HOW-TO: Replacing fuel tank strainer in W124/W210 estate (Diesel)

Discussion in 'Engine' started by SilverSaloon, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    I've been experiencing fuel starvation (basically seems like running out of fuel) at 1/4 tank on my W124 E300D estate. A W210 estate is probably identical (as it uses the same part number now) - No idea if Petrol is same or not. I believe Saloon is different.


    For this job you will need:

    * 22mm allen key (or see note below)
    * bucket or something to catch the spill of fuel
    * new strainer (part number A2104700506). This comes with a new o-ring.

    You could of course clean the old strainer and re-use it (maybe with a new o-ring), but a new strainer is under a tenner and having a direct replacement ready allows you to avoid having to drain the tank, as it can be a quick remove and refit.

    The strainer requires a 22mm allen key to remove it. However with this costing about £30 odd I decided to buy a convertor that converts the allen key fitment into a normal bolt type fitting. I bought this from eBay seller 'biker-bitz'. HERE is a link to his eBay shop. Once you have this all you need is a standard 22mm socket:

    [​IMG]

    Time to start the job and remove the old strainer...

    Reverse your car up onto ramps and place a bucket underneath the fuel tank where the strainer is:

    [​IMG]

    Use a wrench with your 22mm attachment to loosen the fuel strainer. No fuel will come out yet. You should then be able to undo the rest by hand slowly until the fuel starts to spill out.

    [​IMG]

    Get your new strainer ready and undo the old strainer completely and it will come away. The fuel will not suddenly drain out - its a slow process so the bucket is enough to catch it. Chuck the old one aside.

    It will probably look really manky like mine did:

    [​IMG]

    Only one "window" in the strainer was (partly) clear. The rest were completely blocked. No wonder no fuel was getting past!!

    At this point you can either quickly insert the new strainer or let the tank completely drain (you'll need more than a bucket though!). I let about 8 litres out into the bucket and then as it was draining, poked my finger through the hole to remove any gunge that was around the hole.

    Screw in the new strainer (ensuring the new o-ring is on the end) by hand and then using your ratchet, tighten it up. Here is a pic of the new strainer ready to be fitted:

    [​IMG]

    Clean the area around the strainer and check for any leaks.

    New strainer fitted and finished:

    [​IMG]

    A good job done. I would recommend this job for any car thats done a fair bit of mileage, whether you run on veg oil or not. I also plan to clean up my old strainer so when i attempt this job again I can just quickly swap strainers the same way again. It should clean up easily enough.

    Enjoy :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
    4 people like this.
  2. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Only one picture linky working.

    The reason the fuel doesn't pour out is because there is a plenum inside the tank.
    The inlet to the plenum becomes blocked so the fuel only dribbles in, thus the starvation.

    I await next weeks tank out and jet washing episode..

    Doing that on a W124 is a whole lot easier than a W210 saloon tank...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    Driven around a lot with it lower than normal (not put any more fuel in yet and now with the warning light on (not done that since i 1st bought the car, before veg). No starvation as yet.

    pretty sure its a bit more involved on a 124 saloon aswell. I think the strainer is in the wheel arch??
     
  4. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Good news..:)
    I had my tank out twice before things were good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  5. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    i guess the real test is filling it up and then letting it go lower than it usually does when it conks out. Time will tell. I'm pleased I did it though - very easy job and its got to help.
     
  6. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    How does the fuel get drawn through from the stariner. On W210 saloons the pipe bolts into the bottom of the strainer, on your's it can't.
     
  7. spock500

    spock500 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Don't let him upset you Derek, we all thought it was a good effort and not a complete waste of time :)) honest)

    Hows the valve delivery, manifold off going in from the top thing going?
     
  8. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Not being able to see all Silversallons pictures is hampering making a decision on whether changing the strainer will have fixed the issue.
    I can only see the one with the bucket..

    If the strainer is really blocked and only allowing fuel in close to the top then the problem is probably fixed, but I am concerned that as fuel didn't run out quickly then the inlet to the plenum is partially blocked as well.

    Nobody will be happier than me if this has fixed this problem, especially as I have done this job myself and had to remove the tank twice to eliminate it, and I advised Silversaloon of the risks prior to him doing this job.

    Just clarifying the situation. :)
     
  9. spock500

    spock500 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I am just pulling ya leg :p

    I did wonder myself why the fuel didn't gush out - it looks in the same state as mine from upfront on the main filter housing.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    it did come out quite quickly, but i mean it was enough time to swap around the strainers without having to drain the tank fully.

    ie it wasnt as quick as say how engine oil comes out of the drain plug.

    seems to of fixed it - or atleast made it better. I've never been able to drive around with an almost empty tank with the light on since i bought the car.

    pics work for me at home and at work.

    for a job that took about 20 mins i'd say its well worth doing, even if there is no noticable difference. I was relying on just a small clear bit in just one of the windows - the strainer is now completely clear so there is less chance of it becoming fully blocked for a good while now.

    try clicking here - this is a pic of my fuel strainer:

    http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/2079/oldstrainercw6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  11. tpv01

    tpv01 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    that is pretty disgusting. Sounds deff worth doing. any idea where the strainer is located on your saloon?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    i think somone mentioned its in the drivers side wheel arch. But thats just me remembering a forum post..... i've not checked my saloon yet, but will be as i think its definatly worth doing and i reckon its one of those jobs that doesnt generally get done until a problem occurs. The procedure is probably the same (i *think* saloon has same part number) just under the arch instead as the tank is behind the seats whereas in the estate it is underslung.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    Thats next weeks job. Garage is cleared now ready :)
     
  14. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    I don't know why but they just won't download, they time out. The only one that works is the one draining the tank ionto a bucket, the rest just don't, even when dropping the URL into a new Explorer session.

    I take it the strainer is pretty filthy.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    i've attached them this time. New and old strainer.
     

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  16. tpv01

    tpv01 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    all pictures work ok for me.

    can anyone confirm whether the location, part #, removal procedure is the same on a saloon or as Derek describes behind the drivers arch.

    i have had a look under my car and under the rear seat bench i think the tank is also underslung but i couldnt spot the strainer.


    Derek, have you had any thoughts about taking the fuel tank off the car and giving it a good wash out with a pressure washer and compressed air gun? There is a thread going on the 190 forum in alternative fuels where i guy has been having fuel starvation issues and talks about changing strainer and cleaning out fuel tank.

    an alternative that is suggested is running through a tank of kerosene (on private roads as it is not a duty road fuel) to dissolve all the gunk. Would this be ok on our cars do you think?
    where would the gunk wash up? would it end up in the fuel filters or just burn up completely in the engine?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    ... removed pic as it was wrong!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  18. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    The saloon tank is upright in the boot, behind the rear seat and the strainer is accessed from below.
    Access is very poor due to being just above the differential and the strainer and fuel pipe WILL be siezed in.

    Undo the fuel pipe from the solid section then try to undo from the strainer.

    A well fitting crows foot just might get it undone, but probably not. If not unbolt the tank and raise it enough to get a well fitting spanner and extension under the tank, inside the boot and undo it.

    Remove the strainer and wash out.
    I would remove the tank and clean out as it becomes internally blocked. I had to remove mine twice to clean it thouroughly using a pressure washer then soapy water and then a rinse out and dry with a heat gun.

    As an aside I'm sure I get better MPG as a result of this due to the pump not drawing air when under high load.

    TANK ARRANGEMENT.
     
  19. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    That is a W123, which offers loads more access than a 124 or 210 due to the subrame shape.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  20. OP
    OP
    SilverSaloon

    SilverSaloon MB Club Veteran

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    i'll see how it goes now the strainer has been replaced and may look to checking it again in a few months time.

    if i still get fuel starvation then i'll look into cleaning the tank. I drained the majority of the fuel from the tank as i noticed that a lot of thick crud was coming through. Being the tight b****r i am, i then filtered this several times and put it back in the tank ;)

    i'm quietly confident though ;-) although not confident enough to drive over the forth rd bridge at rush hour with 1/4 tank yet!!!
     

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