Yes ours did have the rods but many years driving in Mexico with many quick repairs made it easier to disconnect the rods because they were so badly damaged. Now we have to reach underneath the van and release the gate valve by hand. OMG what we do for life on the road and in the sun! But thanks for such a detailed solution. this site has the best people.
If your tank is full...and you need to work on removing the valve...
You might find the guy driving the truck that services port-a-let toilets. They have a suction wand. They can get the majority of your tank contents...
Then...maybe find a place where a little leakage wouldn't pose a heath risk to anyone... Unscrew the valve...let the remaining fluid drain...then pull forward...onto blocks. Make sure they are stable. The blocks will make the little fluid left...stay in the tank, hopefully....and give you room to work under there to fix/replace the valve.
Kate, any chance you can post pics of your modifications? Without that, I suspect all any of us can say is that it's a problem with whatever linkage you have. I can't think of anything that's going to sound metal-to-metal in the valve; all I'm familiar with are plastic except for the stem.
Hints: I know it's hard to get under; just stick the camera under the running board on each side and snap a pic across the width of the van, look at it on the preview screen, and adjust your aim and exposure if needed. Post on Tinypic or similar, and use the advanced post form here to put it up.
Jim, "A politician is someone who would do anything for the 'common man.' Anything, that is, except become one."
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
Altho I have a PW, the part behind the handle for the black tank will stick... sometimes I have taken a pair of pliers and was able to work it loose, little by little, (sewer hose is connected already... but be ready ) Then I put vaseline on the metal part of sewer line. It works for a few times and then have to repeat the process. I know, I need to just replace the gate... but....
I have had trouble with my Black Tank handle also. Mine is a plastic "T" handle connected to a metal tube which compression locks on a shielded cable (like a cable on the handbrake of a bycycle). Where the metal tube was fused to exterior of the cable broke loose and was the dickens to fix. Finally, I J&B Welded it together and covered the connection with a small piece of vinyl hose. Then, I screwed four small ratchet clamps on the hose - two on the hose and two on the cable. The hose, in effect, acts as a support and back up system in case the cable comes loose again. It has held for about two years.
I lubricated the cable with penetrating oil the best I could without taking the whole shebang apart. This design is an accident waiting to happen, IMO. There is just too much stress on the cable which is six feet or so long when you pull on it. My 1996 RT had metal rods and that was a lot more stable than the cable.
This is an example of a recurrent problem with a B: everything is so doggone compact that the simplest solution (like on most Cs and trailers) is not available.