Fuel Tanks
In 1991 when I bought my 1973 Bronco, it had been swampd for 8 hours in an Arizona flash flood.  Then it sat for two years.  So, by the time I got it all the tanks were full of sand and rust.  The two saddle tanks I acid washed and coated them with the motorcycle kits.  It worked for a couple of years, but all the coating started coming off.  The rear tank has been hidden above a monster hitch system and not accessible at all.  Well, once I started my rear bumper project, I decided to build a fuel cell that would fit up in there.  The next project is the saddle tanks.  I have never tackled a project like this, so I am learning as I go.  Hopefully that knowledge will transfer to the next fuel cells that I make for the sides.

This is a shot of the old tank that was in the rear.  It is still full of sand and rust.  I decided to design my own and not follow the lead of the manufacturers.
Take a look at the pick up tube and sending unit on the right!  Man is that nasty!  Since I have more of a lift, I decided to add some size the the new model.

I used 1/8 metal, cut it out long ways, then notch the metal where I wanted to fold, and came out with the overall shape.  I then welded the seams, and then made the side pieces.  Next was finding the hole saws and tubing needed for the vent and filler neck.  I used 5/16 tubing for the pickup tube, welded to 2" 1/4 steel nipples.  After welding the nips to the tank, I fastened on brass fittings that will attach to the fuel lines.
This is a shot of it all welded up.  I have done three water test so far.  I had two minor holes in the welds that I fixed, but the SunPro sending unit is kicking my ass.  I have snapped two screws, ruined two bits, and can't get the damn thing sealed.  I applied a sealant compound and will tighten down in the morning.  Next stop......Mounts and Paint!

Pressure tested to 20 psi and no leaks.  I finished welding the mounting tabs on and then a coat of paint. 
Mounted and paint touched up.  Time to put the bumper back on and hook up the new hoses for the filler neck and vent tube  We did the calculations today and it ended up being a 16.5 gallon fuel cell!  That's better than what came out of it!.
8 Months Later

After eight months of use, I have had zero problems with this gas tank.  I have taken a couple of hits to the bottom of the tank on rocks, and my welds held with no leaks.  I eventually plan on making a larger tank and will see this one cheap on the EMBL or EBE.  It is made for a stock body (no body lift).  It attaches to the frame in the back and to a special crossmember in the front that will have to be duplicated or the mounts put elsewhere for your application.  It ended up being 15 gallons. 

After 3 years now..... do not put your sending unit on the side of a tank.... only on the top! 

Technical article and photos are copyright 1999-2003, Motoman's Madness.  Do not duplicate without express permission from Greg Banfield aka Motoman!


Return to Motoman's Madness