Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-03-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
Strange gas tank vent?

I am finally getting a closer look at the underside of my 84 Excella 270.
Today I was tracing out some wiring that goes from the alternator circuit breaker to cut ends at the rear bumper, when I got sidetracked after I found a 4' length of 3/8 copper tube running along the frame from just under the back bumper to a rubber hose that seems to be going to the top of the gas tank behind the rear axil. It was not clamped down, just laying there.
There is no easy way to find the connection on the other end of the rubber hose above the tank, but when I gave the tube a sniff test, it smelled like gas, so I assume it may be the tank vent.

So is this a Airstream "factory" gas tank vent method, or has some previous owner cobbed together this strange setup?
I know that in the later 80's they started using vapor recovery, but I dont think they did in 84.
In the old receipts from this MH, there is evidence that the gas tank was pulled due to contamination.
Any clues?
Thanks
Wayne
__________________

__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
cmadmaxman's Avatar

 
1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 161
Images: 37
The tank vent was not really thought out by AS in my opinion.

On my unit, there was only the check valve on top, and if you tried to top of the tank, you had gas draining down the tank and under the coach.

Take a look at my post on this problem, and you might get some idea of what is going on under there.

My tank ugrade
__________________

__________________
Chris & Brenda, Members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association
AIR Member 12654
1982 310 MoHo
Many Years ago, 1972 Argosy 24' trailer
Our Toad, 96 Saturn SW2 (261,000 and still going )
cmadmaxman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
Thanks, that is helpful.
I do need to drop this tank some day, so that I can see what is happening up there. I also see copper and rubber hoses going to the generator, so this must be a MacGyver cob job from the past. It is 1/2 full so it will have to wait.
The records show that in 1997 they put over $700 into pulling the tank for contamination. Mine is a flat bottom with no drain plug. After all this time it is good to check the straps anyway.

I would sure hate to repeat what happened with my 64 Impala when I filled the tank and hit a bump in the road. The straps let loose and the tank departed the vehicle! I did MacGyver that one to get home. The tank was in fair shape with no leaks, so my friend and I picked it up and put it in the trunk and ran a rubber fuel line to it to get home. It was only a 20 gallon tank, I sure would not want to drop a full 60 gallon!
__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2014, 04:42 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
Looks like it is time to drop the tank. I was driving back from a campout with the gas gauge reading 1/2 , if it reads right, that is about 30 gallons remaining. I had 130 miles to drive but about 1/2 way home I was getting signs of fuel problems, I pulled the cowl and checked the fuel pressure gauge and it was definitely dropping out.
The gas gauge was reading above 1/4 so I thought maybe it was the fuel injection pump going bad again. I limped to a gas station and put about 15 gallons in and it starting running fine. The gas gauge was back up past 1/2.
Continuing on my trip and I got another 50 miles and it started acting up again. The gas gauge was between 1/2 & 1/4 but I put another 10 gallons in and made it home, the gauge is reading about 1/2 when I got home.

I am using the electric lift pump to drain the fuel into 5 gallon cans. I have 6 cans ready. I only got about 12 gallons out before the pump just supplied a trickle, so I shut that down. Now the gauge reads just above 1/4.

Next I used the electric pump on the generator to pull some fuel, I got about 4 more gallons before it went dry, but the gas gauge is just under the 1/4 mark, so I am guessing I still have 15 gallons in there that needs to be siphoned out.

For the problem, I guess it is either a leak in the engine supply tube at the 1/4 tank level or some sort of blockage in the pickup that starts giving problems when the level gets low.

When I get the tank off I would like to install an in tank fuel pump like they started doing in late 84's. If I can find one that fits my tank? I also want to make a small access port in my floor right over the tank so I can pull out the sender and access the tubing without dropping the tank.
I would hate to buy a new tank, I only see them in 40 gallon size.
__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2014, 10:37 AM   #5
Airstream Driver
 
PeterH-Airstreamer's Avatar

 
1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,373
Images: 51
Since there are 2 supply lines from the tank (1 for engine and 1 for generator) you may want to check if some Previous owner messed with hooking up the engine to the generator supply line, which shuts off at 1/4 tank.
__________________
1990 29' Excella Trailer
1996 Airstream B190
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
PeterH-Airstreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #6
Zil
3 Rivet Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Currently Looking...
egg harbor city , South Jersey
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 209
Your gauge could be wrong. Very likely could be wrong.
__________________
Zil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2014, 02:11 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
I got the tank out and boy what a cob job on the sender unit.
The hoses to the gen set and engine were correct. I still may have some sort of leak in the engine pickup tube, you can see in the photo the tubes were extended with rubber hose and the float has a botched up welding job.

The sender wire wound resistor contact is not at the end when the float is down, so that may be the gauge reading problem. The fact that the engine pickup running out of fuel before the generator tells me there is a leak in the pickup or the lift pump cant pull fuel well enough.
The opening for the sender is only 1 5/8" so I doubt I can put a in tank pump through it.
I have some rust sediment to clean out but the tank looks good.
So the facts are: 1/2 tank of gas that should have been 30 gallons only yielded about 20 total. I was able to siphon 8 gallons of fuel that was beyond the reach of both pickup tubes so there is a pickup or lift pump problem. The engine pickup tube filter is 16" that matches the depth of the tank so it should have gotten more fuel then it did.

I will take the sender to work and try and modify it with steel tubing to replace the rubber and fix the float so it will read properly.

It also looks like this is the original tank, I found a label covered in grease. The company is Travel Tanks and it was made in 11/82 for Airstream so it matches up. I wonder if that cob job is the original sender?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Sender1K.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	75.7 KB
ID:	224205  
__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2014, 01:13 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
Enough messing around, I am reworking my fuel tank setup. It looks like I have enough material to make another web article about this adventure!?
In brief; The old gauge sender is to messed up to repair, it was reading about 1/4 tank when it was empty and after testing it has erratic resistance at many of its positions. I found a full replacement online but they want over $220 for it, so I made my own out of spare parts.
At the same time I need better fuel delivery for the TBI system I installed on the engine, so I am buying a new fuel pickup assembly with a fuel pump in the tank. It requires a new 4 1/2" hole to be cut, but there will be enough room for my sender unit in the original hole and this new unit.
More details later...
__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2014, 02:29 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
92landyacht's Avatar
 
1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 772
Wayne,

Just curious.... What was involved in dropping the tank?
__________________
92landyacht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2014, 03:38 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
WayneG's Avatar
 
1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 646
Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Wayne,

Just curious.... What was involved in dropping the tank?
Not as bad as I first thought. I parked the motorhome in a position that gave me the best ground clearance under the tank. The messiest part was taking the remaining 25+ gallons of fuel out. I used the electric fuel pumps for most of it, then I had to siphon the rest through the filler port in the tank after I removed the hoses.
The 270's tank is 60 gallons and sits behind the rear axle. There are 2 heavy straps that bolt together in the center under the tank. I used my Kroil to loosen the rust and let it sit while I was draining the tank. I needed 2 large wrenches to break them loose. I used a small floor jack with plywood to hold it in place as I removed the bolts. My straps have swivels so they rotate out of the way.
I gently let it down keeping it balanced on the jack. I did not know the tanks weight then, but it was not to difficult to lift one end at a time and put it on 2x6's on the ground and slide the jack out. There was just enough clearance to get a hand up there and remove the hoses. I just cut them at the sender fittings. I also snipped the sender wires off because they were rusted on the bolts.
The tank sits 16" high and another inch or two for the sender ports so I needed to use the jack to boost up the rear end a bit so I could slide the tank out. To make that easier I have a 3/16" 4x6' polyethylene sheet that I use to work underneath, I dropped the tank off the 2x6's onto the sheet to allow it to slide easier and not dig into the lawn. I am guessing the tank weighs between 40 & 60 pounds empty. I hope the re-installation will go smoother.
One note, between the straps and the tank there is a 3" wide coarse braided canvas material, almost like forest service fire hose, I guess it is used as a anti abrasion material. Some of mine was unraveling and I need to find some to replace it. If anyone has a source?
__________________
WayneG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2014, 12:41 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
cmadmaxman's Avatar

 
1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 161
Images: 37
Here is what I used to get some room to work under the rig.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG1244.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	369.2 KB
ID:	225229
__________________
Chris & Brenda, Members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association
AIR Member 12654
1982 310 MoHo
Many Years ago, 1972 Argosy 24' trailer
Our Toad, 96 Saturn SW2 (261,000 and still going )
cmadmaxman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2014, 03:02 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
Wayne you can buy the tank mounting strap material at truck parts supply houses. They use it to mount the saddle tanks on trucks. It is kind of pricey.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
92landyacht's Avatar
 
1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 772
Let us know how the reinstallation goes.
__________________

__________________
92landyacht is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The smell of gas...and a strange instrument above my fridge. clicknathan LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 3 05-30-2013 07:39 PM
Strange 'Vent' in Subfloor evanconklin Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 6 01-09-2012 04:01 PM
Strange Blackwater Tank/Dump Valve glang58 Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 1 08-02-2010 01:27 AM
Relocating strange gas line ? FreshAir LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 8 08-04-2008 09:49 PM
Strange substance in holding tank... cljackson 1999 Safari 8 02-03-2003 03:12 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.