Last year I did some horse trading for a new poly gas tank. The tank that came on my truck leaked from several different places, and the gauge never worked, so I figured I’d try to knock out a few birds with one stone. I ordered a new sender and J-hooks from SSS and tried to block out a solid day’s time to work on it. I talked to Mr. Scout about my plans, and he kindly offered his garage for the weekend. I cruised over the bridge Friday night and he had a big pile of steamed Maryland crabs waiting for me, and cold beer never tasted so good.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we got started by using a cheapo Harbor Freight siphon to pull the gas out of the tank. It worked great after I finally looked at the bulb and realized the big arrow was pointing in the wrong direction.

After we drained the tank, we disconnected all of the vapor lines still existing on the driver’s side, the fuel line and the sender wiring from the passenger side. (make sure to have a bucket handy to dump the remaining fuel in the lines).

I’d sprayed the bolts with PBblaster the day before so it only took a little coaxing to get the nuts started, and the straps loosened up quickly. We rolled a floor jack underneath and braced it with blocks, then let everything down slowly and pulled the tank forward.

Once it was clear of the straps, we disconnected the sender leads and pulled it free. It was in decent shape but the sender unit had been sealed in with some kind of goo that came off in one piece. A couple of the vapor lines had been capped with non-fuel grade hose (two years ago, I replaced the fuel neck hose it came with, which was actually radiator hose) and several others just dead-ended up into the fender cavity.

We put the new sender into the tank, made sure the seal was tight, and set it into place. The poly tank I got is a little smaller than steel, so the straps aren’t quite as tight as I’d like, but once we cinched it down, it’s won’t go anywhere. We had to scoot it over to the driver’s side slightly to make the fuel neck hose fit (nobody in Chestertown had any to sell us, and the piece I had was about 1″ too short) but once that was done everything went smoothly.

We removed the plastic evap assembly from inside the fender (it wasn’t hooked up properly) and tightened the fuel neck up to the body (it wasn’t, originally), then double-checked our hoses and started putting fuel back in the tank. While that was happening, I worked on splicing new connectors onto the sender wiring.

When the last bit of gas was in the tank (and after Brian pranked me by pouring some of his water out on the floor under the tank while I wasn’t looking) I primed the carb and fired it up.

She ran smooth and didn’t die, which meant the engine was pulling from the tank properly, and I pulled her out into the driveway to idle for a moment. The gauge still read zero, so we decided to ground the wiring when we got back from Dogfish Head out in Rehoboth.

The next day, we tied the ground into a bare spot on the frame, hoping that would solve the issue with the gauge, but there was still no reading. So I’ll pull the gauge itself, test the wiring, and swap it with a spare, then look at adding a new wire for power all the way up to the dash. (I get good power to the gauge itself, and the ammeter works correctly). The ride home was uneventful and easy; I put 5 more gallons in it before crossing the Bay Bridge and didn’t have any problems with the pump shutting off or fuel coming back up the filler neck.

All totaled, it took two guys about four hours with minimal air tools, a couple of jerry cans, a siphon, and an assortment of electrical connectors.

Date posted: August 1, 2011 | Filed under Friends, Progress, Repairs | 1 Comment »

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