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Old 07-26-2007, 11:59 AM   #1
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46 gal "Replacement Tank" (Diesel)

I called SMB about my fuel tank capacity. The PO and the build sheet both say 46 gal, which is a "replacement tank" option that goes on with the 4x conversion.

I've been tracking my mpg and it's pretty consistently around 11.7 with the empty trailer. Based on that and fillups tracking the "LOW FUEL" warning comes on at almost exactly 35 gallons down. Once cleared (from the odometer box) it comes on a second time (by calculation) at about .95 of a gallon (which is to say 36 gallons down). I'm guessing that it's set to recur ~every gallon but that's mostly speculation.

Since Ford only listed 37 gal as the "large" capacity I didn't want to play down there on a trip, but what I'm seeing is that the LOW FUEL warning comes on with ~11 gallons remaining, so I'm guessing SMB didn't do a whole lot to recalibrate the fuel gauge (or this is the best that can be done).

Whichever, can anyone verify a similar experience with their fuel gauge and the 46g tank?

SMB was less than helpful beyond the actual replacement tank capacity... it amazes me that such a great company can be so unaware of the finer points of actually driving one of their vehicles around. They seemed confused by how I could possibly know the low fuel light comes on at -35g...
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
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Jage,

Check out this site. You may not actually be getting the tank full (46 gal).

http://guzzle.rbmicro.com/harpoon.html

Herb
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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Interesting. Going inside the fuel tank is not high on my list. Actually, finding the fuel tank is not high on my list!

Also I haven't been filling based on the first click off, but rather sound and smell (mostly the former).

I suppose the safest way (for the engine) to determine actual fuel capacity that I'm getting is to drain the tank as soon as the low fuel light comes on the first time.

Still at this point I'd rather just pretend I have 37 gallons then mess with it. Too much else to do and no workspace!
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:47 PM   #4
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Believe me, when I fill it up, the pump usually shuts off on me long before it's full. Not because of this issue, but because the pump has reached the dollar threshold set at the station (typically $75).


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Old 07-26-2007, 05:00 PM   #5
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It is my understanding that SMB West uses a different tank vent and you can completey fill the tank.

That said, my van w/46 gal tank has the low fuel light come on with about 10 gallons in the tank. It is an artifact of the Ford calibration and the shape of the old tank compared to the new one.

My tank has been 'harpooned', but it still has ~4 gallons to go (to full) when the pump shuts off. So, I guess I have a 42 gallon tank. The most I've put in while refueling is 36 gallons. I really hate running out of fuel. But, I still enjoy 600 miles between fillups.

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Believe me, when I fill it up, the pump usually shuts off on me long before it's full. Not because of this issue, but because the pump has reached the dollar threshold set at the station (typically $75).
I've found thresholds as low as $50. The whole thing stinks. If I have rubber gloves with me (hate getting diesel on my hands from dirty pumps), then I'll just hold the plate in and re-swipe my card (you have to wait for the pump to reciept and then reset) and never take the pump handle out of the van.

Better yet, if you go in and hand them your credit card you won't have a limit. The only problem is the rare attendant who doesn't know how to approve a pump for "full tank".
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco_hauler
Believe me, when I fill it up, the pump usually shuts off on me long before it's full. Not because of this issue, but because the pump has reached the dollar threshold set at the station (typically $75).
I've found thresholds as low as $50. The whole thing stinks. If I have rubber gloves with me (hate getting diesel on my hands from dirty pumps), then I'll just hold the plate in and re-swipe my card (you have to wait for the pump to reciept and then reset) and never take the pump handle out of the van.

Better yet, if you go in and hand them your credit card you won't have a limit. The only problem is the rare attendant who doesn't know how to approve a pump for "full tank".
Oh yeah, diesel stink is hard to get off the hands. I also add a diesel fuel additive (Stanadyne) with each fillup, and that stuff is like concentrated diesel stink that's even harder to get off the hands. Latex or nitrile gloves are a must.

I've also come across the $50 pump limit, though I don't see those much anymore. Doesn't take a whole lot of fuel to reach that limit.


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Old 07-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #8
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I doubt there would be such low limits at truck stops, or other places larger rigs fill up.

On a trip to Death Valley once, I met some folks with a Unimog, and their tank was 110 gals. Back then, diesel was probably around $2.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:01 PM   #9
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Sunday, on our way back from a trip, I was lucky enough to have the yellow light come on at 516 miles, as I was next to a fuel station in Los Banos. I filled up with 39.744 gallons of diesel. I might have been able to squeeze another 50 miles out of the tank.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:32 PM   #10
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46 - hmm

I had the same issue, artifact of the old ford set up, and low fuel light coming on at 35 gallons.

So I kept driving, knowing I had another 11-12 gallons to go. The truck goes into limp mode. I talk to SMB and they say, shut it off, and start it, it will reset... yep, for about 5 miles.

Eventually they sent me a little adapter to plug into the electronic signaling (hell - I don't know what I am talking about), but I plugged it in, and I guess I get all the way down to 38 gallons low before the fuel light comes on. Have not limped for a while though, that's nice.

Really is kind of a pisser - I do not know, for a fact, if I started limping with 10 gallons left, if it would indeed run to the bottom of the tank. I get the sneaking suspician that the sucking sound is coming from a tube a good 4" off the bottom of the tank. So why, why oh why, do we pay extra for this larger tank???

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