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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing the Fuel Reservoir

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10 to $40

Talent:

*

Tools:

8mm, 10mm, and 13mm socket wrench with 6-inch extension, 8mm, and 17mm open-end wrench, flat face and Phillips head screwdriver, jack and jack stands

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 450SL (1975-80)

Parts Required:

Fuel reservoir

Hot Tip:

Clamp fuel line

Performance Gain:

Engine operation

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel pump

As its name implies, the fuel reservoir is in place to return petrol to the fuel system. The diaphragm in the fuel reservoir sends fuel back to the tank via a small fuel return line.

If your car has spark but won't start, then the culprit is more than likely a fuel problem. Rough idle, stumbling and stalling on hills are other symptoms of fuel-delivery issues. So anything in the fuel system could be faulty. The fuel pump, fuel tank, fuel filter, fuel reservoir and/or fuel lines - any one of these items or several components could be at fault.

Potential for fire is always a concern when working on fuel systems. Disconnect the battery's negative cable to minimize possibilities of sparks. Work in a well-ventilated area away from open flame. Let the car cool down before beginning. Fully heated catalytic converters can ignite fuel vapors.

Always keep a Class B fire extinguisher within arm's reach. Capture fuel in an appropriate container. Relieve pressure from the fuel system before removing the existing fuel pump. Pinching off the suction hose will minimize the amount of spilled gas. Special U-style clamps are made for this purpose, although DIY mechanics often improvised with small C-clamps or locking pliers using something to protect the fuel line from the pliers' jaws. The OEM sliding-style hose clamps are realistically one-use only. Spring-type clamps are DIY-friendly and are normally packaged with the new fuel pump. In a pinch, worm-gear clamps have decades of proven effectiveness, providing they aren't over or under tightened.

Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery prior to any work. Make sure the work area is well ventilated.

In this project, I will remove fuel reservoir, which is located under the car on the right side below the fuel-filling inlet near the fuel tank. You'll need to jack up the rear of your M-B and place it safely on jack stands. Consult our article on jacking up your SL. In addition, always remember to wear safety glasses anytime you're working under your vehicle.

Using a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the (2) bolts that hold the plastic protective shield.
Figure 1

Using a 13mm socket, loosen and remove the (2) bolts that hold the plastic protective shield.

Using an 8mm socket, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the clamp for the fuel pump.
Figure 2

Using an 8mm socket, loosen and remove the two nuts that secure the clamp for the fuel pump.

Using a flat face screwdriver, loosen the clamp for the fuel line that feeds the fuel pump.
Figure 3

Using a flat face screwdriver, loosen the clamp for the fuel line that feeds the fuel pump. Even if you have safely clamped off the open fuel line, place a proper receptacle to catch any fuel which is in the line.

Using an 8mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the 2 nuts that secure the electrical terminals on the fuel pump.
Figure 4

Using an 8mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the 2 nuts that secure the electrical terminals on the fuel pump.

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the rear that secures the fuel delivery system.
Figure 5

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the rear that secures the fuel delivery system.

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the front that secures the fuel delivery system.
Figure 6

Using a 10mm socket, loosen and remove the nut towards the front that secures the fuel delivery system.

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the fuel line from the rear of the fuel pump.
Figure 7

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the fuel line from the rear of the fuel pump. Make sure that a proper fuel receptacle is in place to catch any fuel that may leak from the pump.

Using a flat face screwdriver loosen the hose clamp that secures the fuel suction dampener.
Figure 8

Using a flat face screwdriver loosen the hose clamp that secures the fuel suction dampener. Make sure that a proper fuel receptacle is in place to catch any fuel that may leak from the fuel suction dampener.

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, loosen the screw securing the fuel reservoir clamp.
Figure 9

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, loosen the screw securing the fuel reservoir clamp.

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, loosen the other screw securing the fuel reservoir clamp.
Figure 10

Using a Phillips head screwdriver, loosen the other screw securing the fuel reservoir clamp.

The fuel reservoir is now free to be replaced.
Figure 11

The fuel reservoir is now free to be replaced. Replacement is the reverse of removal.

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