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Want to relocate your gas tank?

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by WickedWindsor, July 13, 2009.

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    1. WickedWindsor

      WickedWindsor Active Member

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      To start off, I don't intend this to be a "how to" so I'm not liable for any misled info on a project like this undertaking.

      I was looking for a new project and something that had not been done. New and different was what I was looking for.
      Down the road, I wanted to rig up some sort of anti-wrap bar for my rear axle. Not yet knowing what kind of setup I wanted, I knew that my options would be limited because of where the stock gas tank is located directly in front of the axle.
      I thought that by moving the location of the gas tank to the rear behind the axle would do two things. It would allow me to put whatever kind of anti-wrap bar in as well as provide more ground clearance under the belly of my truck.
      What fuel tank would fit in the spot of the spare tire and allow me to run stock fuel injection? I could use a Broncoll tank. I've seen a couple installs as a second/auxillary tank in some EX's. For me though, they hung down too low defeating my second goal for more ground clearance. After much research on fuel tanks I found that I needed to use a Ford tank to simplify things. A full size Bronco tank would fit between the frame rails but is also too tall for my liking 31-7/8" x 22-1/4" x 15-3/4" .
      An F150 rear tank is shallow enough but too long and wide for my project 34-3/4" x 27" x 7-7/8".
      What I settled on was a rear tank for a '91 E150 33-1/2" x 23-1/2" x 11-1/8".
      With my 2" body lift, I measured that it would fit just right in depth and perimeter.
      With all these measurements, I also was planning to have to relocate the shocks in front of the axle as well. Therefore by any means, this is NOT a bolt in project with all aspects of it being fabricated. If you can weld though, this is a fairly mild project to undertake.

      Here is the tank out of the box.
      [​IMG]

      I started by first removing the spare tire cross bar and upper shock mount by grinding off the rivets.
      [​IMG]

      A notch had to be taken out of the body in this area to clear the fill hose connection for the tank. This also shows the rear upper tank mount.
      [​IMG]

      Here, you can see the new upper shock mount I made from 2x2 square tubing. I designed it to clear the body by 1". Just before that is the forward tank support.
      [​IMG]
      I used rubber hose to isolate the tank from the crossbar/upper tank mount.
      [​IMG]

      I made new lower shock mounts to turn the base of the shock 90 degrees so the axle could have more freedom to flex without stress on the shock bushing.
      [​IMG]

      Shocks and tank straps in place.
      [​IMG]

      Tank in place.
      [​IMG]

      Rear mount for straps. I drilled two 3/8" holes in the rear crossmember for the new strap bolts.
      [​IMG]

      Front strap crossmember. Slotted holes in 1 1/2" angle steel.
      [​IMG]

      Forward view of tank in place.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Lots of clearance over axle. I have a SOA setup that would be necessary or at the least, a 2" suspension lift.
      [​IMG]

      View from drivers side of tank in place.
      [​IMG]

      Forward tank crossmembers.
      [​IMG]

      By using two Explorer fill hoses, I was able to make the new one. The filler neck is 2" and so is the nipple on the new tank. The stock hose necks down to 1 1/2" where the 1 1/2 - 2" hose coupler resides.
      [​IMG]

      Lots of ground clearance. Bottom of tank lines up almost directly with the bottom of the frame rails. I may get around to making a new skid plate someday.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Some of the fuel fittings I used.
      [​IMG]

      Fuel lines in their new home.
      [​IMG]

      I tried using the E150 sending unit with a Mustang 190lph pump. To use the pump, I had to bend the supply tube away from the pump about 3/4" to allow the pump to fit in its spot. The stock E150 pump is shorter than the Mustang pump. The stock Explorer pump will fit fine however.
      Once installed, the gas gauge didn't read the proper level, so out it came with a trip to the voltmeter. The resistance is setup the opposite of the Explorer. What I did to correct this was install the stock Ex sending unit onto the E150 pickup assembly. To do this, I had to drill two new holes into the E150 pickup assembly. The float was totally in the wrong spot but a calculated bend of the float wire made the new assembly perfect.
      I dropped the tank back in and - whala - gas gauge works fine again.
       
      Last edited: July 14, 2009
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    3. inh

      inh Elite Explorer

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      Nifty! I want to add a second tank to my 2nd gen, appreciate the info =]
       
    4. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Nice mod and writeup!
      Questions. How many gallon is the tank? Is the filler tube running up to the stock fuel door? Looks like you have a bodylift. How much did that help the tank fit? What's the story on those bumpstops? They are funky/cool. :cool:
       
    5. BrianDye

      BrianDye I'll have another... Elite Explorer

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      Great writeup, and GREAT work man!

      That tank almost looks a little smaller than stock, maybe I missed it, did you say how many gallons it was?
       
    6. inh

      inh Elite Explorer

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      Based on the dimensions he gave, its probably stock sized, if not bigger. If the tank held exactly as much fuel as its outer dimensions, and was a cube, it would hold 37.83 gallons ;)
       
    7. WickedWindsor

      WickedWindsor Active Member

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      It's a 22gal tank. I have a 2" body lift. Without a BL it would hang approx2" lower.
      The bumpstops are from a '97 GMC Sonoma. Direct bolt in.
      The filler tube is running to the stock filler neck.
       
    8. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      I had this idea 3 years ago, it's documented in my SAS thread. I still have everything, I just never figured out how to get the fuel pump to work sense the mine is a '99 and not sure if OBD2 will get inthe way. I've trying to get a factory ex pump to fit. :rolleyes:

      Good to see it works;):thumbsup:

      [​IMG]
       
    9. eXcali

      eXcali Active Member

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      Looks very cool! If I did something like this I would route the exhaust out the side as I would never be comfortable with how close it is to the tank.
       
    10. cculter

      cculter Elite Explorer

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      That's what I was thinking, I would at least add a heat shield.
       
    11. WickedWindsor

      WickedWindsor Active Member

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      Not to worry. Lots of cars, including Mustangs, have the exhaust running right beside the tank. There's an inch gap between the tank and the pipe. I doubt you'd be able to ignite the gas inside from heat alone anyway if fumes aren't involved. The heat would have to be pretty intense and the tank be pretty near empty for the gas to heat up from a tailpipe. Just my thoughts...
      [​IMG]
       
    12. inh

      inh Elite Explorer

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      Where did you get these fuel tank measurements?
       
    13. WickedWindsor

      WickedWindsor Active Member

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    14. inh

      inh Elite Explorer

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      Awesome, thank you. I was trying to find a replacement gas tank retailer that gave measurements to no avail.
       
    15. dangerrangerstx

      dangerrangerstx Member

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      or if u want use a boat fuel cell or cut the the floor to fit a lip of a cherokee gas tank and then get a jy skid plate. it adds a s/l of ground clearance not sure which one im going to do on overkill
       
    16. baggedexploder

      baggedexploder Active Member

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      hey great writeup. I am sorry to say that you are not the first to relocate a new tank behind the axle, I have used a bronco 2 tank behind the axle of my 93. The bronco 2 tank fit very well as well, and looks very similar to your f-150 tank. Nice job the install came out great.
       
    17. baggedexploder

      baggedexploder Active Member

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      oh and also, my factory explorer sending unit and pump went right into the bronco 2 tank, just used a brake line bender to put a slight bend in the pickup tube and return tube. And the filler hose was very easy to modify to route to the factory gas door location, this may be another tank to ponder using, my truck is bagged and the floor bbehind the rear seat is raised 3" so the tank should also work with around a 2" bodylift although having the tank tucked up in there with bags is pretty important but i have no clearance issues.
       
    18. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      I dont really think he is/was claiming to be the first to relocate a new tank :rolleyes: :

       
    19. baggedexploder

      baggedexploder Active Member

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      I was looking for a new project and something that had not been done. New and different was what I was looking for.
       
    20. baggedexploder

      baggedexploder Active Member

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      whoops, thats a quote from his first post, I assumed that this quote was him saying that this had never been done, If i have misinterpreted I appologize
       
    21. WickedWindsor

      WickedWindsor Active Member

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      I hadn't seen an E150 gas tank installed in an Explorer before. I don't claim to be the first, I just couldn't find anybody who'd done a writeup on it yet. Just trying to help others who might be thinking outside the box.

      The tank is still working great by the way. Lots of ground clearance which is great because I have yet to make a skid plate.

      The only downside I can see to this so far is the lack of baffles inside this particular tank although it's just a little extra sloshing and doesn't affect performance at all.
       
    22. LAWG_rider

      LAWG_rider Member

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      This seems like a pretty neat mod to make more room on the driver side frame rail for an air tank. Or just an AUX tank for more range.
       
    23. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Just to let folks know. I tried this on my Ex which does NOT have a body lift. The tank hung too low so I cancelled the project.
       
    24. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      Which tank did you try Rick? Because the secondary f150 tank is only about 8" deep.
       
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      megadeth Active Member

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