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Old 11-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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relocating the gas tank in first gen tacomas

Recently I relocated the gas tank in preperation of doing a 4 link in the rear of my Solid axle Tacoma.

Although this seems as a straight forward modification, there possibly was some "new ground " broken with this project.

First order of business was to decide on an alternate location. It is easy just to throw a fuel cell into the bed and be done with it, but that is too easy! besides my bed is already getting cramped with a full size spare 37" tire, 20 lb Co2 bottle and an ammo box, not to mention my trail trunk that gets anchored to the bed when I go out.

the original goal was to locate the 22 gallon fuel cell over the rear axle. This would provide added traction by placing weight directly over the axle. Problem being is the plans for the 4 link calls for a panhard/trac bar which would directly intersect with fuel cell. Putting the cell further forward was not an option due to the drive shaft.

So with fear of immitating a 1971 ford pinto, the decision was made to locate the fuel cell aft of the rear axle.



Once the decision was made, and measurements were taken three times. The frame was begun. Original idea was to make the hanging cradle from 1.5"x1.5" angle iron supported by .75" angle iron, with the front "legs" being supported from my existing shock bar.

What we ended up with (extra stock from a previous build) was 3"x3" angle iron for the cradle. Although this did make the cradle heavier, it did provide more security in regards to the "Pinto factor"

I won't go into detail on how to weld up the frame or supports as most here know the ins and outs of faberication.

I will comment on the skid plate design and application. Since putting the tank behind the rear axle, there is a potiencial of loosing some departure angle (especially on linked rigs such as what mine is intended to become) So with that consideration, I wanted to make a skid that would be able to take the abuse. So I opted for 3/16" plate I found in the drop metal section of my local metal supply (drop metal is cheaper due to it being the yards surplus). So after adding a center support to the cradle, on the outside of the frame using a 1/2"x 2" piece of stock (will explain shortly) I tacked the sheet to the bottom of the cradle.

The reason the support was added to the outside of the cradle frame was so that without having to drill holes into the sheet metal I created a natural valley and gap for drainage,also keeping the support under the plain of the fuel cell so that it remained even. this support being made out of 1/2"x2" also provides a location to locate a floor jack if needed while working on the vehicle, not to mention allows for greater protection to the rocks.

The last comment on the cradle is this. Still being concerned with the "pinto factor" I used more 1/2"x2" stock I had laying around for the back side cradle hangers/supports as well as some excess cut from the bottom skid plate. This extra was welded to the hangers as well as to the angle iron to create a verticle "skid plate" for the back side of the fuel cell. So if a compact car does rear end me, they are not going to get to the fuel cell (I still drive this truck daily) nor will backing into that 3 foot boulder puncture the cell either.



After adding a cross member across the rear part of the frame, the basic frame work was in place.

Many have already asked me what I did with the fuel pump situation, since tacos have an internal fuel pump. Did I convert to an exterior pump mounted to a frame rail or some other location on the truck?

The answer is no! We used the stock fuel pump and placed it back into the fuel cell along with all the other stock components placed into the new fuel cell.

We cut a hole into the front left corner of the fuel cell and ran a galvanized elbow obtained from the local hard ware store, along with two electrical conduit nuts the same size. Placed the elbow into the hole cut with one of the nuts on the outside and the other put in place once the elbow was positioned. With the gas cap flange removed reach inside to hold the nut secure while tightening the elbow. (also use pipe dope intended for gasoline around all threads to prevent leaks)

Second while you have the cap flange off, you will want to use it as a pattern to cut a new flange. We used the 3/16" flat stock we had left over from the skid plate, but you could use 1/8" very easily or even an aluminum stock if weight is a conern.

In this new flange you are going to cut, use the stock fuel pump, inlet/outlet flange as a pattern for your inside cut of the new flange. mark the outside edge of the fuel pump flange, and the mark a second edge 1/4" inside the original line for the pump flange. This second line is where you will cut, giving you an edge to anchor the pump flange to the new outter flange that will attach to the fuel cell.

The new flange will be drilled to match the bolt pattern of the fuel cell while you wll use self tapping screws to attach fuel pump plate.

cut one more additiona hole for the vent return line and you are done cutting up your brand new purity fuel cell. (the vent return is in the upper corner of the following photo.



A major note must be made at this point! Typical RTV or any other silicone will not work with gasoline. I found a product called Tacky gasket that works great! (I'll have to get the complete name later and edit)

But this "sealient" is not enough to prevent leaks. What I used was rubber pond liner, again found at the local hardware store along with rubberized paper gasket material. using the gas cap flange again as a pattern I cut these materials and placed the Tacky gasket on all surfaces to create an air tight seal. (too much air into the tank and you will throw a check engine light)



the yellow snot looking stuff is the tacky gasket sealiant…you want to be liberal with your use of it.

For the fuel "delivery" I used a 1" stainless steel wrapped fuel line hose from Russell. Ideally 2" would be better suited as the 1" does not allow me to fill up at the gas pumps as I used to. The pump will "overrun" the 1" hose causing the pump to click off. I merely have to slow the rate down manually to fill the tank.

The RCI sprint car plastic fuel cell was selected because it fit perfectly between the frame rails of the tacoma, maybe a little too perfect for someone with leaf springs. With my springs the shackle bolts needed to be "trimmed"

Another note regarding using the stock fuel pump and this particular RCI fuel cell. The stock tank is 14" deep. the RCI cell is only 10.5" deep. So if you want use the stock fuel pump bracket, it must be shortened. I would go into detail, but my friend that helped with the project wants to take these brackets into production and offer them as a product

Let me know if there are any questions regarding this mod. I have been running my truck for one month since doing the relocation and I am actually really liking the difference. It makes the truck a bit more stable on the road giving more power to the rear axle due to the weight out behond the rear axle.

Once I replace my front axle shaft, I'll take the truck out to the trails (at this rate it won't be until snow wheel'n season)

Here are some additional photos not used for illustrations above:


shot from infront of rear axle viewing aft of the vehicle from the drivers side

shot from passenger side looking back toward rear of truck. notice the tight clearence between the tank and the shackle?

One final note: an access hole was cut into the bed of the truck. We had issues with the fuel pump (that have been resolved) after I filled the tank up. so instead of unbolting the full tank to lower it to work on. I decided to cut a hole in the bed. Later I will be replacing the metal cut from the hole to make a "trap door" using hinges and dzues clips.

so do I need to let the mods know where to send my decal?
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like a good spot for it to hit some rocks or get hung up on something to me anyway. Panhard/trac bar sure your not making a three link instead of a four link?
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Should be relocated to the Tacoma section!
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would bash that tank up where you have it. Seems like its in harms way there . . . even with protection.

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Old 11-13-2007, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yea and i dont see how it would be any less in the way after the four link you plan on doing. but on another note may want to be carefull untill then cause looks like any side to side movement of the shackles and they will be hitting the sides or atleast the heads of the bolts would. may want to look into that one.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the design is more of a modfied 4 link, definetly not a 3 link.

and although it looks like a rock magnet, with my current set up the leafs springs are still lower than the lowest part of the tank.

Other than putting the tank into the bed…this was the best place to locate it. and it is re-enforced the best it can be.
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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… but on another note may want to be carefull untill then cause looks like any side to side movement of the shackles and they will be hitting the sides or atleast the heads of the bolts would. may want to look into that one.
Correct! zero tolerence between tank cradle and lower shackle bolt. and less than 1/4" between fuel cell and top shackle bolt.

Everything is tight in current sceniro, but the 4 link will "loosen" that up. the shackles will disappear. and the brackets and such for the axle mounting will be before the axle with the tank being behind. should not have any clearence issue then.

we spent more than a couple of days scratching our heads on every possible sceniro. It should work.

If we had the rocks y'all do out west I could see the tank being a major issue in the rocks, but here in the mid west, we are lucky if we can find a rock in the upperward trail heads!
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would bash that tank up where you have it. Seems like its in harms way there . . . even with protection.

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I still see this as a better location than stock. With the stock tank, it hung lower to the ground due to it being before the frame bend. I gained something like 7". (stock tank was something like 12" off the ground, now it is somethng like 19" up)

My stock tank was banged and bashed enough to reduce it's volume.

I do understand that it take roughly 10% or so out of my departure angle. but I will have to live with that. If you notice the stock rear bumper is still on the truck, which with a little luck will disappear this weekend or next.

I am going to try and figure out a way to create a bumper that will protect the tank some more while increasing the departure. currently in the wheel'n I do. I am contantly dragging the bumper before hitting anything else underneath.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Why didn't you look into the Ford tank? It holds the same amount of fuel and has WAY better ground clearance.

Highlighted for those who missed it:
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...ight=ford+tank


http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...ight=ford+tank

Last edited by ErikB; 11-14-2007 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Uhm . It looks like it hangs down low enough to be in line for some major abuse. In sandy non rock filled trail areas that may work out for you, but I'd be real nervous in any type of rock trail situations.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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was not familar with the ford tank until afterwards.

what is the capacity of it? Hard to believe that it is 22 gallons as I have now
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Why didn't you look into the Ford tank? It holds the same amount of fuel and has WAY better ground clearance.


http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...ight=ford+tank

VERY NICE. Which ford tank is that, and how many gallons? I've been looking at some tanks and haven't seen one that fits that well. Nice.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I still see this as a better location than stock. With the stock tank, it hung lower to the ground due to it being before the frame bend. I gained something like 7". (stock tank was something like 12" off the ground, now it is somethng like 19" up)

My stock tank was banged and bashed enough to reduce it's volume.

I do understand that it take roughly 10% or so out of my departure angle. but I will have to live with that. If you notice the stock rear bumper is still on the truck, which with a little luck will disappear this weekend or next.

I am going to try and figure out a way to create a bumper that will protect the tank some more while increasing the departure. currently in the wheel'n I do. I am contantly dragging the bumper before hitting anything else underneath.

I'm speaking from experience here. You don't want the gas tank in that location. Blazer's have it in the same location and I had the joy of draining a 25 gallon tank due to a rock hitting a magical spot.

Flaws
1. By leaving the gap for fluids to drain out of the protection pan your actually weakings the whole protection plan. Without welding the seam the metal will bend alot into the tank. May not seem that way when you try to do it but imagine dropping a 4000lb truck onto one rock point.

2. Should have used 1/4 at the least. Look at people skid plates that use 3/16. They are usuable but they don't have critical things on the other side and a little dent here or there won't cause damage to items.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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VERY NICE. Which ford tank is that, and how many gallons? I've been looking at some tanks and haven't seen one that fits that well. Nice.
Read the thread I linked!
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:20 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Read the thread I linked!
Sorry, missed it. I've went through that thread a while ago and didn't realize yours was one of the ones in there. I'll hit up the pull-a-part down the street to see what they got. Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Why not go with dual tanks that fit better up under the truck? I've seen a couple write-ups going with EB-style dual tanks on Tacos.
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