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  • Fuel System: Plugged pick-up tube

    Anyone know a good way to unplug the pick-up tube in a 49 COMMANDER fuel tank?

  • #2
    Disconnect the fuel line at the flex hose between the body and the engine.
    Take off the gas cap. Blow compressed air into the pick up tube.

    Then make sure there is a container at the flex hose end.
    Wrap rags around the air hose and blow compressed air into the tank.

    Are you sure the pick up tube is plugged? If the fuel will not pump, there could be air holes in the fuel line such that the furl pump is sucking air.

    Additionally, all of the hoses could be suspect; the ones at the tank outlet and the flex hose between the body and the engine.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      What HE said ^^^^^^

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      • #4
        I had a problem with a pick up tube in a 53 Commander. I removed the tank and used a piece of old speedometer cable hooked to a drill to ream through the trash and varnish that had built up in the tube due to the car sitting for years. The speedo cable is flexible so it will conform to the shape of the tube. The tube cleaning only took a couple of minutes. Removing and replacing the tank took some time. Bud

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        • #5
          Thank you, I blew air from front to back and the line is clear,but no air flow threw the tube in the tank, tried wire to no success. I like the speed-o cable idea, will give it a try.

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          • #6
            Does anyone know how long the pick-up tube is? And is it open on the end or the bottom?

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            • #7
              Except for my 1962 GT Hawk, which I sold in 1988, I have not taken a very close look into a Studebaker gas tank in a long time. On that car, it was running out of gas with gas left in the tank and the gauge reading nearly a quarter of a tank. I removed the sending unit and shined a flashlight in the tank. At that time, I thought the gas exited the tank at the fitting. Didn't know there was a "pick-up" tube extending into the tank. What I found was that the tube was bent up way off the bottom. Examining the tank revealed a dent on the bottom of the tank from some incident with the previous owner that had caused the tube to raise up internally. I used a wooden dowel to push and bend it back down.

              Vaguely...I seem to remember some type of screen element at the end of that tube. But, I might be confusing it with another tank I have seen. Depending on the history of your car, how long it has sat, extreme dry/humid/ heat/cold cycles, with old gas?...if your car has one of those screen pre-filters, you could have some pretty gooey tar-like residue in your 71-year-old tank that will need some serious cleaning before putting it into service.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                I had the tank out and flushed it and rattled some nuts and bolts around in it and thought I blew air through the tube, but guess not. Got the speed-o cable 10" in and got something hard, so wasn't sure if the end was open or not.

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                • #9
                  I don't know about the '49 tank, but my '52 tank's pickup tube went straight into the tank about 10" to 12" and then made a 90 degree turn where it was soldered to the bottom of the tank. The tube is cut away there to allow fuel pickup off the bottom of the tank.
                  3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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                  • #10
                    Thank you, I am in about 10"so now I will have to figure out what's next.

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                    • #11
                      Ok,got it figured out, the tube has a 90 degree bend ,so I filled the tube with blaster penetrating oil and let it set for 48 hrs. And used air to blow it out, now I have a running car thank you all.

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