We knew we needed to replace the fuel tanks. The rear tank had been replaced previously, but they were both rusty and not worth the effort to clean and paint. We found Transfer Flow and we asked them if they had a solution. Indeed they did. A 31 gallon replacement rear fuel tank that allowed us to remove the front tank completely. Having dual tanks was more of a hassle than a help. Always having to stop fueling, switch from one filler to the next and so on. This was the perfect answer.
After some research by Transfer Flow, it was determined that the tank would work and they sent it right out, including all of the necessary hardware for the installation. All we had to re-use was the filler inlet that mounts to the body. The factory tanks were already removed, so all we had to do was start the installation.
We began by carefully reading the very detailed instructions and pouring over the isometric drawings they provided. After insuring that all parts were present, we began.
The first step was to install the rear tank stop utilizing the existing holes on the frame cross member. Next, we drilled out two more holes for the mounting straps. Once the holes were created, we installed the front tank stops using two very long bolts. The stops were then covered with a very thick foam like material with self adhesive. These would serve to secure the straps.
With the mounts in place and everything ready to go, we used a come-along to hoist the tank into place. This was much easier than using a jack or just plain ol' brute strength. As the tank was lifted into place, a strip of rubber, which was provided, was placed between the tank and rear stop. This rubber and the foam on the front stops ensure there is no metal to metal contact which helps prevent metal fatigue.
With the tank in place, snug against the stops, the straps were measured and bent using a couple pieces of 2x4 lumber. We did not want perfect 90 degree angles so as not to weaken the metal. These were then placed over the front bolts and loosely secured. In the rear, they were bolted into place. Then back in the front, the slack was removed by tightening the straps until they were taught.
Now it was time to install the combination sending unit / fuel pump. For our particular application, the tank is only offered with an internal, electric fuel pump. The pump/sending unit was set into place with an RTV type sealant, ensuring the float faced into the center of the tank. This was then secured with six nuts and lock washers. The last step was removing the breather element from the factory tank, getting it cleaned up and installing it in the new Transfer Flow tank.
The tank is was ready for fuel. The last order of business was the filler tube. We decided not to use the rubber hoses and the 90 degree bend tubing that Transfer flowed supplied. However, we did use it to create a prototype which we had recreated with steel exhaust tubing. The new metal filler tube was then welded to the inlet and then sprayed with Ameraguard bedliner material for rock and chip protection. Using a short piece of the rubber hose to make the final connection, the filler tube was installed and connected to the fuel tank. All that remained was to add some gas which we did later when the truck was actually ready start.