Dropping the fuel tank on a T1N Sprinter

Some jobs require dropping the fuel tank, for example changing fuel lines, replacing the low pressure fuel pump or adding a fuel tap for a diesel powered heater.

fuel tank removal T1N Sprinter
Removed fuel tank

Luckily, the Mercedes engineers in charge of the fuel system made it really easy to remove the fuel tank from a T1N Sprinter.

First, some advice: Don’t try to remove the tank with fuel in it. Try to wait until you’re getting the fuel warning light and even then, drive some more miles to get the tank to as close as empty as possible. A gallon of diesel weights about 7 pounds (or 0.8 kg per liter) and that’s a lot of weight that you need to drop if the tank is even half full.

Ideally you’ll need a transmission jack. That makes removing and lifting the tank in place so much more easier but you should be able to manage without (if the tank is empty).

Then prepare the fuel tank for removal. Place the transmission jack below the tank and put a piece of plywood between the jack and the tank to make sure the weight is distributed evenly.

Take a look at below diagram. What you need to do is remove the filler tube hose (#11) from the tank as well as the vent hose (#10). Then start loosening  the strap bolts (#1) and the tank will drop down slowly.  Once the bolts are loose you can remove the straps and the tank will be held in place by the jack only. Lower the jack and the tank in one piece and when you have enough clearance you can remove the electrical connector at the fuel pump (#5) and the fuel outlet and return lines. Then slide the tank from below the van.


T1N Sprinter fuel tank assembly
T1N Sprinter fuel tank assembly

Tools needed:

  • Wrench for the fuel strap bolts
  • Transmission jack

Parts needed:

  • none

3 thoughts on “Dropping the fuel tank on a T1N Sprinter

  1. is there room to add a larger tank? Do you know of anyone that sells them?

    1. That would depend on the wheel base. The longer vans have some extra space aft of the tank before you reach the rear axle.
      I’ve never looked for a supplier, but given the age of the T1N I doubt anyone is busily making one? My bladder gives out long before my fuel tank.

  2. Hello. I’m adding an Espar D2 heater and I plan on routing the diesel supply line for the heater directly into the fuel tank, instead of tapping into an existing fuel line as it heads toward the engine. But I’m not sure how that connection to the fuel tank will work. Do I need to make a hole near numbers 3 and 4 in the drawing for the line? Will the Espar doser pump be able to pull fuel out of the tank, or is there something in the tank (that I would connect to the line) that needs to push the fuel out?

    Also, I’ve heard of issues with having to prime the fuel lines after working on them or dropping the tank. Is there a procedure for that somewhere?

    Thanks much. I love the DIY content on your site. Super practical and useful. I really appreciate it.

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