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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone installed a larger tank, factory or custom or otherwise?

I found these two sources that will custom make tanks
www.fuelsafe.com and http://www.rickstanks.com/StealthSeries.htm

Either replacing the stock tank, or adding a new one, it looks like there's room for at least 25 gallons, with the space in front of the stock tank.



It would also allow the tank's bottom to be higher for clearance, and to be made of metal.
 

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Get rid of your spare and get a custom fuel cell made to fit into there to supplement the OEM tank. The spare tire well should be worth at least 20 gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
couldn't tell the exact dimensions, but it looks like 20-25 gallons worth:
http://outpost42004lementtereonstall.fotopic.net/c629541.html

The spare or full size could go on a foldable hitch carrier like http://www.flickr.com/photos/inajamaica/tags/cbioffroad/ from http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=504875

I saw photos somewhere here of a pan-mounted hitch that cracked the metal, so the metal there does have limits without being reinforced, otherwise I was thinking of that also.

With a single underbody tank, all the gas would get filled from outside... which works better since I'm planning on the back being packed with cargo.
 

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cI saw photos somewhere here of a pan-mounted hitch that cracked the metal, so the metal there does have limits without being reinforced, otherwise I was thinking of that also.
That was the moron that tried to pull a 3,000 lb trailer or something like that. And I believe the problems actually came from him slamming on the brakes without the trailer having a set of trailer brakes. I think even a frame/body mount hitch would have failed in that case.

Turning the spare tire well IMO would be safer than the OEM plastic tank. I really wouldn't worry about that area getting damaged. It's up higher and more out of the way than the OEM one too.
 

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That was the moron that tried to pull a 3,000 lb trailer or something like that. And I believe the problems actually came from him slamming on the brakes without the trailer having a set of trailer brakes. I think even a frame/body mount hitch would have failed in that case.

Turning the spare tire well IMO would be safer than the OEM plastic tank. I really wouldn't worry about that area getting damaged. It's up higher and more out of the way than the OEM one too.
I think the thread he's talking about involved plugging a hitch mounted cargo platform in to a pan mounted hitch and then letting it twist back and forth on bumpy roads until it cracked the pan. (and badly)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well that's good to know that the pan would handle some weight then. That opens up some other possibilities.

It's a good spot for additional batteries (non-gassing).. heavy equipment that won't be taken out often, and you don't want inside the cabin (for safety or space reasons).
 

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That weight could easily lower the clearance under the rear subframe by an inch.

92 Lbs? I hope not.

Our tank holds about 13 gal. So a 25 Gal. tank holds 12 gal more.

12 X 7.62 Lbs per gal.=91.44 lbs. Did I do that correctly?

The tank itself can't weigh more than an additional 10 lbs.


Dom
 

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The extra fuel, by itself, shouldn't affect clearance. But I think the OP is interested in long distance camping (and soft-road travel). The fuel, plus camping gear, plus water, plus toys, etc. will add up.
 

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Adding a gas tank to the inside of any vehicle is just nuts. Just filling it could be a hazard not to mention crash worthiness.
The original Mustang, the trunk floor was the fuel tank:evil:
 

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This trailer thread
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59903

raises the possibility that a light trailer with large enough wheels would be a good option for long distance soft-road camping. It would allow one to take a lot of gear, including some spare gas, without overloading the Element itself.

Admittedly a trailer with hitch will cost some money, but so will a custom gas tank, etc.

And a trailer would complicate driving down backroads where you might want to turn tail when the going gets too rough.

For this kind of travel, there is always a tension between taking too much, and taking too little. In my case, 'too much' tends to win, but during the trip I often wonder, 'why did I bring this'.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks Dom.five.. I'd been using 8.4 pounds for the weight of a gallon of gas. I just checked again and amid the varying answers online, I found one that is actually based on the specific gravity of gasoline (assuming all the #s are correct) http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2001-03/984671745.Ch.r.html
.. so apparently a gallon of gasoline is 6 pounds.

So if the underbelly can house a 30 gallon tank to replace the stock tank, that's 14 more gallons, for a weight increase of 84 pounds.. plus the weight of the tank. So the total weight increase would be less than a passenger.


paulj, thanks for the ideas. I had been thinking of the trailer idea, it would be a way to keep the E cabin more roomy and still bring all the gear.
Even more I'd like to be able to drive on narrow softroads, and be able to back-up and turn around in small spaces... plus go into cities and drive/park easily and meld in with the surroundings... plus preserve the mpg as I can with my gear... so I'm seeing if I can keep everything inside the cabin, aside from possible a spare hitch and tiny cargo box.


The extra fuel, by itself, shouldn't affect clearance. But I think the OP is interested in long distance camping (and soft-road travel). The fuel, plus camping gear, plus water, plus toys, etc. will add up.
The weight of the extra gas, ~10 gallons of water, batteries, fridge, and ECamper top do take up most of the gvwr. With air suspension, there will be room to lose some ground clearance.

Aside from needing to stop at laundromats, and needing the appropriate parking to set up the shower enclosure http://www.evergreen-outdoors.net/outback/porta_privy.htm the E will be a motorhome that can drive almost anywhere there are tire-tracks.
 

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Adding a gas tank to the inside of any vehicle is just nuts. Just filling it could be a hazard not to mention crash worthiness.
The original Mustang, the trunk floor was the fuel tank:evil:
not it you have a properly built fuel cell like you can get from summit racing, those are built to be specifically put inside the car illbe it thay totally defeat the purpose...
 

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relocate gas tank...

Hey - did you ever find anything out about your fuel tank ideas...? I'm trying for the same but for better ground clearance...

I've been chatting with someone here:
http://www.hondasuv.com/members/showthread.php?p=433115#post433115

But no answers yet...and just found your posts...

I'm looking to remove it's current (way too low & vulnerable) plastic 16 gallon gas tank, and relocate it further back & higher up with a (maybe smaller 12-15gallon) tank.

I'm considering either 1) INSIDE the spare tire space (with the small spare tire removed), or 2) keep it under the Element near its current location, but as a custom gas tank that is wider, but not as long (stays near rear tires), nor as deep (too low) as the current tank.

This would have the tank further back (closer to the rear axles, or even BEHIND them, thus less centered). It's currently centered and sits really low = it's too vulnerable for any basic off-pavement driving...there seems to be ALOT of room both inside and under the spare tire near the rear tires.

PS: I know the Element isn't an off-road vehicle, I just want better ground clearance as I'm often off-pavement and crossing creeks to get home, but there's no "rock crawling", and the Element is a basic 4 cylinder engine with no rugs. Its just have low gas tank and exhausts.

I've got the exhaust figured out...for $500 I will replace the entire thing with WAY tighter construction and gain about 3-4" of clearance, without worrying about hitting it with a rock = the side of the E would bottom out first...
 

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Unless you're driving off-road, the probability of gashing the gas tank has to be low, or there'd be a recall. I've seen metal tanks punctured by large road debris, but not every often, usually someone drives over a rock or something similar offroad in a passenger car not designed for off road use.

But if vulnerability is an issue, wouldn't it be simpler (and lighter) to have a sheet metal shop make a 20 gage shield to wrap around the bottom of the tank, than to have a custom tank built?

If it were me, I'd use a composite like Kevlar :), but either one would spread an impact and reduce likelihood of gashing the tank.

If you are determined to go the route of a custom tank, why not relocate it to the roof? There's plenty of room, and it's outside the passenger compartment:lol:.
 

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I figure someone will lead me to a custom gas / fuel tank option. And I think it will be less $$$ then the 3" lift - and wil resolve the vulnerable plastic gas tank issue. Every road in the Yukon/Alaska is mostly "off-pavement" where a plastic gas tank is not a great idea...Boulder, CO has its moments too...:)
 

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.In 1988 I drove to Yukon and Alaska - roughly:
Alaska Hwy to White Horse
N to Dawson
Dempster Hwy and back (gravel)
Top of the World (gravel)
Eagle
Tok, Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage
Homer, Whittier, Valdez
McCarthy Rd (gravel)
Denali Hwy (gravel)
Willow to Hatcher pass to Wasilla (gravel)
Anchorage to Haines - ferry down the panhandle

The only road in that set where I might have had ground clearance problems in my Element would have been the Hatcher Pass Rd.

We spent the last month of that 1988 trip in the American SW.
In Moab I drove Potash Trail and Long Canyon. Several years ago I repeated the drive down Long Canyon in the Element, and part way along the Potash Trail.

In the San Juans (CO) I drove Silverton to Oury via Animas Forks. I intended to repeat that in the Element, but due to heavy rains I chose to stick with paved roads in the area (after camping a night at Alta Lakes above Teluride). I was also going to drive Burr Trail in Utah, but mud covered a creak crossing near Bull Frog.
 

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guess it depends on where you're driving. my father-in-law has driven from iowa to Anchorage and back, twice, the first time in an about 21' RV, and the second time in his Chevy Impala. neither vehicle was new when the trips started and they didn't age much during the trips. and neither vehicle had any special equipment or modifications. both vehicles were used for years after the trips, w/o issues.
 

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The plastic gas tank is not great because of its low & centered location. A plastic tank would be fine if it wasn't so low nor wasn't in the middle of the vehicle = go over a small peak, and as the E comes up and over, it scrapes the plastic off...

As for your father-in-law...that's great he made it on his bicycle, RV or What have you...but your just not addressing the Elemental issue for me. Please provide ideas for my '08 Element...:?
 
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