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Old 01/30/13, 02:10 PM   #1
77-302
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Aux Tank, SAFE? or Potential Fire Hazzard?

I have a 1977 with the plastic Aux tank and original rear tank.
The P.O. removed the rubber hose between the filler neck and the Aux tank.
From what I can tell all the parts are still there, Sender, switch on the dash, valve under the driver seat... (minus carbon canister).

I've searched a few of the forum comments.
Some people say they always leak, others say that if God forbid you crashed or was T-boned it would cause a fire, though I don't know how the rear tank is any less vulnerable. Lets face it these trucks (especially lifted) are not known for their excellent safety ratings but we love them just the same.

I was debating getting a 23 gallon rear...

The question is... Do I try to hook up the Aux tank?
Or just take it out...

77 bought 03/06/12 (first Bronco)
PS/PB vintage air, rebuilt 302, C4, 2.5" WH with Bilstein 5100's, 33" BFGMTK2's, TBP long tubes, Custom SS exhaust.
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Old 01/30/13, 02:27 PM   #2
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I would remove it and test for leaks before reinstalling it. You should clean it out in any case, as if it's been driven with an open filler, dirt and crud is bound to have found its way inside the tank. I would also replace all the hoses. If the tank is no good, you can either replace it with an aftermarket 12 gallon, or get a 23 gallon main tank. Or both! That way you can get to Ann Arbor, or even Detroit without hitting up a gas station!

1973 Wagon, '94 5.8L MAF EFI, GT-40, C4, 3.5" Duff Ultimate Suspension, 33" General Grabber (Red Letter), 4.11's.
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Old 01/30/13, 02:32 PM   #3
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http://www.autosafety.org/history-gm...as-tank-defect

I got rid of mine. The frame rails at least protect it some when it sits in the middle.

"I would rather have you hate me for everything that I am then ever have you love me for something that I'm not." - FFDP
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Old 01/30/13, 02:36 PM   #4
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I was in a similar situation and put in the 23 gallon tank. Worth every penny especially if you do any highway driving and get terrible MPG like I do
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Old 01/30/13, 04:12 PM   #5
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I'm replacing mine as it was all cracked open with one of the newer metal ones. I also put in a 23 gal for the rear. I plan on running it empty unless I'm headed out in the boondocks and need it. At 12 MPG even with the 23 gal your range is only 275 miles. You can run a jerry can but I think you're more likely to get hit from behind than the side. Keep it but don't use it unless you need it.

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything"

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Old 01/30/13, 04:39 PM   #6
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Our auxiliary tanks are not any different than the saddle tanks on Chevy pick-ups from the 70's that the federal goverment found so dangerous.
The only thing protecting either our aux. tanks or Chevys saddle tanks in the event of a crash is the rocker sheet metal.
So you basically have a bomb underneath you in the event of an accident. Hell at best you have gas leaking directly on "you" the driver in the event of a roll over. If I get in a bad wreck in my eb I don't want to be hurt and on fire. I also may have my little girl with me (7 years old) so I may need to help her.....yea...screw that auxiliary tank.
They are only slightly better than the "in-cab" fuel tanks from 50's and 60's pick-ups.
I say get that thing out of there whether you go 23 gallon or not.

73 Wagon, 3.5" sl, long RS9000's, BC F-250 mounts, WH 1" bl, 33" BFG MT's, C-4, TBP twin sticked Dana 20, P.S., built 351W, Detroits and G2 4.11 gears, front & rear WH axles, Yukon Super joints, BC 4 wheel disc, BC Vintage a/c, WH Procar 2000 seats, Alpine/Pioneer, Cobra 148 GTL/Texas Star.
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Old 01/30/13, 05:01 PM   #7
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I replaced the aux. years ago with a 12 gallon aftermarket (NWMP), this is combined with a 23 gallon rear tank as I have had many moments where I have needed all 35 gallons to make it to the next gas station. The side tank is protected from side impact somewhat by the 3/16" thick 4" square tube steel rocker panel that was welded in place of the original. I do need to make a skid plate for it as there is some rock rash from sliding over rocks.Click image for larger version

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Old 01/30/13, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input everyone.
You know I actually thought, if I start doing some serious camping, it might be interesting to do a custom stainless tank in this location for fresh water....just a thought....

77 bought 03/06/12 (first Bronco)
PS/PB vintage air, rebuilt 302, C4, 2.5" WH with Bilstein 5100's, 33" BFGMTK2's, TBP long tubes, Custom SS exhaust.
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Old 01/30/13, 09:06 PM   #9
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There are some HUGE differences between the GM tanks and the Bronco. The GM was protected by little more then the bedside. The Bronco has the rocker panel that is structural to the body. Way stronger.

Have you noticed that almost nobody puts a gas tank at the rear bumper anymore? Some may cry "pinto" but that was the gastank was the floor much like the first gen Mustangs and other Falcon platform vehicles except the pinto didn't seperate the gas tank from the passenger compartment with a trunk. Is there wisdom in a rear mounted tank? Getting rear ended is much more likley then T-boned. Cars like to dive under bumpers, especially those of lifted vehicles. That makes a rear monted tank look like a pretty bad idea.

I have seen a Bronco in a salvage yard that got hit HARD in the driver's door. Without a flinch a total loss bad. No solid reference points to build back to bad. The side tank deformed but held. Answered my question if they are any good, they are. Now aged, brittle, or crusty rusty can change that.

So what's my choice. Dual tanks get to be a pain unless you are always going long distances. Which one are you on? How much is in the other one? Have I gone through the other tank recently enough so it doesn't go stale? How do I plumb a return line for EFI? Single 23 gallon tank does great. Good stout bumper that goes to the bottom edge of the gas tank and maybe even a good tank skid as well.

No reason to get all paranoid over a side gas tank. There is a lot worse out there. But no need to keep the pain in the side either (bad pun I know).

I do like the stainless water tank idea. I would find a better fill location to keep a "friend" from accidently filling the water tank with gas. Nice sealed cap and a light pressure regulator could allow you to use on board air to deliver the water. Why do I suddenly have visions of a drinking fountain on a trail rig?

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
“How hard can it be?”-Clarksonius 4th century BC.
I see you are circling the drain. It won't be long now.
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Old 01/30/13, 10:40 PM   #10
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While the GM tanks did have some issues it wasnt as bad as it was made out to be. a lot of the testing as falsified want to say 60 mintues did some of that false testing as well. They ignited the tanks after the side was hit. Or maybe they reported on how the testing was falseified cant remember.

Basically how I look at it accidents are accidents things happen and few things if anything can be 100% prevented. If it was a big problem on a bronco Im sure it would have made the news back in the day. Pretty much every car out there is a bomb as any tank can rupture and catch fire. So as was said just make sure your tank is in good condition before using it. I have a 23 gallon tank and the aux tank I use them both all the time. its always nice to have some extra fuel.

73 Ranger 2 1/2 lift 302 TFS heads NP435,PS,PDB, tierod over, 33x10.50x15 BFG M/T
71 Sport 63,000 miles all orginal except for cut fenders 302 3sp 4.11's D44/BBTrac lok rear
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Old 01/31/13, 05:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncobowsher View Post
I do like the stainless water tank idea. I would find a better fill location to keep a "friend" from accidently filling the water tank with gas. Nice sealed cap and a light pressure regulator could allow you to use on board air to deliver the water. Why do I suddenly have visions of a drinking fountain on a trail rig?
You could use a lockable cap, I like what you are thinking with the on board air.
Of course that makes me think of filling it with BEER, granted keeping it cold would be difficult.

Getting back to the water idea... 7-8 gallons of water would be nice and leave more interior room for gear. Even if you used it for non potable water.
With my 77, I could run the flowing line right up next to the filler neck and coil it behind the door....hmmmm..

77 bought 03/06/12 (first Bronco)
PS/PB vintage air, rebuilt 302, C4, 2.5" WH with Bilstein 5100's, 33" BFGMTK2's, TBP long tubes, Custom SS exhaust.
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Old 01/31/13, 05:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 77-302 View Post
filling it with BEER, granted keeping it cold would be difficult.
Great idea! But keeping it full would be more my problem with my group of friends.
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Old 01/31/13, 06:08 PM   #13
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I would fix it in a second. I can think of many times we werent close to any gas stations and limped back on fumes I replaced mine with the newer 12gal metal tank and it is pretty stout tank.Put some new fill hose and vent hose check for leaks and you just increased your range.

1976 302 4bbl, Gateway buckshot mudders , C4, Warn M8000, 4.11 gears, Dual Batteries, ,170amp 3G alternator, Front & Rear Extended Fuel Tanks, ARB Front & Rear
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Old 02/01/13, 10:11 AM   #14
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I actually just removed mine from my 77 last week, it was leaking and I'm planning on putting in a 23 gallon tank anyway.
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Old 02/01/13, 10:19 AM   #15
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I own bronco's and Jeeps, the thing that makes me laugh is on the Willy's flat fender jeeps, I've been know to fill them up with gas and not get out of the Jeep. You sit on top of the gas tank. Two of my Jeeps don't even have fuel gauges, I have a dip stick I stick down it, a few times while driving.

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