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Old 01-21-2019, 12:31 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Replacing fuel tank on 2002 International 3800 - Advice needed

Has anyone dropped the fuel tank on one of these? Mine is leaking and there are big slabs of rust coming off the side. But the worst problem is that there's rust inside somewhere and it got into the fuel lines and fuel filter.

It could probably be cleaned and welded and made to last a bit longer, but the thing is in a big steel cage that is mounted to the frame, and if I'm going to the trouble of taking that off and doing all that work I would just rather put a new tank on it. Or a used tank in very good condition. The steel cage probably weighs 200lbs. or more.

I'm weighing my options here. I don't have any help, so I'm thinking of letting the guys at the International dealership do the work for me. A brand new tank is almost $1000, and the labor would be another $1200 or more. I'm trying to figure out if it's really worth tackling on my own.

I'm worried about getting it off the frame and the new one back on because it's so big and I'm working on it alone. I've got a 12 ton bottle jack and I can get some jack stands or use cribbing, but it's still really intimidating. It's held on by 12 bolts, six on each side. They are big and rusted of course. It looks like I could get to the back side and cut through the nuts with a cut off wheel and get them off. Then I would just replace them when I put the new one on.

I assume I'd need air tools to get the bolts tight enough? I don't think my little battery powered impact driver would be powerful enough. How would I make sure that it's not going to ever come off? Just air powered impact driver and some Locktite Red? How big of a compressor would I need to use? I've got a Bostitch compressor but it's only 150psi I think.

How feasible does this project sound for one person? I'm going to link some photos below.

The tank is inside this cage.





Bolted to the frame rail.

Nuts behind frame rail.

Rear strap. I pulled some slabs of rust off of here. I think this is where the leak is, or at least part of it.

Front strap
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:34 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Images don't seem to be showing up. Trying again without the tags:

https://imgur.com/IAzgjVU

https://imgur.com/byBnjbR

https://imgur.com/nV19JoT

https://imgur.com/t4Usl4J

https://imgur.com/N683TKF

https://imgur.com/2S0M3m8

https://imgur.com/KGDFM1B
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:38 PM   #3
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RE: heavy stuff.. I swapped in a 650 lb MT643 into my DEV bus this past summer.. and im a little 145 lb dude..



Jacks, stands, SEMI-TRUCK ratchet straps(the big ones), PATIENCE, and cribbing are key..



big stuff can be daunting at first but you just have to take your time to devise a safe method for moving it.. even if it takes extra time..



if you feel you will be unsafe at it, then by all means its well worth the shop labor.. you can also see if you can find spot-labor help.. with an app like TAKL, Offer-up, or such.. there are guys who offer per-hour labor to help on projects.. a second set of hands is often a HUGE advantage if needbe to get something done...

-Christopher
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:09 PM   #4
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So, if you are handy, what I have come to realize is that these bigger vehicles are actually easier to work on. More room to get tools/hands in to tight places.. bigger fasteners that strip less easily... And are bigger targets for the cutoff wheel.
At 200lbs, you could use a regular automotive jack with cribbing, along with your bottle jack.
Air impact tools are great if you have the air to use them... But a big breaker bar and a cheater will do wonders. Working alone on big projects is sometimes daunting.. they aren't impossible to do.
Good luck. Keep us updated.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:36 PM   #5
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Tank Upgrade

I have been planning on replacing my stock 65 gallon tank with a tank from an International 4300 paystar. They are about the right width and height and can be as large as 100 gallons and they are aluminum. You can find them for about 400 bucks US.

Just an Idea.

Im going to use on of these and a tank from a S2500 and put it in the rear between the frame rails for a total of 150 gallons of fuel capacity.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FamilyCircus View Post
I have been planning on replacing my stock 65 gallon tank with a tank from an International 4300 paystar. They are about the right width and height and can be as large as 100 gallons and they are aluminum. You can find them for about 400 bucks US.

Just an Idea.

Im going to use on of these and a tank from a S2500 and put it in the rear between the frame rails for a total of 150 gallons of fuel capacity.
YES! Great idea!
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:27 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
you can also see if you can find spot-labor help.. with an app like TAKL, Offer-up, or such.. there are guys who offer per-hour labor to help on projects.. a second set of hands is often a HUGE advantage if needbe to get something done...

-Christopher
That's a good idea, I didn't think about hiring help. I'm going to look at those apps. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:46 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyCircus View Post
I have been planning on replacing my stock 65 gallon tank with a tank from an International 4300 paystar. They are about the right width and height and can be as large as 100 gallons and they are aluminum. You can find them for about 400 bucks US.

Just an Idea.

Im going to use on of these and a tank from a S2500 and put it in the rear between the frame rails for a total of 150 gallons of fuel capacity.
I thought about this, just using a different tank. So long as it fits in the space, I can do it, right?

Could I just scrap the big steel cage after I take it off, and strap a tank straight to the frame rails? I've seen a lot of busses/trucks that have it that way. I'm sure the cage adds some support and safety, but a tank full of diesel isn't a bomb. So long as it is on there well enough to never fall off is all that matters, right?

Losing the weight of the cage wouldn't cause any problems with weight distribution, would it?
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:52 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
Air impact tools are great if you have the air to use them... But a big breaker bar and a cheater will do wonders.
Do you think my 150 psi air compressor is strong enough? I can't imagine an impact driver would be too expensive, and seems like a handy thing to have around. I've got a breaker bar and can find some pipe to use as an extension if I need to. I'll have to look again and make sure but I think I can get enough room on the nut side to do that. But an impact driver seems like it would save a lot of work!

Or would an electric impact driver do it? I could get a battery powered one, or I have access to an outlet near the bus now (and have a genny too). So I can power it. I just don't know how tight those bolts have to be. I may be overthinking this though
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyJones View Post
Do you think my 150 psi air compressor is strong enough? I can't imagine an impact driver would be too expensive, and seems like a handy thing to have around. I've got a breaker bar and can find some pipe to use as an extension if I need to. I'll have to look again and make sure but I think I can get enough room on the nut side to do that. But an impact driver seems like it would save a lot of work!



Or would an electric impact driver do it? I could get a battery powered one, or I have access to an outlet near the bus now (and have a genny too). So I can power it. I just don't know how tight those bolts have to be. I may be overthinking this though
I use a harbor freight 30 gallon 1.25 hp 120 psi compressor... And wish I had bigger. I have to stop frequently to let the air catch up. They can be tandomed up and from YouTube that looks like it works great, but need the 25-30 gallon tank minimum just for the cfm needed.
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