Installing the Dreaded Gas Tank Sender Unit Without a Special Tool.
By Bob Gill
Installing the Corvair “Gas Tank Sender Retainer” without the tool designed by Fred Johnson and sold by Clark’s Corvair Parts (C7264R) can be an exercise in futility. Not that I’d ever let such a simple retainer get the best of me! No, the first time I replaced one of these retainers (C156) I spent somewhere from 30 to around 60 minutes (more likely the latter) getting its 3 points under their designated tabs so that I could tap it around to its stops.
In the aftermath I’d wished I would have spent the money for the tool.
A few years later I felt the need to inspect the inside of the gas tank and the condition of the sending unit. I dreaded removing the retainer remembering how difficult it was to re-install without the special tool that I still hadn’t bought. I thought that it’ll go better this time. Yeah, right!
The problem with the retainer as it's manufactured is that you're required to get all 3 points of the retainer under the 3 tabs on the tank all at one time. That's a pretty hard thing to do when using a new O ring and trying to hold it all together.
This time I only spent 5 minutes with the frustration before I realized that if I used my Dremel tool to remove a portion of one part of the retainer I would be able to lock in place the 2 remaining parts of the ring and use a screwdriver to catch the cut back area of the ring once it was in place. I ground a chamfer on the cut back portion of the retaining ring to allow it to get under the remaining tab a bit more easily.
The method worked perfectly, the installation was almost instantaneous and best of all I didn't need the special tool!