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I searched old threads and I bet I can guess the answer to my question, but I did not see this specific question asked.

I know the fuel tank will not come out with the (whole) engine in the car - except no one ever asked (that I saw) if the fuel tank will come out if the heads are off of the engine.

So I am asking.  Will the fuel tank come out if the heads are off the engine? 

Original Post

Pulling the engine is not that difficult and it gives you a chance to easily access and tend to a variety of tasks. The worst part is removing the headers in my opinion. Don’t forget to install the tank heat shield before re-installing the engine. If it’s an early car that’s the only way. Good luck!

Thanks for the replies.

I'm not necessarily scared of pulling the engine - at least not from a mechnical perspective.  The heads are already off (which means the headers are too.)

I'm more worried that pulling the engine will take me down the dark psycological path of stripping it all down to the shell "while I am at it" - rebuilding the motor (why not a stroker?, why not an aluminum block?) and sending the ZF off with parts in boxes and baggies all over my garage.  I had hoped to get it running and fix one system/area at a time.

Perry, you will be appalled to find the amount of dirt, corrosion and rust behind the average Pantera gas tank! You'll need screwdrivers, scrapers and finally a shop-vac to clean the area, then rattle-can it with lots of epoxy. Most tanks sat on rubber pads and those have long vanished so the tank now sits steel-to-steel on a subframe pinch-weld. Not the stock pads (and the rubber on the hold-down strap) soaked up water and rusted some tanks from the outside-in.

Perry, if your car is very early it might have an aluminum tank. If so, and it leaks at all, you need to pull it and have it properly sealed. And if it’s an early car, there’s likely a ton of crap against/rotting the body which can’t fully be removed and assessed with the tank in the way. 

Don't scrap t tank. According to the late lamented Ted Mitchell, a later steel tank won't fit your early car without major cutting & welding. The upper subframe was different on early cars and the frame & tanks were contoured to fit.  Ted wrote an illustrated Newsletter article about it decades ago based on his son's pushbutton- don't have the issue info right now. Sorry.

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