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Thread: Aluminum truck bed tank build

  1. #1
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    Aluminum truck bed tank build

    I'm building a truck tank so I can extend my range to about 1500 miles between fillups for my 2017 Colorado Diesel. I will upload photos as I go and hopefully be fully installed by Sunday.
    I started off with 1/8" aluminum plate sheared and formed to the back of my bed. I had to jog it so it would fit a little closer. The overall measurements are 48" x 16" x 12" which will get me close to 40 gallons.
    I trimmed the 2 baffle plates for fuel and air flow.
    More to come...

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  3. #2
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Baffles are ugly welded in.. my tungsten magnet is strong today.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    I have to notch out for the aftermarket tie downs, but the tank needs to be pushed off center because of the filler location in the bed.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    I found some very dirty mystery aluminum plate for my 3/8" NPT fittings to screw into. The welding battle began when I started at the back of the 1.5" bung for the level sensor. The tungsten ball ejected because it was cranking out too many amps for the 3/32" green size. I turned up the dig and was a little more patient and it paid off. The plates were floating garbage in my weld as I worked around them. It doesn't really matter because all of the fuel system stuff will be covered in the end.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by Brainfarth View Post
    Baffles are ugly welded in.. my tungsten magnet is strong today
    Meh,
    If that's ugly, I am runner up for best looking man of the year.

    At least you got good gas coverage Welding inside there.
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  10. #6
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Meh,
    If that's ugly, I am runner up for best looking man of the year.
    ]

    Sounds like the voice of a guy who has one too many ..if you were the last man on earth comments taking it to heart.
    :

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  12. #7
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Sounds like the voice of a guy who has one too many ..if you were the last man on earth comments taking it to heart.
    I am on my first green drink of the night.

    But I digress.

    Let's not derail the man's thread.
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  14. #8
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Nice baffles

    Hope it all comes out the way you want it to.

  15. #9
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    With the aid of a drill press, I was able to tap 3/8" NPT holes halfway straight. Cleaned the inside out and capped the ends.
    Before welding, I flattened most of the tacks so it wouldn't look so bad when I rolled over them with weld. I found a piece of tube to rest my arm on so I was steadier. But that limited my run amount to about 6".

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  17. #10
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    Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Welds look awesome.

    Personally I think I would have tapped the 3/8 NPT before welding.

    They could have been placed over the corresponding holes on the tank and then welded.
    :

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  19. #11
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    I have to tap into the trucks vent tube and it turns out that its a steel 5/8" tube. I'll splice a section out and clamp my home made double t. I couldn't find any solder in the whole shop so I did it the old fashioned way. Grab some household wiring, split the braid so it's slightly smaller in diameter, kick welder to DC and TIG the center. I started to use filler on the brass fitting connection but in the end, it fused good enough. Then I polished the turd.
    I had to check the tank for leaks but I won't be getting the filler cap until next week. So I duck taped the hole closed then taped a plate over the top of it. Pumped it up until it lifted off the table then used some soapy water. No leaks.


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  20. #12
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    You put a drain plug in that thing?

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  22. #13
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    You put a drain plug in that thing?
    No drain plug.. easy enough to pump it out if I ever should need to.

    I spliced a section of the return line out, but I had to use my handy multipurpose 12v impact with a diy 3/4" adapter. I could not see how to take the whole filler assembly out without lifting the bed so I did it in place. I will put some stickum rubber between the lower return and the fill tube along with a ziptie to secure everything a little better.
    Learn from my mistake and aim for the other side of the bed bracket.
    I also had to swage out the 1/2" hose to fit over the 5/8" return line.


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  23. #14
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Looks nice
    Retired Old Guy

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  24. #15
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    with the price of fuel being crazy daft. the uk is hitting around $11 a gallon for petrol, diesel is a couple bucks more compared to you guys. have you any plans to disguise the tank in someway?

    build a fake snapon bed toolbox round it or something?

    sure the trip to the snapon guy is cheaper than fuel just now

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  26. #16
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    sorry that wasn't very clear, diesel here is $13 a gallon, not 2 dollars more than your paying

  27. #17
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_walker View Post
    sorry that wasn't very clear, diesel here is $13 a gallon, not 2 dollars more than your paying
    What was the price for diesel normally before all this increase?
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  28. #18
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    little over half for both. petrol about 6.50 and diesel was about 7

  29. #19
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    I finished the tank this week, just before going camping. I took some tools along and finished the wiring at the campground. I put 10 gallons in the tank and it pumped about 5 gallons into the truck tank.
    Success!
    Although, there are 2 leaks where the hose is a little larger than the fittings so I'll need to add a few more clamps. Also, I need to change the fuse location to an ignition-on point and add a 12v relay.
    Oh, I found that gas cap on Ebay for $32.99
    I welded the extra plates to the end so a lock will prevent the latch from letting go of the lid.

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    Last edited by Brainfarth; 07-04-2022 at 10:30 PM.
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  30. #20
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    Re: Aluminum truck bed tank build

    The cab side mounts were done with drywall anchor and stainless screw and washer. I had to punch out a 1/2" hole to fit it though but it didnt work as I had intended and eventually had to hold it in place from behind with a stick while I drove the screw in.
    The bottom bolts (1 broke in the middle(will replace later)) are right on the edge of a reinforcement channel, so I got really lucky on their placement.
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    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.

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