If a classic pickup has any trace of its original suspension left in place, it's going to ride and handle a lot better if it has a load in the bed. This is because all trucks are factory engineered to function under the assumption that they are going to spend most of their life working with extra weight over the rear axle. The extra weight brings the front-to-rear weight distribution closer to the ideal 50/50 balance and nothing but good things begin to happen. Under acceleration the truck has better traction, and when it's time to jump on the binders, provided it's not over loaded, the truck is going to stop better.

When the subject changes to customized classic trucks where the suspension has been upgraded with a modern system including lighter spring rates the ride will be "softer", but the truck will remain nose heavy. In general, the solution is to redistribute the weight, and moving the gas tank as far rearward as possible is one of the best solutions. What this means in almost every case is a custom-made rear gas tank will have to be fabricated or purchased, and then installed. For owners of '67-'72 Chevrolet and GMC pickups there is an option that costs less and as part of the deal, throws in a factory original appearance. The gas tank we're talking about is a reproduction of the 21-gallon tank General Motors engineered as standard equipment for the Blazer. Since it is patterned exactly after the original, any of the goodies that might go bad in the future such as the gas gauge sending unit, can be sourced from any auto parts store. Naturally since the tank kit we installed was originally sourced from LMC Truck, of Lenexa, Kansas, that would be the first place to look for replacement parts.

The subject vehicle in this instance is the '68 GMC longbed known as "Agent Orange," which has appeared in previous issues. At some point, the '68 will undergo shortbed surgery and be turned into a cruiser. In the meantime, it's still being used as a hard working truck. In town hauling a heavy load or pulling a trailer, the '68 is lucky to get more than 10 miles per gallon. Pushing it with the stock in cab 16-gallon tank, it's lucky to cover 150 miles.

As a rule when it comes to in cab gas tanks, I like to relocate to where I believe is a safer location, but this time around I'm going to take my chances and build what's called a "tanker." I left the stock tank in place and installed LMC Truck's 21-gallon Blazer tank as a "saddle tank" giving the old girl a total of 35 gallons. As an interesting trivial fact, the Chevrolet Blazers built specifically for military use came equipped with a 27-gallon gas tank built to mil-specs. A few years ago a batch of new, old-stock military spec 27-gallon tanks showed up as Army surplus, but I doubt there's any to be found on the market these days.

SOURCE
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Dynamic Control
3042 Symmes Road
Hamilton
OH  45015
513-860-5094
www.dynamat.com
LMC Truck
15450 W. 108th Street
Lenexa
KS  66219
800-562-8782
http://www.lmctruck.com
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