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MG MGF Technical - How to remove fuel tank?

Any hints and tips on removing the fuel tank? I have the car stripped right down, although the fuel pump remains in situ (the retaining ring is proving rather tricky to remove) - all straps and pipes disconnected - but the blooming tank doesn't want to come out! Looks larger than the aperture it clearly went in through...

Rob Bell

Rob, I seem to remeber reading on here that the tank appears to expand with fuel in it, and if left to vent empty it tends to shrink back allowing it to be exptracted.

Rob, we had to cut Paul's (Bigfoot) tank out of his car to remove it. The problem is that the tank swells up once it has been filled with fuel.
Ralph Gadsby

Tank's been vented, but still has some old fuel in it - so I guess a bit of syphoning is in order Dave. And some luck.

Ralph, I do hope I don't have to cut it up to get it out!!! I need the tank (or at least, the fuel return line that is on top of it) to replace the part that is in Project Shed. Very annoyingly, someone has cut the black plastic fuel return line off at the connector on the Shed, so it needs to be replaced.

I don't particularly want to buy a new tank, when there's a perfectly sound original in the spares car (albeit, one that doesn't want to come out)...
Rob Bell

Maybe you can apply a vacuum and suck the sides in, if that's what the problem is. I use an old pump from a refrigerator pulls around 28 inches of mercury. Works a treat. Might even reduce the tank to nearly nothing :-)
Ken Waring


I recall, it was an ar*e to remove the tank unhurt from the wreck I bought in 1999.

See upper 4 pics here

Finally I bent the upper LH corner of the flange at the tunnel in direction front of the car to *lever* the tank out.
See the interference here:
Me and an friend used several thin wooden beams as levers and got it out beginning on the drivers side bottom corner.

I wasn't aware of the expansion behavior in 1999. But it is right.
The tank also shrinks back smaller if it's empty and open for a longer time. This "time" may be Month or Years though ;)
My tank was small when I sold it 5 years later ... *g*

However, I'd recommend what Ken said with the vacuum application.

Good luck


The tank must be completely drained from the left and right sections. Make sure there are no fuel vapours around as a small spark from metal hitting metal could cause bigger problems for you.
Would be good if you can get your hands on spare seat belt material. You could sling it around the tank and use it to help extract it.

Dieters pic shows how the tank should look at the stage for extraction.

Looks like it "should" come out easy.....



The come back on this question is that Tim and I did eventually get the tank out of the donor car after a few scrapes and scratches, plus the wanton application of mindless violence to the now scrap body shell, relieving the flanges over the 'transmission' tunnel, the sides of the tank aperture and over the top.

All to get a fuel return pipe that had been needlessly cut on the Shed by the previous owner!!!

Curiously, the Shed's tank was much easier to get out - but then it's tank has been venting for the best part of a year...!
Rob Bell

Rob, if you need a new tank I should have one for a good price as I've just bought one but only want the pump assembly from it. You would have to pick it up from Rugby though.

This thread was discussed between 24/09/2008 and 08/10/2008

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