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Gen 2 Viper Fuel Tank Replacement
Old December 25th, 2014, 10:29 AM   #1
Luisv
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Gen 2 Viper Fuel Tank Replacement

Ive posted this up on a few of the Viper Club forums but I had not put it up in the Alley. Since this is a general site, I thought Id put it here as well for all to see without the need of paying membership fees.
I did this write up because, Try as I might, I could not seem to find a write up on the procedure for a Gen 2 GTS. It is a different thing for the GTS cars as there is a cutout that needs to be made. This will, hopefully, get a few folks a great deal more info than I was able to find. First, some background in case you have not read some of the threads on why this sometimes has to be done.

In the later years of the Gen 2 production, there seems to be an issue/problem that pops up with the fuel tank. Specifically the filler neck seems to lose it's seal against the fuel tank. The filler neck is "pressed in" and glued in place. What happens is that you get a seepage from the tank when it is 3/4 full or higher that then drips down the side of the tank on the passenger side. Some fuel ends up in a heat sheild/tray below the tank and some drips onto the passenger side frame rail right behind the differential. As the fuel evaporates, the result is a distinct smell of fuel when around the car.

Some folks (as I did) try to fix the problem with tank repair kits for plastic tanks. Basically a two part epoxy puty that you place over the neck of the tank. It does not work. In most cases, as it did with me, it seems to fail. The fix will resolve the problem for about 3 to 6 motnhs. Bottom line, the epoxy fix comes down to a fix to use while the parts come in for the right fix. The inevitable resolution seems to be the replacement of the fuel tank. This writeup covers it.

This procedure, as far as I could find, will cover the replacement of the tank on all Gen 2 GTS cars. The car in this case is a 2002 GTS. There are differences in some of the tanks, depending on the year, but most everything here applies.

PARTS NEEDED FOR THE FIX:

Fuel Tank for the Gen 2 GTS (04848985AA - 2000 to 2002)
Closeout Panel for the GTS. Part number (04848582AB)
Tube of RTV Sealant or equivalent adhesive sealer
Pop Rivets
4 to 5 gallons of fresh fuel in portable tank(s)

TOOLS USED FOR THE FIX (Besides the basic screwdrivers and such)

Air Cutoff Tool (Cut the opening)
Angle Grinder with some poly pads
Drill with a few bits (for pop rivets)
Pop Rivet Tool (I used a air riveter)
Painter's Tool (used in my case for removing the sound deadner butyl mat)
Heat Gun (used in my case for removing the sound deadner butyl mat)
Angled & Barrel Needle Nose Pliers (photo below)
Marker/Pencil/Paint Pen

LAST... Get the tank as empty as you can. Go have fun, drive the car around, do some donuts, drive it like you stole it and drive it to get 3 miles to the gallon.... bottom line get as low on the guage as you are comfortable with. I took it to the needle width above empty. (That will still leave about 3 gallons in the tank)

YOU CANNOT SIMPHON THE GAS OUT OF THE VIPER. There is a roll over valve on the filler neck at the tank. If you try to put a hose down there it won't make. Burn the fuel off.


Total Time for the swap is about 7 hours. I've seen thread state that this was billed at 11 or 12 hours. I don't know what they were doing... but the time it took me was a bit over 6 hours. That is from the moment I removed the carpet/interior in the back to the finish of re-installing the carpet. This also includes the time it took me to deal with the Sound Deadner I had to remove and clean up. Normally, you will not have to deal with that. Bottom line... should take less than 7 hours.

Procedure:

Relieve the pressure in the fuel system. You can do this in one of two ways. One is to pull the fuel pump relay in the trunk. Second is to release it at the schrader valve on the passenger side of the air intake. If you use the latter, plenty of rags to catch the fuel. Maybe a small cup.

Disconnect the battery positive terminal. I am paranoid about this and the way the battery sits to avoid any potential freak thing, I wrap the terminal cable with some electrical tape (loosely) just in case the tension makes it hit the battey pole. Yes. I am paranoid... but I've never had an issue with a disconnected battery.

Remove the interior panels in the rear of the car. I'm not going to load photos on this as it's pretty simple and it'll save some space. All you need to get it apart is a phillips head screwdriver. The procedure is simple. Remove the rear palstic cover that runs corner to corner in the back, over the rear hatch latch. This has four phillips head screws. Then the next step is to remove the two side covers. These run up the driver's and passenger's side. Each of these has four screws to remove. Three are accessable from the rear, one is done up front at the door. Once the screws are removed you will have to remove the pistons. A second set of hands helps here. Basically, you remove the piston from the mounting point on the rear pillar/deck. This will let you get the panel out of the way. Be EXTREMELY careful removing this panel. It's, at least, 12 year old plastic and it is fragile. Just gently move it around and out from it's place. On the driver's side you will need to remove the alarm/light sensor on the piston. Then when the plastic panel is moved, you disconnect the cable on the side. With the panel out, replace the piston. Repeat for the passenger side.

Remove the amp on the drivers side area of the trunk. It's two 10mm bolts on top that hold the plate. Remove them, take out the amp. When it is out disconnect the three cables back there and put the amp aside. I put the bracket and two bolts back in place so as to not lose them. Next the tray that held the amp needs to come off and hang there. That's three 10mm nuts. Once that's out you can leave the tray lose in there and simply move it about when you take the carpets out.

Remove the rear carpets. There are two pieces. First to come out is the lower carpet. Remove the spare tire (if it's there) and the tire tool bag. Once that's out simply remove the carpet on the lower section. The only thing to be real careful with here is the rear speakers, as they are now unprotected, and the two side vents. The carpet is held up by two pegs at the top of the vents. You need to lift the top edge up on the carpet to come off the pegs. If you just yank on it, you'll break the pegs or rip the mesh. Once that is out, the upper section is next. To take that out just pull it out, gently, from under the top edge of the rear compartment. The front of the "deck" behind the seats. The carpet is tucked under the plastic trim. You can gently lift that trim up a touch and the rear carpet slides out from under it. This piece is a molded carpet. It will bend sufficiently to get it out. Just move it about until it comes out.

When all of that is out... this is what you will see... the bare trunk. (you may not have the sound deadner / Dynamat)

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