Tag Archives: Gas Tank

Gas Tank Skid Plate Reconstruction

A common issue with Grand Wagoneers is rusting gas tank skids. Gas tanks on Wagoneers are plastic. To support the weight, the gas tanks are fastened to a metal skid. Then the skid is bolted to the frame. This is a great setup as the gas tank can not rust out and clog fuel filters but Jeep made the skid plates out of thin metal with poor rust prevention so they do not last.

Pulled gas tank out of the wagon. Dirty!
Pulled gas tank out of the wagon. Dirty!

 

I disconnected the fuel lines and fill lines then dropped the tank. Skid is full of dirt and rust. The straps that hold the tank to the skid where rusted through so removing the tank from the skid was easy.

Frame inspection and cleanup.
Frame inspection and cleanup.

I then inspected the frame where the gas tank lives. This is also a very common area for rust to happen. This looks bad but the frame was 100% intact. There was ton of dirt build up on the frame that at first looked like rust. The rusted holes in the left side of the picture is left over parts of the skid plate that was still attached to the frame. I cleaned up the frame and painted it with some chassis saver to prevent any further rust.

Skid plate cleaned up after removal of gas tank.
Skid plate cleaned up after removal of gas tank.

Then I cleaned up what was left of the skid plate. I was hoping to repair the skid by patching it but the skid was to far gone at this point.

Skid plate triangle brace. Not much left of it!
Skid plate triangle brace. Not much left of it!

Then pulled the skid plate triangle brace and cleaned it up. Swiss cheese steel. I decided to rebuild the triangle brace first since it will be easier.

Brackets for the triangle brace.
Brackets for the triangle brace.

Built the new bracket parts for the triangle brace. I added nutserts to make install easier later.

Tracing the old brace into cardboard.
Tracing the old brace into cardboard.
Brace traced.
Brace traced.
Cardboard cutout.
Cardboard cutout.
Testing fitting the brackets and cardboard cutout.
Testing fitting the brackets and cardboard cutout.

To make the rest of the triangle brace, I traced it onto some cardboard. Then I cut out the cardboard and mocked it up with the braces I cut out steel.

Cardboard template transferred into steel.
Cardboard template transferred into steel.
Steel cleaned of rust and scale.
Steel cleaned of rust and scale.

Then I copied the cardboard into some 14AWG steel. The steel was bought LTP (Less Then Prime) which means it is rusted but it was inexpensive. Cut the steel out and then cleaned up with a flappy disc on the grinder.

Brackets tacked to the steel triangle.
Brackets tacked to the steel triangle.
Comparing the original rusted bracket to the new one.
Comparing the original rusted bracket to the new one.

I then tacked the brackets onto the steel and compared it to the original bracket. Looks good to me!

Outside welded and grinded smooth.
Outside welded and grinded smooth.
Inside welded. New bracket complete!
Inside welded. New bracket complete!

Triangle brace is complete. Time to start fabricating the skid plate for the gas tank.

Skid plate pieced back together for measurements.
Skid plate pieced back together for measurements.

I started measuring the skid plate and started cutting some steel.

Skid plate construction. Checking fitment.
Skid plate construction. Checking fitment.
This is my construction technique. Measure, make cardboard cut out, test fit, cut out of steel, and tack up.
This is my construction technique. Measure, make cardboard cut out, test fit, cut out of steel, and tack up.
More test fitment after making the large side panel.
More test fitment after making the large side panel.
Other side of the large panel.
Other side of the large panel.
Rest of the side panels cut out and tacked up.
Rest of the side panels cut out and tacked up.
The gas tank has a lower bulge for the gas pickup. Made a drop down section and fitted up some steel to cap it.
The gas tank has a lower bulge for the gas pickup. Made a drop down section and fitted up some steel to cap it.
Skid plate seam welded and grinded. Lots of metal dust. My respirator was completely black after this. Wear your PPE people.
Skid plate seam welded and grinded. Lots of metal dust. My respirator was completely black after this. Wear your PPE people.
Test fitting the tank with the gas tank straps.
Test fitting the tank with the gas tank straps.
Painted the triangle bracket, skid, and associated brackets in chassis saver to prevent rust.
Painted the triangle bracket, skid, and associated brackets in chassis saver to prevent rust.
Bottom side painted. I drilled holes in the skid for water drainage as you can see here.
Bottom side painted. I drilled holes in the skid for water drainage as you can see here.
Gas tank fitted, vent lines plumbed, and fuel sender installed.
Gas tank fitted, vent lines plumbed, and fuel sender installed.

With the skid plate and triangle bracket fabricated and painted I installed the gas tank. Before that I cleaned out the gas tank with a pressure washer and dried it out. Then the gas tank received new gas tank straps, vents, vent hoses, and sending unit.

Gas tank with new skid installed under the wagon!
Gas tank with new skid installed under the wagon!

I then installed the skid under the wagon. Fit great and now I do not have to worry about the gas tank falling out.