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I have a friend with a 2001 mitsubishi montero sport.

Hello, I have a friend...

Hello, I have a friend with a 2001 mitsubishi montero sport. Apparently the vehicle was salvaged from a flood at one time or another. She has had it for a few years. She took it for an inspection a few days ago and the mechanic commented on the severe amount of rust on and around the fuel tank and fuel components. He said it would be expensive to replace and she might as well just junk it. I have done a lot of work on classics so rust is not new to me. I poked my head under and I did see a lot of rust on the frame. Nothing that could cause a structural concern and couldn't be ground away. As for the fuel system, there was some pretty bad rust on steel portions of the fuel lines that looked like if I squeezed they would splinter. But that was about it. I'm unfamiliar with anything that isn't american and 40 years old but it looked like the fuel tank was a heavy plastic material and it was surrounded by a metal shell which looked okay. I'm assuming maybe some fittings/lines are also rusted/leaking. My friend told me she was sometimes smelling fuel while driving so I'm thinking maybe the fittings on the fuel pump. To me it looked fixable, but that was all I could see on my back with a flashlight. So I have a lift at my house that I use to work on my cars and most of the tools that would be needed for ripping a car apart. My question is if I were to throw the montero up onto my lift is it difficult to take off the tire/paneling to get at the fuel system and easily replace any components that may be rusted/damaged?

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Answered in 1 hour by:
10/25/2013
Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8,645
Experience: Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Hi,

If you have your own lift and a transmission jack, you really would be all set. These fuel tanks come out VERY easily.... The fuel lines are all tool-less quick connect (plastic retainers) or flare nut line fittings (use line wrenches).

The tank can be unbolted and lowered a small amount at a time while you disconnect/unplug everything, and there is plenty of slop in the lines to allow a good foot drop or so.

The things you are going to be concerned about when doing this will be:
The anchors for the tank.... they have 14mm bolts strapping the tank up, and these can break when they are attempted to be removed while very rusty. I'd recommend soaking them thoroughly, even for a day in advance.
The hoses to the tank... this probably goes without saying, but the hoses and hose clamps will not likely be reusable. The clamps rust to pieces anyway, but the hoses get rock hard with age and even if you can remove them safely, they usually split length-wise on installation if you try to reuse them.
The pipes from the filler neck to the tank.... these are very common to rust out, and if you have fuel lines off the tank that are rotting, it is very likely the filler neck pipes are rotted too.

Again this is not a big deal otherwise, but you will want to have a transmission jack to help lower the tank. The tanks are long and awkward and you can not effectively and safely drop it without full support beneath it (lest you end up dropping it literally, damaging lines etc).
You can remove the propeller shaft to gain a bit more clearance as well, but even at that I just leave it installed. It really does have a good amount of room to work with compared to many vehicles.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Awesome info. Sounds like this is do'able on a slow weekend. A few more questions.

I know I have to relieve the pressure in the fuel system since the trucks fuel injected. I've read that an easy way to do this is to disconnect the electrical connection going to the fuel pump, starting the car, and then waiting till she stalls. Will this work, and is there anything in the way of the fuel pump connecting?

Second, the filler neck (if rusted out) may be so bad that fumes can escape Surprised. Is the neck removable or is it welded to the tank?

Lastly is are there any good sources to purchase the these parts from. I seem to find only fuel pumps and fuel filters wherever I look.

No problem.

This will work just fine to disperse fuel pressure..... but honestly it isn't that big of a deal. While certainly not the OSHA approved recommendation or anything, I normally just open the line. The pressure is not real high and the volume is quite low.... if it sits for 20-30 minutes before you open the line, you'll get a tiny spray then maybe 3-4 ounces leaking out, that's about it.

You can reach up and unplug the pump once the tank is dropped about 6 inches, or you can unplug the fuel pump relay (passenger side kick panel, next to MFI relay) and crank the engine over until it won't fire (if it immediately doesn't start, you unplugged the MFI... plug that back in and unplug the other one and it should cough for a few seconds then die).

The neck is 100% serviceable. It is bolted to the fender well at the top and the bottom is attached to the tank with a ~2.25" diameter rubber hose. No big deal there.

The parts are pretty much all going to be Mitsubishi or used sources. Fuel lines, tanks, necks, etc are pretty much never available aftermarket on these. The fuel pump will be, however only as the motor not the pump assembly (and if you have a leak, it will be the assembly/housing, not the pump motor that fails).
The good news is if you are going used there are TONS of these cars out there in salvage yards from timing belt failures, etc. Sourcing used parts should not be a big deal, anything same model (2WD/4WD/AWD) 2001-2004 will work, and you likely will be able to use 1997-2000 as well. That would be a piece by piece comparison though as early models had a few emissions revisions that might bite you. 2001+ are all the same though for same model.
Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
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