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I have a rusty fuel tank. I bought muriatic acid and some chain to shake around in the tank. Is it OK to leave the fuel pump assembly in while I do this, or will the wiring (rubber, copper, unknown metals) be harmed by the acid? If I take it out, I'm left with a huge hole in the bottom of the tank, which makes it more difficult to slosh the acid around inside. Thanks for your help! (I'm also doing the high-pressure fuel filter bypass operation today.)
 

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Yes, absolutely take the fuel pump out before cleaning the tank. Chemical damage aside, you'll damage the fuel gauge float, the fuel pump and the filter "sock" on the pump. You'll also want to remove the fuel filler cap.

Personally, I would look at using something besides muriatic acid (HCl). Evapo-rust is a little expensive, but it's VERY effective and VERY safe.

To plug the hole, you could either make a blanking plate from a scrap of steel plate, or you might see if you can find an expanding pipe plug that would fit.

I'd also invest a few bucks in a new o-ring and a new filter sock.
 
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Thanks so much, bwringer! I thought I was going to be finished today, but upon taking the thing apart, I found out that the "filter sock" was completely disintegrated, so I'm going to have to wait until a new one arrives before I can complete the job. By the way, drilling the hole for the high-pressure fuel filter bypass was completely uneventful (wonderful).
 
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