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1977 e12 gas tank re/re

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:20 pm
by maybeillbuyit
I recently removed the rusty old tank from the 77 530i and was surprised at how much trouble I had dropping it. After moving the exhaust out of they way and undoing the the three bolts I figured it would just slowing drop out like the the e24 tanks I've removed in the past. This tank seemed like it was about two inches two wide to come out.
this photo shows the outer side of the tank as its being lowered,the lower quarter panel curves in and holds the tank. I had to actually bend the quarter panel out and it still scratched the paint and scrapped the tank all up. Not a big deal as this tank is toast but the new tank in all shiney and nice I'd rather not have to bend the quarter panel again
ImageIMG_0863 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr[/img]

The photo shows the left drivers side of the tank. the seam is jammed right against the spare tire well and won't let the tank move over at all
ImageIMG_0864 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr[/img]

Also the filler neck prevents the tank from rotating much. I also scratched up the paint on the inside of the filler neck housing. I figured , OK I'll ask a few people and search up the topic. I haven't seen anyone else whos done the tank removal and refit even mention any problems with tank being tight. Is there a trick to doing this. I never had any problems at all with the various e24s I've done this on. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:45 pm
by T.Hanson
An apology in advance, offering recent experience in an attempt to be helpful risking probable further frustration.

My e12, e24 tank swap experience, like yours, may be irrelevant to a '77. Strange to ponder as any tank must be installed somehow ? Never to be replaced without major body parts needing moving, suffering damage ?

What I discovered was a game of 1/8 inches. Dropping the exhaust, removing the muffler bracket, rubber doughnuts, levering, pushing, this front up first,... rubic's cube brain teaser. Oh, having nothing to do with any factory instructions.

Worse, or fabulous, when the jousting finally worked, ... what ? How ? That fact was true. It just did, without knowing any order, tricks to remember.

Summary ? It will go in. It has to. If there is a trick it is stubborn patience.

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:09 am
by maybeillbuyit
Thx for the response, thats pretty much what I thought. Its one of those things that seems really hard if not impossible until it works and you wonder what took so long. I was just so surprised how much harder than the e24 it was to slide out. Like you say, I has to go back in, so it will. Cheers

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:35 pm
by cory58
Just finished this same project on my '77. It was actually easier than I anticipated. I tilted the tank forward and then just wiggled it out without a problem. One thing that helped on the reinstall was using a floor jack, old riding lawnmower tires and blocks of wood to elevate the tank into place and keep it level.


Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:59 pm
by maybeillbuyit
OK thx ,that does sound encouraging, and it makes sense as the fender widens out going forward. I did use a floor jack so the weight etc wasn't a problem, just getting it out from between the fender and spare tire well. Thx for the input.