Author Topic: Fuel Bladder Repacement  (Read 8217 times)

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« on: January 15, 2011, 04:36:44 PM »
My '66 V35 40 gallon fuel bladders are close to replacement and I'm trying to get educated on how best to do this .  I know it's a tough project, and I plan on doing most the work myself so any advice would be appreciated.  There are a number of entries here and on other forums that offer pointers, but I'm looking for more of a "how to do it" write-up.  The maintenance manual is of little help on this point.  Has anyone ever run across a blog or magazine article on a start-to-finish bladder replacement project?  Also, do the new bladders come with an installation guide of any kind?

Thanks!  
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Don Lawrenz

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 12:35:07 AM »
Why are they "close to replacement"?

I have not seen a guide with a new set of tanks. Most A&P's know the drill.

Stephen Greenwood

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 03:23:59 AM »
'Light Plane Maintenance' Volume 22 #9 from September 2000 has a 4 page article describing fuel cell replacement on a 67 Skylane.

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 12:21:23 PM »
Don,

Not sure on the age of these bladders.  I'm finding  blue-goo flow showing up around the jack point covers, flowing back.  Also some flowing back from a few inches to a foot or so outboard of the jack points under the wing.  None on the flaps.  I took this plane to a Bonanza clinic last November and the inspector flatly stated  that I was due a pair of bladders.  However, there are some interesting points... I can completely top off the tanks and not get any leaks showing up on the hanger floor, so the leak seems to be more of a "seep/weep."  Seems that it is worse when flown, but can't be sure of that.  Fuel may be puddling, then flows when flown.  I'm not sure where to start looking for a/the leaks.  Been studying the maintenance manual for connections to inspect, but appears that it will be a real task w/o some sort of a bore scope.

Need to formulate a plan to look for connection leaks before I spend the time and big bucks on new bladders.

Thanks for asking....

Ed
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 12:23:07 PM »
Thanks, Steve.

Subscribed to that magazine a couple weeks ago.  Hope it has some good info..

Ed
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Richard Karwowski

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 02:29:50 PM »
Hi Ed. I too own a 1966 V-35 that developed what you are describing. It was my planes right bladder and had been in the aircraft since 1976. I'm a big "do it youself" guy and started looking into what it would involve. I elected to have some one do it that had lots of experience. It is one of those items that requires a fair amount of technique. The chances of damaging the new bladder while installing it would quickly negate any money savings. Am sure lots of guys have done it with excellent results but for me it was one of those "let the expert fix it"items.

   As a side note I had Eagle drains installed at the same time.

   Good luck.

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 02:50:51 PM »
Thanks for the words, Rich

I understand labor cost is about $1,000 for the install.... per side.  That's motivation to look into self install, but as you can tell from my post that I'm not too excited about tackling the job myself and am leaning toward having someone do it.  I like the idea of the Eagle drains.

Thanks again for the info.  

Ed.
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Don Lawrenz

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 11:34:57 PM »
Ed

What you are seeing is dissolved glue from the tape that lines the tank cavity and 100LL dye mixed together. Yes, there is a leak that needs to be fixed, but it might not be due to a hole in the bladder.

The first thing I encourage people to look at are all the attachment plates that bolt to the tanks. What are those? Inspection access panels and fuel transmitter locations. These places are usually installed with cork gaskets under the plates. Over time those gaskets crush, resulting in loss of torque on the bolts and, you guessed it, leaks. Re-torque all those panels. They have safety wired bolts and screws (on the transmitters). The transmitters seem to be especially prone to this, and may only leak when full of fuel and subjected to the highest internal pressure.

The other place there may be leak is in the vent system connections. The vent nipples on the outboard end of the tank will break causing a leak onlywhen the tank is filled to the brim.

I suspect many tanks are replaced and no longer leak because the above mentioned bolts get re-torqued during the process. If you still have leaks after doing this, you will at least have confirmation that the bladder does indeed need replacing. Bite the bullet then, not now.

Cheers.

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 01:01:27 AM »
Don,

Appreciate your input.  Best advice I've had yet.  I'll get into those areas you discussed later this week and let you know what I discover.

 

Aviator Ed
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Scott Newpower

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 03:52:57 AM »
 
Quote from: Ed Loskill
Thanks for the words, Rich

I understand labor cost is about $1,000 for the install.... per side.  


Not unless your mechanic rips you off.  I have had both mine replaced.  Bo/Baron 40 gallon bladders are not difficult, like say a Cessna 182 would be.  The labor on mine was 6 hours, so what ever that labor rate is where you live is what it should cost.  For me it was $300.

Ed Loskill

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 10:02:02 AM »
Grizz,

Wow, thanks.  I'd heard big numbers.... now I know to look around.

Where was the work done?  My plane is in Lubbock, TX     LBB
Ed Loskill
edloskill@me.com
1966 V35

Scott Newpower

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 12:43:10 PM »
My mechanic retired from the local FBO here in Billings a couple years ago.  He also owns an S35 and does my annuals in my hangar every year.

Bruce Marshall

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 09:01:35 AM »
I subscribed to LPM about a year ago and the first issue had a complete article on doing the bladders in a Bonanza.

Vol 31  Number 2    Feb  2009

Thomas Brittain

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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 09:04:49 AM »
I'd fly it down to Ennis (20 mi. S of Dallas)& let Hammock do the work. They work only on Bonanzas. Jerry Hammmock will even pick you up from Love field. I've had experience with your local "Aero" company & they have a lot of overhead to pay for!

Gary Martin

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Fuel Bladder Repacement
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 09:06:34 AM »
Hi, Ed:

If you decide to move forward with the bladder replacement, last summer at OSH I won a $250 gift certificate from Eagle good towards fuel bladders or any other Eagle product or service.  My '88 F33A bladders are in good shape, so if you'd like to pay me $200 for the certificate, it's yours . . . and I'll donate the $200 to ABS.

Gary Martin

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979-229-4560