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DrChop 10-26-2003 10:28 PM

Kustomsledd fuel tank, how I made it...
Thought some might find this of interest, I made a new gas tank for the '54 Kustomsledd project over the past few weeks, finished it up today. It's made of 16 Ga steel sheet, my local supplier sheared the pieces to size that I spec'd and made the 2 long bends with their large hydraulic press brake.

It all starts with a pattern...

The metal pieces I got from the steel shop. The bottom/front/back is up close, the top is sitting above it, and another 2 sheets for the ends and baffles...

Tank bottom/front/back, with ends welded on and baffles welded in place. The baffles started out as one large piece, there were 1" holes drilled along the scored line that makes up the bottom edges of each piece. This means when I cut thru the drilled holes to separate the bafles, each had half-rounds along the lower edge. These allow fuel to transfer slowly thru the tank, and not slosh.

The filler neck/sender. Yes it's the Cavalier engine oil filler, with the stick removed...

The tank all done with the welding...

...and installed in the '54 trunk. Check out the mounts...

I tested it for leaks by applying a little shop air pressure to a Schrader valve, hose-clamped on the vent line, with the supply/return lines spliced shut with another length of hose. I then sprayed all the seams with a mix of Dawn soap and water in a spraybottle, then gave it a couple short bursts of air, just a bit to pressurize the tank. I found a few bubbles around the sender, and a couple more along a top seam, and MIG'ed those shut. I checked all the seams carefully twice, looking for the tiniest of bubbles, especially along the side and bottom welds, as those welds must hold back fluid gasoline, or risk dumping the tank contents on the driveway, or worse. As a precaution, I double-welded these seams, outside and inside.

If you do not trust your welding ability, practice on something else like a patch panel or some scrap steel, or do the fab work and tack it and take it to a decent welder for the seam work. These must be fluid/fume tight, this is NOT the project to learn Welding 101 on... Safety is the #1 priority with this kind of tank building, if you have doubts, have a pro weld the seams.

Just goes to show you CAN do this at home. Save some money, build your custom gas tank like I did...


crazy larry 10-27-2003 12:01 AM

ok. dumb question time.....
how come i always get to be first?....

how do you go about rigging up a fuel gage sender? does teh stock gm piece measure in in the design dimensions or what?

reason i ask is i have this old ford i want to kustom tank, but i don't want the hassle of adapting a gm sender, so i guess i need to figure on staying close to the same height as my old tank?

what do you do Dr. Chop?

obtw,:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

DrChop 10-27-2003 04:42 PM

I go to NAPA...
and I get a new Stewart-Warner gauge, comes with a universal design sender. The sender is both height-and sweep-adjustable for any depth tank from about 5" to 24"... just follow the chart that comes with the unit. I used one of these senders minus the top plate for the 'sledd tank, there's a single mount stud/contact that holds the whole thing in place.

In the Cavalier 4x4 project I gutted the sender out of the original gas tank, and with a new plate fabbed up, adapted the unit to the stock '54 Ford 12 gallon tank, mounted where the spare tire well used to be under the trunk floor. The stock spare tire well was cut out and replaced with 16 Ga sheet., and I made the straps from 1/8" strip stock (shear tailings) from my local steel supplier.
With the tank turned sideways the Ford filler neck was aimed for the GM fuel door in the passenger quarter, but was obstructed by the floor/shock tower. I cut out the offending metal, and made a tunnel to weld in to cover the filler tube.

akm 10-27-2003 11:46 PM

looks good.
i for some reason never thought about making my own tank (for under the bed of my 65 chevy C-10). my dad works at a custom fab shop, so i have access to the scrap stainless steel that they have a lot of up there.
hell i could probably build one in a few days and save about $200 on one already built.
thanks for the thread, and thanks for asking that question Larry so i didn't have to. :thumbup:

Dragon J 10-28-2003 12:47 PM

:thumbup: Thanks Doc- this will be an incentive to me when I work on the tank for the Nash boattail- I appreciate it!

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