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Tri-5 Pickup Under-Bed Gas Tank Install; Cheap and Easy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by btmatt, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. btmatt
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 227

    btmatt
    Member

    Hey all. Well I find that it is the end of my son's baseball season (finally) and time to get some work done on my '57 pickup. I am like most and did not want the gas tank in the cab, but did not want the expense of some aluminum tanks we all see in the mags'.

    There have been other posts and articles done on under-bed gas tank installs, but i would like to share my experience (plus this is the easisest way to archive and share with friends and family). To begin, I had to choose a gas tank. Now I consider myself rather thrifty (others call me cheap) and this thriftyness would drive me to my choice for a gas tank; 2nd gen. Mustang. I chose a '70 model for its 22 gallon capacity; perfect for a thirsty 406 sbc. The tank is new with sending unit and associated hardware. Cost was ~$130.
    IMG_0610.JPG

    Next, the most rearward cross member needs to be removed. Do this by drilling and punching out the rivets. I did not want to damage the crossmember because it will be re-used. Next there is a step on the lower edge of the frame that needs to be trimmed to allow the tank to slide between the frame rails.
    IMG_0609.JPG IMG_0612.JPG IMG_0613.JPG IMG_0614.JPG

    The flange on the gas tank will need to be trimmed to make room for various hardware. In this case, it was trimmed to to clear to bolts for the rear suspension mounts. Pleae note that you must not trim into the pinch weld or the tank will leak.
    IMG_0615.JPG

    The front of the tank is secured to the shock absorber cross-member (too easy), and the rear must be modified to receive the rear lip of the gas tank. I sectioned the lower half of the raised portion of the cross member to receive a piece of c-channel I had laying around the garage. The following pictures explain better than words. IMG_0617.JPG IMG_0619.JPG IMG_0620.JPG

    One of the things that I wanted from the beginning of this retro-fit was for the gas filler to be behind the license plate. You know, one of those really cool ones that flips down from a '60s GM sedan. To accomplish that, the top plate of the cross member must be relieved to allow the filler neck to move to the rear between the bed and the top of the gas tank. A notch was cut and piece of 3' tubing (old driveshaft) was installed. Also, blind nuts were added to the cross member ears to allow for "bolt-in" assembly.
    IMG_0660.JPG IMG_0659.JPG IMG_0661.JPG

    Final trimming is completed on the gas tank to clear all of the hardware between the frame rails in the tank vicinity. Last j-nuts are added to the tank flange to secure the tank on the front and rear edges.
    IMG_0661.JPG IMG_0662.JPG

    Everything is then put together. I will add to the post later when the filler neck is fabbed and the bed sill is relieved for the gas cap.
    IMG_0663.JPG
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252

    squirrel
    Member

    kind of ironic...using an early 70s ford gas tank because it's safer(?) than the stocker!
     
  3. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member

    nice job. glad to not see another tank just stabbed into the bed. now i hope you hide the battery also.
     
  4. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member



    most do not know that most crashes are from the rear.

    the safiest part of any car is the cab. how offen do you get hit there????
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252

    squirrel
    Member

    the cab is where the tanks are in my old trucks. There is some risk....but that's life.
     
  6. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member



    yes it is. if you want safe buy a volvo or honda
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252

    squirrel
    Member

    btw btmatt, that looks like a nice installation, the tank tucks up under the bed very well! not like using a Suburban tank
     
  8. btmatt
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 227

    btmatt
    Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. I like the reference "using an early 70s ford gas tank because it's safer(?) than the stocker." It reminds of a skit on SNL in the '70s when a shopping kart hits a pinto in the rear and it blows up.

    Actually the tank was moved to keep the gas smell out of the cab and give some much needed leg room. If I plan to do some serious driving, I had to get that seat back.

    And yes, the battery will find a home other than the engine compartment.
     
  9. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,614

    raven
    Member

    Nice installation. I'd like to add a tank under the bed to increase the range of my '54 pu. When I built my truck, I kept the tank int he cab. It's in the middle of the truck and encased with a steel shell (the cab).
    I replaced the filler hose and wrapped the tank in aluminum and foan insulation. I have no gas smell in the cab what so ever.
    r
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252

    squirrel
    Member

    Replacing the filler hoses and the gas tank sending unit gasket (and maybe the sending unit too) should get rid of the gas smell in the cab. Or maybe I"v just gotten used to it over the past 30 years! and don't notice any more. Either way, you have to make the satisfy you!

    Pretty easy to hide the battery under a fleetside bed, near the front of the bed, just make a tray that bolts to the ouside of the frame rail. Might be more of a challenge on a stepside.
     
  11. brewsir
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,278

    brewsir
    Member

    These mustang tanks are great...they seem to fit in almost anything and at the price you pay ...with sending unit even I don't know how to beat it. I had one in my 55 ford truck and my buddy just put one in his 53 chevy car.
     
  12. olddrags
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 476

    olddrags
    Member
    from ky

    Great idea and looks super! Would You know the outside measurement of this tank?(flange to flange) May attempt an upgrade on my 39 Sedan! My existing tank hold about half that amt !
    Thanks !Bobby D.
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252

    squirrel
    Member

    might be fun trying to get the ford sender to work with the Chevy gage?
     
  14. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,854

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    thanks for the tech, now let's see your battery bkt location pics
     
  15. HotRodHon
    Joined: Jun 29, 2004
    Posts: 1,424

    HotRodHon
    Member

    Did exactly this on my F-100.
    Worked perfect.
    Does anyone know of an aftermarket sending unit that goes into the "mustang" sending hole?
    Craig
     
  16. Slabside Mike
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 11

    Slabside Mike
    Member
    from Chapin, SC

    Thanks for passing on this info.
     
  17. bfink55
    Joined: May 31, 2007
    Posts: 247

    bfink55
    Member
    from Turlock CA

    cool , thanks for the info , one of the next projects on my 55 so i can get rid of the 1 gallon gas can tied down to the piece of plywood currently serving as my bed
     
  18. Thanks for the post! I'm working on my 56 now, and this answers some questions.
     
  19. btmatt
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 227

    btmatt
    Member

    OLDRAGS the tank measures @ 32 5/8" across. Add about 2" to account for the flanges.

    Also, I am in the process of procuring a filler neck from a '73 chevelle to place the gas cap in the license plate area. I will post later with the battery box.

    Regarding the fuel sender, I will use aftermarket gauges and will have to adapt the potentiostat to the arm in the tank. Another project, another day.
     
  20. APACHE FS
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569

    APACHE FS
    Member

    How did the filler come out? Did you use the flip down door? Any pics?
    Interested in seeing.
     
  21. Wheelie
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 234

    Wheelie
    Member
    from Dallas

    I will be doing the same on my '59. Except I am doing it so I can have more leg room. Thanks for the info. Cool idea about the filler area behind the plate. Would like to see it complete. :)
     
  22. fire chief
    Joined: Dec 4, 2008
    Posts: 11

    fire chief
    Member
    from PA

    After installing mustang gas tank in 57 chevy pick up truck, what filler neck was used to connect to gas tank and accept a gas cap?
     
  23. Solidaxel
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 217

    Solidaxel
    Member

    I am up to the filler neck part on my 53 AD so I am looking for some info to get it into the roll pan license plate area.
     
  24. AutoMeter makes a gage that works with the Mustang sender,..and others that work with other senders..
     
  25. brewsir
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,278

    brewsir
    Member

    I used some conduit to run up the stakepocket to a small pop up filler from a boat supply store. Then had the muffler shop expand a short piece of tubing to weld to the conduit and still use a rubber connector to the gas tank. I had to do a little cutting and welding on the new tank but the results were cool!
     
    Bob amos likes this.
  26. MEDDLER1
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,590

    MEDDLER1
    Member

    where did you buy the tank?
     
  27. tomb23
    Joined: Sep 13, 2008
    Posts: 28

    tomb23
    Member
    from Oregon

    Know one knows of a sending unit that mounts same as 70 Mustang ring type unit, and works on a Chevy Gauge? I really don't want to cut another hole in the top for a after-market bolt in type! May have to special order a gauge that will work with Mustang unit?
    Special Thanks to (btmatt) for taking the time to post the installation steps of his, Little different on a 89" bed, but it was a lot of help!
     
  28. sk_rodz
    Joined: Nov 21, 2008
    Posts: 190

    sk_rodz
    Member

    On my 56 chevy truck, I used a jeep gas tank and a Hagen teardrop filler door. came out pretty slick
     
  29. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,219

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Unless the Ford sender is something unusual (I frankly don't recall) it should just be a rheostat that can work with any gauge. Might have to calibrate the float is all.


    Nice job on the installation. Even has an OEM sorta look to it.
     

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