Fuel Tanks 33 (2.5 hrs)

Today it was time to start repairing the leaking tank. I started with the dreaded task of removing the processed access plate. I’ve read some posts that say this is a gargantuan task. A few have said its easy, but details on it being easy were sparse.

I started by removing the screws. If you look closely you’ll notice a dab of valve grinding compound on the tip of the philips head screw driver. I was skeptical at first too, but this works wonders in stoping your philips screw driver from caming out of the screw. In fact, it works so well that torqued and prosealed screws were a breeze to take out!   

Now I messed around for a bit before I discovered the secret to removing the access plate. I was trying several different tools, heat gun, MEK… no luck. Then I read a post which said use a plastic putty knife (I have something similar) perfectly perpendicular to the access panel and a hammer (I recommend a dead blow). BOOM! The plate was off in no time. If you subtract the time that I fussed about with other methods, this took less than 10 minutes to do. There is no reason to use a cork seal after figuring out how easy this is!

After a little MEK and scotchbrite action, the plate is ready to be put back on. This bay doesn’t technically have a leak, but one leak is close enough to the rib in the next bay that I’m going to seal in here anyways. 

Next I measured where to cut the access plate holes. I was originally thinking to do all four, but decided to do the two I needed and then go from there.   

Like last time i used my leading edge jig and the drill press rotated 180 degrees with a fly cutter to make the holes.     

Well look at this. I did affix at least one cable to the vent line. Maybe thats why I marked this task as complete. We’ll never know…  

Here are the two holes. I went with 4 inch holes. I went a bit bigger last time. but 4 inches is perfect. After looking at the wire, I’m convinced I can proseal all of the wire with only these two access holes.

I inspected each area to see if I could determine where it is leaking. If you look really closely in this photo you can see a gap. Its tiny, but its there. 

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