38 gallon fuel tank install

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38 gallon fuel tank install

Jcris
At long last the new gas tank is installed and working properly.
I removed the existing side mount tank and filler, both fuel pumps and the fuel lines from the black plastic canister type filter all the way back to the new tank. The only real issues that surfaced were: The black plastic filter turned out to be clogged and the new high pressure pump (located on the frame rail) seems excessively noisy. But the truck has been starting consistently since the work was completed a couple months ago, so I'm leaving it alone until I get a chance to take a closer look. This wasn't a really tough job but did take some thinking, which seems a real struggle sometimes. haha
I'm only posting in case someone has specific questions that I may be able to help with.
Thanks for a great forum,
Jcris
1986 F150 4x4, with transplanted 1991 302 with automatic trans
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Excellent!  I have a question: I'm assuming you modified the in-tank pump & pickup by extending them down.  Right?  How well did that go?  And does it seem like the fuel gauge is tracking to the bottomish of the tank?  Did you do anything to ensure that, like sight through the filler hole to see how far the float drops and keep doing that until it hit bottom?

And, does the pickup seem to get essentially all of the fuel?  Again, did you do something to ensure that is the case?

Last, apparently you are happy with 38 gallons, total, of fuel.  Right?
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Jcris
Modifying the pump seemed fairly straight forward . When the tank was purchased we bought a kit to extend the pump and pickup. The kit was minimal as it only had some tubing and wire. I choose to use some fuel hose to make the connections to extend both pipes. And some worm drive clamps. I was going to use some compression fittings but after seeing the way the stock pump was attached with fuel hose I figured that would be easier. At first I just used an extended piece of fuel hose to determine what actual length of hard tubing to use. I did sight through the filler port with a mirror to "see" where everything ended up. After some trial and error I was able to get it pretty close. I did use some good quality butt connectors to extend the pump wiring. I wanted to just solder/and shrink wrap them but was uncertain how the fuel would affect the solder over time. That is one thing I may change when I get in there. I'm not a big fan of butt connectors, especially if the crimping tool is less than ideal. As for the fuel gauge, it does seem to track pretty well although it only shows an accurate level from half a tank to empty. With a full tank it still only shows half full. I considered installing a reed type switch to get a more accurate reading from full to empty but we decided just to use it as is for now. I will say when the gauge shows empty it is very close to empty. E means empty, no reserve. So it's getting all the fuel. As to the 38 gallon tank it seems like that should have been a stock offering back in the day. As opposed to the 2 separate tanks. That 2 tank system probably worked fine when new but down the road that set-up seemed to cause problems. Just my opinion there. Are you planning a tank install? I wish I'd taken some pics of the work to post here, As you may recall this is my brother in laws truck and they live several hours away. Otherwise I'd take some pics to be more clear. Next time I'm in town I will send some along. If any other questions should occur to you just let me know and I will be glad to help. I'm certainly no expert, far from it, but I've made this change and it seems to be working quite well. So, perhaps my knowledge has improved just a little bit. HaHa Probably won't be able to post on this again for a few weeks. I'll send some pics then Till then, take good care, Jcris
1986 F150 4x4, with transplanted 1991 302 with automatic trans
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I am planning a 38 gallon tank install on Big Blue.  But I have intended to keep the front tank since going off-roading or overlanding can require a lot of fuel and having the reserve is good.  Especially if there's a chance of puncturing a tank.

However, I'm going with the later model pump/sending unit combo that doesn't require a switching valve since those things are frequently a source of trouble.

Anyway, which sending unit did you use?  I can see that using one from a 19 gallon tank wouldn't have the range for the 38 gallon tank.  But I would have thought one for a 32 gallon Bronco tank would come pretty close.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
Interested in knowing the details/gotchas around this install also.
This is F26D, correct? The one that works with the intank pump (86 460)?

Started watching a few videos and reading some forum posts on it last night.

It sounds like the F26D comes with everything needed to extend the pickup/pump/float. Is that correct?

Good photos here: http://www.northtexaspowerstrokes.com/mods/38gallontank/ although I am not keen on buying a $100+ sending unit just to swap out the float.
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Jcris
If you’re running just one fuel tank take the switching valve and filter housing out completely. The valves in that housing rust and can stop flow completely. Took me awhile to get that figured out
Good luck
1986 F150 4x4, with transplanted 1991 302 with automatic trans
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
Thanks. I am actually wanting to keep both tanks as everything is working as expected currently. Was just going to increase capacity if it was easy enough to get an end result where everything worked as if it was stock.
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Jcris
Yeah that’s cool 
You know how this stuff usually goes. It takes more time than you expect and there are pitfalls to overcome. This forum is a good one though, kinda small but some really good guys helping out. Is your rig setup with 2 tanks now? I ask because I’m unsure how the additional pump would be added. Probably be easier if you can use all plumbing and electrical from the 2nd tank. Just curious 
Also, getting the pump in tank height set is a bit tricky, kinda trial and error 
Good luck 

Sent from my iPhone

On May 10, 2019, at 6:51 AM, kramttocs [via Bullnose Enthusiasts] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks. I am actually wanting to keep both tanks as everything is working as expected currently. Was just going to increase capacity if it was easy enough to get an end result where everything worked as if it was stock.
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks



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NAML
1986 F150 4x4, with transplanted 1991 302 with automatic trans
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
Yeah, two tanks currently with the switch and all that working. Just wanting to get a few more miles between fill ups :) Have the bed off now and going to be removing the 19gallon rear tank to paint the frame so figured now would be the ideal time to do the swap. May just save it for a later date though. Too many irons in the fire and all that.
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by kramttocs
As I said, I haven't done the installation of that kit, but I have it and it does look complete.  As for the in-tank pump, the tank has the large opening so can accommodate that pump.  But, there were sending units that fit that tank and don't have a pump with them.

I'm just about to launch into the transformation of Big Blue to EFI, and in doing so I'll be using that tank and will write up what I find.  And, while I am planning on keeping the mid-ship tank as well, I'll be using the later fuel delivery modules in the tank, which have the sending unit, pump, and valves.  So mine will be different than yours.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

FuzzFace2
I have only followed this 38 gal swap on & off as I don't think I will be doing this swap but do have a question or 2.
I guess the tank has a big opening if there is talk of electric pumps being installed.
Gary you said there are senders that work with this tank, 38 gal, and with our gauges?
If so and you did not need a in tank pump why can't you leave the pump off and lower the pick up, if need be, to the bottom of the tank.
I would think getting a sender that fits the tank and works with our gauges is the hard part.

What are you guys doing with the spare tire? That is one of the big reason why I would not do this swap as I don't want to lose the bed space.
Dave ----
81 F100 flare side 300 six/T18 project
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1980-Ford-F100?page=1
81 F100 style side 300 six/SROD parts truck
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
Same boat. If I had a better solution for the spare and I knew more about the pump/sender situation I might do it. Maybe someday. I believe there are 2 different tanks and the f26d has the wide opening for the pump.
Why is it that the bronco 33gal tank and sending unit wont work as a straight swap? I feel like I read why at some point  but can't recall now.
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

grumpin
Another reason to go with the 38 gallon tank is that there are no sender units available for the rear steel tanks that have the four pins on my 1986 F250 with the 460.

I had a shop change my rear pump, they called and said they were getting a new sending unit and pump because mine was rusted in. I said that there aren't any, and of course they said we'll find one. They didn't.

Ended up with a new tank and pump and they got the old sender out.
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
Hey grump in,
You can get the pump but not the sending unit? Knock on wood but haven't needed to research those yet.
So when you got a new tank it was a 19 with reusing the sending unit or did you upgrade to the 38?

Even with the 38 you'd still be in the same spot with not being able to get a 4 pin, right?
Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

grumpin
Yes, new pump, old sending unit. New 19 gallon stock tank.

And my mistake, I thought the 38 gallon tank came with a new sending unit, but it comes with an extension for the one you have or a new one.
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

grumpin
And looking further at LMC, they show one for the 85-86 7.5.

I don't remember why I didn't think it would work. For $70 I may order one to have.

http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/fd/full.aspx?Page=42

Maybe someday I'll have to put an engine mounted pump on it, if it will work. I assume it has a cam in there.
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by kramttocs
Ford went through lots of attempts to make a good fuel system in the Bullnose era, and all of them were flawed.  Fatally flawed.  And at this point in time the new parts to fix them are drying up, and in many cases have dried up.

One of the especially troublesome components of the fuel systems was the switching valve, and the latest version of that is no longer available.  So, if you are going to run two tanks with the ~'85/86 system you have to find a way around that, and it isn't easy.  Or, you could go back to the earlier system as long as you have a carb, but for the fuel-injected systems you are stuck.

In my case I intend to go to the later "fuel delivery module" which has all of the switching done electrically and in the tank.  In other words, outside the tank the supply has a Y and the return has a Y, and that's all.  However, the sending units have a totally different resistance range than ours, so much so that our gauge would read backward and not go to either Full nor Empty.  I intend to fix that issue with an Arduino computer - and then make that easily available to everyone.

But, if you want to stay with Bullnose senders you can either graft one of them onto the fuel delivery module, which shouldn't be too hard, or go with one tank, say the 38 gallon one, and do away with the need for the switching valve.

And to do that you can use the Bronco's 33 gallon pump/sending unit combo and lower the pickup as well as the float.  Or, just use the Bronco's 33 gallon tank and pump/sending unit and give up only 5 gallons.

As for the spare tire, the one on Big Blue is so big and heavy that it couldn't go under the rear anyway.  So currently it rides in the middle of the bed.  But, I've designed a very heavy duty spare tire carrier/bumper that, when built, will resolve the problem and put the tire just behind the tailgate.  Here are a couple of "artists renderings" of that:

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

grumpin
Or, keep the electric pumps working and go by mileage for fuel level, which I have done for every pre 1992 Ford I have owned.

And install one of these,

https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-2798-Jerry-Gas-Holder/dp/B008CLNYPC

And maybe add the 38 gallon tank and one of these in bed spare tire carriers,

http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/fd/full.aspx?Page=27

Or, park it, and look out the window and say, dang that's a nice looking truck!
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

kramttocs
grumpin wrote
Or, park it, and look out the window and say, dang that's a nice looking truck!
Haha with a 460, that's the smartest move one could make!

Daily driver: 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
Work truck: 1980 F350 C&C 400/T18 - Gin Pole
Various parts trucks
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Re: 38 gallon fuel tank install

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Yes, the old addage that a 460 will pass anything but a gas station doesn't take into account the new technology.  My 3.5L EB will run off and leave my 460, out tow it, and it returns 11.0 MPG towing our 25' boat while the BEST I've gotten with the 460 is 11.5 MPG running light and gently.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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