[Saloon-lovers] fuel tank drain plugs/ filters

I have a Mk. IX that had the same exact problem described below on the
list. I also used the same solution employed by Mike Eck. I saved big
bucks! It took some work but the materials were cheap- mine didn’t cost
more than $3. The mesh was brass and identical in mesh size to the
original. It does take some finesse to do the soldering. First, remove
all the old mesh by heating with a propane torch (where it is soldered) and
pull it away with pliers. Save the base, the upright thin/narrow brass
piece and the donut shaped top part. You may want to either grind away or
heat up, melt, and shake off any excess solder around the heavy brass base
and on the brass upright piece and the donut-shaped top part. These parts
should already be “tinned” since they were previously soldered, but you may
want to use some flux (separate type, not just inside the solder) and do a
little more tinning anyway. Tinning is basically getting the solder to
stick to the metal initially, and results in a thin coat of solder that
adheres to the surface (like on a “tin” can- it’s the same thing). You
apply flux and heat, then rub solder on to just coat the surface when it
melts. If it refuses to stick, something is too dirty. Clean, add more
flux, and try again. All surfaces where you will want the mesh to be
soldered should be tinned. I recommend first soldering the upright brass
piece to a piece of mesh cut to fit, then solder this to the base and to
the upper donut shaped part. Finally, and really carefully (perhaps using
a smaller torch, I have one the runs on butane and is really small and
nice) wrap the mesh around the assembly and tack solder it, get everything
aligned properly, and finally go around the whole thing on both ends and
solder the mesh in place. This is tricky. Buy more mesh than you need in
case you need to start over! The most difficult part is heating just
enough to melt the solder, but not so much that you burn the mesh (happened
to me) or melt other areas you want (and are expecting) to stick while you
are soldering elsewhere. Be patient, and allow it to cool some
periodically. Also be sparing with solder, because it is possible to make
the assembly to large to fit back into the whole. When reassembling, do
yourself a favor and liberally use anti-sieze on the plug threads as well
as on the fuel pickup tube which comes down from above and enters the
plug/filter through the hole in the donut shaped top. Before you do,
clean the threads and try to clean/scrape/ wire brush the pickup tube
(hard, it’s up inside the hole in the gas tank). The reason the mesh got
screwed up in the first place is because the pickup tube siezed inside the
donut part and the assembly twisted. Every few years, pull the plug(s),
drain the tank(s), and clean it all out, and this will help avoid the
problem in the future.
What I love about my car is that there are so many opportunities for a
clever person to make repairs that are as good as new but cost almost
nothing but skill and time. Plus it’s such a pleasure to work with well
made and nice looking parts and assemblies, made out of real materials like
brass, chrome, lead, tin, steel, leather, wood. I don’t feel like doing
anything to new cars, the parts just don’t look nice, and they’re all
plastic anyway.
The purple (I know, UV) lights under my dash are sooooo cool!!

  • -----Original Message-----Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 06:26:19 -0500
    From: “Michael Eck” aaron@ifu.net
    Subject: Re: [Saloon-lovers] Mk II gas tank sump filter

The gas that came out of the tank had quite a few partcles in it (rust?).
When I took the plug out to fit a new seal, the filter was missing. Looks
like the filter is brazed onto the plug, so I think you cannot buy the
filter seperately. Plug and filter cost nearly $70. Anyone have an

I went down to my local hobby/crafts shop and bought a 8" x 12" sheet of
brass wire mesh. It has a density of 100 wires/inch, cost less than $11 and
solders to the plug just like the original.

Mike Eck
'62 3.8 MK2 MOD
'51 XK120 OTS

Martin F. Ray, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences
Stanford University (The Leland Stanford Junior University)
Stanford, California 94305-5020 USA