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63-66 big car gas tank build

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farna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov/26/2020 at 9:24am
I welded my own tank up for my 63 Classic wagon because I could find no suitable substitute. Pretty easy -- if you can bend metal and weld. I used 18 gauge steel, painted inside with a gas tank liner (Bill Hirsch).


Original tank next to fabbed unit. Note where the sending unit are. For simplicity I made the first 4-5" of the top angled so I could easily mount the sending unit so it wouldn't contact the floor of the trunk. Made for less bending and welding. I'm a KISS principle sort when it comes to engineering... (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)


Not quite finished. It was intended to be finished, with most of the top just bolted on. Even though I had a good 1/2" lip all around, I couldn't find a sealer that wouldn't wash out. I thought it too much for a gasket -- would have to be pieced, and may leak at joints, especially with age and gasket shrink. So I welded it and made a smaller access panel in the middle for the fuel pump and sending unit. The two tubes on the left are the fuel feed and return lines. The 1/2" curved tube on the right is a vent. Note that there is one on the original tank. The low filler pipe extends into the tank about 12" and is welded to the floor at the inner end for stability.


A universal sending unit is used. The ohm range needs to be 73-10 ohms (or close... some are listed as 75-9 ohms). That would be 73 ohms empty, 10 ohms full (Some AMC TSMs list 9 ohms as full, 73-10 senders work fine).  You can take the actual movement off one of these and mount it to the pad on an original pickup tube after prying the original off. Great way to get an original back in operation! Wire or screw the new unit to the pad. Many boat tanks use the same ohm range, so if you need to find one in a hurry try local marine supply stores. Otherwise, this one works great: https://www.tanksinc.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=276/category_id=184/mode=prod/prd276.htm
You can modify an original sometimes. The following used the same ohm range:
AMC 1950-1977
Ford up to 1986
Mopar up to 1986


Fuel pump is a standard 1989 Jeep Cherokee pump, held to baffle by u-bolts.
 
After running it a few months and smelling gas fumes whenever I had much more than half a tank, I welded the top on and made an access panel. I used 1/8" thick bar stock to strengthen the perimeter of the hole. I also had to use bar stock around the panel itself, drilled through with the lower bars around hole edges (from underneath) tapped for screws. I ran it like this at first, and still had fumes even with a cork gasket! The 18 gauge just wasn't stiff enough to seal, but sandwiching between two pieces of 1/8" bar stock did the trick! So yeah, after taking the tank out twice after the original install I finally got it, and got good at removing the tank! Not shown is the 3/8" drain plug in the left front, just between front and filler tube. That came in handy!!

Edited by farna - Nov/26/2020 at 9:38am
Frank Swygert
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