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  • Fuel System: All-time dumb gas tank damage...

    I believe I have done one of the dumbest things I have ever done while working on a car. I wanted to jack up the rear end to try to determine the rear end ratio (another post). I ran my frame jack under the car to where it appeared to be under the differential. I stood up and pumped the jack- didn't feel right. Looked under the car- had the jack under the front of the gas tank. Needless to say I put a pretty good dent in the tank. I wouldn't worry about it much if it was my car, but this is the modified '53 I'm trying to help the owner sell. Any suggestions as to how to pop the dent out of the tank?
    I'm due for an eye appointment in two weeks- guess I REALLY need it.
    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  • #2
    Back before I owned Betsy (or before I could even drive for that matter) my older brother drove her for a bit. In highschool he attended auto shop. One day he had the car in the shop for some reason or another. During his class he did whatever it was that he wanted to, but left the car in one of the shop bays. Some moron in another class later that day did EXACTLY the same thing that you did!!! Her 18 gallon tank only holds about 12 now...

    I have an NOS tank for future installation, but look forward to the replies here.
    StudeDave '57
    US Navy (retired)

    3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
    SDC Member since 1985

    past President
    Whatcom County Chapter SDC
    San Diego Chapter SDC

    past Vice President
    San Diego Chapter SDC
    North Florida Chapter SDC

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    • #3
      How bad is the crease? If it is not real sharp, try putting the tank under air pressure and force it back out.
      I have had this work for me, also not work. Maybe you will get lucky.
      73, Jim

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      • #4
        Since the tank is easy to drop and drain, you might try air pressure. If the dent is not crimped, it may pop out. IIRC, I once installed an air fitting in the drain hole. Then, I made a solid plate and gasket to cover the fuel level sender. A piece of truck inner tube and double hose clamps sealed off the fuel filler. It only took a few PSI to pop out the dent. Your results may vary.

        I may have an extra tank if you need it.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
          Since the tank is easy to drop and drain, you might try air pressure. If the dent is not crimped, it may pop out. IIRC, I once installed an air fitting in the drain hole. Then, I made a solid plate and gasket to cover the fuel level sender. A piece of truck inner tube and double hose clamps sealed off the fuel filler. It only took a few PSI to pop out the dent. Your results may vary.

          I may have an extra tank if you need it.

          jack vines
          Thanks again. I thought about trying air. I guess I really should drop the tank anyhow. The gas smells a bit sour so I probably should dump it anyhow (or mix it with my tractor gas). I just hate to get in to things I wasn't counting on (even if it is a self-inflicted problem). The tank was perfect.
          Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
          '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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          • #6
            Paul, I would recommend dropping the tank, drain it, and then set it where you can get a good look at the dented area. I usually set a project out, set up a comfortable chair, and just sit and study it, while I consider my options.

            While the compressed air idea is tempting, it could also be dangerous. It is not so much the pressure that could cause harm but the "sum of the area under pressure" that could cause injury if it let go. A gas tank this age could have weak seams. Additionally, any time you are working with gasoline, safety is always paramount.

            Once you have the tank out, you could see if the hole for the sending unit could provide access to the dented area. If that is the case, you might be able to use something like a stout wooden dowel and a dead blow hammer to pop it back out.

            It would also give you an opportunity to determine if the pick up tube is in the proper place.

            I once owned a Hawk that would act as if it had run out of gas with almost a half tank. I removed the sending unit and using a flashlight saw that the pick up tube had somehow been raised off the bottom. Using a small wooden dowel I was able to bend it back into place.

            I know you feel bad about the incident, but just to let you know you are not alone, I once backed into a car I was repairing for a very good friend's boss. (the old saying..."no good deed goes unpunished" comes to mind.) Suddenly, my little brake job became much more involved!
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              53K..
              There is another consideration..
              If the bottom of the tank has been pushed up.. Well it can bend the fuel pick up tube up.. Then it won't reach the bottom of the tank.. You will run out of fuel at something much less than empty..
              Ask me how I know!
              Your best bet ius dropping it and being sure the fuel pick up is on the bottom..
              Ron
              Last edited by ronhusak; 05-02-2011, 06:03 PM.
              Ron Husak
              Conifer, CO
              Living at 9200 feet and lovin it!
              63 avanti R2 63R-2648

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              • #8
                You can take it to a body shop. After you drain it. They can pull the dent with a stud welder, (after they fill it with water).
                They prep the dented area to bare metal, and then electrically weld a "pin" to the dent, and pull the pin to remove the dent.
                Then cut the pin flush, and a little grinding, and under coating, and it's as good as new. I have a stud welder (unispotter)in my arsenal of body tools.
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Depending on the contour of the dent, an air suction tool may also do the job.
                  "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                  Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                  Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                  '33 Rockne 10,
                  '51 Commander Starlight,
                  '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                  '56 Sky Hawk

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                  • #10
                    Paul you think this might be the dumbest thing you have done? think again I know of another....
                    Candbstudebakers
                    Castro Valley,
                    California


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                    • #11
                      Stud Welders require heat.

                      Clean off the dent, and epoxy something like a handle, a big nut, or something you can hook onto, and pull away. Threaded rod will fit into the nut and you can make a slide hammer with the part sticking out.

                      Good luck.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 55s View Post
                        Stud Welders require heat
                        Paul already said the tank needed to be flushed anyways.
                        So?? what's the problem? If the tank is filled with water there will be no danger.
                        And they use very little heat as it is less than a second to electrically weld a pin.
                        Last edited by bezhawk; 05-03-2011, 04:21 AM.
                        Bez Auto Alchemy
                        573-318-8948
                        http://bezautoalchemy.com


                        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                        • #13
                          The hillbilly way would be to run a vacuum cleaner hose from the exhaust to the filler spout, duct tape both ends and rev the pss out of it. The carbon monoxide would force out all oxygen and the pressure may be enough to pop it before the car stalls. You may have a hard time getting permission, though
                          Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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                          • #14
                            Depending on where exactly the dent is I would first look to see if it can be seen from where the fuel sender hole is. If you can see the dent from there, then I would try hitting it out from there with a wooden dowel or broomstick, being careful not to do any damage to the sender opening although that is reinforced. I have also heard of purging the gas fumes out as warrlaw stated which should work fine although if you didnt use duct tape, then it fails the hillybilly description.....LOL. Let us know how you make out!
                            59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                            60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                            61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                            62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                            62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                            63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                            63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                            64 Zip Van
                            66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                            66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                            • #15
                              I've seen Rockne10's solution work on dented roofs and hoods. A toilet plunger works, sometimes.
                              Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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