How to Install A Truck Bed Fuel Tank
Pickup trucks, especially full-size ones, tend to come with generously sized fuel tanks — a necessity as they may also pack powerful and thirsty powerplants. However, you’ll still struggle to crack 1,000 miles out of them, and some may not even be enough for 500 miles. Not ideal if you want some extended driving capabilities in areas where gas stations are sparse. Enter the world of the auxiliary fuel tank, specifically; the truck bed-mounted auxiliary fuel tank. In this article, we’ll take you through the installation of truck bed fuel tanks and how to best perform it after purchasing an auxiliary fuel tank kit.
Before you ask, no, your auxiliary fuel tank won’t take up the entire bed unless you want to install multiple tanks and do just that. Your average auxiliary fuel tank may take up between 10% and 25% of your available truck bed, depending on the size, shape, and capacity.
At Leonard Accessories, we carry a wide range of auxiliary fuel tanks for trucks, with varying capacities, as well as installation kits, so head over and browse through to find your perfect truck bed fuel tank.
Tips Before You Start
Firstly, ensure that your chosen fuel tank for the truck bed is compatible with your truck. You want to make sure that it will fit in your truck’s bed and be as easy to install as possible. Stick with a regular shape as far as possible.
If you’re unsure, you can talk to our experts, who will gladly recommend suitable choices of truck bed fuel tanks for your truck’s specific make, model, and year. Either way, be sure to do your research and are 100% sure that your choice is suitable before pulling the trigger on your purchase.
Don’t forget to purchase the truck bed installation kit (which may be included with some truck bed fuel tank purchases, but not all), as well as find out about any additional hardware, electronics, or tools that you will need.
Gather Your Materials
Before starting, you want to have everything required on hand. The last thing you want is to need to rush to the store mid-installation. You’ll need a drill, the necessary mounting hardware, fuel filters and piping, a fuel pump if applicable, and of course, the necessary wiring and electronics for fuel level reporting.
You might also want to have a buddy on hand, as while a truck bed fuel tank is not particularly heavy when empty, two sets of hands are better than one when lifting and positioning this large, metallic item in your truck bed. If you attempt it solo, you might bump it against your truck bed and damage the bed lining.
Determine Desired Placement
Plan out your desired placement, and ensure that it’s away from any of the sides of the bed. This doesn’t mean you place it smack in the center of your bed, but you shouldn’t rest it against a wall. The objective is to avoid any chances for rubbing or chafing of the tank against the bed to occur, which can damage both.
Of course, you’ll want to place the tank closer to the front of your bed (that is, near the cab), rather than the rear, for obvious reasons of maintaining decent cargo carrying capacity, as well as weight distribution. You should also ensure that the tank is centered and not towards the left or right-hand side, as, once again, this will affect your weight distribution when the tank is full and heavy.
Carefully drill the holes, ensuring that you’ve measured and marked them properly. The old adage “measure twice, cut (in this case, drill) once” is best to follow. Remember that once you drill your holes, you’ve exposed your truck bed’s bare metal to the environment, and thus should apply appropriate rustproofing liberally, as well as finish off with a top coat of paint for extra protection.
Install the Fuel Tank
Follow the instructions on your fuel tank installation kit to install the fuel tank, connect it up, and be sure to double and triple-check all bolts, screws, and connectors, especially fuel lines. You don’t want fuel leaks. Once all is done, fill ‘er up and take your truck for a short drive to ensure that everything is working fine.
Trucking Supplies Galore At Leonard Accessories
Leonard Accessories can be considered the masters in the all matters of truck parts and accessories. Whatever you may require for your truck, we’re bound to have it in stock. Browse our inventory or drop by one of our 57 truck accessory centers if physical shopping is your preference. As an added bonus, most of our shops are equipped to help you with installation as well, and you can count on our trained experts to provide the best advice and support.