Gas tank install lone man and bungee cords

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Oct 20, 2005
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So I finally got around to replacing my gas tank on my '97 LX450 .. of course the inevitable battles with rusty bolts - fortunately many were installed so as not to be exposed to water and salt and came off quickly. Every one that went back was liberally coated in no-seize! Had to drill out the front DS strap bolt etc etc - most of those details and excellent tips like dropping the driveshaft have been posted by others

Getting the tank off the truck is pretty straightforward BUT installing the new one while working alone and without a hoist (axle stands only) was a problem. The new tank (empty) is still moderately heavy and has to be lifted and maneuvered around the frame and drive shaft to its final position and then held in position while the supporting straps are installed. While I could push the new tank under the vehicle ...there was not enough room to get my body under the tank to lift it. It was simply too awkward and heavy to lift it into position by myself while lying on my back head down completely prone on the garage floor.
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While staring at this insoluble problem as 24 years of road dirt fell into my face...I noticed that the tank had small holes in three of the corners of the welded 'lip' that surrounded it. AHAA! .. bungee cords. The beauty was that not only did the bungee cords allow me to lift the tank (one corner at a time) high enough by myself to get the tank balanced on a floor jack but their 'elastic stretch' also permitted me to maneuver the tank around the frame and clear the driveshaft while getting it into its final location which I could do while guiding the tank with one hand and operating the floor jack with my other hand.

FWIW -- maybe this will help someone else.. it was still a PITA job that I am not in a hurry to repeat. I also found and fixed a couple of leaky transmission coolant lines .. but thats another PITA story.
 
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Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
I replaced my straps with OEM after I "lost" a mounting bolt for the LSBPV between the tank and the supports; I was concerned about it wiggling around in there and wearing a hole in the tank.

The OEM tank was light enough for me to balance on my forearm while I positioned and secured the straps with my other hand. Did you replace the tank with a heavier aftermarket tank?
 
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Oct 20, 2005
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No — same size and weight … I also held my tank up with one hand when I replaced one of the straps … when the other is still keeping it generally in place … I couldn’t lift it by hand and hold it when I was flat on my back and not under it … that would have required my arm straight over my head … finding and holding a balance point while manoeuvring and pressing the tank up with arm outstretched … couldn’t do it … if you can … we’ll done!!! This wasn’t done with a hoist and the vehicle had little clearance underneath … I couldn’t get under the tank
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
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May I suggest a transmission jack for those like myself that enjoy working alone on their rigs. I've used mine for 3rd member work and installing a LRA 24 gal aux fuel tank. The Harbor Freight low lift works great at a reasonable price:


With the casters (and as you say jack stands, if necessary) you could roll it into place and lift it to right where you need it.
 
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Mar 17, 2019
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Georgia
Transmission jack here too, made it relatively easy. I do love the creativity and "work with what ya got" mentality though.

Jason
 
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Oct 20, 2005
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Great ideas and I really like that Harbour Freight unit … unfortunately there aren’t any Harbour freight in Canada that I know of. I see that the minimum height for Harbour Freight unit is 7 1/4” …so I’d also have to get another set of axle stands … my vehicle isn’t ‘lifted’ and the problem is the maximum height I can get the running boards above the ground with my current axle stands is 18” …. the tank is 14” high (when you measure it with the fuel pump line etc. — actually even a little higher with the fuel filler hose connected) for a total of 21 1/4” with the transmission jack set at its lowest…. It wouldn’t quite make it under. As it was I had to slide the tank under the vehicle first on a piece of cardboard in order for it to fit beneath the running boards.


Some pics — as you can see trying to salvage some of the brackets etc was futile… the leak was from the lowest rust spot you can see on the tank

898D4D63-D923-4EB2-BE15-6DE639595799.jpeg


AA055D30-12E1-4BCF-974C-3BF70B7529CE.jpeg
 

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