If you have been following along with the build, you will know we screwed up. Not royally but enough to be a problem down the road. We decided to put a monstrous but beautiful fuel tank in the trunk. My dad had decided to go rogue and without consulting me, he put a custom tank in the car because he wanted to avoid as much of the fuel smell as possible. A worthy endeavor, I must admit, but it was causing more problems than it solved. The problem with the tank was that the gooseneck interfered with the trunk brackets so there was only one spring available to support the trunk when it was being lowered. I personally detested the thing since it took up the entire trunk. It was an eyesore and I had enough of it. I had decided it had to go.
The Sunbeam Alpine’s original gas tank design was a saddle bag design. It was known as a saddle bag because when horses were used for transportation, a saddle bag had pockets on each side of the saddle on the horse. Google it if you need to. The Sunbeam has two tanks on either side of the trunk and a section of pipe that connects the tank at the bottom which then feeds the fuel pump. There is also a breather hose at the top of the tank to allow air to be transferred from tank to tank, otherwise, when filling up the tank, one of the tanks would become pressurized. The gooseneck is a simple and short rubber peice that connects to the gas cap. A brilliantly simple solution but the only drawback is there are a lot of clamps and connection points that allow for gas fumes to leak out. However, I was willing to give the old design a shot. I always like to see the original design used when possible. Call it personal preference.
We had a total of four gas tanks, two for each side. My dad and I picked the two best and dropped them off to get the insides reconditioned and sealed along with all of the connection pieces. In the meantime, I picked up a new breather hose, new gooseneck, and clamps and connection rubber for the bottom cross pieces. After I received the gas tanks and pipes, I put a couple of coats of paint on them and prepared them for installation.
The gas tanks were missing some of the hardware in order to secure them to the body. I spent a good amount of time at the local NAPA trying to find the right clip which was secured to the tank. I then turned my attention to the fuel level sender. Our sender was old and we weren’t sure it was still functioning. We ended up sending it across the country to a recommended shop in New York. When it returned, I purchased a new float. Before I installed the sender in the new tank, I needed to test it first. In the last post, I installed a voltage stabilizer which reduces the voltage to the gauges to a steady 10 volts. I wired up the fuel level sender and wired up the gauge to the voltage stabilizer and tested the sender. After realizing it needed to be grounded, the test was successful. The video shows the sender working. The sender was then secured into the tank with a new gasket and the original securing ring which was cleaned up in the ultrasonic cleaner. All that was left was to install the gas tanks
The installation of the gas tanks was far from easy. I struggled with installing the main cross tube and installing the curved tubes and getting everything to line up without marring the fresh paint. Although difficult, it wasn’t impossible. When I finished, I felt accomplished since I had rectified a problem that had been bothering me since I first laid eyes on it. The monstrosity was conquered. The only problem which remained was how to get the fuel line reinstalled to the fuel pump. But I always tell myself, there are no problems only solutions. Motor on.