About a month ago, I made a major mistake on my fuel tanks. Like a complete idiot, I installed the right z-brackets on the left tank and vice versa. I was mortified when I realized what I had done. I decided to allow all of the sealant to completely dry so that I would have the best chance of retrieving the rivets from inside the tank. If the sealant were still tacky, I would have no luck.
I was dreading drilling out the pop rivets. I thought they would be more difficult than normal rivets. It turned out to be super easy. I drilled out all of the pop rivets on both tanks in probably about 20 min. The center punch finished the job.
All that remained was to retrieve all the pieces from inside the tanks. I should be able to just shake them out… right? Nope. Well then, no worries, I have a telescoping magnet and mirror… this should be no sweat! Wrong again. There should be 25 pop rivets in each tank (50 total). After a good hour and a half of shaking, magnet wielding, and sticky tape ball fishing, I had 17. They don’t even rattle anymore. So yeah, now I’m not sure what the next step is. If I have to take that baffle off, I’m going to be sick to my stomach as that is A LOT of work. With that many rivets to drill out, the likelihood of messing one up also goes up.
I’m inclined to say f&$# it. Thats what a fuel filter is for, but I’m probably going to consult Van’s and maybe the forums first. I don’t like the idea of a potential clogged fuel line 10 years from now. *Edit. I posted to VAF here.