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Anyone ever successfully fit a fuel sock on an installed Lark tank?

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  • Fuel System: Anyone ever successfully fit a fuel sock on an installed Lark tank?

    Working on my '64 Daytona convertible. Last outing, it seemed to run out of gas, despite the tank being over half full. The electric pump was running, but not pushing any fuel. I was able to blow back into the line, and fuel began to flow, but it hesitated once more on me before I reached home. Just now, I drained out nearly all the fuel, and peered around inside with a video inspection scope. Tank is mostly clean, but there are spots and strips of rust, some of built up to the point that it casts a shadow. So I can assume there are loose particles of it wandering around inside the tank. I can see the internal tube from the outlet fitting snaking around inside the tank, but have not located the end. Where should I look for that? It occurs to me that if I could put a fuel sock on some sort of tool, and winkle it onto the end of the pickup tube, I would not have to drop the tank and boil it out.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  • #2
    I understand what you are trying to accomplish but I’m afraid that the sock would clog up and cut fuel flow anyway. An in-line filter between the fuel pump and tank would be easier to service than finagling with a sock on the end of the pickup tube through the sending unit hole in the tank. If the trash and junk particles in the tank are too big to flow through the tube then you probably need to bite the bullet and pull the tank for a more thorough cleaning.

    On modern vehicles with in tank fuel pumps one of my pet peeves is the ten cent pre-filter screen/sock. I consider it engineering malpractice and a planned trap to make money off of unsuspecting customers who are suckered into an expensive fuel pump replacement when that tiny little piece of screen is clogged. The fuel pumps could easily be engineered with enough clearance to allow small particulate to pass through and be filtered by an inexpensive replaceable filter outside the tank. Sorry for the rant but I fell for the ruse once before figuring it out.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #3
      jclary, since you are here and we have similar work histories I want your .25 worth of ideas......as I am also having electric fuel pump 'plugging' problems.

      gordr, please forgive me for butting in on your problem .

      Old 63R1089 came to me with a very cheap / poor installation / inline electric pump.....which now has choked up and died while running in the garage this winter. Good, it forced me to do this the correct way BEFORE I have the car on the road.

      My desire is to have a screen type filter between the fuel tank and electric pump ( which I have been told was 'new' when the car was restored ( ). If the new tank is anything like the fuel pump condition I would be driving a BOMB . Coming from industry and tons of experience with fussy hydraulics I want the advantage of being able to remove the screen (on the road or wherever it plugs), clean out the crud and get moving again.......without having to depend on having a spare filter somewhere in the trunk.

      I have tried several of the usual automotive places and I did not find any cleanable stainless steel screen fuel filters. So my next thought was the usual industrial hydraulic suppliers.

      So bud......what are your thoughts

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      • #4
        Woo-hoo! Success, after a mighty struggle. I located the line with the video inspection scope; it runs from right front lower corner, to about the middle of the tank, and points almost directly at the filler neck. Turns out it's a 3/8" line. With the filler neck out, and an LED flashlight hung in the sending unit hole, I could view it directly through the fill pipe. There was rust debris directly under the end, too. I had a loose filter sock, probably off a Chevy truck in-tank pump, in my electric fuel pump file drawer. Sock is about 5 inches long, made of nylon mesh, and had a side nipple (which I squeezed closed) to connect to the pump pickup. One end was squished flat and heat-sealed, and the other end contained an aluminum cup with a little spring-loaded disc valve that would admit unfiltered fuel to the sock, should it become plugged.

        I drilled out the valve, ultimately to 11/32, because smaller holes would not fit over the pickup pipe. I clipped the sealed end off, and shook out the drill chips, and resealed it with a micro-torch. Now, 11/32 proved to be a slightly loose fit on the tube, so I cut a little piece of steel shim stock, bent it in a "U" shape, and slipped one end into the drilled hole, and wired the other end to the outside of the sock with tag wire. First go-round, it wouldn't slip on the tube, so I used scissors to trim the strip of shim stock narrower, and that did the trick. It took a little force to slip over the end of the tube, and I slid it on more than an inch, and it seems secure.

        My "tool" for installing it was a piece of 5/16" steel hard line, with a small alligator clip slipped into the open end. I spread the "crimp" portion of the clip so it would stay in tube by friction, but let go if pulled on strongly. The alligator clip remains attached to the heat-sealed end of the filter sock. It shouldn't hurt anything in there.

        This is the "edited" gist of the story. It took me about 4 hours, all told, and I dropped the filter sock in the tank several times, and an LED flashlight, once, and had to fish each out of there with magnets or hooks. Bad words may have been uttered.

        Now, it looks like there used to be a stanchion of some sort supporting the end of the pickup tube about a quarter-inch off the floor of the tank. All that remains of that is a small steel tab spot-welded to the tank floor near the end of the pickup tube. If anyone is looking to duplicate this little task, the stanchion might get in the way, if it is quit close to the end of the tube.

        I do think this fuel sock ought to solve my immediate problem.
        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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        • #5


          I wouldn't get too hung up on any kind of special filter. In my opinion, a quality metal canister inline filter, or even the vintage glass bowl filters should work. The inline plastic filters are very cheap, allow visual inspection, and are very tempting. However, I avoid them except for small lawnmowers & implement engines. While hydraulic filters may be better built, work with high pressures, I think they are overkill for a fuel system and not necessary. A disposable auto parts store filter should do the trick. Heck, sitting out in the weeds in my back yard is an old Nissan V6 truck I bought new in 1989. It has a throttle body fuel injection system. It has around 334,000 miles and a factory fuel filter about the size of a soup can on the firewall. Yes, I complained when I had to replace it. Yes, it cost more than the generic off-shelf fuel filter. But it has all those miles on it and it has been retired for nearly two decades! Only two filters were replaced in those 334,000 + miles.

          As for Gordon...I think you were just looking for anyone with a shortcut easy solution. I don't know of another "tinkerer" on Studebakers I respect more or enjoy reading their posts and adventures than yours. While I was typing my missive, I got an email alert letting me know there was a new post in this thread. Wow! Talk about tinkering fun! You rock (sir), and I salute your efforts! I suspect most of us by now would have given up and blown up a couple of old Chevys for sport and abandoned the Lark.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            gordr......were you a proctologist in another life ? The next time my wife drops her favorite necklace down the drain I am calling you for directions !

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            • #7
              I figure I needed the fuel sock because coarse particles of rust were being sucked up and clogging the inlet to the fuel pickup tube. A filter on the outlet end of the same line wouldn't prevent that. As far I know, all modern vehicles use a fuel sock on the pump pickup.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                you could use a rare earth magnet to hold the sock in place
                Bill Foy
                1000 Islands, Ontario
                1953 Starlight Coupe

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                • #9
                  gordr , Great idea and the rare earth magnet is another good idea as it holds on to the rust , And as the rust gathers around the magnet you could suck it out with a suction gun , Ed

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Captain Billy View Post
                    you could use a rare earth magnet to hold the sock in place
                    Good idea. I thought of that. But it would have been hard to guide piece with a strong magnet on it down the steel filler neck on the end of a slender tube. Once glommed in the wrong place, it would be hard to un-glom it.
                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gordr View Post

                      Good idea. I thought of that. But it would have been hard to guide piece with a strong magnet on it down the steel filler neck on the end of a slender tube. Once glommed in the wrong place, it would be hard to un-glom it.
                      Of course, you could clean off the metal on the underside of the tank and attach a magnet there on the outside of the tank. If the magnet chosen is strong enough, it should be able to attract loose magnetic debris and hold it until you remove the magnet to suck the pile out. I love these kinds of discussions.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        small r/e magnet could be fitted inside the sock prior to deployment, another on the outside to hold it in place....a little more difficult to locate opening over the pick up but I'm perfectly willing to let someone here try then report back.
                        Bill Foy
                        1000 Islands, Ontario
                        1953 Starlight Coupe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, the convertible made to the road trip to the Studebaker/Packard picnic with no trouble at all. Burned through a full tank of gas, too. Once or twice it stalled after a hot start, but that appears to be fuel percolating in the carb.
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                          • #14
                            If you get a R-1 fuel filter with a by pass and run a return line to the gas tank it will help the hot starts , I did it to my 64 Convertible , It works wonders , Ed

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