Clogged fuel filters, dirt in the carburetor, floats sticking, hard starting, gas gauges that don’t work … these are just a few of the fun things a dirty, scale-filled, rusty, 50-year-old gas tank can provide you. Nothing takes the joy out of driving an old car more than continuous problems. Happily, a cure for the rusty tank blues is available and the installation is a simple weekend project.

First and foremost, whenever you are working with gasoline take all the proper precautions. Contain all the fuel in sealed, gasoline-approved containers and keep the room well ventilated as gasoline fumes can accumulate like a blanket on the floor and an errant spark from a drill or other source could easily ignite the fumes. Keeping a fire extinguisher handy is a good idea too.

The subject of our tank swap is a ’62 Chevrolet with several fuel delivery problems related to dirt and rust, plus we wanted to upgrade to a modern in-tank fuel pump and plumb the car with a return line should we want to install an electronic fuel injection system in the future. The fact that an electric fuel pump with return also delivers a steady stream of fuel and eliminates vapor lock problems was not lost on us either.

When it came time to order the new all–stainless steel gas tank we turned to Rock Valley Antique and Street Rod Parts and then contacted Aeromotive for all of the support hardware and the in-tank fuel pump. All this nice clean gasoline will eventually flow through a new Holley carburetor, ensuring that all our fuel problems will be totally resolved in one good weekend.

Before we began work, our ’62 was driven until the gas tank was nearly empty; this made draining the fuel easier. After raising the car on the lift the drain plug was removed and the gasoline was drained into safe fuel containers. Be certain to have ample containers on hand because one thing is certain, there is always more fuel in the tank than you think. If you are certain the fuel level is low enough you could also carefully lower the gas tank with a small amount of gas in it, then pour it into containers, but at roughly 6 pounds a gallon the weight can add up in a hurry.

With the tank drained and fuel safely stored we disconnected the fuel line from the tank. Since we are going to run all-new fuel lines this was a simple matter of cutting the rubber fuel line with a pair of side cutters. Note, if you are cutting a steel line never use an electric saw as the sparks from the electric motor and the residual fuel in the line will definitely ignite, use a hack saw or appropriate cutters only.

Next we disconnected the wires to the fuel tank sending unit and then moved to the filler neck connection. The large hose clamp was removed from the tank side of the filler neck hose and then after some prying with a large screw driver we were able to remove the hose from the tank.

With everything disconnected from the tank we loosened the nuts on the gas tank straps to lower the tank down and finally out of the car. We were pleased to remove the gas tank without removing any of the suspension components, like sway bars or the Panhard bar. In some cases the tailpipes may have to be moved to permit removal of the tank. The old tank was stored outside the shop since it is filled with volatile fumes.