Help on Chevy Express Fuel Tank Tap for Heater

pwilk

New member
I've got a 2014 Chevy Express AWD and I'm putting in a Webasto Air Top heater. The one thing I'd like to have sorted out before I start pulling stuff apart is the best way to tap into the fuel tank. I've found limited information (one thread here) on exactly what method to get into the tank with. In fact with the number of people who have these heaters in Chevy vans, I'm sort of surprised at how difficult it has been to find information on the install. Most people focus on detailing everything besides getting into the tank.

Unfortunately unlike some (many/most?) Sprinters, Promasters, and Transits there is no auxiliary port on the fuel pump for my van. I have a friend who's got an Express 3500 and that fuel pump does have an aux port. I thought maybe I could buy that pump and install on my van but the electrical connections are different along with who knows what else for the specs of the pump. The heater's install instructions (p53-54) indicate that I could use a 'T' and go into the return line. However, looking at pictures of the fuel pump I'm skeptical that the return line goes much lower than a couple inches into the tank. Thus this option, if it worked at all wouldn't be useful.

The other option the instructions indicate for a plastic tank like mine is to use a "Webasto tank extracting device" but I haven't found any information on these. My kit has the metal tank one, but I'm assuming if the Germans don't recommend it for a plastic tank then there's a good reason for it. So how the hell do I get the parts I need and get into the tank or fuel pump?

I guess another option would be an auxiliary tank, but I'm not inclined on that option as it adds more complications (and cost).
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
Anybody that can weld, braze or solder well can add another tap to your fuel pump hanger.

Drill a hole in the plate, slide in a piece of tubing, solder, braze or weld the tubing in place, done.

Keep the aux pickup short enough that your heater can't burn up all your fuel and leave you stranded.
 

pwilk

New member
Anybody that can weld, braze or solder well can add another tap to your fuel pump hanger.

Drill a hole in the plate, slide in a piece of tubing, solder, braze or weld the tubing in place, done.

Keep the aux pickup short enough that your heater can't burn up all your fuel and leave you stranded.

No luck on this route unfortunately. The head of the fuel pump is made of plastic.
 

pwilk

New member
Webasto and Espar have a number of fuel standpipes for this sort of thing, there's no fabrication needed. I'm not at a loss for ideas on how it could be done, I was hoping to "stand on the shoulders of giants" or at least piggyback on the firsthand knowledge of someone who had done the install already in an Express 1500.
 

marret

Active member
A little different, but SMB put a tap in the side of my gas tank for the Onan generator. If I go with a gas heater, I will do a T off of that.
 

TeleSteve

Adventurer
I used the Webasto fuel pickup. I drilled a whole in the top of the tank with a step bit a few inches aft of the fuel pump. It's been working for five years now. Here is the discussion about it with some other options discussed in my build thread.
 

pwilk

New member
Just closing the loop on this thread. In summary I decided to drill a hole in the top of the fuel pump and use Webasto's standpipe for plastic tanks. This route seemed less scary and less work than drilling into the tank itself. No problems thus far in the last couple months. For a more detailed write up on what I did, including photos, check out the link below.

 

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