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Old 07-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

In Pennsylvania we hit a very nasty pothole - actually a storm drain grate that is 6-8" below the road level. Hit it hard enough to break one of the bolts on the tank mounting straps. We heard this horrible grinding sound and stopped, got out and checked.

The nearly full tank was down to within 2" of the ground. A closer look found the head of the 3/8" Grade 8 bolt still in the frame bracket and it was the bracket hitting the driveshaft making the nasty noise.

The front bracket was holding and keeping the tank off the ground. About 30 minutes with a jack and a spare bolt got back on the road. Of course, it was 95 degrees for added sweat.

Later I bought a ratchet tie down (1000# rated) and added that for security.

I guess the stress off hundreds of miles of dirt and gravel and thousands of miles of bad roads was too much for the bolt.

Mike
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Mike and Dorothy:

You are in my prayers that you don't have any more problems on your trip and arrive home safely. Take care of yourselves!

Mac
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Grade 8 bolts have worse fatigue properties than Grade 5. That's why most of the OEM chassis hardware is Grade 5.

Also, imported Grade 8 hardware might as well be un-graded hardware. I snapped an imported Grade-8 7/8" bolt tightening it down by hand using a 14" long ratchet. Finding USA made fasteners is harder than you think...
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

The straps on my TF look VERY sketchy (rusty). They can make replacements, but will take around 4 weeks. Until then I am going to take it VERY easy on rough roads, and try not to carry a full load of fuel. I am going to replace the straps and all the hardware.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Mike, did the filler tube disconnect? Any Espar appliance feed lines might be snapped if you have them.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:08 AM   #6
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Sorry to hear that Mike. And it just hit me, you're close to that hot weather back there. Hope your trip goes a little nicer...still has to be better than being home.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Life is an adventure.

Nothing on the tank seems to have been disconnected. Two tanks later all is well.

Yeah, Grade 8 bolts are frequently bogus, and they are best used in tension, and not the way this bracket is used. The two sides of the bracket are not parallel when tight. After I get home I will make a spacer to fill the gap and cause the two side to move into alignment.

When I think about the tank going to the pavement at 40mph, I get scared. For now, the ratchet strap is working. And the whole episode took less than an hour, so it wasn't a big deal - but it could have turned into one.

Mike
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:00 PM   #8
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

I give up, what's a TF tank? Anything to do with this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/0 ... 15424.html ?

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Old 08-02-2011, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMSSMB
I give up, what's a TF tank? Anything to do with this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/0 ... 15424.html ?

Has nothing to do with the Ford recall. A TF tank, is short for TransferFlow tank, an aftermarket fuel tank manufacturer. They manufacture the 46 gallon fuel tank that SMB installs.

http://www.transferflow.com/


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Old 08-02-2011, 10:53 PM   #10
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Re: Near disaster with TF tank!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
The nearly full tank was down to within 2" of the ground. A closer look found the head of the 3/8" Grade 8 bolt still in the frame bracket and it was the bracket hitting the driveshaft making the nasty noise.
I happen to have looked at the drawings for the TF straps (no I can't share them), and I noticed that on the 97-03 Quigley version, in 07 production it looks to me like they switched from 3/8" to 7/16" hardware. There are still a couple of references to 3/8" on the drawings, but the parts list shows 7/16"-14 TPI and a revision note in 2007. I have to imagine the 04 model is not all that different, and I would guess that upsizing the hardware was to increase the load required to shear the bolt.

It might be worth a call to TF and ask them if upsizing to 7/16 is a prudent move...
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