Black bar underneath gas tank? [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Black bar underneath gas tank?


subwoofella
10-12-2003, 12:19 AM
If you look underneath your Element you notice a black bar hanging from underneath the body. The bar protrudes out from the undercarriage and is more noticeable on the drivers side. I looked at it and it seems to serve no purpose. Anyone know what it is for and does it really need to be there? :?:

Sheniferous
10-12-2003, 12:42 AM
it's to protect the fuel tank (the big reservoir that the black bar surrounds).

Kayakin' Dan
10-12-2003, 12:53 AM
It sends encypted subterranean transmissions of top secret government programs through the earth, directly to Japan.

Or, it could be gas tank protection like Shen said.

overthehillbill
10-12-2003, 01:08 PM
Dealer told me that next year the Element is scheduled to compete in NASCAR Winston Cup races and the bar is for the jack while changing left side tires.

sean010101
10-12-2003, 03:50 PM
Yes, its always good to jack your car up by the fuel tank...

BOOM

Ger Brassfield
10-12-2003, 11:39 PM
A black bar UNDERNEATH the car?? I've heard of bars inside the car, and cars inside bars (for those too drunk to drive AWAY from the bar) but not underneath. Perhaps it is for midgets who can't get a drink elsewhere. 8)

Ger

elementinboston
10-30-2003, 12:12 AM
I was wondering that myself...I am always afraid I might rip it off on something! Does it really protect the fuel tank!?

hownowcb
10-30-2003, 12:15 AM
We unanimously elect YOU to be the first to test it in the real world, and then report back to us with your findings, OK?

Cheshire Jav
10-30-2003, 02:26 PM
Yes it really is protection for you gas tank... like a big metal condom.... Actually more like a diaphram I guess.

lae10851
10-30-2003, 07:42 PM
has anyone come up with either a way to hide it or dress it up? It sure looks ugly under there.

hownowcb
10-30-2003, 08:09 PM
I agree that the bars and the tank itself would look far less obvious with some sort of asthetic disguise. Like a thin plastic shell to cover the whole works that would serve no other purpose than to make that whole mess just visually become part of the general undercarriage shadow. If nobody else does, I'm gonna do something about it myself. But Rube Goldberg is a distant relative of mine, so don't hold your breath waiting for a practical, real-world solution from me!

mborkow
10-30-2003, 08:44 PM
the side steps seem to do a good job of obstructing that bar from sight

hownowcb
10-31-2003, 01:16 AM
But that's way more expensive (and heavy!) than I have in mind. I don't need no stinkin' side steps -- I just want a gas tank and protective bar hider/maker invisiblerer!

The Rube
06-17-2005, 12:47 PM
Those are actually clothes racks. You hang wet clothes and then drive around the neighborhood at high speeds and before you know - they're dry. (hehehehe) :lol: :lol:

mveach
06-17-2005, 01:17 PM
So why the heck are you looking under it instead of driving it?

BigFoot
06-18-2005, 09:00 AM
Sounds like we have another use for that leftover Home Depot gutter guard!

mtb20x
06-18-2005, 10:24 AM
they probably want you to buy the side steps to cover it up. it's all about the money. won't lie, it was one (but not the main) reason why i got the side steps.

j_m_m
06-18-2005, 12:12 PM
You're all close, but you're all way off. The bars are for leprechauns to do pull ups. Check the manual it's all in there...

TJ's Toy
06-18-2005, 12:23 PM
I believe the blak bar you are refering to is a fuel tank guard. Since the E ground clearance is plentiful, the possibilties of cutting a curb or such, this bar gives some resemblance of protection. I think.....

trickyvick
06-18-2005, 01:51 PM
I hung the element out on the close line to dry the other day after I washed it....I used the black bar....but bent it....... :grin:

Genom
06-18-2005, 02:04 PM
As you can see from this picture, it is a good jacking point (pic obtained from the other E site).:D:roll::shock:

blackdog1
06-18-2005, 02:06 PM
You're all close, but you're all way off. The bars are for leprechauns to do pull ups. Check the manual it's all in there...
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

jvegas
06-18-2005, 03:30 PM
The obvious answer is that the E is the official tow vehicle for the X games street luge and that is a perfect grab rail

http://img.infoplease.com/images/home/streetluge.jpg

Simple. :roll: :-D

LOCO
06-28-2005, 10:02 AM
Hey i understand that this black bar protects the fuel tank ; So are the People that are lowering their E's have more of a chance of busting that tank open??? :shock:

Empire
06-28-2005, 02:12 PM
Hey i understand that this black bar protects the fuel tank ; So are the People that are lowering their E's have more of a chance of busting that tank open??? :shock:
No, most people that have their Element lowered are relocating their fuel tanks inside under the rear passenger seats.

Yes, the lower you go the more likely you are to damage the tank or anything else underneath. The muffler and resonator can be targets also but the tank guard is about the lowest point underneath. Even though I haven't lowered mine but just the opposite have inch taller tires giving me an additional 1/2" of clearance I noticed a possible clearance problem with the 6" round Magnaflow muffler I have in place of the stock resonator with my custom catback system. It was hanging just a little lower than the fuel tank guard. So I used a jack to lift that section of the exhaust and adjusted the hanger so the muffler/resonator now sits about an inch above the bottom line of the tank guard. I'm sure tho if there was enuff concern you could always have additional skid plates tacked or maybe even bolted in place across the underside of the guard. It would take a few plates of aluminum and some fabricating but additonal protection could be done fairly easily. The "exposed" tank has always been discussed since the first Element owners started griping on these forums but I haven't yet heard of any serious issues with the tank or the guard. Other than those doing the damage themselves with jacks or driving across stumps or 7"+ round rocks.

LOCO
06-28-2005, 03:42 PM
Empire im sure you heard this before but have to say it
YOUR THE MAN!!! :cool:

always good to hear from well rounded informative individual.
dont know how u do it, but your the right person to ask questions or about any concerns.

Box4Rox
06-28-2005, 03:58 PM
I'm worried the dang bar(s) will do more harm than good . . .

Reminds me of the arresting wires on the deck of the USS Nimitz. :|

Empire
06-28-2005, 10:46 PM
I'm worried the dang bar(s) will do more harm than good . . .

Reminds me of the arresting wires on the deck of the USS Nimitz. :|
Just crawl under there and remove it. It's only attached at 4 points with bolts. But with the tank being made out of what feels like a plastic material it'd probably be best to leave the added protection.


http://img168.echo.cx/img168/4595/tankguard16uc.jpg

http://img100.echo.cx/img100/4250/tankguard21pv.jpg

LEGO MY E
06-28-2005, 10:55 PM
[QUOTE=Empire]Just crawl under there and remove it. It's only attached at 4 points with bolts. But with the tank being made out of what feels like a plastic material it'd probably be best to leave the added protection.

.........

Hmmm... I see that the darned gas tank can be unbolted also! Just think of the gas mileage you'd get!! :)

bigred1
06-28-2005, 11:03 PM
If you really dislike seeing it just get a set of sidesteps. That should help you not see it

paulj
06-28-2005, 11:39 PM
Considering that the most likely cause of leaks from metal gas tanks is a split seam, I think I'll stick with the tough, multilayer plastic tank.

However some CRV owners have found that if they drag their bottom through muddy ruts, that the tank or the vapor canister behind it can be dislodged, and in turn dislodge the rear half shaft, causing serious problems in the AWD. No one has reported similar problems with an Element, but I'll stick with the limited protection provided by the tank's cage.

In my own backroads driving, I have done more damage to the exhaust system on the other side of the bottom; nothing serious though.

paulj

Box4Rox
06-29-2005, 02:09 AM
Just crawl under there and remove it. It's only attached at 4 points with bolts. But with the tank being made out of what feels like a plastic material it'd probably be best to leave the added protection.

I agree . . . I had it off a couple times when I was crawling around under there messing with the exhaust and again when I added the side steps just to see what it would look like. I chickened out; really looks bare without it. :oops:

I was thinking of ordering a replacement (around a $ 100 I think from Majestic) and using it as the starting point (template) for a more robust skid plate. One of the machinists at work is a 4-wheeler and he is always fabbing up custom parts for his 4X4's; he said he would give it a go. It would still be visible, but hopefully not look so much like “an after thought” which is sort of how Honda’s design strikes me . . .

I would really like to know how it originated on Honda’s end . . . was it planned or a “oops, we goofed” result of later stage prototype testing.

paulj
06-29-2005, 02:36 AM
The CRV also has a cage, however it isn't as visible because the gas tank is tucked in closer to the rear wheel. I'd have to look up the CRV parts diagram to see if there is an additional plate.

The 1st gen CRV has the tank centered like a saddle over the rear drive shaft.

A while back I found an article on Honda's composite gas tank - as introduced in the Insight.

Given the desire to keep the Element's floor low and flat, the placement and shape of the gas tank was limited. I can't imagine the stylists being very happy with its visibility, but the engineers probably argued that there wasn't any alternative.

Building a skid plate that actually provides protection without reducing ground clearance may be tricky. It is one thing to span a foot wide space to protect the oil sump or transmission bottom, it's another to cover the wide area of the gas tank - with only 4 support points.

I've chosen to focus on driving skills and judgement to protect the tank. I don't recall hearing any underside impacts during my 2 weeks of backroads driving earlier this month.

paulj

Kayakin' Dan
06-29-2005, 04:54 AM
I painted mine white. Can't miss it now and everyone wants to know what it is. It makes it a lot more visible when I tow Leprechaun Lugers too! Good grief. It's gas tank protection. Everybody please stop crawling around under your E's.

Box4Rox
06-29-2005, 09:13 AM
I painted mine white. Can't miss it now and everyone wants to know what it is. It makes it a lot more visible when I tow Leprechaun Lugers too! Good grief. It's gas tank protection. Everybody please stop crawling around under your E's.
HaHaHa !!! :lol:
Copy that Kayakin' Dan . . . I'm outta there !! (after I paint them flourescent orange and add racing stickers)

ramblerdan
06-29-2005, 09:38 AM
In the unlikely event of a gas tank explosion, a thick metal skid plate would direct some of the force upward, into the passenger compartment.

Hondamade4dogs
06-29-2005, 05:37 PM
Wow there is a black bar under the car ? And all this time we have been going downtown for that.... :)

Genom
07-22-2005, 01:46 PM
I'm going to dig up this old thread and say that I removed the tank guard yesterday.

After removal it is clear to see that it is a total POS that was most likely put there to appease lawyers...just like the severely conservative weight ratings of both the E itself and the roof racks. Another thought is that the tank guard was designed to be so ugly and obtrusive that you would be forced to buy the overpriced sidesteps to cover it up. The sidesteps are nice, but not my style and serve little purpose on such a low step-in height vehicle (except to wash the roof, of course).

Hmmm...I wonder how a set of 1950s "lead sled" style lake pipes in black powdercoat would look on the E to cover the undercarriage instead of sidesteps...

THE "E"
07-22-2005, 10:14 PM
I figure if its there for safety reasons then whatever. Leave it on for everyday driving. If you gonna go show the car off and that drives you nuts then remove it for the car show or for the weekend or whatever. If its only 4 bolts what the heck. Wax on wax off.... Easy....

Genom
07-22-2005, 10:40 PM
No way...its off and its staying off! That thing just really started to grate on my nerves lately...so out it goes.:D

That "guard" is so light and flimsy I swear it is made out of 3/4" EMT conduit...and a good deal of the weight is the undercoating that is slathered on it.

Box4Rox
07-22-2005, 10:50 PM
No way...its off and its staying off! That thing just really started to grate on my nerves lately...so out it goes.:D

That "guard" is so light and flimsy I swear it is made out of 3/4" EMT conduit...and a good deal of the weight is the undercoating that is slathered on it.Genom, you are a renegade bar none !! If you haven't blown yourself up after a month or so, I'm doing it next . . . Just took off my side steps and I too, am not happy with the profile "view". :x

Genom
07-22-2005, 11:02 PM
"Bar none" is right, no more "bars" under my E! I actually looked at the tank closely and knocked on it and it seems to be some pretty damn thick plastic. There aren't any seams or square edges to catch on anything you might encounter on the roads or even the unpaved parking lot at the average mountain bike trail. The Element is certainly no off road vehicle, so I'm not going to be driving rough trails and such with it, so I'll be fine without the guard.

Genom
07-23-2005, 09:01 AM
Well here it is...the only place that guard should be:

Hehe...Guardbage...:roll:

TJ's Toy
07-23-2005, 10:29 AM
Genom.....you are too funny!!!! That bar is there so in case you "short-turn" the corner of the parking blocks or the corner of the curb or whatever that maybe raised in a parking lot. That way you bend the sh*t out of it instead of hitting the tank. In my opinion....if you are idiot enough to short turn that much, you would have to be going petty damn fast to hit the tank before common sense says " oh gee, i must have turned too short!"

Box4Rox
07-23-2005, 05:32 PM
Do the JDM versions have the bar ? Maybe they removed it for the ad photo ? (because it looked so dang ugly . . . :) )

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a246/box4rox/JapanE1.jpg

Genom
07-23-2005, 05:42 PM
Looks like they not only edited out the offending fuel tank guard but also the bicycle's wheels.(guy riding passed open cabin on far side)

I really like those JDM front fender panels and marker lights.

LEGO MY E
07-23-2005, 11:31 PM
LMAO! And it would appear that the common citizen of Japan is um... not Japaneses?

hownowcb
07-25-2005, 07:57 AM
The JDM version comes standard with that Hovercycle, you dummies - they told us on the factory tour they had to throw those in to justify the higher price of Elements in Japan. :twisted: I think it even includes the matching T-shirt!

NoRegrets78
07-25-2005, 08:57 AM
I would speculate as to say a lot of folks on this board aren't as concerned with image as they are function. After all, would we be driving such vehicles otherwise?

I'm leaving my cage...can't hurt the image of the vehicle any more than the vehicle does, can only help in case of those unforseen occurances.

E_Ride
09-28-2005, 05:20 PM
Yes it really is protection for you gas tank... like a big metal condom.... Actually more like a diaphram I guess.

Its more like a skeleton. hehehe

PVR
09-28-2005, 05:25 PM
Looks like they not only edited out the offending fuel tank guard but also the bicycle's wheels.(guy riding passed open cabin on far side)...
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a246/box4rox/JapanE1.jpg

No they didn't! You can still see the front wheel (I think it is one of those small wheeled folding bikes)

BOXER
09-28-2005, 11:04 PM
Ill try to post some pictures on why its important to keep that o sh!t bar there. Especially if your car is lowered like mine.

I tried to avoid an accident and was forced to jump a curb and if it was not for that bar, I would of tore up my gas tank. It seems like a cheap piece of metal that will not hold up, but it does and very well.

Its like insurance, its a bitch to pay cause you never use it. But when you dont have it sh!t always happens.

Genom
09-28-2005, 11:32 PM
Did that bar survive the jump up the curb? Do tell BOXER.

With my luck, if I did jump a curb, I'm certain it would bend enough to puncture my gas tank and spark against the sidewalk at the same time causing an instant inferno under me.:shock: So I'll tell myself I removed my source of ignition in such an incident.

BOXER
09-29-2005, 01:04 AM
As hard as I hit, I thought for sure that thing got bent or came off. It maintained its shape but has a few nasty scrapes. I will take a picture of it on saturday if i have a chance to put it up on the hoist.

BOXER
09-29-2005, 01:11 AM
I thought for sure my wheels were bent too, but after doing a balance and rotation the next day, there were no signs of damage. I got lucky. Stupid idiot people have to learn how to drive.

If i could talk on the phone, navigate my computer, drink my coffee, eat my scone, and write orders all while I drive, dumb a$$ drivers that have nothing to do durring their drive to work should pay attention to the road!

Sparman
09-29-2005, 02:20 PM
My guess is that the bar is intentionally made wimpy as to be sacraficial. Too beefy and you risk damage to the unit body.

It's alot easier to bolt on a new cage than to realign the UB.

I agree, it's a hideous feature but with the ground clearance what it is, and the tank hanging so low, it's probably not a bad idea to have it there.

Also, the undercoating is slathered on so that you'll bounce off things. :-D

sgigirl
09-29-2005, 03:48 PM
Has anyone thought about a "Martha Stewart" approach to the "ugly black bar?" Get out that glue gun, get some extra fabric, maybe a little glitter . . . do I need to go on? :?

Box4Rox
09-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Has anyone thought about a "Martha Stewart" approach to the "ugly black bar?" Get out that glue gun, get some extra fabric, maybe a little glitter . . . do I need to go on? :?
Go on , go on . . . . I'm interested :) Maybe a little Macramé woven around it and some wooden beads . . .

BOXER
01-02-2006, 09:41 PM
Ill try to post some pictures on why its important to keep that o sh!t bar there. Especially if your car is lowered like mine.

I tried to avoid an accident and was forced to jump a curb and if it was not for that bar, I would of tore up my gas tank. It seems like a cheap piece of metal that will not hold up, but it does and very well.

Its like insurance, its a bitch to pay cause you never use it. But when you dont have it sh!t always happens.

it took me a while but here is the pics of the bar underneath and why it is so important to have that fugly looking thing there. It serves its purpose I think. Pay close attention to the scratches on the gas tank too.

Rover
01-03-2006, 04:50 PM
Go on , go on . . . . I'm interested :) Maybe a little Macramé woven around it and some wooden beads . . .

I would suggest painting it gray ... something to match the general hue of pavement ... so that it will blend into the background when you look at the car from the side. You could even paint just the lower portion of the bar assembly gray and leave the rest black.

loufrankel
04-04-2006, 03:51 PM
The gas bar is certainly stronger than it appears. I took my E to a tire place and they accidentally lifted her by coming up underneath the bar! All the way to the point of having both left wheels off the ground! I freaked, but there was no apparent damage to the car or the bar. Moral of the story... Mine stays put!

PVR
04-04-2006, 04:21 PM
... Moral of the story... Mine stays put!

2nd moral -don't use that tire place again!

loufrankel
04-04-2006, 04:29 PM
2nd moral -don't use that tire place again!
Yeah, and it's my uncle's place, too.

Karaoke Massage
04-04-2006, 06:20 PM
huh... I was thinking of dropping a set of Eibachs in (which lowers the E an inch all around)... is that bar going to be an issue? yipes. :?

PVR
04-04-2006, 06:27 PM
huh... I was thinking of dropping a set of Eibachs in (which lowers the E an inch all around)... is that bar going to be an issue? yipes. :?

The gas tank protector is the lowest point of contact so you will severely limit where you can go if you drop your vehicle even an inch.

BOXER
04-04-2006, 11:10 PM
The gas tank protector is the lowest point of contact so you will severely limit where you can go if you drop your vehicle even an inch.

I wouldn't say severely, Ive traveled to Mexico many times with my E though dirt roads and grave, it does ok at its height. The eibach pro kit drops the vehicle 1.7" wich is really next to nothing. it puts it at a normal vehicles ground clearance. I could still get the car on our shop's hoist with no problem.

Now I have jumped a curb avoiding an accident and banged the SH!T out of that bar, but that would of happened even if it was not lowered. Here is a pic of my car in Mexico and a pic of the terrain from a month ago.

Ironsolja
04-09-2006, 04:42 PM
I would say to all, just to leave the bar alone. It's there to protect the gas tank and I can say from experience that it works. I recently had a psycho ex place small slits in all 4 of my factory tires. Long story short all 4 tires blew out while I was going over some railroad tracks my E spun out on the tracks and I bent the lowest portion of the bar. Had it not been there I'm certain there would have been damage to something vital under my E. Besides jacking my alignment up, costing me 4 tires and one stock rim, almost killing me and my E, my ex's attempt to ruin my day was foiled by the fact that I'm riding on 20s now. Thanks!!!. Leave the bar alone, folks.

1111rustbucket
04-09-2006, 05:02 PM
I saw an E that was in a wreck. i'm not sure what happened but the front was all messed up, the windshield and hood, front fenders, grill all wasted. but the back end was bent up too like somebody might have hit something in the front then spun around and hit their rear drivers side. but anyway the bar that suposedly protects the gas tank was bent all out of shape but the gas tank was fine. the bar was smooshed up about an inch away from the tank. the E musta left the ground at some point during the wreck from the looks of the undercarriage. im leaving mine on. im sure honda engineers put minutes of thought into the design . "yamatsu you are to design the cup holder ,the turn signal knob and the gas tank protection bar"

Empire
04-09-2006, 11:21 PM
"yamatsu you are to design the cup holder ,the turn signal knob and the gas tank protection bar"
Fujikaka designed the bar, not Yamatsu.

Besides, the Element was actually designed in California.
So the guy that designed the bar was probably named either Blane, Biff or Skip.

ADAMLSTL
04-09-2006, 11:26 PM
I would say to all, just to leave the bar alone. It's there to protect the gas tank and I can say from experience that it works. I recently had a psycho ex place small slits in all 4 of my factory tires. Long story short all 4 tires blew out while I was going over some railroad tracks my E spun out on the tracks and I bent the lowest portion of the bar. Had it not been there I'm certain there would have been damage to something vital under my E. Besides jacking my alignment up, costing me 4 tires and one stock rim, almost killing me and my E, my ex's attempt to ruin my day was foiled by the fact that I'm riding on 20s now. Thanks!!!. Leave the bar alone, folks.

Sorry to hear that! WOW.. WTF?!?:twisted:
Did you change your name when you relocated? Hope she doesn't come up here....:cool:

Ironsolja
04-10-2006, 07:09 PM
Naw I just cut ties with here as calmly as possible. I didn't stress the issue with her at all. She's seen me and my 20s since but, I just get dirty looks. She's already up here. She lives in St. Louis, maybe close to you. Ahhhh!!!:shock: Hey are you going to the EOC meeting coming up?

1111rustbucket
04-10-2006, 11:36 PM
Its An Equal Oportunity Employer And Yamatsu Is A Cousin Of The Supervisor Biff.

Final eLement
07-01-2006, 06:45 AM
This bar is certainly helpful in protecting the tank but it's noisy as hell when navigating through deep crusty snow. I'm gonna' weld a piece of flat stock on the bar at an angle so snow and ice won't be able to make such a racket.

Has anybody done this? If yes please post pics...

JayRPHT
06-29-2007, 03:17 PM
Is there any real function behind this aside from being for looks? It doesn't appear to be very sturdy and I don't do any offroading so I'm looking at doing away with it. It just doesn't appeal to my eye.

Bill in Houston
06-29-2007, 09:56 PM
It seems like it might help deflect some stuff away from the tank, like if you ran over a box on the freeway or something.

Farther
07-06-2007, 06:04 PM
Is there any real function behind this aside from being for looks?

?? I don't even see the look reason. If a person had the proper tools, time and money I think a light weight (5/16"?) aluminum skid plate could be fashioned for it.

tj40ounce
07-06-2007, 06:11 PM
Is there any real function behind this aside from being for looks? It doesn't appear to be very sturdy and I don't do any offroading so I'm looking at doing away with it. It just doesn't appeal to my eye.

I'll give you $50 shipped for it...

PVR
07-06-2007, 06:15 PM
:) Don't take that $50 too quick!


The fact that Honda incorporated some gas tank protection as part of its design should tell you something!

I agree, however, an aluminum skid plate would probably be a better solution - aesthetically and functionally - if you have the time and ability to fabricate one.

Mom'sBox
07-06-2007, 06:29 PM
I don't get this at all.. Do people steal gas tanks?

tj40ounce
07-06-2007, 06:33 PM
:) Don't take that $50 too quick!


The fact that Honda incorporated some gas tank protection as part of its design should tell you something!

I agree, however, an aluminum skid plate would probably be a better solution - aesthetically and functionally - if you have the time and ability to fabricate one.


The reason I offered $50 for is because my stock guard on my E is bent after running over a piece of steel (that punctured my gas tank as well). I, too, would rather have something that actually protected the tank better.

tj40ounce
07-06-2007, 06:34 PM
I don't get this at all.. Do people steal gas tanks?

:confused:

papafizzle
07-06-2007, 09:54 PM
What would you be willing to pay for a bolt-on direct fit aluminum skid plate for your E?

paulj
07-06-2007, 10:26 PM
What would you be willing to pay for a bolt-on direct fit aluminum skid plate for your E?

where would you bolt it?

tj40ounce
07-07-2007, 12:24 AM
What would you be willing to pay for a bolt-on direct fit aluminum skid plate for your E?

not much at this point... I don't really need to do anything (except watch out for crap in the road).

Big E
07-07-2007, 01:36 AM
If price is right, I'd be interested in a skid plate.

Farther
07-07-2007, 11:46 AM
If the skid plate met my expectations for materials, design and function I would be willing to spend $150. But, I don't believe that would cover the cost of materials and labor.

As far as mounting is concerned, why wouldn't the mounting points for the bar work?

lizzurd
07-07-2007, 12:00 PM
I don't get this at all.. Do people steal gas tanks?



SHHHHH ............don;t say that too loud...the guys that are stealing cats may get the idea of taking the tank while they are already under an E.

Big E
07-08-2007, 01:30 AM
I don't get this at all.. Do people steal gas tanks?
Of course they do!
BTW, I find it somehow inspiring that your facility allows unsupervised internet axs.
:-D

Drop_Box
07-08-2007, 02:41 AM
I would be interested in a skit plate too....do not like the look of the "cage".

I was thinking of cutting mine down so it didn't hang so low.

paulj
07-08-2007, 03:21 PM
In part it is a deflector, and part an early-warning device. I can picture it moving some road debris out of the way. However it is also possible that it could rotate some chunk of metal in just the right way to impale the tank. I've also had to disentangle branches from it.

If you are driving slowly over a rock or curb, scraping on the bar would be a warning to stop and look.

Within a few months of owning the Element, my wife drove over a border stone on a cemetery lane. I wasn't present, so don't know what noise she heard, but it put a gash and bend in the gas tank bar, and broke a tab connecting the lower sill plastic to the rear fender. The tank was not harmed.

More than anything, I think Honda had driving over a curb or low roadside object like that in mind, possibly during parking. The kind of situation where you are likely to hit the bar before than tank.

paulj

Perro_Loco
07-09-2007, 02:09 AM
I'd definately rather have the ability to grind a skid plate over a rock, curb, etc. than bang into the bar or have something rotate around it into my tank. Not to mention the cost of a skid plate would be a lot cheaper than a tow truck and a new gas tank.

paulj
07-09-2007, 11:29 AM
Regarding the tow truck cost, I've only seen one example on this forum of a punctured tank. And the owner didn't detect the leak until he got home. So while a puncture is not impossible, it is also not likely.

One 4x4 book suggests rubbing a bar of soap on a gas tank leak. This book, though, is from the days when gas tanks were metal, and leaking seams after an impact were common. I don't know if this would work on Honda plastic.

paulj

tj40ounce
07-09-2007, 01:14 PM
Regarding the tow truck cost, I've only seen one example on this forum of a punctured tank. And the owner didn't detect the leak until he got home. So while a puncture is not impossible, it is also not likely.

One 4x4 book suggests rubbing a bar of soap on a gas tank leak. This book, though, is from the days when gas tanks were metal, and leaking seams after an impact were common. I don't know if this would work on Honda plastic.

paulj

I probably could have driven the E for a few days after it happened, but didn't need to.

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/4124/june2007038yi6.jpg

Farther
07-09-2007, 01:33 PM
Back in 1967, I successfully used a piece of Bazooka chewing gum to stop a leak on my Dad's '67 Dodge Dart. It got me home and lasted for a short while after that. At least until my Dad found the leak.

Mom'sBox
07-09-2007, 05:54 PM
I don't get this at all.. Do people steal gas tanks?
Of course they do!
BTW, I find it somehow inspiring that your facility allows unsupervised internet axs.
:-D

Facility? I'm at home.. & around here, I never heard of anyone stealing a gas tank.. That's just bizzare.

L-EH-MENT
07-09-2007, 07:13 PM
I probably could have driven the E for a few days after it happened, but didn't need to.

http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/4124/june2007038yi6.jpg

while your add it instead of fixing it get a bigger gas tank that way u can get the most milege out of ur E. And next year when u go to the E meet while all the Es stop at the gas station u can just wave and say ill meet u guys at the top of the hill or w/e they meet. lol just an idea.

hownowcb
07-09-2007, 08:01 PM
I threw mine away two years ago and haven't missed it. Especially the ugly look it presents from a profile view. All mine ever did was make twangy noises when I nudged snow chunks in my alley. Then again, I also have an additional 1.5" of ground clearance because of my oversized tires, so I don't worry much about encountering anything from the underside. 8)

My original 2003 windshield took a hit from a piece of steel at a closing speed of over 100 miles per hour a few weeks back without cracking, too! As ramblerdan is fond of saying, my Element never seems to take any wear and tear! :|

Genom
07-09-2007, 08:48 PM
I removed the fuel tank guard and kicked it to the curb two years ago and haven't given it a second thought.

Twilightzero
07-10-2007, 09:57 AM
I'd definitely be interested in a skid plate, might have to make one of my own. Don't suppose anybody knows off the top of your head roughly how big of a piece of aluminum I'd have to grab? I have the manual at home but I'm lazy & impatient :D

paulj
07-10-2007, 11:35 AM
Before buying any metal, I'd suggest taking a good look at where and how you can mount it. Obviously you could use the mounting points that the bar uses. But do you need anything more? How about the inboard edge and back edge of the tank? Are you going to leave it flat, or bend the front edge up?

A clear picture of the underside of the Element has been floating around. Look on one of the other skid plate threads.

paulj

Twilightzero
07-10-2007, 11:57 AM
There's a good underside E pic here:

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f228/WWCD/ebottom3ux.jpg

Ripped off from this thread:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28507&highlight=skid+plate

Looks like there's plenty of holes to bolt through down there. Granted it's not a 3d pic but I figure it shouldn't be all that hard to make some standoffs for the mount points. I might look into that this weekend, at least see if it's decently possible.

Bill in Houston
07-10-2007, 01:33 PM
On the outboad edge, you can use the same bolt holes as the side steps. Elsewhere, who knows? There are a ton of holes down there. People in snow/salt country might want to think twice about what they plug up.

I'm leaving my bar on. I wired the radio antenna to it and it works WAY better than that stubby rubber thing on the roof.

Twilightzero
07-10-2007, 01:41 PM
On the outboad edge, you can use the same bolt holes as the side steps. Elsewhere, who knows? There are a ton of holes down there. People in snow/salt country might want to think twice about what they plug up.

I'm leaving my bar on. I wired the radio antenna to it and it works WAY better than that stubby rubber thing on the roof.

Undercarriage pressure wash is your best friend in the winter!

jtallen
07-10-2007, 01:50 PM
On the outboad edge, you can use the same bolt holes as the side steps. Elsewhere, who knows? There are a ton of holes down there. People in snow/salt country might want to think twice about what they plug up.

I'm leaving my bar on. I wired the radio antenna to it and it works WAY better than that stubby rubber thing on the roof.

nifty idea about the radio antenna :cool:

paulj
07-10-2007, 02:25 PM
I don't see much point in trying to protect more of the tank than the exist bar does. Here, for example is a 3 panel protector that mounts to the car in front of the tank and on the outboard side. I don't see any going mounting points along side the driveshaft, except the tank mounts themselves. Note how close the vapor canister is at the back edge.

For a start, you could make an metal frame of this shape. Once you are satisfied with the shape, then attach some sheets of diamond plate. If you are happy with the overall effect, then weld one up from heavier aluminum plate.

Something that might be just as effective is to find some piece of molded plastic that fits over this corner of the tank, and cut it down to fit. The corner of a Rubbermaid storage box might work. Or a portion of the lid of a roof top cargo box. Structural foam that Rubbermaid uses for commercial trash cans would be even better, or the ABS foam sandwich used for canoes. Plastic would deflect a flying rock or chunk of iron as well as aluminum plate. Neither would support the car's weight if you tried to 'skid' across a boulder embedded in the road.

paulj

Ranger
07-10-2007, 03:49 PM
I don't think the E needs a skid plate designed to scrape across rocks and boulders while supporting the weight of the vehicle.
If that's what you need, you're going to have to protect more than the gas tank.

If you are looking to remove the bar but want to increase impact/abrasion resistance, why not just rhino-line the tank with "Rhino Hardline"?
If it can resist a car bomb, it should definitely increase your gas tank's chances against a sharp stick.

The Military uses Rhino Lining. (http://www.rhinolinings.com/videos.php?vid_id=181)

flatlander
07-10-2007, 04:20 PM
You could always coat the tank with this stuff. Good vertical adhesion properties.

EDIT
Removed the link because it was a bad idea! See Ranger comments below.

Ranger
07-10-2007, 04:40 PM
I believe that is more of an industrial "corrosion proofer" for cement and metal than something indended specifically for abrasion and impact resistance on plastic. Plus it says that the material will tend to chalk and discolor upon extended exterior exposure.

With the single application thickness ranging from 600-800 microns, it'd take 5 or more coats of the stuff to get upwards of the 1/8th inch thick coating it would take to theoretically protect the tank. Now factor in the minimum 15 hour re-coat time (at 77 degrees) and you'll be painting the tank with that stuff for a good week, even longer if you are in a colder climate.

Rhino lining sets up in 3-5 seconds and is fully cured in less than 24 hours.
H3ll, they could probably shoot the tank right on the Element and just mask around it.

papafizzle
07-13-2007, 11:19 PM
I have begun the skid-plate fab. for the gas tank and once its done I'll post pics. Im also going to look into s-p's for the front as well.

Twilightzero
07-13-2007, 11:33 PM
Schweet, post pics as soon as you can!

Lin-z
07-15-2007, 08:49 PM
Sticks get hung up in mine all the time and I end up dragging them down the highway untill I get tired of hearing the noise and have to get out crawl under and remove it. Thats the only problem I have had.

bigblue
09-07-2007, 11:01 AM
Don't see any pics, how did the skid plate fab work out?

Twilightzero
09-07-2007, 11:26 AM
Agreed *bump* want pics! :D

Drop_Box
09-07-2007, 11:39 AM
For those of you interested in the skid plate.....
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=476520#post476520

LMntGuy1982
09-07-2007, 12:44 PM
What about instead of a full blown military grade IED-resistant skid plate, something that would just protect the front edge of the tank? I mean if the bar is there to protect it why not just bend a piece of metal to wrap around the front edge and bottom front part of the gas tank. That bar isn't going to stop everything. And even a skid plate won't help against big stuff in the road. I would think some kind of diamond plate deflector on the front of the gastank would work well and still provide adequate protection. Because like Ranger (or whoever it was) said, if you actually run over something that the bar hits, the E will either deflect it outta the way or run up onto it. If it knocks it outta the way then a small shield like i'm talking about would work fine. If you run up onto it it's gonna puncture the tank unless you have 3/4" sheet metal under there.

Plus you guys just need to keep your eyes on the road a quit text-messaging while you drive. It's hard enough trying to reply to this post while driving down the highway... er... um nevermind.

Drop_Box
09-07-2007, 02:45 PM
Short answer is because the bar looks fugly! :D

maontayne
11-02-2007, 09:12 PM
I was on a crazy road w/lots of rocks and crevices. Awful noise but the gas tank was saved. It bent up a bit, I bent it back. Anyone wanna sell there "takeoff"? You know ground clearence isn't a strongpoint of the E. I am not saying put it higher up as that would make it more tippable. I was going down this hill and then this awful noise and then the low fuel light came on-#$%^! I thought I roached the gas tank but it was just a coincidence. Phew! It was the harriest road in my all dirt road developement (26 miles of dirt roads) We were looking for a missing dog.

ET

elementbryon
11-02-2007, 11:45 PM
I was on a crazy road w/lots of rocks and crevices. Awful noise but the gas tank was saved. It bent up a bit, I bent it back. Anyone wanna sell there "takeoff"? You know ground clearence isn't a strongpoint of the E. I am not saying put it higher up as that would make it more tippable. I was going down this hill and then this awful noise and then the low fuel light came on-#$%^! I thought I roached the gas tank but it was just a coincidence. Phew! It was the harriest road in my all dirt road developement (26 miles of dirt roads) We were looking for a missing dog.

ET

I got one you can have, but it is all mangled up after finding the only basketball sized rock in the snow and running over it. I actually paid $145 for a new one from the dealer. This one picked up a log I had to cut out with the sawzall. One of these days I'll weld some diamond plate to the front of it for a little extra protection.:confused:

paulj
11-03-2007, 11:52 AM
The low gas gauge and going downhill were not coincidental. The reading does depend on the tilt of the tank.
paulj

maontayne
11-03-2007, 04:32 PM
The low gas gauge and going downhill were not coincidental. The reading does depend on the tilt of the tank.
paulj

As one who lives in the mountains the low fuel light ALWAYS comes on down hill for me. The coincidence was it came on after scraping the bottom badly as I had already travelled a half mile down the mountain including the steepest part. When I scraped bottom I wasn't going very downhill and was scared I damaged the tank causing a leak. Lucky me-black bar saved me. Thanks Honda

ET

maontayne
11-03-2007, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE=elementbryon;501809]I got one you can have, but it is all mangled up after finding the only basketball sized rock in the snow and running over it. I actually paid $145 for a new one from the dealer. This one picked up a log I had to cut out with the sawzall. One of these days I'll weld some diamond plate to the front of it for a little extra protection.:confused:[/QUOTE


Thanks but mines OK just not pretty as new. Also thanks for telling me its $145, couldn't find that anywhere on the net. I may start a thread asking for a used pristine take off.


ET

revs9k
12-21-2008, 07:10 PM
Folks:

We have been having an unseasonable winter here in the NW and Portland, OR as gotten almost 7-8" of snow. I am originally from Upstate NY, so I am up and about but most of the town is closed. Also, there are no snow plows around here to clean the road even. I had to stop by work today and the work parking-lot is completely unplowed and since no body came in before me I had to drive through the 7-8" of soft snow. The E drove fine, but I heard the metal basket scraping on snow quite a bit. I am of course lowered on H&R springs (stock shocks) and wanted to know if I could harm something this way. Has anyone taken the basket off from lowered Es?

Thanks!

http://www.basuweb.com/images/Element/element-snow.jpg

GaryS
12-21-2008, 08:09 PM
The "basket" is protecting the fuel tank.

Brawsie
12-21-2008, 09:15 PM
I am of course lowered on H&R springs (stock shocks) and wanted to know if I could harm something this way. Has anyone taken the basket off from lowered Es?

Thanks!



You could bend the basket.:neutral:

As far as removing it... I don't think anyone has and not replaced it with a plate. Goosler makes one dunno if he's selling or not.

Fwiw the protection the bar gives is minimal. The tank is still vulnerable anyway. If you removed it and remained cautious it may not be a problem. Then again one of them "jumping curbs" my wife complains about could result in embarassing wetness. I've been thinking about taking mine off just to clean up the underside.

Maybe ask some of the so-cal E-eps their E's drag the ground.

Genom
12-21-2008, 09:40 PM
Took mine off and threw it in the garbage 3+ years ago...I'll take my chances.

elementbryon
12-21-2008, 11:37 PM
My first one got torn off on a logging road and the new one is already mangled up. I'm thinking about tossing it when I get my fifth windshield replaced shortly and building a proper skid plate similar to Goosler's. I can say the tank will take a beating and just pop back into shape so if you're not off roading I think you will be safe omitting the funky monkey bar gas tank protector thing.

Drop_Box
12-22-2008, 12:07 AM
I took mine off too...buy my E doesn't get driven in the snow or bad weather....there has been much discussion on how strong the fuel tank is.

From what I've read the tank is pretty thick and the cage is there to keep debris away and protect it from rocks, etc. and if you'd drive over something that could become wedged between the tank and the ground (i.e. parking cement block) and if you go off-roading.

More than likely you heard ice and snow blocks hitting underneath....i wouldn't be concerned about it too much.....unless you see your fuel gauge going down :razz:

revs9k
12-22-2008, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Skynyrdfan5
05-02-2011, 11:35 PM
Just saw these today on a close look. Is this normal? It looks like this if you look coming into the car...

If not...that ain't good...

jiminwantagh
05-02-2011, 11:40 PM
What r we looking at??

Skynyrdfan5
05-02-2011, 11:43 PM
What r we looking at??

The bar underneath the black frame that is under the door. I don't know if I've seen that bar before.

jiminwantagh
05-02-2011, 11:49 PM
It's normal....it's the skid bar to protect the gas tank.

presto88
05-03-2011, 12:49 AM
Yep. Normal. As stated above, it's the bar that protects the gas tank.

Like you, I didn't notice that bar until after I had the car for a few weeks. Then it drove me crazy seeing it every time I walked up to the car! I considered buying some side steps just to hide the thing, but after a month or so I started to not notice it anymore. At this point I consider it to be one of the quirks of the E!