By the time we finished updating you with Pt.6 of our VW Caddy project we were in search of a new, used fuel tank. A quick test drive up and down the street revealed a starving fuel pump which we were able to diagnose by the sound of a low-pitched whine coming from underneath the truck. Rust knocked loose inside the tank from the fresh fuel was accumulating at the fuel pick-up point, starving the fuel pump. We would need to drop the tank next and either restore or replace it, further delaying our ability to drive the truck home. When the tank was dropped we found another problem – the fuel level sending unit had all but disintegrated and wouldn’t be reusable, and of course it is a discontinued part.
After a month of searching for used tanks out of running trucks and coming up empty, it was ultimately decided that the original tank should be restored. The fuel tank restoration DIYs sounded nasty, and considering AAA Radiator just down the street from us specializes in such things the tank was left with them to deal with. A few days later it was “restored”.
There was still the issue of sourcing a new fuel level sending unit though, not only to monitor fuel levels in the tank but to also cap off and seal the tank before it goes back in the caddy. Every “Mk1” parts source we contacted in the country came up empty with one or two offering used parts if and when they were able to locate any. Things weren’t looking good, at least not for our timeline. Then we learned the fuel level sending unit was actually still available as a new part, but only from VW Classics in Germany. Since they don’t ship to the US we used our Facebook and Instagram pages to reach out to the VW community in the hopes that someone knew someone who might be able to help get the part to us from Germany. Within a few hours our friends at RPI Equipped reached out and offered their services. Fast-forward a month later and the part arrived!
Next was scheduling more time with Brendon so we could get the tank back in and the caddy running again. We were a few days away from getting to work when we rolled by 425 Motorsports as they had a Mk1 steering wheel hub adapter from Sparco that had just arrived for us.
Leaving the shop without a new steering wheel was impossible with the assortment they keep in stock so an OMP leather wheel will give us a better hands-on experience when we begin driving the truck.
Once we had the opportunity we rolled the caddy into the shop and Brendon got to work installing the restored tank. New brake lines were also put in out back, the stainless-steel braided variety courtesy of StopTech parts in stock at Achtuning.
Then, a wheel alignment.
After bleeding the brakes again and pouring fresh brake fluid into those lines the caddy was fueled up and ready for another shake-down! We had a few successful runs up and down the street again and this time without any issues. The 2.0l ABA started to purr once the oil was flowing through the engine again and there was no whine from the fuel pump. We even had a fairly accurate reading of the fuel level… We think. Now we will have to button up a few more things but the end of the first phase of this project is nearing completion and the caddy will be ready to come home. A few more details that will wrap up this project for now are coming up in another post. Stay tuned!