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Rusted clogged gas tank

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rapiderobert Robert Arnett
Hermosa Beach, CA - California, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
My first post in the forum and looking for some advice. I purchased the MGB 1964 online and so far a big mistake. Pretty much a rust bucket but still going to try and revive it. Currently trying to unclog the fuel line inside the tank. It looks like there is a filter on the end of the inlet on the bottom inside of the tank. I have tried several methods to unclog the line. I can get a piece of plastic about 6" into the pipe from the outside of the tank. If that is a filter how in the heck to you replace it. I can't get my hands inside the tank and can barely see it from the gas filler spout.

Also there is some rust in the bottom of the tank. I am thinking I am going to have to take it to a radiator shop and have them put it in their vat. I am concerned about the filter in the tank and will it kill it. I tried blowing at 100lb pressure from the outside to blow it out but no luck. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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xcoastie Avatar
xcoastie Eric Meissner
Warminster, PA, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB
I think it is more or a screen. A lot of the tanks rust out up on top, would give it a good look when you take it out to be cleaned. May just try a replacement tank. Check with Basil or Chris for a price, look for them in the vendor link over on the left.

Eric - xcoastie
ET2/E5 Vessel Shore Electronic Support USCG Station Great Egg 81 - 85
1974 Last of the chrome bumpers with Sabrina's
1971 Engine
4 speed synchro, non OD
"A work in progress"

fuel sock.jpg    5.7 KB
fuel sock.jpg

tomkatb Avatar
tomkatb Larry Baygents
Dayton, Ohio, USA   USA
1963 MG MGB
Congratulations. The 62-early 64 cars are very unique and worth saving.

As i remember there is a screen in the bottom of the tank.

lots of crud in there is not good. Perhaps the radiator guy can help. I would be tempted to put some solvent in there. This is likely varnish from the local gas. Tanks are not real expensive.

The early cars had no fuel filter except a screen in the fuel pump. Not ok today.

Plan ahead. The pump is likely going to need something. You need a filter in the engine compartment.

Fix that Parking brake first.

77 Spit

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MSGDLD Gold Member Dave Densmore
North East, OH, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB GT "Mabel"
1980 MG MGB MkIV
Save yourself loads of aggravation and drop the tank out, remove the sending unit, and either replace it with new, or have it renewed at a radiator shop. Check carefully for rust, they are known to rust through the top. The end price will probably be about the same. If you don't do this, you're just pumping XX years of rust into the fuel lines and carburetors, causing even more problems. Ask me how I know...

Either way, install a fuel filter before the pump.

greysailor Avatar
greysailor Silver Member Grant Hill
Cypress, CA, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB "Vroom"
1974 MG MGB GT "Pumpkin"
X2 on replace with new...
Contact Basil (Basil Adams < and for less than $250 (with shipping) you'll have a completely new tank, sending unit, seals and packing straps etc.
And a Peace of Mine.
Replacing mine now..

There are plenty of other posts on replacing the tank;,2109123,2109123,2432620,2433901#msg-2433901

Besides, you will fine plenty of other things to do and clean when the tank is out;
Blow the fuel lines, check the pump, rust prevention ....etc.


rapiderobert Robert Arnett
Hermosa Beach, CA - California, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
Thanks for all the quick responses. I will definitely check out the new tank. Sounds like in the long run it is probably worth it. And yes I have lots of other thing to work on. The car was last on the road in 1991. Needs floor pans, inner rockers, new paint, top, windshield and the list goes on and on.
Thanks again!

rntanner Avatar
rntanner Silver Member Roger N. Tanner
Oxnard, CA, USA   USA
1970 MG MGB
1977 MG MGB
You are heading the right direction. The filter on the inside of the tank is not essential, if you install a new filter between the outer tube, and the tube that goes down under the car to the engine. It is not possible to install a new filter on the hard line.

When I ran into this problem, I installed an new copper-nickel alloy fuel line from the fuel tank to the carburetor. Your major auto supply (e.g. NAPA) should have this modern fuel line available.

The problem happens in states that have alcohol mixed with the gasoline. Before alcohol, the gasoline floated on top of the water. Now, alcohol and water mix into a solution, that mixes with the gasoline, carrying this "wet" mixture down the original steel fuel line, and very quickly causing enough rust on the steel fuel line to make it fully plugged.

No, I didn't read about this in a book. I had this problem myself.

Roger N. Tanner
Professional Engineer, Retired

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Old Driver Avatar
Old Driver Gold Member Harry Watkin
Huntersville, NC, USA   USA
1974 MG MGB GT "Ducky"
It's possible that MOSS is having a sale now. Think I saw fuel tanks in their latest magazine/catalog.

"If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague."

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
Oscar Wilde

1974 MG BGT - Green Mallard, Acme Speed Shop engine, Schlemmer dist, T-9 5-speed
2008 MINI Cooper Clubman - Mellow Yellow w/ silver top

rapiderobert Robert Arnett
Hermosa Beach, CA - California, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
Thanks again for all the help. I was able to knock off the filter inside the tank and unclog the pipe with a combination of old bass guitar strings I forced down it, spray gun cleaner and compressed air. After researching the cost of a new tank (450+) I am going to go have this dipped at a radiator shop and add a filter. If it becomes a problem in the future I'll have to bit the bullet and get a new tank. Also I thought I would share this. I used a two headed LED light for a music stand to put inside the filler pipe while I was working and could really see what I was doing plus I had both hands to work with. It really helped. I am keeping it around the car for future projects. You can check it out at this site if interested.

Thanks again!

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NNN Norman Nalepa
1979 MG MGB "Chick Mobile"
Drop the tank and flush. Then get some gas tank preservative and swoosh it around. If the tank is really bad then get a new one. problem solved.

Fairfield, CA, USA   USA
IMHO, if there is a screen in the tank, it will pretty much require the tank be cut open. Recoating after cleaning will certainly block a portion of the screen and cause other problems later on.

A new one is indicated IMHO.

1973 Pale Primrose Roadster. A nice 10-footer!
SUs, Datsun 5-speed

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