On the previous page we
discussed options of factory and dealer-installed auxiliary fuel tanks.
However, the aftermarket has a few options as well which we'll discuss
here too, and we'll also show a few alternate installations from other truck
When it comes time to
installing a different fuel tank, especially if you decide to mount it
in the bed of your truck, there are several things to keep in mind.
First of all, you might want to check into what's legal in your area as
far as fuel tanks legal for street use.
For those of you
considering mounting an auxiliary tank in the bed of your truck, please
remember you must be cautious when hauling cargo.
In the event of a panic stop, all your bed's contents are going to shift
VERY rapidly in a forward direction and could very likely puncture the
tank...NOT a good thing, obviously! It's always best to add some sort of
protective barrier around the tank for protection, something a bit more
solid than a piece of tin. Use your imagination...maybe fabricate
something from aluminum or steel diamond-plate, which is not only
attractive but very sturdy.
One thing that might to
come mind is installing an aftermarket fuel cell, designed for use with
racing vehicles in mind. However, according to
Nine Things You Should Know About Fuel Cells
published on Off-RoadWeb.com:
"Currently, fuel cells are
not legal for use on vehicles operated on public roads. We haven't found
a fuel cell yet that has been approved for on-highway use by the
Department of Transportation (D.O.T), and a fuel cell won't pass the
visual inspection by a smog referee even if the factory fuel cap, filler
tube, and all emission equipment are in place. What this means is that
if your truck was built after 1974, you won't pass a smog inspection
with a fuel cell installed. Trucks built before 1974 aren't subject to
smog inspections, so you'll be safe. Any cop worth his doughnuts,
however, will issue you a citation for having a fuel cell installed on
your truck if he or she catches you on a public street."
Having said this, I can
also say there are many people who do indeed use a fuel cell in their
street-driven vehicle and have reported it's passed inspection without a
hitch. However, you might want to check the local regulations to make
Fig. 1 - This owner
simply removed the in-cab tank and mounted it along the front of the
bed. Functional, but probably not very safe. Some sort of study barrier
should be installed if the truck is to be used to haul cargo.
Fig. 2 - This '72 F-100, at first glance, appears to have been
fitted with the factory auxiliary tank...
Fig. 3 - ...until you take a look in the back. You can see two
tanks set up to fill from the outside.
Fig. 4 - This truck was equipped with a small fuel cell. You can
bet he doesn't take many road trips in THIS truck!