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Projects Belly Tank Build UK

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by JamieUC, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. JamieUC
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 113

    JamieUC
    Member
    from Swansea UK

    Well after lots and lots of looking for a P38 drop tank I came to the conclusion I'd headed down the road of unobtanium, so out comes the English wheel and a large tub of elbow grease.
    I'm now about eighteen months into this build now so will post pics of progress so far.
    First off a buck was built luckily my business has a CNC wood router so this was the easy bit.
    Tank 1.jpg
    Followed by lots of hammering and wheeling.
    Tank 2.jpg

    Lots more hammering..
    Tank3.jpg

    Lots more wheeling...
    Tank 4.jpg
    Tank 5.jpg
    Tank 6.jpg

    This is the bottom side so a section was cut out to make flat bottomed.
    Tank 7.jpg
    Well thats it for part one, part two following soon, soon as I can figure out loading more pictures.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    clem, catdad49, rpm56 and 37 others like this.
  2. JamieUC
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 113

    JamieUC
    Member
    from Swansea UK

    Ok got the photo uploading sorted so here's part two.
    Next bit was shaping some aluminum angle to make the exterior lip using a shrinker stretcher and propane torch to anneal. The tight radius at the back took a few attemts and about ten anneal cycles to get right.
    Tank 10.jpg

    Welding on the lip
    Tank11.jpg
    Then TIG welding in the bottom panel, I've not done much aluminium welding till this project but by this stage I'm starting to get the hang of it.
    Tank 12.jpg
    At this stage I'm starting to get a bit excited, so it was time to don the racing helmet and take a daft photo to entertain friends, wife, kids.
    Tank 13.jpg
    Well first side took about eight months of my spare time, the second side went much quicker. Fast forward another two months and both sides of the body are done, still some finish panel beating to do on the top half but this will be done after its had the top cowl built and its been sectioned up into removable panels.
    Tank 14.jpg
    In part three I'll cover the start of the chassis build...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    catdad49, itsmee, Piewagn and 56 others like this.
  3. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 2,521

    j hansen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Interesting,,,,,,,,but we need a photo or two.:D


    I can see them now,,,,,,,,subscribed!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
    nunattax, loudbang and Stogy like this.
  4. JamieUC
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 113

    JamieUC
    Member
    from Swansea UK

    Opps did the photo uploading wrong.:oops: should be OK now:rolleyes:. Let me know if there still not showing up.
     
    chryslerfan55 and Stogy like this.

  5. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 774

    das858
    Member

    Fantastic job on the belly tank !
     
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  6. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,045

    continentaljohn
    Member

    That’s awesome great job
     
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  7. ChuckleHead_Al
    Joined: Mar 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,914

    ChuckleHead_Al
    Member

    Amazing job, I'm subscribed. Keep the updates coming.
     
    nunattax, loudbang and Stogy like this.
  8. Amazing metalwork! Definitely subscribing. What’s your plans for engine?
     
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  9. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 441

    GeeRam
    Member

    Looks great.
    Has it been built to the correct dimensions of 10' 9" long and 21" diameter at widest point...?
     
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  10. modagger
    Joined: Jul 2, 2013
    Posts: 300

    modagger
    Member

    Very nice work! Can’t wait to see more!
     
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  11. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 679

    rwrj
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from SW Ga

    Holy Smoke. Wow. I'm watching.
     
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  12. JamieUC
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 113

    JamieUC
    Member
    from Swansea UK

    Hi Retson Plan is fit a Ford flathead out of a Mercury COE with 4/71 blower, will post pics soon.
     
  13. JamieUC
    Joined: Jul 8, 2013
    Posts: 113

    JamieUC
    Member
    from Swansea UK

    Hi Gee Ram Nice to see posts from this side of the pond as well as the States. Tank is 13'6" by 36" as far as I could resurch there are two sizes the 13' footer that is aluminium and the smaller size you mention wich was made of steel. Its gonna be enough of squeez in this one so i'm glad its not 21" wide.
     
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  14. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,026

    hotrodjack33
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Holy crap !!! I imagine it's hard enough to just build a Belly Tank racer...without having to actually build the tank itself. That's amazing craftmanship!
     
    loudbang, Stogy and LWEL9226 like this.
  15. kevinrevin
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 117

    kevinrevin
    Member
    from East Texas

    This looks like a cool project. I'm tagging along for the ride.
     
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  16. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,801

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Ho´Lee Chit " said Confuzius when he saw this build:D Crazy stuff , I´ll be watching! Where are you going to drive it once finished? I guess there are just as many salt lakes in the UK as there are in Germany, right? hahaha
     
  17. Wow, that's a great job you are doing. Being a fan of belly tank racers I'm looking forward to more.
     
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  18. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 441

    GeeRam
    Member

    Yes, the 315 gal ferry tank was larger, I thought it was 12' 6" long by 36" dia?
    The large ferry tanks were not designed for dropping, hence being used for long distance ferry flights, not combat ops, which is what the droppable smaller 150 gal combat tanks were designed for, and thus much more flimsy in construction as well, as they were in effect disposable items.
     
  19. caper
    Joined: Jun 12, 2009
    Posts: 36

    caper
    Member
    from Cape Cod

    Very nice build, great craftsmanship.
     
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  20. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 441

    GeeRam
    Member

    VHRA at Pendine Sands would be my educated guess ;)
     
  21. You would just think they were laying around all those farms from way back then when they were actually dropping them to engage the enemy .
     
  22. Incredible metal shaping skills. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the rest of the build.
     
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  23. the pinstriper
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 225

    the pinstriper
    Member
    from duxford UK

    Loving this
     
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  24. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 279

    sailingadventure
    Member

    Excellent job! I`m subscribed and waiting for more.
     
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  25. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,026

    hotrodjack33
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, but can you imagine what a drop tank looks like after it's fallen several hundred feet at 150 mph? I think all the drop tanks used here in the U.S. were probably unused military surplus.
     
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  26. Travis latour
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 185

    Travis latour
    Member
    from Putnam CT

    you just gave me the itch!
     
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  27. Joe Coughlin
    Joined: Jun 20, 2016
    Posts: 93

    Joe Coughlin
    Member

    Looks really good, and a blown Flathead for power should be awesome. I look forward to seeing more pictures of this build
     
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  28. roddering
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 170

    roddering
    Member
    from Arizona

    Amazing work!
     
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  29. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 441

    GeeRam
    Member

    Plus, they were not dropped over the UK anyway, combat tanks would have been dropped over the English Channel/North Sea en-route to Europe, once the tanks were empty, or overland in Europe prior to combat engagement.
     
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  30. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,967

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    weren't some of those drop tanks made of resin covered paper...
    could have been the mustang drop tanks...
    i have seen that some were paper on the history channel...
     
    loudbang, Stogy and warbird1 like this.

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