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Old 12-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #1
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U-Joint Fuel Tank Shortening Kit.. or info on "how much to shorten"

Hey everyone -- I think this might be my first post here, but I have a new-to-me 2000 E350 7.3L Diesel Conversion Van with 215K on the clock. It had the dreaded fuel leak from the bowl and some exhaust leaks from the up-pipes, but I've cleared those up and now this thing is driving great!

There's a bit of a stumble at idle occasionally -- I imagine the in-tank screens are clogged at this mileage, so I'm going to drop the tank to do the hutch and harpoon mods and add a remote fuel pre-filter, and figured this is a good time to have a look inside the tank and clean it if it needs it.

If I end cleaning the tank, I'll probably have it shortened too since this puppy is eventually getting a 4x4 swap...

So does anyone have the U-Joint guide for cutting? I don't need the actual cap, just the guide. I'm a dog-crap tig welder, so I'll be taking this to a shop and I imagine giving them the guide would make it a very simple job. A picture of their kit is below:


If not -- how many inches need to come off the front of the tank?

I'm sure the whoever I'm paying to fab this up can measure (ha ha ha), but I just want to make sure I'll have enough clearance for a NP271 mated to the 4X4 4R100!

I'm in Bay Area CA. Love driving, so I'll come pick it up if you're somewhat local!
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:52 AM   #2
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The jig really isn’t needed, but it does make a nice template to cut the new piece of metal.

You cut the tank 11” from the center of the front vent hole. As long as you cut it square your good to go.

Rob
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Old 12-16-2019, 04:30 PM   #3
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Yeah that's what I was thinking -- I could bring it up to my father-in-law's place and cut a piece out with a plasma torch. That way I could just bring the tank, cap and jig into the fab shop, have them cut it and weld it in.



So 11" forward of the center of that first hole? That shouldn't be too bad to figure out -- or even just tell the fab shop -- figure it'll just cost a bit more than if I make it easy on them.

Well that gives me my answer -- but if anyone has the u-joint jig lying around and wants to turn it into some $$, let me know!!!
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
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Yes 11” from the front vent hole, just use a square to mark it.

Rob
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:22 AM   #5
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I highly suggest contacting Jake at Aerotanks in San Bernardino. He has a 40 plus gallon diesel tank that is 4x4 compatible for the E Series. It mounts in the same location as the stock tank. It comes w built in skid plate and he can add a couple of fuel taps for ease of adding a diesel fired cabin heater later.

Another good add is a spin on fuel filter mounted on the frame rail. This will greatly minimize the necessity of changing the top of the engine mounted fuel filter which is difficult to deal with.

He can install or you can pick it up. Pricing is quite reasonable and I have always had him install them in our rigs.

A cut down tank loses 3 to 5 gallons of capacity. At 28 to 30 gallons the cut down tank becomes a constraint for off road range and you will likely add a Rotopax or other container to supplement fuel carrying capacity.
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Old 12-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #6
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I'd think about a new/larger tank too. Your current debris issues are almost certainly caused by delimitation of the factory coating (which wasn't designed for biofuels)s. By the time to strip it out and re-coat it, plus the trimming and welding, I'd guess you'll be 2/3 of the way towards a bigger tank anyways.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:16 PM   #7
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Yeah -- you're probably right...

Honestly -- I'm not even sure there is a debris problem -- but I'm expecting to see the in-tank screens clogged with 215K on the clock.

I'll see about aftermarket tanks - Jake's looks like its about $1000. Much cheaper than the UJoint alternative. Good idea for putting in some connections for a diesel heater -- that's one of the reasons I wanted a diesel van -- is to eventually buy a diesel heater.

I will be adding a remote filter -- but I decided to go with a Racor PS120-02, which is really just a "pre-filter" that I'll install before the pump. Seems that was the "best" thing to add based on reading the powerstroke forums.

Honestly -- I'm trying to do this whole project on a pretty shoestring budget -- so maybe it makes sense to just keep the tank as is and then get the aftermarket tank when I'm ready to swap the transmission. Will definitely give me some time to collect more pennies -- and I'd rather have more fuel than less for those off-road excursions.


1DER -- I noticed you're in SF -- would love to meet up with you and check out your awesome van!
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