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Old 11-09-2011, 11:37 AM
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Model A fuel tank

Any one out there ever use the cowl fuel tank on a Model A with a gm V8 in their rod? If so what problems if any did you encounter or modifications did you have to make?

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Old 11-09-2011, 12:22 PM
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Model A fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by 54 chevy builder
Any one out there ever use the cowl fuel tank on a Model A with a gm V8 in their rod? If so what problems if any did you encounter or modifications did you have to make?

I don't think I would want gasoline right in front of me. Just because they are Hot Rods doesn't mean they can't get in crashes. You have all the wires under there and the gas. not a good combo.

Bob

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Old 11-09-2011, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane
I don't think I would want gasoline right in front of me. Just because they are Hot Rods doesn't mean they can't get in crashes. You have all the wires under there and the gas. not a good combo.

Bob

Welcome to the board.

Bob,

I'd have to agree with you. I don't think it's a good combo.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:03 AM
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Interesting question and answers.

If you drive a stock Model 'T' Ford you will be sitting on top of the gas tank.

If you drive a stock Model 'A' Ford the gas tank is in your lap.

If you drive any one of several American manufactured pickup trucks from the 1950's the gas tank is what the seat back is leaning against inside the cab.

Then of course there are the pickup trucks with the saddle tanks right along side of the doors.

Many 18 wheelers have their fuel tanks just behind and under the cabs.

Many 'Hot Rodders" install a fuel tank in the trunk area just behind the seats with absolutely no fireproof barrier between it and the passenger compartment.

Many vehicles have retro-fitted electric fuel pumps with no provision for them to shut off in the event of a crash. i.e. low oil pressure shut off switch to electric fuel pump.

One popular tank mounting location is to use a 1932 Ford style tank mounted at the rear of the vehicle out in the open. Absolutely no protection from gas tank splitting or rupturing in the event of a rear end collision.

The list goes on.

OK To the point. Mounting a fuel storage container to a vehicle in the safest means possible is often an afterthought. I have seen everything from plastic tanks meant for boats, beer kegs with no baffles, stock tanks from other vehicles that are just laying in the trunk area with no hold down straps, neat foam filled fuel cells but no flame barrier between it and the passenger compartment. I even strapped a 1 gallon gas can to the radiator of a Model 'T' hot rod to test drive it. I currently own a stock Model 'A' Roadster with the stock tank in my lap and the fuel shut-off is a mechanical lever under the tank inside the cab area.

To answer the OP's question...Many 'hot rod' old and new have used the stock cowl mounted fuel tank with their Model 'A'. It would be somewhat safer if the shut-off valve was removed and replaced with a properly fitted steel fuel line to the engine area. From there to either a stock mechanical pump or if you choose to run an electric pump, have it wired so that if the engine loses oil pressure the power to the electric pump becomes disconnected and will no longer pump fuel. The switch looks similar to a oil pressure sending unit.

What's the best solution? Well posted above are popular methods whereby you can have the fuel in your lap. sit on top of it, lean your back against it, have it hanging just below the doors or just behind the cab, hanging off the rear fully exposed to a rear ender. None of these would or should be considered the 'Best' locations, but all have been and still are being used.

I vote for an inside rear mounted fuel safety cell with foam installed and a rollover valve installed in the vent line. The vent properly routed to outside the vehicle with a filter element attached to the end of it to prevent dirt, insects and any other matter that could get into the tank to contaminate it. Full frame protection from the sides and rear. Solidly mounted to the frame thru the floor (Safety straps OK). A full steel barrier installed between the tank mounting area and the passenger compartment. Electric fuel pump with the low oil pressure safety shut off.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:33 AM
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what is the capacity of the cowl tank? they look rather small 5 gal or less. that would be my concern. i'd hate to have to stop for fuel every 45 min.

as for location; frisco makes good points. i relocated the tank in my 58 pu to make room in the cab for battery/subwoofer/amps. i also picked up 6 gal of capacity in doing so.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:54 AM
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Fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frisco
Interesting question and answers.

If you drive a stock Model 'T' Ford you will be sitting on top of the gas tank.

If you drive a stock Model 'A' Ford the gas tank is in your lap.

If you drive any one of several American manufactured pickup trucks from the 1950's the gas tank is what the seat back is leaning against inside the cab.

Then of course there are the pickup trucks with the saddle tanks right along side of the doors.

Many 18 wheelers have their fuel tanks just behind and under the cabs.

Many 'Hot Rodders" install a fuel tank in the trunk area just behind the seats with absolutely no fireproof barrier between it and the passenger compartment.

Many vehicles have retro-fitted electric fuel pumps with no provision for them to shut off in the event of a crash. i.e. low oil pressure shut off switch to electric fuel pump.

One popular tank mounting location is to use a 1932 Ford style tank mounted at the rear of the vehicle out in the open. Absolutely no protection from gas tank splitting or rupturing in the event of a rear end collision.

The list goes on.

OK To the point. Mounting a fuel storage container to a vehicle in the safest means possible is often an afterthought. I have seen everything from plastic tanks meant for boats, beer kegs with no baffles, stock tanks from other vehicles that are just laying in the trunk area with no hold down straps, neat foam filled fuel cells but no flame barrier between it and the passenger compartment. I even strapped a 1 gallon gas can to the radiator of a Model 'T' hot rod to test drive it. I currently own a stock Model 'A' Roadster with the stock tank in my lap and the fuel shut-off is a mechanical lever under the tank inside the cab area.

To answer the OP's question...Many 'hot rod' old and new have used the stock cowl mounted fuel tank with their Model 'A'. It would be somewhat safer if the shut-off valve was removed and replaced with a properly fitted steel fuel line to the engine area. From there to either a stock mechanical pump or if you choose to run an electric pump, have it wired so that if the engine loses oil pressure the power to the electric pump becomes disconnected and will no longer pump fuel. The switch looks similar to a oil pressure sending unit.

What's the best solution? Well posted above are popular methods whereby you can have the fuel in your lap. sit on top of it, lean your back against it, have it hanging just below the doors or just behind the cab, hanging off the rear fully exposed to a rear ender. None of these would or should be considered the 'Best' locations, but all have been and still are being used.

I vote for an inside rear mounted fuel safety cell with foam installed and a rollover valve installed in the vent line. The vent properly routed to outside the vehicle with a filter element attached to the end of it to prevent dirt, insects and any other matter that could get into the tank to contaminate it. Full frame protection from the sides and rear. Solidly mounted to the frame thru the floor (Safety straps OK). A full steel barrier installed between the tank mounting area and the passenger compartment. Electric fuel pump with the low oil pressure safety shut off.
Granted you could put them anywhere, but to me the cowl isn't my first choice. I would rather have a tank uner the rear than under the cowl. And not under like a 32.

Frisco the 26/27 had the tank under the cowl the only one of those two years that was not was the 4 door, that was under the seat, that was carried over to the model A also.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:56 AM
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Model A fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
what is the capacity of the cowl tank? they look rather small 5 gal or less. that would be my concern. i'd hate to have to stop for fuel every 45 min.

as for location; frisco makes good points. i relocated the tank in my 58 pu to make room in the cab for battery/subwoofer/amps. i also picked up 6 gal of capacity in doing so.
I would say 5 gals tops.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:53 AM
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The Model A cowl tank is approximately 10 gallons. Now, when you consider that a cup of gasoline (8 ounces) has the energy potential of a stick of dynamite, that's 1280 ounces of gas - which equals the energy of 160 sticks of that dynamite.

Next, that tank uses one heck of a lot of space - needed for modern wiring, heaters/a-c and gauges. If you have a good tank, sell it to a restorer and buy a steel cowl cover from Brookville or a glass one from Wescott or others. If it's rotted, cut the bottom out and just use the top as a cowl cover

A place to put that tank - you can safely build a firewall in the trunk or, as I did, use a '32 style after modifying the frame (quite a project). While that '32 style I'm using is still not 100% safe even with bumpers, at least any fire will be behind you allowing escape in case of a rear ender.

This is my '31 with the '32 tank:

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:05 PM
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Fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
The Model A cowl tank is approximately 10 gallons. Now, when you consider that a cup of gasoline (8 ounces) has the energy potential of a stick of dynamite, that's 1280 ounces of gas - which equals the energy of 160 sticks of that dynamite.

Next, that tank uses one heck of a lot of space - needed for modern wiring, heaters/a-c and gauges. If you have a good tank, sell it to a restorer and buy a steel cowl cover from Brookville or a glass one from Wescott or others. If it's rotted, cut the bottom out and just use the top as a cowl cover

A place to put that tank - you can safely build a firewall in the trunk or, as I did, use a '32 style after modifying the frame (quite a project). While that '32 style I'm using is still not 100% safe even with bumpers, at least any fire will be behind you allowing escape in case of a rear ender.

This is my '31 with the '32 tank:

I didn't think those tanks would hold that much. Are they the same as the T? Either way I agree with you, I wouldn't want 1 gal. sitting in my lap.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane
I didn't think those tanks would hold that much. Are they the same as the T? Either way I agree with you, I wouldn't want 1 gal. sitting in my lap.

Bob

Bob - the T is under the seat, at least on the earlier ones. In '26 Ford moved it to the cowl. I think they were all about 10 gallons too

Dave W
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:17 PM
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Fuel tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Bob - the T is under the seat, at least on the earlier ones. In '26 Ford moved it to the cowl. I think they were all about 10 gallons too

Dave W
26/27 they were under cowl, except the 4 door that was still under seat which also carried on to model A.

I use to buy and sell 26/27 model T's, I would go all over MN. North, and South Dakota, some times Neb., and Montana. I used to buy a lot of gas tank up in Ont. Canada. I just never thought they held that much, they did take up a lot of space.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
what is the capacity of the cowl tank?
The 1928 & 1929 Model 'A' Ford cowl gas tanks hold 10 gallons.

The 1930 & 1931 Model 'A' Ford cowl gas tanks hold 11 gallons.

The 1915-1925 Model 'T' Ford had the gas tank under the seat. Oval shaped.

The 1926-1927 Model 'T' Ford had a vent in the cowl and the gas tank was under the seat. Rectangular shaped.

The lever operated shut-off screws into the bottom of the gas tank using tapered pipe threads on the '28, '29, '30 & early '31 models.

This was changed on the later '31 models with the indented firewall so that the shut-off valve was no longer in the cab.

Ford and/or the government felt this change was safer in the event of a collision. It also is/was a nuisance for the operator to shut off the fuel supply. Before this change the operator could just reach under the dash/gas tank and shut off the lever. After the change, the operator would have to get out of the car, raise the passenger side of the hood, shut the valve off, close the hood and re-latch it.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:14 PM
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I'm currently using a cowl tank in my 31 with Buick power. the problem I've had is it tends to gravity feed fuel past the float valves after a few days and flood the motor (2 new carbs, a pressure reg, and many float valves didn't stop it). mine is a late 31 with the factory valve in the engine compartment, so I installed an electric solinoid that operated with the ign switch. that was a big improvement, but I think I'll still switch to a tank under the body for safety as well as the flooding issue.

Russ
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for all the responses, Northstar T you hit on exactly what I was thinking would happen with the fuel supply above the carb. Extra pressure would be put on the float valve even at rest with a shut off valve. As far as a safe location I think I'll pick up a 15 gallon fuel cell and mount it under the floor. This site is a great resorce for anyone. No sense in re-inventing the wheel when there is so much knowledge out there.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54 chevy builder
As far as a safe location I think I'll pick up a 15 gallon fuel cell and mount it under the floor. This site is a great resorce for anyone. No sense in re-inventing the wheel when there is so much knowledge out there.
Take another look under there - by the time you get exhaust, transmission, cross members, differential, brake and clutch linkage - you are real short on room with that narrow chassis
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