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Getting to the fuel tank

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Can anyone help me with the steps required to get to the fuel tank in a 2002 VLX? Last spring I was summerizing the boat when I found a piece of rubber-like material in the engine compartment. It's about 2" wide, 3 feet long and 1/4" thick. I checked with my local dealer and they think it was a protective strip for the fuel tank.

The floor panel above the tank is also slightly recessed compared to the rest of the floor. I'm wondering if the missing strip has something to do with that.

Any foresight will be helpful before I tear into it. Thanks in advance.

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I'd be real curious if you find out what the strip is for. I found two of those just like you describe laying in the bilge under the engine. I couldn't find a home for them anywhere so I tossed them. Hopefully they aren't too important.

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On my 2004 VLX, the tank is located underneath a (roughly) 3 x3 1/2 section of floorboard right in the middle of the passenger compartment - it's held down by 2 ss screws thru the carpet that you have to find by inspection, but mine are in the corners. I have found all sorts of stuff in my boat over the last 2 years - razorblades, pieces of wiring, a huge nut that must have been from the engine mounts, washers - all left in the boat during the assembly process that were left behind. BTW, is that section of your floorboard collapsing?? Mine is. Malibu is replaicng it under warranty.

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Yes the strips go on the bottom of the tank, there are 4 of them.

Removing the tank is a pain.

You have to remove the seat bases, there are 3 sections. The worst part is the section at the cooler. There are screws under the cooler you need to remove, you also have to remove the drain line from the cooler. You also have to disconnect all the fuel lines and loosen the brackets that hold the tank down.

Good luck it's about a 5-6 hour job to remove the tank and re-install it.

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actionadd, do you think it will be necessary to replace the missing strip, or should I just not worry about it?

The panel above the tank, which is the floorboard, has evenly sunk about 1/8" in relation to the rest of the floor. Will Malibu fix it under warranty? I no longer have any warranty left as far as I know.

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