Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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danalinscott

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I am  looking for a tank fabricator. Are you in that business or do you have contacts who might be able to do the job for me?


Hi Stephanie, I am not a fabricator but have helped dozens of individuals fabricate or get custom VO tanks fabricated. My full time occupation is as a VO fuel conversion consultant ..mostly for large truck fleets. But I devote at least 10% of my time in helping individuals who are converting or troubleshooting their conversions at no charge. As I am doing now.

To speed the fabrication process the first step is to sketch out the tank and take careful measurements of its dimensions and locations for any components that
will be installed in or on the tank. The second step is to fabricate a heavy cardboard mock up of the tank to make certain that it will fit and that all of the proposed locations for associated components, drains, outlets, fill ports, etc will actually work once the tank's installed. Once the cardboard and duct tape mock up is complete,
correct, and has been test fitted it is time to present it to a tank fabricator.

Nearly any decent weld shop can fabricate a tank with the help of the template that is formed when the mocked up cardboard tank is cut apart at the seams. Without it even a fabricator that specializes in tank fabrication will have a very difficult time..and charge accordingly. I have a few questions..... What material do you plan to have this tank made from?

Quote:
We have two Ford E350 Econoline vans that need tanks & filtration. Vegistroke systems are already installed. I'd prefer to go with the underbody tank for safety, and because we'll be carrying stuff in the vans.

The vehicles will be in Boulder, CO as of tomorrow, and they'll be there for two weeks.

As for the material, I've had a few people mention suggestions offhand but I can't remember what it was without my notes. I'm open to suggestions.


Although the best material for tanks may be aluminum or stainless steel they both require a very specialized skill and a high degree of it. It will be difficult to find a fabricator that will turn out a decent tank in either material..and because of the extra skill involved in welding aluminum or SS they will charge a significant premium. And both SS and aluminum are very pricey materials.

Two other materials remain...plastic and mild steel.
Of the two plastic fabricators are much harder to find..and more expensive to have fabricate a custom tank. But...Sometimes you can find a "stock" tank made of plastic or steel that is already produces as an axillary fuel tank and this can not only speed the process...but may be cheaper than having a tank fabricated. You may even be able to locate one through the junkyard network.  It is worth looking into at least. These tanks can often be modified for VO fuel with very little difficulty.

But ..assuming that you are having a tank fabricated from mild steel just start calling around to the fabrication shops (often found under "welding" in the yellow pages) and asking what their hourly rates are and how backed up with projects they currently are. Tell them you need a tank fabricated and will bring in a template and ask if they need anything else to fabricate it.

BTW...there are things that every VO fuel tank should include as a minimum. These include:

The filler neck.
Think about where this needs to be located while you have the cardboard mock up tank under the vehicle...and mark where the filler tube will enter the tank so you can run the (rubber) connection tube to the place you are going to place the fill neck/cap. Make sure it is at least 8" above the top of the tank and that the tube from the filler neck to the tank is as strait as possible.

The (coolant) heated fuel pickup.
If you use a HotRod probe type heated pickup you will need to have a 1" NPT threaded port installed for it to be installed in. If you use another heated fuel pickup you will need to make provision for its installation as well.

The tank drain
You will want this at some time later...trust me.
I suggest a 1" NPT port with a threaded plug. Locate this in the lowest point of the tank..or at the rear so the vehicle can be parked on an incline to completely drain the tank if needed.

A fuel level monitor.
This can be a standard fuel tank sender with a matching dash gauge or a small threaded port that a small (cheap) float switch can be mounted in to warn that the tank is nearly empty. In some cases a  clear tube or glass port (sight glasses) can be used.



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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
danalinscott

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A  basic design of a fuel tank with baffles, fuel well, and drain.


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