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rteker
10-16-2009, 06:53 PM
It appears that my tank has a small leak between the upper and lower tank halves along the seam in front. There is no signs of any impact damage. This tank is supported by three (3) fasteners thru the seam to the frame with no straps to support the bottom half of the tank. Is this scenario typical of the gas tanks?

maxpower1954
10-16-2009, 07:27 PM
No, I've never seen or heard of a seam leak, and I've owned my 63 GT for over 20 years. I did have the gas tank fall out of a 64 Hawk I was test driving once (I didn't buy that one.) It's an easy car to drop the tank for repair and cleaning. Russ Farris

Tom B
10-16-2009, 07:32 PM
Yes, the suspension system on your Hawk is similar to thousands of other Studebakers. Disconnect the fill and fuel lines, the gage wire(s) and those three fasteners will drop your tank. Take it to a radiator service facility for service.

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Tom Bredehoft
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rteker
10-16-2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks Tom for the info on repair. I was wondering if anyone has tried to put some sort of strapping under the tank.

PlainBrownR2
10-16-2009, 08:52 PM
I have had this happen to my Lark a couple of years ago, and I think it may have also been due to the overly heavy toolbox I was transporting on top of the tank in the trunk to SB a couple weeks before. It was funny though because this had happened right after I had finished signing the final application for a summer job with Walmart [:o)]. I had come out and I detected the faint odor of fuel from the drivers side. I looked under and yep, coming from somewhere around the tab on the fuel tank.
There are also three points where the tank is bolted to the frame. The tank has the tabs welded to the tank, and whether it was stress, age, and/or rust, it had rusted through the weld and starting leaking out of the tab. I had to wait a couple weeks to get the tank(which the Lark is now sporting one of the last NOS tanks left), but in the meantime, I believed I use JB Weld to slow the leak. Since the leak was at the halfway point on the tank, I would only fill the tank halfway with fuel, since the rest would dribble out the seam anyway. I know two things came from this little incident; who would design a tank in this fashion where the hardware is mounted to the physical surface rather than say a set of straps, and it gave credence of why I wanted to go to a Jegs fuel cell in the next car, but that's just me.

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Milaca
10-16-2009, 09:09 PM
The right side of my gas tank dropped down to the exhaust pipe at the Cedar Rapids meet on my '63 Hawk, but only because the trunk floor rusted through. I fastened it back up with a battery hold down bolt along with the jack base being used to bridge the gaping hole in the floor. It made the 350 mile trip back home. As for the tank construction, I think it is fine. If you had straps supporting it from underneath, the straps would hold moisture and rust through the tank (just like the rusted through tank on my 1996 F-150).

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rockne10
10-16-2009, 09:15 PM
I've seen far more brand X tanks rust through between the tank and straps than I've ever seen Stude tanks rust at the mounting points.

PlainBrownR2
10-16-2009, 10:10 PM
It's a lazya** design to a very simply constructed tank. There should be nothing mounted to the actual tank as the rust penetrated the mount and the tank, and we ended up with a fix where the tank had to be pulled. If it were a roadside fix where the mount rusted through, it'd make repairs doubly difficult because the tank has been compromised as well. Like I said, next time its a plastic fuel cell with the straps.

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Warren Webb
10-20-2009, 08:37 AM
Other manufacturers used straps to secure the tanks, but they were held to the body (trunk floor) rather than being bolted directly to the frame as on Studes. You could use a strap arrangement on a Stude but securing it properly as was on brand X cars with a long bolt from the trunk floor, brackets needed, ect would it really benefit the outcome for all that work? Perhaps just fabricate brackets to reinforce the tank mount on the frame with rubber or felt in between so there isnt any metal to metal contact.

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gordr
10-20-2009, 10:16 AM
There is nothing inherently wrong with Studebaker's tank mounting system, and nothing inherently superior with straps. I wonder of the OP's problem is not a seam leak, but perhaps a leak from the sending unit gasket that is trickling over the front edge of the tank and accumulating on the flange?

I scrapped out a big saddle tank off a truck that had rusted through under the straps. The tanks with straps can also be a PITA to change. I did the one in my '96 Suburban a while ago, and it was a major undertaking.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Retired
10-20-2009, 11:29 AM
All suggestions and information are very good but, remember Studebaker or other automobile manufactures didn't design their products to remain trouble for fifty years.

Richard

JDP
10-20-2009, 11:45 AM
quote:Originally posted by rteker

It appears that my tank has a small leak between the upper and lower tank halves along the seam in front. There is no signs of any impact damage. This tank is supported by three (3) fasteners thru the seam to the frame with no straps to support the bottom half of the tank. Is this scenario typical of the gas tanks?


Make sure the leak is really at the seam since fuel leak from the sender will collect on that ridge and make it look like a seam leak.

JDP/Maryland

PlainBrownR2
10-20-2009, 06:03 PM
Welp, I've explained it, and as they say, ignorance is bliss, perfection of the design of the tank is not, the smell of a leaking fuel tank at the Stude meets is unmistakeable, and a lit cigarette within the vicinity is an invitation.....




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