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Discussion Starter #1
The gas tank for my 87 caprice is smashed up pretty bad, so I was thinking of making a new tank.

The cheapest deal I can find on a tank is 60 bucks for a 'forage' tank from a local junkyard (in other words, the guy who owns the yard says he knows he has some full size chevy cars out there, so if I go find a tank and take it off, I can have it for 60 bucks, and if it leaks he'll let me try to find another, but no guarantee of what ones will fit, etc) or about 140 to buy a new replacement.

I am considering getting an old pontiac to make into a rod, and I'm figuring that the gas tank on it will probably be rotted out, so it will need one. So I was thinking that if I make a simple, rectangular tank for the Caprice (which I intend to use as a donor car for the interior and motor on for the Pontiac later on) that I will be able to easily adapt it to the pontiac when I get that far.

The question is, what material would it be best to make it out of? I have access to galvanized sheet steel, or I could always get a sheet of plain steel. I really don't know about welding galvanized steel, I've never seen that done before...

So, anyone here made a tank or three and have some good suggestions?

Chris
 

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First place welding galvanie is not a; good idea unless you have the proper respiratory protection..Zinc fumes are poison and guys get welders disease from welding that stuff..

60$ is reasonable for a used tank..get one from a cer hit in the front and water test it before you install it and you should be ok..

I fyou do decide to build a tank use 18 gauge plain steel and bend it in a square and make some flanged end caps and weld them in..of course you will need to make fill provision and pickup..venting and installtion of the fuel gauge..

then water test the tank to see that there are no leaks..It is about the same procedure to build a motorcycle tank just the shape and size is different..

Can be done..just a bit of work to do it..

Sam
 

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Tazz
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2,048 Posts
Check around the Hollander books and see what interchanges with you project

If is best to find the proper interchange tank than to mate up the wrong one. I have found the old tanks are full of crap and need steamed out before you try and use one. I suggest you learn from MY experience and save up and buy the right tank...save yourself the headaches Dude!!

Tazz
 

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I custom build tanks for hot rods all the time. Two - three a week. Mine are made from 14ga and are cnc bent so I don't have a big gaps to try to weld up. I weld in the outlet fitting and pressure test to 10psi and check for leaks with soapy water. Then I add the filler necks what ever it might need. It can be done just takes a little time. just make sure you don't have any leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure about the $60 tank thing...most of the tanks I've seen in yards are all rotted out...I'm in Wisconsin, so rust is unavoidable. I might have to go out and yank 3-4 tanks before I find one that is even worth water testing. Most of the time you get salty road gunk sitting on top of the tank that then eats through the top of the tank...

Anyway, I'm not to worried about actually bending up the tank. My father has a sheet metal shop, so I could use the breakpress to get nice crisp bends and all that...

I guess its the welding that would be the most trouble, as I haven't done much welding on sheet metal...but I'm sure if I practice on the scraps from cutting the box, that I can learn not to burn through...

Anyway, I'll pick at my wife for a while to see if she'll let me get a new tank, and if she doesn't, maybe I'll try to fix up the old tank.

What's a sure-fire way to get all the fumes out of an old tank so it can be welded if necessary? I suppose I could just keep filling it up with water and draining it out until it comes clean and doesn't smell...
 

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Given the fact that you have the sheet metal shop then I would say go ahead and build one to suit..that way you know what you have..

Sorry about the salt situation in your area..In my area it is possible to find some decent parts of that nature..

Sam
 
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