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-   -   plastic fuel tanks (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-tech/plastic-fuel-tanks-23769)

graysworld 22 Oct 2006 10:42

plastic fuel tanks
Has anyone got experience of plastic tanks? I have found one at a scrap yard but I spoke to a diesel fitter who said he had a problem with the drain plug on one on a machine, the plug is bonded in and if it comes loose as it had, you need a new tank. I have also been thining that if you pucture one that's the end too. at least with steel you can weld or braze it. plastic is light though. The guy at the scrap yard said he thought all ivecos had plastic tanks, but mine is metal. Anyone know the max Km on one standard tank?


kevinrbeech 22 Oct 2006 10:58

Most Discoveries have "plastic" tanks, although I believe in this case it is termed "ABS". I've not holed mine, yet, but if I did I would use polyester and csm to repair it (fibreglass) after first roughing up the area with sand paper. I imagine a good epoxy filler would do a similar job.

graysworld 22 Oct 2006 11:21

Hi Kevin, does the epoxy/fibreglass stick? I imagine it would be hard to remove all traces of diesel.

kevinrbeech 22 Oct 2006 17:47

If cleaned with Acetone or Cellulose thinners you would remove virtually all traces of Diesel. Alternatively you could use Swafega or any washing-up liquid or washing powder to remove the Diesel. In all cases you would do best to sand afterwards to create a good key. In cases where some of the above are not available after washing with WUL leave in a warm place to dry and to warm the damaged area.
I prefer Epoxy to Polyester, I have repaired many different materials using it. The key to success is to prepare the suface well.

Frank Warner 23 Oct 2006 01:34

Motorcycles have been using plastic fuel tanks for many decades. They are more robust than the metal tanks - flex when hit rather than puncture. They tend to be made by the same people who do canoes and water tanks .. those people should be able to tell you how to repair them .. failing that a motorcycle shop?

Phil Flanagan 11 Nov 2006 20:03

GRAYSWORLD - i have fitted 2 plastic tanks to my iveco. Originally came with metal, but rusty as a fish bucket ! tried to clean up and restore but just wasn't worth it, yes possible to weld or solder seams - but not particularly easy !

I think very unlikely you could puncture one, they are built to high standards so able to maintain robustness in event of collision, a few bits of track debris aren't going to hurt.

Has your iveco got the tank protection bash plate fitted ? useful just in case debris becomes unmovable rock !


graysworld 11 Nov 2006 20:39

Hi Phil, mine has got the bash plate fitted. How have you got yours linked together?


Phil Flanagan 13 Nov 2006 09:53

Yep !
Fuel tank linking - I found a 120litre plastic tank. Fitted it in existing rear compartment (mines the ex RAF version) where they held generator. Linked two via bit of pipe work, included isolator valve, shoved small pump in top tank (sometimes needed to start the flow then gravity takes over). Works a treat. Now able to buy 180 litres of fuel when price is good !!!

take a look :


The only practical problems are that gravity & natural syphon will continue to keep feeding original tank even when it is full. Not a major issue so long as you have an isolator valve fitted in the pipeline somewhere and so can switch off.

I also fitted an lpg tank for running cooker (backup of the small 5kg gas bottles as well) The lpg tank was filled (it's the 40 litre version) in UK back in April just as I left and I am still using that original fill.

fitted 110 litre water tank.
for heating fitted s/h erberspacher diesel heater - excellent !


nigel_all 13 Nov 2006 17:43

Fuel guage
The steel tank on my Iveco is in good condition but a pathetic size; a plastic one would be fine but is there an Iveco tank of around 120 litres which fits in the same place and has a compatible fuel guage unit? Is it feasible to rewire to a non-Iveco tank's sender and get an accurate reading on the guage?

I was thinking of fitting another tank or the old one on the other side, with an electric transfer pump switchable from the dash, then you have constant control of the transfer of diesel to the main tank. (If the tanks are at the same level they won't siphon.) Or using a Y-piece in the fuel line to the second tank's pickup with a selector cock ('scuse the expression!) much like the old military twin tank Land Rover Lightweights. There should be an electrical version available nowadays. Then you can wire it to automatically transfer the guage sender to the second tank too so you can read the level in either tank from the cab. Or you could have a second guage, etc, etc!


Sam Rutherford 13 Nov 2006 19:42

Two of my Ivecos have plastic tanks.

A: not sure how you could puncture them
B: it's plastic - got a hole, glue it!


Luke 14 Nov 2006 18:02

Non stick
Hello vanners.
Been meaning to reply for a while.
Plastic tanks are generally blow moulded out of HDPE (you'll see it embossed somewhere). That's polyethylene. Good tough stuff, immune to uv and difficult to penetrate

BUT not much sticks to it, gluing involves acid etch, and fancy glues. Don't expect acetone or washing up liquid to help your glue stick.

Don't worry it's easy to weld once you've degreased it. A butane torch and a heavy rod of HDPE is enough. The trick is not to set fire to it (The pros use a heat gun)

Twin Tanks. My Daily has a 130 l alu tank on each side linked by a double Y just before the fuel filter. Each one has 2 shut off (Supply and return) valves. By sending the return to the opposite side I can transfer while driving. Despite the symmetry, when everything is open one tank always drains faster, then they equalise overnight.

The 130 l tank only just fits on the side of my lwb widened camper. I'm not sure what you could squeeze under a swb van.

happy trails.

Phil Flanagan 14 Nov 2006 19:11

Nigel - I looked for (and failed to find) suitable tank to fit the space which could gain significant extra storage, nearest I got was i think the tank off 40-10 could fit and if I remember holds about another 10 litres or so.
There was no way to get 120 litre tank in that existing space.
Was looking to get tank made to fit and that seemed feasible option, started talking to 'TekTanks' (i got my water tank made by them).
But then found this 120 litre one on ebay and that sort sealed the decision.
I agree with the electrically operated flow switch to transfer between two. was planning this but saved a few quid and utilised existing kit.
Guage wise - excellent idea and probablt achievable - but hey how important is it to have a guage reading inside the cab ??? I tend to only utilise my spare tank when really needed and just transfer when stopped and when i 'see' tank full just close valve.
remember - "more there is fitted, more things to go wrong" - keep simple.

LUKE - you say 130litre each side ? so you have capacity to carry 260 litres ? WOW, that's excellent.


nigel_all 15 Nov 2006 10:32

You are right, Phil, always remember the KISS principal (Keep It Simple, Stupid)! But it's interesting to dream up these ideas, isn't it.

I have two other problems with mine re the tanks. The WM 'paramedic' ambulance body is hugely tough but very heavy and mounts on rubber blocks. So it moves independently to the chassis/cab, with the built-in twist of the chassis meaning I need quite a bit of clearance above the tank or the body hits it. The tank must be fairly shallow or, mounted low, it'll be hitting the ground on the rough stuff. I need a longer tank to increase the capacity, basically.

The weight issue means a lot of diesel can be a problem, what with gas tanks, camper conversion etc etc. I assume your LWB is twin-rear-wheel, Luke? I have an upgrade plate as mine has air suspension on the rear but it's still only 4.5 tonne Gross. Still, being military, it has built-in storage for 4 20-litre Jerries, perhaps that's my solution on the KISS principle! (But can be a problem with ferry companies who only accept fixed tanks. You can't win!)

I guess we just need to find the solution which works best for each of us, but the way to that is by the interchange of ideas. Keep going, everyone!


Luke 15 Nov 2006 12:25

Bolt it to the box
I wouldn't have that capacity if it was attached to the chassis for the same reasons.
Mine simply has four bolts going through the floor with spreader plates. They're hidden by the furniture.
It's easy enough to do with some steel strapping and a spacer to avoid crushing the bits and bobs on the top.
My filler pipes go up through the floor (with a lot of mastic) and have lockable caps countersunk into the sides of the vehicle.
That way I also gain the extra height of the false chassis to which the box is attached.
There is also the added advantage of isolating the tank(s) from some of the chassis vibration.

I can't imagine having less range now, it really allows you to be choosy about where you fill up. Be it for cost reasons (you can fill up in the cheaper countries and drive through the more expensive ones with a 1800 km range!) or to preserve the motor (in 30000km in WA I simply didn't find any water in the fuel filters because I could wait to get to the big centers where there's less chance of the diesel being contaminated).

And the gauge drops slower than with a small tank, which has psychological benefits.

Mine started life as single rear wheels, but whether it was for weight or width reasons, the constructor swapped the bolts for the standard twin wheeled Daily long ones and twinned the wheels. It's 2.2m wide and the tyres are flush with the bodywork.
Problem is that I can't use anything bigger than 7.5 x 16, and even then I can't put 4 x XZLs on the back. For a 50/50 mix I run an XZY inside and an XZL outside. Ideally I would have custom built inside rims with a bigger offset (there's space) but as it's going on the market next spring I'm looking at bigger projects.

It sits well on its Ghanaian (sp?) made rear spring packs even at 5.5 tonnes.

The preparation is a large part of the fun isn't it.

happy trails

graysworld 3 Jul 2007 21:33

Cargo tank for 40.10
Just bought a plastic tank from an Iveco cargo 7,5 ton. it is the same length as the old one just wider and deeper. I have offered it up and it fits straight on the chassis with its own brackets (no holes to drill). it is a bit lower but no lower than the step to the cab so I guess it will be fine. it also comes out flush with the cab so all seems OK. The sender unit is the same, as are the pipe fittings. I will post a photo when its fitted. don't know how many litres but it is more than the old one!


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