Has anyone here (successfully) replaced a 1927 cowl-mounted gas tank? I have followed the Ford factory manual exactly. I have everything that they say out, disconnected, or moved. The tank is loose, but there just doesn't seem to be any way to get the outlet free of the firewall. Ideas?
did u take the shut off off ?
and the drain pipe, what body style ?
I have a 26 and had no problems. Make sure everything is off outlet of tank including overflow tube. Bob
Did you free up the reverse and brake pedals?
Yes I removed and replaced my 27 tank this week.
1.Remove the sediment bowl fitting
2.Directly under the sediment bowl there is a screw at the top of the breather pipe. Its quiet long but you need to completely remove this screw.
3. Loosen the nut holding the breather pipe clamp (this is inside the car on the fire wall, it's a small nut which is attached to a wire hook like clamp in the engine bay) this is the 1" breather pipe that runs vertical on the engine side of the fire wall. Just loosen this nut enough so the clamp will wiggle about.
4. Now Wiggle the breather pipe about until you can slide it down a couple of inches so its clear of the tank fitting (mine took some effort to move)
5. Remove the speedo from the dash if you have one (the rear clamp on mine restricted the tank movement too much)
6. Undo and remove the two nuts/washers in the engine bay that are on the ends of the tank straps
7. I removed the top section of floor board but not sure if I had to. Chock a wheel on both sides.
8. Squeeze in the cab on your back, then slide first tank strap inwards until its thru the Fire wall and twist off the top hook mount and remove strap. Same with the other strap
9. Tank is now free and wiggle it about and out (this took a bit of pedal pushing hence the wheel chocks)
Note - Refitting the process is so simple and only a one man job, just slide tank in position (goes in easier than it come out) hook one strap on upper mount and bend strap slightly to fit back into fire wall hole. It will stay put now. Same on the other side then bolt it all back together.
Are you cleaning rust out?
Step 0. Disconnect + battery cable from battery post.
I have done everything - repeat - everything that Kevin has described. The #%$&&*(!@ tank simply will not slip out from under the cowling. Is there an obvious trick that I am missing? The tank outlet (the valve has been removed) will not slip back far enough to clear the firewall. And the battery is sitting on the floor next to the car.
Sorry Kevin, I missed the last line of your comment. Yes. The car had sat for about three years with that awful 10% ethanol gas in the tank. It absorbed a bunch of water, which caused the rust. I wish we could get pure gasoline here in the People's Democratic Republic of Massachusetts. The tank will be drained for winter storage now that the car is under my stewardship. Since T tanks are vented to the atmosphere, unless the car lives in the desert, I would recommend draining before storage if you are forced to use gasoline that contains ethanol.
I had one that I had to remove the dash to it get it out,tried every thing else.
roadster u mite need to remove or loosen the dash, coupe and tudor they fall right out, I have never loosened a pedal to get them out
John, the side of the tank nearest the dash needs to fall down first, your last statement sounds like your trying to take it straight down, it needs to "roll" out.
About ethanol gasoline: With knowledge of the hazards of the ethanol, (especially for small engines), I've found a farm supply store that carries a non-ethanol mid-grade. (89 octane, usually 10-15 cents/gal. more). Sometimes a search is worthwhile.
James your right, diconnect battery first.
John I had rust in mine and this is what I did
1. Hosed it out and shook about until no more flakes etc
2. Slid chain inside and rattled about
3. Hosed again until running clear
4. Large kettle of Boiling water and Auto dishwater powder "Lime & Baking Soda" version. Soaked a couple of hours and shook about. This really lifts the rust...bright red flush.
5. rinsed again
6. 4 litres of white vinegar & soaked over night.
7. Flushed ( mild reddish colour)
8. 3 more boiling water auto dishwash power sessions leaving them for several hours each time until running clean
9. rinsed well with water
10. Dried in sun for 4 hrs
11. sprayed anti seize in tank and swirled it all over then let it drain out.
12. flushed 4 or 5 times with petrol to ensure inside clear.
Note - If I had more time I would have soaked in white vinegar over night for about 4 or 5 nights replacing each day.
Perhaps the tank is stuck to the strapping on the top of it?
Otherwise just screw in a fitting, attach a hose and flush it in place. Not ideal but it may work. Bouncing on the running boards gets a good swash going. Wrap a air hose gun in rag and force the flush out from the top each time.
If you are not in farm country, marinas sell alcohol free gas. The alcohol dissolves the resin in boats with fiberglass tanks, and the result can be quite ugly!
Thanks for all the information guys; I will attempt to get the bloody thing out again this PM. If all else fails, I will remove the dash, but that looks like I will be donating blood. I think Henry started with the gas tank and built the "improved car" around it!
I had to remove the dash on my 27 Runabout. It just wouldn't come out otherwise.
The gas tank that is!
If you don't have a tractor this won't work but if you have a little Ford tractor or something similar --- put some carb cleaner with a quart or so of lacquer thinner in the tank, add a big handful of old square nuts so you have sharp corners to rub on the tank sides, bungee it on the wheel, drive down to the coffee shop so it soaks while you are having coffee, move it to a different position, drive home, move it, go check cows, etc. When you dump out the nuts the corners will be rounded off, there will be mountains of goop and crud come out; fill it up and do it again. It will clean the inside. Kind of fun that way.
Some cars the tank can be removed without removing the dash, some it can't.
Seems like the later '27 cars have a half inch more distance from the dash to the firewall.
My '26 touring will NOT let you remove the tank without removing the dash.
I have pulled the tank on a few cars without removing the dash, but they were '27 cars.
There is a difference where the doors meet the cowls on some cars, the dash where it meets the top of the doors, if I remember correctly.
There are 11 pure gas stations in Massachusetts. Maybe one is near you.
So far, I have completely removed all components that attach the tank to the car. It is loose. I have removed all fasteners that attach the dash to the car, it is loose. There doesn't seem to be any way to remove the tank without removing the dash from the car. There doesn't seem to be any way to remove the dash without removing (or at least moving) the steering column. Ideas? Has anyone actually done this job on a 1927 Touring car?
I've done it on a 26 Roadster. Should be the same. I would remove the steering column. In short, it was a bitch getting it out and back in again.
Keep on trying!
It's like a Chinese puzzle, once it comes out you will wonder why it took so long to do!.
Have done several, tourings and runabouts. When disassemble its the hardest. When restoring the car, paint and install the tank prior to dash fit and windshield.
Now to get the tank out, you have done all the removal needed. Don't remove the steering column, the tank sits to the right of that. Do remove the battery cables, and I do remove the ignition switch and pull it away with the loom.
Only once did I have to tug (pull out) on the dash a bit, as the turned under lip of the dash was scrapping the tank face. Pinched the fingers some doing it, but that freed the tank.
The tips are to 'rotate' down. That is pull down gently, allow the drain valve to just settle a bit out of the firewall, then make sure the upper tank overflow tray is free, all at the same time.
Wiggle to the left, then wiggle to the right, pulling down in a rolling out motion, when the tank clears the overflow cut-out on the cowl, and then clears the drain valve opening in the firewall, you will have it mostly rotated down, it drops from there, but sometimes you have to pull away the dash a trifle. But be sure now you have the reverse and brake pedal pedal loose and dropped forward to the firewall, as that wide pedal can interfere with the full drop away of the tank.
The drop away is to the right, that is the tank has to drop away and down in rotation to the right, the back side of the tank is beveled to clear the firewall, and it will only go that way out......or later...that way in! Have Fun!
Pulling the gas tank on a '26-'27 is the same fun as pulling the hogshead! Ha.
'27 touring with cardboard liner for tank anti rattle, lots of room to get the tank back in when only a empty body. But still that tank has to rotate back up left side first and then right side.
The tank is still in the car, The steering column is halfway out. That's OK, there was some work that I was going to do on the column next year - I'll just do it this year. A question - The car came with a spare tank (I wonder why)? The tank in the car appears to have been painted green. The body color of the car is green. The extra tank is black on the top and green elsewhere. Were '27 tanks painted body color? Were they all green? Is the fact that the extra tank is green a coincidence? I'd like to paint it correctly.
The under seat gas tanks were never painted, but with the cowl tank, its exposed and got a coat of black paint. Sure that Edsel had something to do about a painted gas tank for the Improved Car, that was his job, design, and cosmetics
Haven't ever seen a body color on the gas tank, it was installed after the body was painted.
Here is a photo of new Ford, upside down for promo, but you can clearly see the black painted gas tank.
or if you prefer normal side up
AND the body color dash, subject of much debate! Also notice the dark paint on the widow trim.
Thanks. I guess that I'll paint the tank black.
After careful examination, I think the green is a primer, probably zinc chromate - and the black (primarily visible only on the top of the tank) is the finish color. I have sent the spare tank to a local shop that does such things to have it cleaned and internally coated. They say that the 10% ethanol gas will not hurt the coating. I hope that they are right.
Ta Da!!! Today I got the bloody tank out. Jerry, you are correct - the column has to come out. With the column out, the dash comes out easily, and the tank follows without difficulty. Thanks for all the information, guys. Since I have the column out, I will take it to a locksmith to get a key made for the Decker steering column lock.
Congratulations John! It really is like a Chinese puzzle and when you least expect it, the tank comes out.
I love the picture of the upside down Coupe, Dan. I was also going to ask about the tank color. Thanks John!
A footnote on gas tank color...
My '27 coupe (VIN = late October 1926) had been given one or more coats of black paint over the years, applied with a brush, mop and/or whisk broom. But when I removed the gas tank, the areas on the belly of the tank that had been protected by the support straps and their cushioning rubber contained glossy, very pristine-looking dark green paint.
Maybe my car is an exception, or maybe I'm a complete moron -- or quite possibly both -- but I've been assuming that the dark green was the original color of my car, and had planned to paint the gas tank accordingly. Now, I'm not sure what to do.
I'd welcome anyone's thoughts or advice...
Your T could well be correct for it
The Improved T's combined many new parts, and newer construction and assembly methods. Bodies of mostly steel, formed by Ford stamping, and stamping shipped to the many assembly branches.
There the bodies were assembled and painted, so one could rather believe that an individual branch would or could have used methods of painting parts going in the T. The tank could have been painted body color.
Only surviving original cars give up the clues.
Hmmm... and I thought I had it all figured out.
Dan, you're going to make me start having to think all over again! ;)
I could easily believe that the tanks were painted black before being installed in the car. I can also easily be persuaded that, if the dash were painted body color, the front of the tank would be too, just from over spray, if nothing else!
I know that most Model As with contrasting color on the belt moldings were originally painted lower body color all over, and then masked for the upper/molding color(s). The doors were left open to the first catch (A's have a double-catch latch--safety!) so the paint would cover the edges, and the door pillar would get the color too. Now this will leave a little bit of over spray on the inside door edge, not much--a picky person could likely rub it out. I once asked a judge about this, and his response was that "Judging is about quality of work, that (over spray) would be judged down." Even though it would be a more authentic feature of the paint job! Also on A's, the metal cover over the windshield header that also becomes the inside top windshield trim shows this method, as all body surfaces wrapping around to the inside of the body are lower body color, but the outside of this piece is upper. Examination of original paint shows the part line is the bottom edge of the piece (on this part there is a "U" shape in the metal the forms the inside trim) and it's obvious they just sprayed the outside, the "part line" is just the paint ending, not masked (I had a car with original Maroon lower, Black upper, this feature showed up very well on it).
So, having just the front and part of the bottom side of the gas tank being body color seems logical to me, when one considers the manufacturing process.
Interesting, David. I know that early Corvettes were painted after assembly. As the hood does not seal perfectly from the factory, there was usually a little overspray in the engine compartment. Some show judges now look for it.
As a follow-up to my original post - this morning I finally got the tank back in the car. I can't speak for all models, but I can say with certainty that on a 1927 touring car, you must remove the dash and the steering column to get the tank out. You do not have to do anything with the pedals; with the dash out, there is plenty of room to get the tank in and out.
Good job John.
Did you paint your tank black? I have checked my tank and only see black paint.
It has been touched up on some sections but the front which faced the cardboard cushion has almost no paint on it and is rusty.
In the picture below you can see an "S" shaped squiggle on the top of the tank on the passenger side. It showed up after I washed off the thick coating of dust. Maybe this was a quality control mark?
I plan to clean up the outside completely and paint with black lacquer after sealing the inside of the tank.