Any suggestions for fixing a dented fuel tank? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 10:26 PM
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Any suggestions for fixing a dented fuel tank?

Yesterday i was made aware that the forward section of my Petrol (gas for the Americans ) tank has a 2 - 4 litre dent in the middle of its bottom section. The previous owner must have run over a rock or log. This obviously explains why my low fuel indicator comes on about 30' after I start loosing power, its not so much a warning light as an explaination of why I am about to start dialling for Roadside assistance. Anyway back to the dented tank. Does anyone have any suggestions for undenting it? One friend suggested making up a bung with an air valve on it, half filling the tank with fuel and then pressurising it with compressed air in hope that it will pop back into shape? The other thought I had was getting a paintless dent remover with one of their dent removal suckers to try to attach to the tank and pull it back into shape? Any thoughts, suggestions or warnings?
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 04:10 AM
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I wouldn't touch it to be honest, the tanks on an e38 are paper thin, I know quite a few people who have leaks especially around the horizontal seam, if you pressurize it I'm sure you would blow the seams, as for dent removal I think again you would end up with problems, I am actively trying to find a manufacturer to make me a plastic one, but do you think I can find someone no...Ive been trying for year now...I was basically going to get a copyright and set up a little business selling the tanks over the net, but to no avail as yet, but I'm still on the case..

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 07:06 AM
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So are they a metal or plastic tank? I haven't really climbed underneath the car to take a really good look at mine.
What part of the process are you stuck on? I have a few contacts in the plastics molding area.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 07:48 AM
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They are metal tanks on the e38, unlike the lucky e39 with a plastic one!!, I'm stuck on finding a fabricator/manufacturer that will actually make the tanks for me from a pattern metal one, but I will find one somewhere I'm sure....

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 07:52 AM
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Are they two seperate tanks, or is it one large tank that straddles the diff?
Like I said earlier, i haven't had a proper look at it as yet.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:01 AM
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Saddle bag jobbie:

RealOEM.com BMW E38 735i METAL FUEL TANK

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:35 AM
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The only way I can see you fixing it is to drain the fuel out of it, take it off the car, drain whatever is left, leave it sitting for days until the remained of whatever fuel is left evaporates, drill a hole in it, use a dent puller to pull it out, then have it rewelded ... which is all a bit too dangerous and a bit too time consuming ... by the time you get all that done, it will easily surpass a new gas tank in both cost and effort.

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#8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:04 PM
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Im with marti5 on this one dont mess with it the gas tank is so thin and any tinkering could cause a leak. If its gotta be fixed put a new tank in the cost of the tank will seem cheap compared to the labor you will put in trying to fix the old one. Use your trip reading to calculate how much gas you have left instead
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