Just picked up a 27 touring and drove it home. The previous owner warned me that ethanol gas will loosen black coating in the gas tank. I was careful to put ethanol free gas in at fill up but sure enough, I have tons of black flakes coming from the sediment bowl and I have very little fuel getting to the engine. I have been reading about cleaning my tank and replacing screens in sediment bowl. It seems like cleaning a tank is a pain in the rear and sometimes not very successful. I figured I would just save myself the trouble and buy a new tank, but it seems they are not available for a 27 touring? Please help a new T guy who knows little about these really cool cars
I have a 26 T Touring. What I did was pull the tank (hell of a job that really requires pulling the steering column) then took it to Renu. In my case I was working on a car that would be entered into judging so I asked Renu to leave off the exterior coating of the tank- stuff that looked like bed liner. Reluctantly they followed my instructions but wouldn't warranty the job. 18 years later it it holding up beautifully and has neither rusted nor leaked a drop (knock on wood). At the time I think the job cost about 300 but I really feel it was worth it. Hope that helps you.
Hi Eric, Thanks for the response. Is it true that you can't buy a new tank for a 27 touring? Since the inside of my tank was coated many years ago, are they able to clean out the old stuff or do they just coat over it?
26/27 tanks are not made.
The old stuff has to come off. We take ours to a place that acid strips car bodies. Any rust left in the tank will not allow any coating to stick, it has to be clean. Your other option is to find a better tank that is clean inside and hope for the best. There are tanks out there.
Seems like buying another used tank might be a crapshoot. Then again, I have read complaints about Renu. The job is only as good as the tech who is doing the work. I can't believe my luck, it seems you can buy a new tank for any T except a 26/27. Given my current problem, should I just buy a new Fuel shutoff/sediment bowl, or try cleaning/repairing the one I have?
Sometimes MEK, or acetone will remove those older coatings. If it melts out, flush it completely, then let it sit with the gas cap off and sediment off, out in the hot sun for a couple of days. Then get some alcohol proof sealer and re coat it, and again, let it ventilate and harden in the hot sun for a day or so. Should solve the problem!
It does make sense that if ethanol is breaking it loose, acetone should as well. Certainly worth a try. I guess the big challenge is getting the tank out.
Remove the tank (it sucks to do, put aside a bunch of time and gather up your favourite swear words) and take it to the nearest rad and tank shop to be flushed and sealed. Removing and reinstalling a late model open car tank is a chore and a half and not something youíll want to do more than once because you half-assed the job. Do it right and do it once.
I finally bit the bullet and did that a couple months ago on mine and feel like a complete idiot for not doing it right in the first place.
You likely wonít have to replace your sediment bulb or screen. The screen itself unscrews from the bottom and mineís always blown clear with compressed air. The couple times it was also discoloured by tank rust I let the screen sit in a little bowl of CLR for a bit followed by a thorough rinse in water then WD40 to get it 100% cleaned up.
On my '26 gas tanks I didn't have to deal with any bad coating, but there was plenty of rust and scale in there that kept clogging the fuel outlet to the screen. Don't know if this would work or not, but I took my tank, filled with exactly 100 1" concrete nails (so I knew how many had to come out when done), put a car inner tube around it, fit it in my dryer, inflated the tube, and then ran it for several air dry cycles. The nails broke out the rust and scale and allowed me to flush the crud out of there. I used a (I believe) POR-15 gas tank cleaner and sealer product. A couple years later and a bunch of gallons of oxygenated fuel, I still have clean screens and no fuel starvation issues.
Call Bob (815-633-7244) at Bobs Antique Auto Parts to see if he has a good used tank. I got one from him about 6 months ago. I have found Bobs to be a good source for good used parts.
I like the dryer idea. Another method is to jack up a tractor, attach the tank to a wheel with bungees, and let the turning wheel rotate the tank. Some folks put a chain inside because it's easier to remove than nails.
I used a sealant in the tank for my boat. This is a Diesel tank. So far working great.
I should add that I cut openings in the tank to clean it out and then screwed on stainless steel covers using the same sealant as gaskets. Not sure if you can do this with a 27 Model T tank.
I am so glad I found this forum and really appreciate all of the great advise. Thank you all very much. I am going to put my air conditioner in my workshop, lay down some plastic and try to take this tank out. The air conditioner is to keep the swear words to a minimum. Then I will have to decide which way to proceed. Thanks again, I will keep you posted on my progress.
Paul, here is a link showing how I cleaned mine several years ago.
I live nearby and will send you a PM thru the forum. It may show up in your spam folder.
Unless the tank leaks, why would you put sealer in it, the best way to seal a tank is tank is fix it. I'm sure a radiator shop could clean and solder it if needed. I had to re-install my tank when I purchased my 26 touring. You DON'T have to take out the steering column. Mine had the dash plate out and that wasn't to hard to re-install. My car has a later valve and glass sediment bowl. It is easy to see and clean. Possibly you could just leave the tank and install something like this that you can see and clean easier, until it cleans up. I'm sure that you will get it worked out. It is not a doom and gloom situation. You will enjoy that car immensely. Welcome to club.
The new tank sealer is great. I bought it at auto parts store. Cleaned tank the best I could and blew a fan at it for a couple days and set it in the sun for a couple more. Coated the inside and that was a couple years ago on my 26. I spilled a bit of the sealer on the garage floor and it took a chisel to remove it. Make sure to clean the threaded fitting and where cap screws on before it dries. Its not easy to get the tank back in but its doable with 3 hands and the right vocabulary.
Dale, Cool idea. I see someone also used a cement mixer. I might just try that, since I have one. I have not figured out how to use PM yet. Are you in Mercer county Pa?
Paul click on persons name and at the bottom of their profile it says click here to send private message. Type message and send.
Once took a '26-'27 tank to my radiator guy to fix a seep, and he found two, one was thin metal from wear under one of the straps, the other was the internal overflow pipe.
He cut a section to patch the wear spot and peeked into the tank. When I picked it up he said the inside physical repair of the internal overflow pipe would requires the ends to be un-soldered to get around those 2 baffles. And he said he didn't do because of costs.
So I had still the little seep from the overflow, but fixed that by corking both ends and pouring in sealer, coating the internal surface of that pipe. Fixed it, been fine for now 14 years. The tank inside wasn't rusty to start with thank goodness
Texas T used to provide refurbish work (photo from their website) on these tanks prior to purchase by Birdhaven, but they may still do this?
Paul, when you remove the electric wire loom from the terminal bar on the firewall, be sure to tag each wire. and do disconnect the hot lead from the battery.
removing the tank is not a problem. Reinstalling is where the @#$%&*% starts. Your trying to hold the tank in position with one hand and thread bolts with the other. Jerry
The tank in a '27 touring car is a major PIA. I agree with Eric that you will almost certainly end up pulling the steering column. I also ended up pulling the instrument cluster (such as it is). The Ford bible says that you don't have to do this; if you know how to push a watermelon through a keyhole without damaging it, you probably can get the tank out without taking half the car apart, but I couldn't. Since the tank doesn't show and all that I want is a good driver, I had a spare tank professionally cleaned and internally recoated. It works well. These tanks are not reproduced, so I'm saving the original in the event that I ever need a replacement.
Gas tanks are made of steel, usually galvanized steel to resist rusting. ALL gas tanks WILL condense water inside. Sooner or later, they will rust if some measure is NOT taken.
Ethanol or methanol alcohol will absorb small amounts of moisture and carry it through the system to be burned in the cylinders.
Gas tank coatings will seal the surfaces against water contact and the inevitable rusting.
Paul is the second case I have heard of in the last two weeks, where the tank coating has been dissolved by the gasoline used. Looks like it will be important to ensure the coatings can contend with ethanol or other gas additives.
Check with radiator repair places. They often boil out the tank and can provide coating services.
1926-1927 Touring & Roadster tanks are a little harder to remove than coupe & tudor tanks, but they are not bad to do and you DO NOT have to remove the steering column, dash, etc to do it. The instructions are published in the Ford Service Bulletin. You donít have to struggle with these... All you have to do is follow the instructions!
Nobody reproduces Model A gas tanks either.
It baffles (pun intended) me that the vendors will reproduce gas tanks that you essentially have to sit on, but won't reproduce gas tanks that hang under the cowl over your legs.
Using the car often will keep out the water. Gas is heavier than water so the water settles to the bottom. The sediment bulb should be drained from time to time to get that water out.
Many years ago I had a Volkswagen. That car didn't have a gas gauge but had a lever you kick when the gas gets low. That lever opens a passage lower than the regular outlet from the tank. I used to fill the tank before it got low enough to need to kick the lever, so the water settled to the bottom and eventually rusted a hole in the tank. The reason I say this is that if you live in a humid area moisture can condense inside the tank and settle to the bottom and if you don't either drive often or drain the sediment bulb from time to time, you will have a similar problem.
To Adam, I did follow the instructions and the tank would not come out or go in without doing what I listed. I was an ASE certified mechanic for decades - believe me, I always look for the easiest way to do a job. The tank would not come out without pulling the column.
Thanks for all of the great advise! The car is in the workshop and ready for tank draining. Then all I have to do is pull the tank and fix or have it fixed and replace. Oh yea clean the sediment bulb. I really want to drive this thing. We have attempted to take it for ice cream twice and had to turn around a mile down the road. The first time, I blew a muffler. What have I gotten myself into? And, I need a new ignition switch. They tell me there is only one manufacturer and they are having production problems. Long back order. Wow, I have a lot to learn!
The steering column is not in the way, but you will have to remove it if you are taking the dash out. Some of you might cringe how I avoided that extra work. I followed the instructions in the Ford book but the tank would not drop past the lower edge of the dash. I took a wide flat bar, and placed it between the tank and the dash. With a little brute force, the tank will slide along the bar pushing the dash out about one half inch releasing the tank. It takes more force to permanently bend Ford steel so the dash springs back just fine. Reverse to replace the tank, unless you can't bear scratches on the tank in places where nobody will see it. Then you WILL have to remove the dash.
I did it the same way John did, except I did end up bending the flange under the dash. Once the tank was reinstalled I straightened the flange and nobody will ever know.
Progress report - The job was going super easy. I was following the ford manual and starting to get a little cocky. Then it came time to drop the tank out. The manual makes it sound sooo easy. That old heffer ain't coming out without a fight! I closed up the shop and had some dinner. Too much fun in one day just isn't right, so I'll save some for tomorrow. The manual makes it seem like it should roll out from the bottom. There is no way the fuel line fitting is going to clear the firewall. I am going to have to force the top down against the bottom edge of the dash like others have done. I just hope I don't bend the dash. Thanks for all the help! Perhaps I will have an epiphany in my sleep.
I removed my tank last year for cleaning/sealing. The Black Book Lies when it comes to Touring/Runabout. On my car, like so many others you will need to completely remove the dash, not an easy task.
Had remove a couple of stanchion bolts to get the end screws out, Unbolted the steering column at the firewall only to be able to lower it a little. Removed the nuts on the brake and reverse pedals so to swing them out of they way. Discovered I didn't need to mess with the pedals at all with the dash out.
I was really hoping not to remove the dash. I am afraid I will bugger it up if I do. I will fight with it again tomorrow.
The dash itself comes out easier than you think. The worst part is getting at the corner bolts on the edges. Easiest way to get at those is to remove the kick panels on the sides. Some folks have had great success sort of "rolling" the gas tank out and back in when completed. I'm just not one of them. Make sure you disconnect the battery so you don't short out any connections while working under there.
UPDATE - Good news! A little force down on the top front of the tank, well a lot of force. The top of tank forced the dash forward and it popped out. Didn't hurt a thing!, not even a scratch! Thank you all immensely for the help! I think I am going to take it to a pro. I don't want to have to take it out ever again. Now on to the sediment bowl. Mine does not look like any of the pictures posted. New day, new challenge. Thanks again, you guys are great!
Fun part will be getting it back in .
I have done a few.
Most, if not all 1926 cars, you must remove the dash panel. On most 1927 cars you do not.
There is a difference in the cowl that allows the tank to drop right out of the later cars.
I have had my Ď26 touring tank out twice.
It does NOT come out without removing the instrument panel.
Maybe the tanks are different, but some come out easy. Some wonít.
I'm under the suspicion that the closed cars have a little more distance between the firewall and the dash. I've read wear people would almost brag that with a little wiggling it dropped right out of there coupe/sedan. Seems everyone with a touring/runabout had to remove the dash. Like me.
Would be fun to see if someone who has both to take a measurement od that distance.
I have had the tank drop right out on a late Ď27 touring.
I tried to measure any difference in the cowl with my Ď26 touring and could not find a difference.
I did not try to measure the tanks.
Still Another Update - Well, I thought I was going to take it to a pro. The waiting list is too long, so I picked up the POR kit today. As someone said, "nothing like the feeling of doing it yourself". I hope I am doing the right thing!
Firewall to dash measurements
Thanks Dale , You proved my theory. An inch and a half would have made it easy to get my tank out.
I sealed my tank about 12 years ago. Worked fine for many years. This year it started shedding large pieces of the coating and clogging up everything. I removed the tank and tried to clean it out with nuts and bolts, shaking around inside. Could not get it clean, finally took it to a radiator shop. Old guy cut the tank open, removed the crud manually and with some chemicals. He welded it it back together and pressure tested it. I have not put it back in the car yet, but hopefully it works. Next time I will only coat a fuel tank as a last option, if nothing else works.
I cleaned and recoated mine. Mine was coated 25 or 30 years ago, perhaps longer? I am hoping the new products are better and can handle ethanol as the manufacturers say. It cleaned up nice and the coating looks good. It has a couple of more days to dry and I will try to jam it back in. I hope I get a bunch of trouble free years out of it. Perhaps someone will be making a tank for a 27 by the time mine goes bad again. Thanks to everyone who helped me with this project!!
I will mention this one more time and clarify it this time.
The instructions you need to follow are in the Ford SERVICE BULLETINS... óNOTó the Ford Manual.
Iíve removed and replaced at least four 26/27 roadster or touring tanks following the instructions in the service bulletin with no major issues (without removing the dash or steering column).
Thank you Adam.
In the service bulletin essentials book the installing instructions are meager. Figure 103 is referenced on the previous page under removal.
Are there other instructions not in the essentials book?