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Topic-icon Fuel Tank Removal for Spar corrosion insp

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1 year 6 months ago #720

Has anyone removed their fuel cells and if they have how long did it take and what is the hardest part. What reference manual did you use for the removal? Thanks
ACFT is a PA-28-140. 1973 model with 180 HP.

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1 year 6 months ago #721

Hi,
I'm sorry that you have to remove your fuel tanks for the corrosion inspection. I just repaired two areas of corrosion on my 1977 Seneca 2 this last summer and it was expensive and time consuming. It turned out okay with the two areas in question repaired with new parts and it's as good as new now. Back to your issue. While our airplanes are very similar in the design of fuel tanks I had a couple of compounding issues, one of which might affect you. The first issue, which does not affect you is that I had to remove my de-ice boots. That's a hugely expensive proposition and I'm glad you don't have to deal with it. The second area was the removal of fuel tank screws that hadn't been removed since 1977. I spent about a month, off and on, removing those screws. I had to purchase rusted screw removal kits from Sears to get them out. Ultimately, my mechanic got the last few out that were hugely rusted in place. Once out, the tanks came out very easily for inspection. Finally, when you go to put the tanks back in, make sure that you use only new screws. Note that the back row screws are different than the side screws. Make sure that you get only approved screws as these are structural items. And make sure that you either grease the new screws or use bee's wax (my mechanic used the latter) so they come out easier next time. Good luck with your project and let us know how it turns out.

Best,
Scott Sherer
N344TB

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1 year 6 months ago #722

Thanks for the info, good news is that the screws had been replaced a few years ago and look good. Why the tank screws were replaced I don't know. There is no sign off for the spar corrosion SB. I'll let you know how it goes. Steve

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1 year 5 months ago #747

Usually takes a couple hours per side. Including reprinting the spar. And a 140 with a 180hp? Wow. Must be an STC'd install. What a hot rod.

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1 year 5 months ago #771

Oh and the last and best thing for the job. A good set of left handed drill bits for the stubborn ones. They are life savers

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1 year 5 months ago #774

I have left hand drill bits. The good news is that the screws have been replaced and aren't rusted. Can you disconnect the fuel line and gauge wires before you remove the tank or as you remove it? I can't find a reference for the the tank removal in the maintenance manual.

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