubbed off (bent over) because I have another one at top end of filler pipe above the rubber boot." Not good. The vent pipe should be open and centered in the filler pipe coming out of the tank. The vent pipe above (inside) the rubber boot is supposed to connect to the one coming out of the tank. (This is probably not the cause of any of your problems unless you haven't tried running the car without the gas cap).

Not that this is a recommended procedure, but have you tried to blow air back through the fuel line into the tank? If you can, then you definitely have a problem with junk in the tank. If not, the line is plugged somewhere (pull off both ends and blow it out with an air hose).

Keep trying...

John


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by John Erickson on
Wednesday, 21 May 1997, at 7:42 p.m.

Harley, you're confusing me. "I tried lowering the fuel pump to a level below the tank bottom" - you must have an electric pump. Sometimes the lobe on the cam that drives the mechanical pump gets worn enough to render a new mechanical pump fairly useless.

"It is stubbed off (bent over) because I have another one at top end of filler pipe above the rubber boot." Not good. The vent pipe should be open and centered in the filler pipe coming out of the tank. The vent pipe above (inside) the rubber boot is supposed to connect to the one coming out of the tank. (This is probably not the cause of any of your problems).

Not that this is a recommended procedure, but have you tried to blow air back through the fuel line into the tank? If you can, then you definitely have a problem with junk in the tank. If not, the line is plugged somewhere (pull off both ends and blow it out with an air hose).

Keep trying...

John


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by Harley Johansen on
Friday, 23 May 1997, at 12:55 p.m.

John, Thanks for advice. Problem is solved. You were right about crud in the tank. I hooked another pump to the tank and it would pump only a partial and intermittant stream. So I then took the fitting off the tank and ran a wire down into the tank. I must have cleared the line, because gas came out under its own pressure. Now the thing works again. I should probably drain the tank to get the crud out. Yes I do have an electric pump. It is six volt pump from local NAPA store that cost about $50. The original pump on the engine died and was bypassed when I got the car. Now I can move on to my brake light problem. HJ


Re: 544 gas tank intake continued[ALL/1998] posted by John on
Friday, 23 May 1997, at 3:08 p.m.

Take the tank out and have it cleaned. You'll never get everything if you try to do it yourself. Most radiator shops will clean out a tank for a modest fee. Remove the gas gauge sending unit before you take it to them. They use some real caustic stuff and it will probably damage the sending unit.


Fuel Starvation[ALL/1998] posted by John Erickson on
Thursday, 15 May 1997, at 1:57 p.m.

It sounds like you are relying on gravity to provide fuel to the carbs. Check the fuel pump to make sure the diaphragm is intact and that the whole unit is functioning properly.




 


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