There is a long list of considerations when turning an ordinary vintage pickup into a custom classic truck. Some are cosmetic, others are for performance, and there are often safety issues as well. In this particular case, all three are factors.
When our own Source Interlink Tech Center manager, Jason Scudellari, had to come up with a fuel tank for his '56 Chevrolet pickup he wanted one that was good looking, housed an in-tank electric pump, and was mounted outside the cab under the bed. To get everything he wanted Jason turned to Hot Rod City and Aeromotive.
Hot Rod City specializes in custom aluminum radiators and fuel tanks for GM, Ford, Mopar cars and trucks and can build one-offs for virtually any vehicle. All tanks are fully baffled and include mounting straps (if used) and the necessary bungs.
To pump fuel from the tank to the engine Jason elected to go with Aeromotive's unique Phantom 340 Stealth Fuel System.
With Aeromotive's in-tank system the pump is submerged in fuel, which means it will run cooler and will last longer and be quieter as well. The 340 series pumps can be used with fuel injected or carbureted engines and will support up to 700 horsepower with EFI and 1,000 horses in carbureted supercharged applications. A unique feature of Aeromotive's Phantom Stealth system is it can be installed in virtually any fuel tank with a depth of 5.5 to 11-inches deep (a special baffle/basket assembly is available for deeper tanks).
While the Hot Rod City crew was busy fabricating his new gas tank and installing the Aeromotive pump, Jason was banging away with his camera to document the procedure. Here's how it was done.
1. Hot Rod City specializes in custom aluminum gas tanks, radiators, and fan shrouds. They also maintain a fully stocked retail store.
2. The first step in construction is to lay out the components on a sheet of .090-inch 5052 skinned aluminum.
3. Cut to size, the front, bottom, and back of the tank are formed from one piece in a brake.
4. By forming the bottom and end panels from one piece a considerable amount of welding is eliminated.
5. Next, the sides are cut to fit. So it doesn’t look like a big aluminum box from the rear of the truck, the bottom of the tank angles up at the rear providing a rolled pan look.
6. Here, the bottom and sides are tack welded together and half of the mounting tabs have been added.
7. Note the sturdy upper and lower pieces of the mounting bracket have been welded together to make a strong, double thickness flange.
8. Viewed from the top, the main interior baffle and the sump for the electric fuel pump can be seen. Note the notches in the lower corner of the baffle allow fuel to equalize on both sides.
9. All the seams are TIG welded. Note the consistency of the bead—that takes talent.
10. This is the flange for the fuel level sender. Stock or aftermarket senders can be specified.