Inline Tube - Gas tank article
Inline Tube 1970 W-31 Gas Tank Detail Article
Installing the gas tank is the easy part that takes 10 minutes but the detailing
takes all day. It is all about the prep and the details. The tank alone will
make the underside look close to new but the details will give it the extra pop.
Inline tube carries all the tanks, straps, fuel sending units and the details to
make a tank just as it came out of the factory.
When the tanks were made there were
steel facilities all over the country. There was Wheeling Pittsburg in PA and
USS - United states steel and AMRCO was another one and most likely a few
more. When the steel was produced in sheets it was ink stamped with the facility
name and a date code and sometimes a lot number. If there was any steel problem
they could trace it to the manufacture and lot. This is pretty common in
manufacturing. This was all done while the sheets were still flat before any
stamping process. This steel was made in to tanks but could of been the side of
a washing machine for all the steel plant cared. Since the Ink was not meant to
last forever, 40 years later it is usually covered with grime, dirt and rust, if
not by the dealers favorite upgrade - undercoating.
Since the steel had a galvanized
finish there was no further coating and the steel sheets were stamped into gas
tanks. The 2 halfs were welded together and the ends bent over. The edge was
welded on a machine just like a sewing machine for metal. You can see the fine
track marks and the coating worn off where it was heated up. This is the first
place the tank started to rust. The seam was never coated to protect it and
either was the cut edges of the metal, so it is common the have the edge show
the color of rust. These inspection marks were added after the tank was
made and tested. The 20 was what the tank was pressure tested to 20PSI and the
inspectors were issued a number and this could later idenitify a person to the
job if there was a problem. We have seen the inspector stamp with the number 3,
5, 6, 8 and I am sure there were many more.
You have to look at everything as a manufacturing process
and question it all. The marking was on the hose so it could be identified with
a manufacture and since there were many manufactures, they had to be separated.
The first picture show the logo of Swan Gas. This is a common company that made
fuel hose in the 60-70's. The next photo is just another manufacture. When you
go to the auto parts store down the street all the hose features the current
manufacture and date of manufacture. After 40 years these markings and most of
the original fuel hose is long gone.
The straps were no different most of
them were galvanized and some black. The strap on the right is NOS and has
the GRIP logo, it is registered so it must be a trade mark or a company name
that made the part. GM outsourced many parts to manufacturing companies all over
the country and there main stay was to assembly cars, Not make the parts. The
blue was to identify the strap to the line worker. Some plants were building
more than one model and had to keep the parts separated and this was done by
colors. On brake and fuel line the fittings were also different colors and sizes
to prevent the wrong line from being installed in the wrong hole. These colors
and dyes were only meant to last as long as it took to build the car - about 30
hours. The next picture is another version of the gas tank logo. These
were usually put on in a transparent blue dye and wore off faster than the
Some times the logo ended up right in
the center of the tank in a very visible spot and other times it was on the edge
of the panel and cut off like the first picture shows. Inline tube reproduces
all three of the different logos shown hear and makes the date code for the year
of the car. The original was a big rubber stamp and you see that it is not
perfect. Since there is no way to stamp on the contour of the metal once it is
formed into a tank. Inline tube makes it in a sticker version that can be
applied to the finished tank, sprayed and removed for a factory fresh look.
This tank also has a grease pencil
number of 647 on it - maybe it is a unit number or a car number - Who knows.
This is another hot spot for build sheets. Each car had severl of them and they
followed the car down the line. If you are lucky it is under the tank. We have
also found them behind the back seat, in the seat back, behind door panels and
on my brand new truck it was taped on the bottom of the cross member. I removed
it when it was a day old. In such an open spot it would not have lasted a month.
The tank also had some glue on it - the yellow stuff to the right. Maybe it was
to hold the tank pad in place.
Here is the Common LOGO from inline
tube applied. The tank is being preped to go in the car. The sending unit is
installed and the wire is taped to the tank with simple yellow masking tape. If
you look at the filler neck usually there is the remainder of the tape where the
wire was prepped to the neck. Once the tank was delivered to the factory and the
line worker went to put it in the pulled the wire from the tape and installed
the tank, the tape remained as an example of the process. The inspector red
marks are visible and the tank is ready to go.
The straps on the olds were usually
gavalinized and on the GTO and chevelle, while they used the same strap they
were black. The strap hardware is ver specific to the tank. The short back bolts
have a long shoulder to clear the bend in the strap. The rear are long threaded
do the tank could be tightened in the non slip straps. These bolts are dark grey
phosphate and available at inline tube. From the second picture you can see the
hoses off the side of the tank. 1970 was the last year for this vent system. The
tank vented into a plastic tube that has a piece of foam in the end. In 71 the
cars went to a full emission system that sent the vent to the front fender
thought the charcoal canister. This system used the stand pipe behind the back
seat. CA cars in 70 were ahead of the rest of the country and had this system
one year before the rest. Since all W-cars were built in lancing and if you
lived in CA you would have a hard time getting a car. I know that no 72 W-car
could be delivered to CA - it would have to be dealer traded from another state.
You can see the tank is installed and
looks factory fresh. Other details that are visible are the colored body mounts,
the white overspray from the body color, the grey spiral shocks and the axle
that was blacked out. The rear quarter plugs are also visible. Since the bodies
were dipped there had to be a drain plug in every panel. The quarter drained
through this hole and fisher body installed the green plug - these are
reproduced by inline tube. The floor pan plugs and the trunk pan plugs were also
to drain the body from fluid. There are channels that run all over the body to
drain fluid. These were put in after paint so they will show the galvanized
finish on the bottom of the car.
Here are some original tags off cars
over the years. There were tags on the springs, shocks, steering column and all
these tags are reproduced by inline tube. They are made from factory build
sheets. Since the build sheet is the finger print of the car and no 2 cars are
exactly alike no 2 build sheets would be the same. You could have 12 different
spring combos, depending on the model and ride handling package. there are many
different shocks and sway bars also. Inline tube has collected build sheets from
many cars made up the sticker sheets using the most popular options and combos
for concourse restorations. Will the sticker sheets match any one car exactly -
not unless you send in you built sheet and have them custom made. This is an
option for very rare cars if the build sheet is readable and in good condition.
Sorry they are not made for undesirable cars such as 4 doors and wagons.
Here are some spring tags and control
brake line tags and throttle cable tags and a few ink
the gear box has a yellow tag and more control arm tags.
Inline tube also makes seat belt tags
for many of the makes and models. Again there were several manufacturers and models
and style tags. Before you go an mix and match that set of belts for a car you
should look at the details. Another common mistake is the color of the tags.
Most of them are white but the ones that look yellow always were. Once they are
removed you you can clear see the back side. These tags were made in the white ,
yellow, light blue and grey. They were to identify belts of groups of belts.
Inline tube also makes all the seat belt tags for you specific dated code and
Inlinetube - Brake & Fuel Lines,
Parking Brake Cables, Hoses, Valves, Brake & Fuel Clips, Disc Brakes
15066 Technology Drive
Shelby Twp, MI 48315
586 532 1338