When it comes to vintage Airstreams, there’s not much better out there than the voice of experience. You guys ROCK! Thanks for telling me about the heat gun trick. Trying to avoid purchasing a tool I might use only once, I started out with my heat embossing gun used for scrapbooking and crafting. Yes, a “girlie” tool.
Don’t laugh ~ it worked. With a little patience and my Dad’s old giant pipe wrench, the cap on the exterior fill and the belly drain valve gave in and twisted right off. I also found the awful truth. Look at my clogged drain valve. The tank has more crud in it than I thought.
Because of the length and position of the fill neck and the drain pipe, I can’t manipulate the tank to come out. So I tackled the threaded joint between the fill neck and the tank. Nearly an hour with no luck. I ran to Wal-Mart, picked up a serious “manly” heat gun, and blasted the joint until I was afraid the metal would melt. The pipe even started to compress under the wrench. This thing won’t go quietly.
The fill neck will probably have to be cut. Since I need a whole new tank anyway, maybe it will be a non-issue. I’d just as soon keep a pressurized system instead of going with a demand pump. Surely I can get a new set up built to the exact same specs in stainless, fill neck and all.