I got out early this morning to get the gas tank installed. Here are all the bit laid out. Just looking at it I can see that there are going to be some hose size issues here. Hopefully nothing I can’t work with.
First step is installing the new floor seal and the repainted retaining ring on the fill tube. Big spender that I am I sprung for new screws. The reproduction rubber seal does not fit very well but is better than nothing
The screws go right into the floorboards. It is hard to see in the picture but the seal is very tight around the fill tube but there is a big gap around the vent tube. No biggie, there are much, much bigger holes elsewhere in the floorboards.
With Rachel on the outside putting in screws I attached the other end of the fill tube to the side of the body. There is a sandwich up there. From the outside in there is the body of the car, a rubber seal ring, the ring that holds the gas cap, another rubber seal ring, the fill tube, another seal ring, then steel retainers. Lucky for me all three rubber seals were in great shape. To keep the gas cap oriented correctly the holes are spaced unevenly so the holes only line up one way.
Here is what it looks like from the outside.
And with the gas cap installed. This well-used gas cap was in the stash of parts that came with the car. I think it will be just fine.
Next I routed the fuel and return lines. These were looped up though a rust hole into the interior of the car. It is nice to have them back where they belong. Or at least where I think they belong…
I put the rubber hoses on the nylon lines and clamped them. Then I figured I should take this last chance to clean out the fuel lines. I disconnected the lines under the hood and used my hand pump to flush alcohol though the lines into this jar. Some little bits came out. By the way I also cleaned out the fill tube and vent hose before installing them.
Next I had to deal with my first hose size issue. The return line in the car is 1/4″ nylon tubing. The return fitting on my reproduction fuel gauge sender is a 3/8″ hose fitting. There is no way to stretch a 1/4″ fuel line over that. After some fooling around I put together this disaster. This is PVC tubing from a water filter I installed eons ago. The 1/4″ white tube fits really tightly inside the 5/16″ blue tubing. And 5/16″ fuel line will fit over the 3/8 hose fitting on the tank. I put hose clamps on all three unions and I think it will work
I cut the hoses just long enough to reach the tank as it sits on the ground. You can also see my redneck hose adapter in place here. Time to raise the tank.
The mounting bolts on the new tank lined up perfectly. The only interest thing was that I used one of the bolts to mount the ground wire for the fuel sender. The factory tank did not need a ground wire. But plastic tanks do not conduct electricity well so ground is needed. I tested this with an ohmmeter to make sure I had good ground.
Next came the giant rubber hose from the fill tube to the tank. I hit an near-fatal problem here. The damn hose is too short. I was able to force it to fit by clamping the hose on the fill tube at the very end of the tube then forcing the other end over the tank inlet. It is ugly but will probably hold. If not I will have to find a pipe the right diameter then cut the rubber hose in the middle and use the pipe to extend it. I don’t want to do that.
The vent hose was another problem. The 5/8″ heater hose barely fit over the tank vent. I was finally able to work it over but you can see in the left picture how stretched it is.
Hey look! A gas tank!
With the tank empty I turned on the key to see what the gas gauge would do. It is indicating about 1/8 of a tank empty. Something to think about.
I dumped 3-4 gallons of gas in and now it reads 1/4. So the gauge works more or less. If I really cared about this I would pull the sender and bend the rod a bit to calibrate the empty point. But I don’t care that much.