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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-15-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Default collapsed fuel tank


The fuel tank on my 2004 Crossfire has collasped. Chrysler wants $3545 dollars for a new tank. I called a Mercedes dealer and they want approximately $750 for a new tank for a 2004 SLK 320. Do you know if the same tank is used on both cars? Thanks
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


I've never heard of this!!!! How did it happen? Accident?

Monty
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


The car was running rough on the first start after a fill up with gas. No problems any other time. After about four fill ups each with the same problem I took it to a dealer. The code indicated a problem with the purge solenoid. The dealer replaced that. We picked the car up and then heard what we think was fuel sloshing behind us when we stopped. We had not heard this before. About 3 days later on the way back to the dealerthe gas guage suddenly dropped to empty. I stopped and filled the tank. It took six gallons. The dealer exposed the tank and it is collapsed. The dealer thinks the defective purge valve may have played a role in it. From other things I have read it seems that there may be a valve in the tank that fails and the fuel pump and manifold pressure create enough of a vaccuum that the tank collapses.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


I would get one from a wrecking yard. and then make sure all the systems are working right when you install it. This is about the weirdest problem I have seen posted and it is not often that we see something new! Some Chrysler parts guys will be nice and tell you the MB part number. The SLK tank would be worth looking into though.


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Old 08-15-2009, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irving3
The car was running rough on the first start after a fill up with gas. No problems any other time. After about four fill ups each with the same problem I took it to a dealer. The code indicated a problem with the purge solenoid. The dealer replaced that. We picked the car up and then heard what we think was fuel sloshing behind us when we stopped. We had not heard this before. About 3 days later on the way back to the dealerthe gas guage suddenly dropped to empty. I stopped and filled the tank. It took six gallons. The dealer exposed the tank and it is collapsed. The dealer thinks the defective purge valve may have played a role in it. From other things I have read it seems that there may be a valve in the tank that fails and the fuel pump and manifold pressure create enough of a vaccuum that the tank collapses.
Look around for a tank from a wrecked vehicle, not one with rear end damage preferably, unless you inspect it thoroughly.



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Old 08-15-2009, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


wait a min. did you say"The code indicated a problem with the purge solenoid. The dealer replaced that. then you said ,,, The dealer exposed the tank and it is collapsed and then you said the dealer said The dealer thinks the defective purge valve may have played a role in it. now at this point you should tell the dealer ,,that being that he sold and installed you a purge valve that was bad ,, he is responsable for the tank. and that you want a new tank at the dealer's expence. . jim


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Old 08-15-2009, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by amx1397
wait a min. did you say"The code indicated a problem with the purge solenoid. The dealer replaced that. then you said ,,, The dealer exposed the tank and it is collapsed and then you said the dealer said The dealer thinks the defective purge valve may have played a role in it. now at this point you should tell the dealer ,,that being that he sold and installed you a purge valve that was bad ,, he is responsable for the tank. and that you want a new tank at the dealer's expence. . jim
Amen, brother!
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Can it be pressurized and re-inflated? (of course you would have to check for damage after) Looking back, were there any other signs like the gas cap being hard to remove?
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfunfor2
Can it be pressurized and re-inflated? (of course you would have to check for damage after) Looking back, were there any other signs like the gas cap being hard to remove?
Sloshing around means the baffles are trashed. Another tank is required. The dealer should at least bite some or all of the bullet if he failed to install the new part correctly or missed another fault. Potentially this was a safety hazard, you could have been driving a fireball. Where's Ralph Nader when you need him?
By coincidence my neighbors VW has just gone up in flames in his driveway. The alarm raised five fire trucks and 30 minutes of excitement in this little town.




Last edited by onehundred80; 08-15-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


First patpur's Mercedes catches on fire, now your fuel tank has collapsed! this must be the weekend for weird issues. The dealer should eat at least some of the hefty bill since they have had you driving around a potential ticking bomb for however long.




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Old 08-15-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


The tank is aluminum so I don't know if it could be pressurized and reformed or not. The dealer thinks the original purge valve caused the problem not the new one they installed. Chrysler has agreed to absorb 80% of the cost of the new tank which makes it about the same price to me as the tank for an SLK 320. What I'd like to know is if the tank for the SLK and the Crossfire are identical. I want to ask them why they want five times the price for the same part and then maybe get some additional help on the part and/or labor. The car is out of warranty and they are making the allowance on good will. However if the "right" price for the tank is $750 they are really not helping me much. I called several dealers including one out of state and they all give the same $3545 price on the tank for the Crossfire.

Update 9-19-09
After a month I have the car back. After the dealer replaced the fuel tank the car ran rough. The dealer tried to find the problem and replaced sensors they thought might be faulty. No luck. They called the Star hot line and they were not much help. Chrysler was going to send their Crossfire expert but he called first and offered suggestions which did not solve the problem. The dealer continued to work on the car and traced the problem to a 5 volt circuit in the car that evidently powers a number of sensors. They replaced several items in this circuit and the problem persisted. Finally two techs put another Crossfire beside mine and worked together comparing one car to the other and continued to look for the problem in the 5 volt circuit. They found a wire in my car that was evidently cut when the original fuel tank collapsed. They fixed the wire and cured the rough running problem. They still believe the original tank was collapsed by a faulty purge valve. I have had the car back for two days and so far all is well.

Last edited by Irving3; 09-19-2009 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


I think "collapsed" is the wrong term here - how can the fuel system (ANY PART OF IT) collapse a tank?

MAN, I sure read some weird stuff on here.


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Old 08-15-2009, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzaguy
I think "collapsed" is the wrong term here - how can the fuel system (ANY PART OF IT) collapse a tank?

MAN, I sure read some weird stuff on here.

Believe it!
Gas cans, gas tanks, you name it.
With just the wrong conditions, and they can collapse nearly flat.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzaguy
I think "collapsed" is the wrong term here - how can the fuel system (ANY PART OF IT) collapse a tank?

MAN, I sure read some weird stuff on here.
Collapsed is the correct word....it collapses due to the lack of atmosphere(a vacuum) inside a sealed container.
We use to replace a lot of them in Audis when a vent valve for the tank would stick shut and the fuel leaving the tank could not get replaced with air.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


I think collapsed is the correct term and it is the one the service manager used. It is almost flat. I have pictures of it still in the car. The dealer thinks a vacuum caused it and they think the purge valve caused the vacuum but they say they have never seen this before and are not sure the purge valve was the problem.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


This very problem occurred to a new Opal sport coupe I bought nearly 40 years ago. The tank vent system fails and when the gas is sucked out by the fuel pump, it gradually creates a vacuum. Air pressure can be pretty strong when exerted on several square feet of tank, especially aluminum.


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Old 08-15-2009, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Found it used for as low as $50 at Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
Check and see if there is one close to your location.
Where are you located????


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Old 08-16-2009, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irving3
I think collapsed is the correct term and it is the one the service manager used. It is almost flat. I have pictures of it still in the car. The dealer thinks a vacuum caused it and they think the purge valve caused the vacuum but they say they have never seen this before and are not sure the purge valve was the problem.
Fuel pressure at the injectors is maintained at 54-61 psi by the fuel pressure regulator valve. This means that the fuel pump can create a vacuum of at least the same amount. Apply that pressure to a square foot and you have a minimum of 7,776 lbs. I doubt that was the pressure that caused it, I expect that it weakened slowly and totally failed (collapsed) when you heard the splashing gas in the tank when the baffles which provided reinforcement to the tank structure gave way. When the tank was full the gasoline supported the structure, as it is not easily compressed, but as the gas was used the vacuum grew until the tank structure could not take the load.
A partial vacuum is kept in the tank to evacuate the gas vapors. The vacuum has to be relieved so that it does not reach catastrophic levels but this system failed. With check valves in the system to prevent fuel returning to the tank its volume had to be replaced. Whatever lets air into the tank failed, and why did the car run rough when it had air in the tank after a fill up?
Filling the tank with compressed air would not return the tank to its original shape and it would be dangerous to try.




Last edited by onehundred80; 08-16-2009 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by CRM
Collapsed is the correct word....it collapses due to the lack of atmosphere(a vacuum) inside a sealed container.
We use to replace a lot of them in Audis when a vent valve for the tank would stick shut and the fuel leaving the tank could not get replaced with air.
Well, I know a vacuum can do that - it just suprises me that the fuel pump is strong enough to make such a vacuum. I would THINK that fuel would stop flowing and the car would quit before a little electric pump could create such a vacuum!

But, I guess I am wrong. Nothing new, I was married for 5 years and was wrong all the time - I'll get over it.


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Old 08-16-2009, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: collapsed fuel tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by onehundred80
Fuel pressure at the injectors is maintained at 54-61 psi by the fuel pressure regulator valve. This means that the fuel pump can create a vacuum of at least the same amount.
My Ford Ranger runs at 30-40 psi, now that you mention it (read that in the service manual once). Ok, NOW this is making some sense - I'd forgotten about that.

I remember the manual for my 74 Duster indicated that the pressure the pump delivered to the carb was to be 2-3 or 4-5 pounds - but fuel injection changed all that, didn't it?

Ok, I guess this DOES make sense, I was stuck in 1970's thinking.
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(I keep saying that the Crossfire has turned me into a "Car Guy" and that I'v never been a "Car guy" - see? Im not kidding!)


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Last edited by pizzaguy; 08-16-2009 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:38 AM
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