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Gas cap parts now in tank

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Yesterday when I removed the gas cap preparatory to filling the tank the cap came apart and both the spring and inner pressure plate fell into the tank.
Since the tank is steel I am doubtful that I would be successful in extricating the parts by fishing about with a long magnetic wand down the filler neck.
Before removing the tank from the car and shaking it to get the parts out I thought I would ask for opinions on whether this is necessary.
Given that the two pieces are made of steel what is the worst that could happen?
 

Healey Nut

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They cant block anything up but you would probably have better luck fishing through the the fuel sender hole to get them out .
 

RAC68

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Hi Michael,

I agree with Healey Nut to use the tank opening for the sending unit. I would try a magnet on a long extension as I do successfully when fishing a component or something that has fallen down the open frame shafts in the engine compartment below the carbs or near the generator. The magnet will catch and resist movement because of the steel tank so you will need something long but stiff enough to force the magnet to move.

Isn't it wonderful that the Healey has the ability to keep your attention and involved ā€¦ even if you think you are done.

All the best,
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 

roscoe

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You might try mechanical fingers if a magnet doesn't get the parts. If you go through the sender hole don't forget there are baffles that might block you. Worst case, if you can't abide with loose parts in your fuel tank, you could pull the tank and shake them out. There are worse jobs I can think of on the Healey. I have what I am assuming is an original cap and the inner part where the chain is attached is brass as is the chain. I lost my brass magnet along with my aluminum magnet years ago. Can you look in the tank and see the parts? A bright led light, no matches šŸ˜µ
 

John Turney

Yoda
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I don't recall: does the tank have a baffle between the filler pipe and sending unit? I would give the magnetic wand down the filler pipe a try.
 
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Michael Oritt
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TH--

I might be able to get my hand into the fuel sender aperture but would probably not be able to go much past my wrist with the tank in place.
Perhaps I could enlist a small child or very intelligent monkey to climb into the trunk and have a go at it....
 

Jack T

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Because of the baffling, going through the sending unit opening will likely be futile. If it bothers you that the parts are in there, i would wait until the tank is nearly empty and remove it. In the meantime, remember that your tank now doesn't hold as much fuel. šŸ™„
 

Keoke

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Michael,

Try a magnet on a string at the filler hole in the tank.
 
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twas_brillig

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For fun (?), try estimating what area that you'd be able to see or sweep when accessing the tank through the sender hole, and then stick a couple of rare earth magnets on the underside of the tank, with the hope that the bits and pieces will move around and, ultimately, get trapped where you can reach them. Low cost, and can't hurt any thing. ALso might not work, but probably more reliable than buying lottery tickets. Doug
 

mgtf328

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If you have baffles in your tank they're most likely going to be around the fuel pipe entry area unless you've been throwing the car about thru the corners. You're unlikely to be able to fish them out thru the fuel sender route if that's the case.
My tank is aluminium (sorry aluminum!), I can here the fuel slopping around when I go around a tight bend so it would be a bit easier to get them out thru the sender hole.
If you have a strong magnet you might see if you can "catch them" from under the car/tank and drag them along the bottom of the tank to the fuel pipe hole so you can fish them out with a magnet fixed to the end of a stick. This would be easier for a tank with baffles as they won't have moved too far. Better do a good job of fixing the magnet to the stick!

AJ
 

RAC68

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Hi All,

If I remember correctly from taking my rusted tank apart 30+ years ago, there are 2 baffles braking the area into thirds. Although there are passages between sections for your parts to move through, I would expect the parts would wind up in the lower center section that extends through the floor to assist draining. I don't believe a magnet on an flex extension would be able to do a good scan across baffles but this low center section would be accessible.

Assuming the parts are large enough not to be sucked into the fuel line, I would drive the car to shake up the parts sufficiently to cause them to move to the lowest part of the tank, before opening the sending unit and retrieving with a magnet.

Just my thoughts,
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 

steveg

Yoda
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HF has a number of different flexible and telescoping magnetic pickup tools:

screenshot.1948.jpg
 
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Do the baffles run front to back or across the tank? If you remove the rubber filler tube and use the tool Steve just suggested you should be able to fish it out.
 

steveg

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Would surmise any baffles run front-to-back. Crosswise would interfere with the sender float arc. Spot welds in picture support this.

I like Doug's idea above to put some some rare-earth magnets on the right side of the tank well in line with the filler opening and drive the car that way for a while. The bits should turn up.

Moss 6 cyl tank. No pic of 4 cyl, but uses same sender so must be similar config.

screenshot.1949.jpg
 
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