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10-31-2013, 09:43 PM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
Need a New Gas Tank For Your Older Suburban, stay away from this one.
Hi Suburban owners,
I'm new on the forum, so please forgive any crude attempts posting pics, I recently introduced myself at the new member forum.
I have a 1997 K2500 Suburban I recently had the joy of installing all new fuel lines and gas tank.
I'll get straight to the point, the 42 gal gas tank I ordered was advertised as "Direct replacement for a proper fit every time", made by Dorman.
I wont mention the distributor, since it wasn't their fault the tank wasn't right. However, it wouldn't be right if they keep selling it, I have no control over that,
but I can and will get the word out.
Ok here goes, it looked good out of the box, eye shot copy, so I scrapped the box for recycle pick-up and got started.
First off, the bottom plastic protective cover doesn't fit right, so right away I'm wondering if this carries over to the install. I call the seller, they say
I need the box, bla bla, I say makes no diff, if this doesn't fit I'm getting my $ back, they say if I can make it work they would give me a partial refund,
I say ok I'll see how it goes and get back to you.
I don't feel like typing between pics, so I'll let my pics do the talking at the end.
First you can see how good the cover fits (which you really need) the old tank compared to the new Dorman tank.
I used a heat gun to try to get the cover to fit better with so so results.
I wasn't too happy with the galvi process since I saw rust beginning in the scratches I made, so I applied a thin layer of undercoating after stretching the cover.
The real trouble came during installation, the front of the tank (nearest axle) seated up tight ok, but the rear (near bumper) of the tank was too wide to clear
the inside of the frame rails. The OEM tank fit up inside the frame rails (finger clearance) and rear cross-member tight.
Pulled out my tape measure, OEM tank measures 30-3/8" seam edge to seam edge wide, while the Dorman measured 31-3/4"....no way!
I get the tank up as tight as I can, fortunately it does snug up at the rear upper radius of the tank leaving some clearance before the seam touched, thank god.
You can see the straps are way to short, factory bolts barely grabbed the nut in the cross-member. I wasn't feeling warm and fuzzy about this scenario, 42 gallons is a lot of fuel. Even if I had longer straps, you can see the end of the strap would lack the clearance getting around the tank seam edge.
My resolve was to fabricate a couple aluminum spacer blocks with off-set through holes, discarding the factory clip-type nuts, so the spacer blocks sit good and flush to the bottom of the cross-member, heavy duty washers/lock, and nut on the back side. I felt this was ok.
Now here's the low down...I e-mailed a blow-by-blow presentation of the whole thing, with way more pics and descriptions than you see here.
Unquestionably a poorly designed tank that left me with a anything but a straight forward installation.
After the distributor asked me more questions, they said..." after checking, we find your the only one who had trouble, so you may have a defective tank."
They offered to reimburse me 25% of my cost. Ya it's something I guess, but 50% or 100% would have been better after all the trouble I went through.
I find this one defect BS hard to believe, I'm no stranger to a manufacturing process, these tanks are stamped out of two molds and joined together in a controlled fashion. If one tank is like this, then there must be many others.
I bought the Dorman because it was advertised as galvanized, unfortunately my guess is the manufacturing is probably done in China (enough said).
The tank and fuel system work well with no leaks, so I'm staying with it, I just want to see if any other Suburban owners had similar difficulty with the Dorman 42 gal tank and save some grief for those who may need a new tank. I would say to them, there's another manufacturer in Canada, go with that tank.
If I get any substantial feed back, I may decide to take this a little further.
Best to u all,