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Old 03-30-2004, 01:13 PM
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gas tank construction

I'm in the process of building a street rod . I'm going to build a stainless steel fuel tank to set between the frame rails under the trunk sheet metal . I intend on installing the fill cap in the trunk (non-vented). I have the Autometer gauge with sender . Is it wise to vent the tank to the rear fender well ? How hi should the vent be over the tank ? Should I install a fuel filter on the end of the vent to prevent dust ? And the pick-up ,,,with an electric pump can I pull from the top of tank ? And what sort of an end do you install inside the tank on the pick-up ? Should the tank be baffled ? And if so , baffled front-to-back , or side-to-side? Do I need a return ? (elect fuel pump to a regulator under the hood to 3X2 setup ..) thanks

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I usually vent to the inside of the frame, with a small lawnmower type fuel filter in it. You can loop the vent up and over something, I like at least 3" above. No leaks, no siphon.

For a drag car I take the fuel from the lower back of the tank. A street car, to be legal, has to have the outlet on top. Then I use a pickup sock (auto parts store) and a piece of 3/8" tube.

I try to baffel my tanks side to side for Drag cars, or use foam. You do not need a return.
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:52 PM
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The tank on my 34 is made by Tanks Inc. They provide a rollover vent valve, and a vent tube. They say nothing about a filter on the vent tube, but that is a good idea that I will use. They say the rollover valve needs to be as high as your filler neck or higher.

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Old 02-11-2005, 12:13 PM
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Bumping this back up to ask a few questions.

a) Is there any major problem making the tank of plain old steel and if not, what gauge would be best.

b) What is a good way to test for leaks once the tank is complete.

c) Is it a good idea to use a sealer on the inside welds (or inside joints if welded from the outside) and if so, what is a good one.

d) Is it a good idea to baffle the tank for a street driven car and if so, what design.

e) Bobcrman, what's a "pickup sock"....and is my local parts store guy going to know what I'm talking about if I ask him for one.

f) Any other bits of advice for a novice tank builder...other than "don't".

I wouldn't even think about welding my own tank but I have some very specific space limitation for the rat rod project and my search for a pre-made fuel cell (steel or poly) hasn't turned up anything with the right dimensions.

Always learning...and sharing what I've learned.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:17 PM's Avatar
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I have made plenty of "plain steel" tanks. I use 18-20 ga. sheet. I then bead roll a pattern into the proposed top and bottom. Or brake an X crease across the largest flat area. This and welded in baffles will keep down any "oilcanning". I try to do the tank with just one weld joint to close the major piece( usually upper front of tank). Then make up baffles and ends (or sides) to weld into the open areas of the piece. I like to keep the shapes simple so I can make a wooden "buck" to form the end pieces around. Then weld. Baffles are just flat pieces across the tank with 45degree corner cutoffs and edge flats bent for welding to the upper and lower inner side if the tank. Depending on the tank I may punch a couple of 1" holes on the baffle.

I test mine with air pressure and supmerge in a stainless tub full of water. 15-20 psi. No bubbles=GREAT!

I always use a tank sealer. NOT the white stuff. The proper way is condition the inside with something like Ospho. Then rinse and dry well. then use a good sealer. Slosh it around good and empty the tank. Let it dry .

If you have your parts man pull a tank sending unit from like a 70-80's Chevy pickup. You will see the "sock" A piece of brass screen formed into a 1 1/2"x 3" envelope and clamped on to the end of the pickup tube. Easy to hand make.

Design the tank so the guage float and pickup don't hit the baffles! Design the tank so the float goes across the tank. The outlet, by Federal law, must come out the top. I vent with a small line from as near the center top of the tank as possible and use a small lawnmower fuel filter on the end of a hose looped at least 8" higher than the tank, then outside the body.
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