Article Comment: Long Range Fuel Tanks

New to the market after this article was written are poly long range tanks. They are extremely strong, have no welds to open up, and are a fraction of the weight. One disadvantage with some are they lack a drain plug.
Here is a link to ARB's version, but there are others. http://www.arb.com.au/frontier-long-range-fuel-tank/
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Reply By: Roachie Silverado - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:34

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:34
I drive a Chev Silverado these days.

The original tank in these is a 135 litre poly tank.

The one in my truck has been upgraded to a 215 litre long range unit and it too is made of poly.

Yes, it would be nice to have a drain bung, but I'm happy with the way it is. Pretty bloody tough unit!!

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 20:09

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 20:09
Hi Roachie,
Just about to take delivery of a 2015 Denali,..... can I ask where you sourced ur 215 litre poly tank, I'm assuming it is a replacement tank not an auxiliary tank.
Does it hang down further that the original tank?
Thanks in anticipation
Tony
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Reply By: Member. Rob M (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:39

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:39
Hi Chris,
Thanks for the heads up. I hadn't seen these before. I just picked up my new 200 series and was contemplating a combination diesel / water tank from long ranger, but I may just wait and see what ARB are going to do.
Can't even get a bull bar or snorkel for it at this stage as the new update model has different panel work. Not much but just enough to be a pain.
Rob
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Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:05

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:05
Chris, like the idea of the weight saving, but no drain plug.............. short sighted some what.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:12

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:12
I have rotationally moulded plastic fuel tanks made from DIY moulds in the OKA.
If you can work with sheet metal you can make your own mould to have tanks rotationally moulded.
Threaded fittings can be spin welded in wherever you need them (including a drain plug).
Once you have a mould, you can have as many made as you wish and they can be moulded any wall thickness you wish. Virtually bullet proof, vibration proof and rock proof.
A mould is less complicated than a steel tank.

A drain plug could easily be added to a commercially made tank.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:30

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:30
I don't see no drain plug as a big issue. I agree with Peter a drain plug could be added. I will leave it as is till I get some bad fuel which may not happen, and in the meantime I do not have to worry about a drain plug coming out and losing fuel. If I get bad fuel I will drill a drain hole and fill it with a screw or whatever and make a more permanent plug when I get to civilisation.
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Reply By: Stephen F2 - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:06

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:06
Hiya wondering if these new tanks sold by ARB allow fuel Gauge to work still.Thanks
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:42

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:42
Fuel gauge works like other big replacement tanks , takes a couple of hundred K's to move off full
If you have a computer with DTE , it will no longer be accurate.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:17

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:17
The only thing replaced is the tank. The original pickup, filter and gauge are used. The gauge still works but takes a lot longer to come down. Typically the gauge does not move until you have done 200+ k's and when the warning light comes on you still have 200+ k's left.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:21

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:21
'
Fuel gauges indicate the height of fuel in a tank. If the new long-range tank is of similar height to the one it replaces then the properly transferred gauge will still correctly indicate the height of fuel in the tank. Some tanks are irregular in shape so the gauge indication may not be truly proportional to the volume of fuel, only the height.

If the gauge does not indicate 100% when the tank is full, or does not move down until some fuel is consumed, then it has not been set up correctly. My gauge reads close to correct at zero and 100%. ARB did a good job.

As you say Jackolux, the DTE would require recalibration for a tank volume change. This may be difficult if the tank shape is irregular.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 at 13:33

Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 at 13:33
The idea with long range tanks is top empty them and then fill with say 20L.
Bend the sender so that is lights the dashboard empty light at this level. Doesn't really matter how full it is, just know when you are coming close to disaster.

My Longranger water.diesel tank has around 300Km before the gauge even notices anything is gone. It has a built in water tank that stops the gauge getting right to the top.
Its not a problem as you quickly learn what range your tanks give you. Just make sure you know when its becoming empty.
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Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:00

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:00
I checked out these poly tanks last year at a show , before ARB became the seller .
They do look good , there was a video of a bloke belting the crap out of it with a sledgehammer and a drop test , it just bounced .
My consern is , l have a Dmax and from photos l have seen they do hang down lower than the chassis rails , l really don't know how they would go with sharp rocks .
I know my std tank is poly but it is tucked up higher and has a protection plate of sorts .

I get around the Highcountry, plenty of rocks up there , the Longranger 140Lt tank l had in my Hilux took a hell of a beating , plenty of dents and scares , it took a really big hit in a river crossing , bent the tank so it was rubbing on the rear spring , it took quite a few big hits with a crowbar to bend it off the spring .

The Longranger tank might weigh a lot more , but they are bloody strong , mine never leaked .
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:09

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:09
I don't think there'd be a lot of weight difference between the aluminiumised steel and poly.
Beside my Longranger, I have a 60lt Boab Dolium extra tank on board, its weight is fairly substantial as they are quite thick walled.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 23:25

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 23:25
The poly ones are less than half the weight of steel. I have a D-Max and don't see the tank position as any issue. I looked to covering it with a bash plate, but in the end did not as I did believe the effort was worth it. They are very strong and I have never heard of one being broken. The big advantage as I see it, apart from the weight, is being plastic it cannot suffer metal fatigue. The welds on the steel tanks have been known to open up.
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Follow Up By: Supersi - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 02:42

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 02:42
I've fitted one of the ARB poly tanks to my BT 50. Original tank was 80ltrs, new tank 140 ltrs, dry weight variance is only +8kg.

I have no concern with regard to sharp rocks cutting into it, they are well made. Have a look at ARB's videos, driving over one of the tanks with a vehicle and belting it repeatedly with a sledge hammer.

I have addressed the distance to empty issue by using a scangauge.
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Follow Up By: Lachie - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:49
Hi
I am interested also in putting in a long range fuel tank in which would be a ford ranger.
I am concerned about the the fuel gauge and the fuel computer -- LT/100, distance covered , distance to empty.
How is it going with the BT 50?
Here is a couple of articles from a new ranger site.


long range fuel tanks

Postby Boots » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:25 pm
Still waiting for my frontier tank to arrive. Not overly concerned about trip computer any more. Did some serious 4WDing today with some steep climbs and descents. Played merry hell with the trip computer and the fuel gauge. Around 1/4 of an hour or so going down hill and the gauge went from around 1/2 full down to 1/4 full and stayed there for ages, then when I was going up the other side, the litres per 100 Kms average went from 14.5 to over 17, as you would expect. Trip computer then told me I had 129 Km to empty (with half a tank). Then I had a long mostly downhill drive out of the high country and 90 of Kms later, I still had 129 Kms to empty. I must admit, I hadn't paid much attention before I started looking at long range tanks, but it seems like the trip computer is fine on hwy or relatively flat roads, but chucks a wobbly in the steep stuff.

And then concerns on what is left in the tank.

I have had the brown Davis 145l tank for a few months now.
Every time it says it's empty it can only take about 120litres leaving approx 25 to 30 in the tank.
Has anyone run their ranger until fuel cutoff on any of these?
Any one done any modification?
Any feedback please.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:59

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:59
You'll possibly be able to get the computer recalibrated to the new tank size, but probably best to just learn your vehicle tanks new little idiosyncrasies.
Eg a few tests on fuel used until the needle is on full (for my tank it's 400km and 40lt used), then what's in the tank at various stages, particularly when on say 1/4 tank, when fuel warning light comes on, and empty on gauge.
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Follow Up By: Supersi - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 21:45

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 21:45
Lachie, the only way to resolve the DTE that I'm aware of is to use an aftermarket gauge, I'm using a Scangauge.

If the tank to on board computer algorithm could have been redone it would have been according to the ARB guy who heads up the Fronier tanks.

The Frontier tank for the BT 50 and PX Ranger is 140 ltr capacity, but again from direct conversations with Stewart from ARB's Frontier tanks the best that they achieved in testing was 132 usable ltrs before the computer senses low fuel and goes into limp mode.

I have set my Scangauge on a DTE of 128 ltrs. Still a lot better than the original tank where it might have been possible to get about 72 usable ltrs.

This usable capacity of the Frontier tank is similar to my previous experience with steel long range tanks in other vehicles.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:04

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:04
With my old 100 series I had two tanks so did not get to concerned when one was getting low. At the first splutter just switch to the other tank. With my D-Max and one 140 lt tank I will carry a 5 lt container of diesel so I can get the full range out of the tank. I am of the school that likes to run my tank right out on a regular basis so I do not get a build up of water and other contaminants, they are filtered out on a constant basis. I had not thought of the newer vehicles going into limp mode if fuel is low. I need to find this out as I will be out in the deserts later this year because your carrying capacity is not important, its your usable capacity that important.
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Follow Up By: Lachie - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 08:35

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 08:35
Another idea I am thinking about or has been suggested to me is a secondary tank in either a slim tank under the tray or one in the tray..

http://www.enmachind.com.au/product-category/poly-rv-accessories/rv-4wd-diesel-tanks/
Lachie
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Follow Up By: Supersi - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:06

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:06
Lachie, the second tank has a lot of merit, separate tank in case one does leak or contamination.

I was concerned about weight distribution between front and rear axle and also if the tank was to be positioned behind the rear axle - I didn't want that weight there if I could avoid it, which in my case it would have been as I have a water tank under the tray at the front.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:30

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:30
A second tank is a very good idea. I would not be overly concerned about weight distribution as most of the time it will not be full. I would normally keep about 100 kilometres of fuel in it so you can get the full range of your main tank without fear of being stranded. You only fill it right up when outback when you need more range. Use it up first and if your at all worried about weight distribution, just take it easy until it is down to about 100 km's left. Does not have to be that big, but it is very comforting knowing that should the main tank run out, you know how many kilometres you have left. I have one 140 lt long range tank but I always carry a 10 litre container of fuel for just in case situations. Its just a cheaper way of having a second tank.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Feb 12, 2016 at 09:01

Friday, Feb 12, 2016 at 09:01
These aren't actually new to the accessory market. They were made for a number of years by AutoXtras whom ARB recently bought out.

Mine has performed well. Once filled, the dash gauge doesn't move for a while and then drops as per usual. Half full there is exactly half the tank's usable capacity left. The walls are about 8mm thick. It doesn't displace the spare or hang lower than anything else - but its lowest point runs further up the vehicle and so picking a line over rocks needs more care.

It's probably the only mod of the vehicle that I'd recommend without qualification.
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