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Old 09-22-2017, 09:09 PM   #1
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Airtronic Fuel Pickup Help

Because I am an amateur and planned poorly, I don't have a fuel pickup for my Espar B4. So this weekend that is gonna happen. I have the standard Espar top mount pickup that I would need to drill a 1" hole in the top of my tank. No big deal except it's a fair amount of work dropping the tank, removing the fuel cell, cleaning it, defuming it, filling it with water and drilling the hole, remounting the tank...etc.

Now my Aero tank came with what looks like a 1/4" NPT bung and plug on the back bottom of the tank. Pictured below.



Cruising the net, I see that there are 1/4" NPT fuel petcocks. Like the one show below. This would be about a 10 minute job to remove the plug and install the petcock. I could get a 90 degree and start the fuel line in the upward direction and be well on my way.



Seems like the petcock would be a no brainer considering the hours it will take me vs 20 bucks and a couple hose clamps. My issue is that it seems to be in a really vulnerable spot, back by the wheel and at the bottom of the tank. Granted the axle is back there too which should prevent that sort of thing, but one never knows. Should the petcock break or the fuel line get torn then pretty much the tank is gonna drain out.

Now I could fab up a skid plate kind of thing that mounts to the frame and overlaps the tank which has a skid plate on the bottom too. No big deal to do that. But I am just tentative about that due to not wanting any issues when I am in the sticks. Easy enough fix if something happened, just keep the plug in the van. But......

thoughts?? Suggestions?? Anyone ever drill a fuel tank??

Of course all of this could have been avoided had I bought a fuel pickup in advance and had it mounted when Agile put in the Aero tank. But that would have been way too easy.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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Sucking off the bottom is not a good idea, unless you were to put and 1-2 inch tube in the valve to it is getting fuel above the bottom of the tank. I have done something similar and worked fine.

Greg
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
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Thanks! I did end up going this route. It was too easy. I am thinking the issue here is any sediment in the tank could get pulled into the line and then no go. Or just that one might drain the tank and then not be able to start?? Initial tests worked OK, there seems to be some air getting in my lines or I did not butt joint things well enough. The heater starts with a rhythmic "whump...whump...whump..." and then smooths out after a bit. the B4 pumps out a ton of heat though!

They make some pickups with a filter, may try that. Also need to build a little skid plate for it.

I am not worried about draining the tank so much. I like to keep the tank filled and these things sip fuel.
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