Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

Replacing the Diesel Tank and Cradle:

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Country Flag
scotland
Replacing the Dieseltank and Cradle on a 2001 HDJ100 ‘Amazon’

I bought a 2001 100-Series Landcruiser ‘Amazon VX’ with the 4.2 litre 6-cylinder 1HD-FTE 24 valve motor in April 2014.

I gave it a good look-over and it was lovely inside and out , better still everything I tried appeared to work. I then put my boiler suit on and, armed with a decent torch, crawled underneath. As I feared, it may have been lovingly polished on Sundays but no-one had spent any time underneath and 13 years of Yorkshire winters had taken their toll .

Still, I reckoned that I could fix anything that needed doing and it looked better than my 1998 90-Series did when I bought it so I went ahead.

I changed the rear brake calipers and disks and resurrected the handbrake mechanism. All well there.

Then, about a week later I noticed drips on the tarmac.

To cut a long story short, the diesel tank was leaking from the front end. It’s not like the 90-Series where the tank is slung from the body and the guard is mounted separately on the chassis – on the Amazon the tank sits in the guard and the pair are suspended from the body on straps.

I therefore couldn’t have a proper look at the tank without removing the whole assembly. I set about running the level of diesel down until I had about 1/8 ofa tank left. The leaks had stopped so I felt that the time was right.

So, half a day later, there it was:



DSCN3110_zpsa68410dc.jpg



The diesel feed and spill return pipes are plastic. They separated from the tank OK and were in good condition all the way to the front. One thing less to worry about :icon-wink:.


The tank was porous around the front edge of the seam, the cradle was rusted through and the brackets on top of the tank for the Sender Unit wiring and the one-way breather valve were gone.


DSCN3112_zps73cfaf3b.jpg





DSCN3113_zps4a2031ca.jpg



DSCN3115_zpsa5b28c66.jpg



DSCN3117_zps9a40df70.jpg



DSCN3119_zps7650602f.jpg



A deep breath and an e-mail to Simon Holton produced the result I expected. The tank and essential fittings were available, but the tank cradle wouldn’t be available until September 2014.

I ordered a new tank and fittings and then started hunting around Breaker Yards. I use www.Breakeryard.com and have had good results in the past. However, repeated requests turned-up nothing.

The only thing to do was to make a tank cradle myself – but not in steel as that would be:-

A: difficult because of the rounded profile of the tank.
B: It would rust.

I therefore opted for fibreglass.

So while I waited for the tank, I set about making a mould.

First I had to try to stabilise the old cradle and then use the inside as the basis for the mould. It was, however, very thin and crumbly.

The first thing I did was to spray the outer surface with Evo-Stick and then stick a thin layer of plastic sheet over it. I used a B&Q dust sheet as the sheet.


DSCN3135_zps88da7a1c.jpg



The drain holes are still visible. I will need to replicate these in the finished product.


DSCN3141_zpseb0eadd9.jpg



Next, mask the drain holes on the inside with masking tape and prepare the inner surface for use as a mould.


DSCN3143_zps113ac6c7.jpg



I coated the inside with Gel-Coat, but found that it wasn’t hardening as its designed to key to the first layer of matting. I therefore gave it two further layers of plain resin.


DSCN3144_zps3b401cf5.jpg



The interior was then sanded down to remove any imperfections that would cause the fibreglass layer to stick.


DSCN3164_zpsdc39d500.jpg



And then it was given three layers of Honey Wax Release Compound.


DSCN3165_zpsd7dc6815.jpg



Then the first layer of fibreglass was laid into it. This will become the real mould on which the final cradle will be formed.


DSCN3169_zps6372cbdc.jpg



When the resin had cured I attempted to separate the single layer of fibreglass from the original cradle – which promptly broke-up, leaving lumps of rust stuck all over the business-side of the cast :icon-rolleyes:.


DSCN3172_zps8daadb2b.jpg



After spending most of a day with scrapers carefully removing the unwanted bits the business-side of the real mould was looking sort-of-OK-ish.


DSCN3174_zps0d92acde.jpg



The mould needed more strength, so I laid two further layers of matting and then incorporated a wooden stand into the inside. This side doesn’t have to be pretty (just as well).


DSCN3175_zpseeaec61d.jpg



So far so good; now the outer surface has to be properly prepared.


DSCN3178_zps84990dd7.jpg



Outside, the outer surface was given a good sanding with fine-grit paper. I used a Random Orbital Sander which worked OK. The Anvil is to stop the mould from dancing about on the Workmate!


DSCN3183_zps532a8f41.jpg



Sanding the surface revealed small air holes so the surface was given a final coat of resin to seal it.


DSCN3188_zps79edfb6e.jpg



Then another rub down with fine sandpaper followed by three or four layers of Honey Wax.


DSCN3190_zps854e57ee.jpg



And then the real work starts. The first layer of 460 grams/sq metre matting is laid on.


DSCN3191_zpsb039561a.jpg




DSCN3193_zps19fb3d08.jpg



DSCN3194_zpse60b0fc7.jpg



When the first layer had cured I tried to separate it from the mould – which was incredibly difficult. I had to use long thin flexible scrapers slid between the layers and finally had a full panel saw pushed in between them. It finally came loose with only a couple of cracks which were easily repaired.

The inside of the new cradle and outside of the mould were then cleaned-up and polished. The cradle was replaced over the mould for the next stage and fortunately it didn’t stick again.

Two further layers were applied, with very dark grey colouring in the resin.


DSCN3195_zps6229ea19.jpg



And there is the complete shell. It’s a bit like a coracle, but it won’t float for long.


DSCN3197_zps44aa3413.jpg



The next stage is to mark the position of the drain holes and cut them with a Bosch Tube Cutter. I don’t remember the size but it was about 30mm diameter.


DSCN3199_zps47658967.jpg



Holes cut, ready for sealing.


DSCN3200_zpsd0363e8d.jpg



One thick layer of coloured resin applied from each side sealed the fibreglass. Ididn’t want water to get between the fibres as it would freeze in winter and cause the cradle to de-laminate. It was sanded down again to remove resin drips.


DSCN3204_zps84bdaa83.jpg




DSCN3205_zps80f58ad4.jpg



And there is the finished cradle. It was a marathon, but worth the effort I think. I am quite pleased with it.


DSCN3212_zpsc9a51593.jpg



By now the tank and fittings had arrived, so the workshop was turned-over to painting two coats of black ‘Smoothrite’top and bottom. There is a crinkly protective coat on part of the tank, but the top surface (which had suffered on the original tank) doesn’t have it.


DSCN3207_zps6683e3d5.jpg



DSCN3209_zpsa10a9d5f.jpg



Then the new fittings were laid out. I had already cleaned-up the sock filter and swapped the Sender Unit across to the new pick-up assembly. The old tank was very clean inside, with no sign of diesel sludge or algae.


DSCN3214_zpse3c4880e.jpg



Having struggled to get the small (4mm) Machine Screws out of the old fittings I decided to do the job properly. Hopefully I will never have to strip it down again but all the fittings are now in with stainless cap-head machine screws.


DSCN3215_zps57d23e99.jpg



And so to fitting . . . I don’t have a lift and decided to just do the job with the truck on the ground. I couldn’t get the tank and guard under the truck as a single assembly so had to slide them under separately and join them up. Not easy when you’re on your own.


DSCN3261_zps5f646418.jpg



The assembly won’t lift straight up into place as its top face is wider than the distance between the propshaft and lower control arm. I lay there thinking (and cursing) for a long time before working out how to do it with wood blocks and the tank on my knees. It has to go up sideways, rear-end first and then its levelled out to sit on the prop and control arm. Easy when you have the technique sussed.


DSCN3263_zps7f58efe2.jpg



Once there, I put my scissor Transmission Jack under it. This made it easy to adjust while I connected everything up on top in the confined space (just as well I’ve got long arms).


Then the tank had to be raised on the jack into position and the new steel straps fitted. I had installed the new brackets on the N/S when the tank was out but it was a bit of a fiddle to connect the straps to the brackets and get the pins and ‘R-Clips’ into place. Very long-nosed pliers came to the rescue.

Then a problem. The new fibreglass cradle is slightly thicker than the original steel one and the O/S of the straps wouldn’t reach the holes in the bodycross-member. These use 10mm Set Screws with ‘Metric Fine’ threads – 10 X1.25mm. I had bought a stainless set (£2.80 EACH!) but they wouldn’t reach.

The solution was longer bolts and a couple of stainless spacers that the straps could pull up against. I needed 10mm thickness on the front one and 15mm on the rear. I turned them to 30mm diameter, but they could have been a bit wider in reality.

This is the rear one before the silencer heat shield was fitted.


DSCN3265_zpsaeb1515b.jpg



And this is the front one with the heat shield in place.


DSCN3267_zps014f6b9d.jpg



The rear strap can just be seen here.


DSCN3268_zps84f679b3.jpg



I’ll check the strap tension after I’ve run the truck around with a full tank. Its possible that the fibreglass cradle will adjust to the tank and I’ll be able to remove those spacers.


And there it is in place. After re-hanging the exhaust (stainless bolts again) the job’s a good-un.


DSCN3272_zps090ff999.jpg



I have ¾ filled the tank, have run it about a bit and all seems fine.

My elder daughter (the one with the horses) passed her trailer test the other day so will be wanting to take the Amazon and Horse Trailer out on her own in future (she is in her mid-30s, is an experienced driver, has an LGV licence and drives Police cars and vans). Still, I’ll be like a cat on hot bricks while she’s out there.

I do, of course, still have the mould so could make more tank cradles. I’m rather busy at home but if anyone is really desperate give me a call.

Oh yes . . The total cost of the exercise, including tank, fittings and fibreglass materials (enough for at least four tank cradles) was £1,241.93. No labour costs of course :icon-cool:.


Bob.
 
Last edited:

AndyCook

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
3,713
Garage
Country Flag
scotland
Good effort Bob, a long slog to make that tank shield, but the result looks good.
Will you be cleaning up the chassis etc and painting it or dinitrol ?
 

lc 120

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
451
Country Flag
uk
Excellent job Bob, thanks for the description and pics.....
 

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Country Flag
scotland
Will you be cleaning up the chassis etc and painting it or dinitrol ?

I'd like to, but first I want to remove as many seized, rusty bolts as possible and replace them with stainless.

I'll clean-up any parts that I can remove in the process (such as the cross member that holds the spare wheel winch).

I don't want to just paint over trouble.

While the tank was out I replaced all the handbrake cable bolts and those on the AHC rear level sensor. I had already done all the under-tray and sump guard bolts.

The ARB and drop link mounting bolts will be first in the firing line.

Bob.
 

grantw

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
Messages
2,178
Bob keep in mind that stainless (as it was pointed out to me) steel bolts aren't as strong as an engineered 8.8 bolt. So you may be better off with just new bolts and some anti seize compound instead of all stainless.

Nice work on the fibreglassing.
 
Don't like the adverts?  Click here to remove them

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Country Flag
scotland
Bob keep in mind that stainless (as it was pointed out to me) steel bolts aren't as strong as an engineered 8.8 bolt. So you may be better off with just new bolts and some anti seize compound instead of all stainless.

Yes, I'm aware of the potential strength issue. I wouldn't use stainless on steering components :eusa-naughty:.

Most of the bolts I replace are 8mm thread. Toyota seem to like 8mm threads with 12mm heads with a hollow crown that collapses when they seize and are then devils to remove. I use conventional 8mm bolts/sets with 13mm heads.

I did wonder about using stainless for the tank supports as 97 litres of diesel weighs a fair amount (149 lbs or 67.7 kilos, plus the weight of the tank :icon-surprised:). They are high quality bolts and thread into deep captive nuts in the body cross-member. I have stainless on the N/S but the O/S in the pictures with the spacers are passivated 8.8 steel with "Optimol TA" anti-seize compound.

I have never had a stainless bolt strip/pull out once it was properly installed.

Up here, new stuff is rusty within a year thanks to the road salt and its a relief to be able to remove bolts easily a few years down the line.

Bob.
 

Shayne

Well-Known Member
Guru
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
13,851
I think stainless being harder is supposed to be more brittle and in theory more likely to just snap without warning . In reality though i can't recall ever seeing a stainless nut or bolt fail . Which is strongest a 5 tonne stainless shackle or a 5 tonne mild steel shackle ? only difference is mild will bend before it breaks and the stainless won't if both were tested to destruction . On commercial fishing boats shackles are consumables as they wear out quickly so mild steel is usually used as its cheaper , but if you go to the chandlers and the shelf is empty the more expensive stainless will be used instead without discrimination .
 

Honey Badger

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
29
Country Flag
wales
Lovely job done there, but please excuse my ignorance here, total cost nearly 1300 pounds, how much is a breakers fuel tank,or is there some tongue in cheek or in joke here...
Or my gosh, what am I getting in here, seems very expensive to me..
 

Shayne

Well-Known Member
Guru
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
13,851
The 100 is a relatively new car for a cruiser so not many in breakers yard is my guess , besides that the dodgy tank seems to be a common problem a used tank is likely to be in similar condition to your own . Thought you were looking for a 95 Badger ? used parts for them aren't so hard to find and this particular problem is not one you would expect to find on the 90 series .
 

Honey Badger

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
29
Country Flag
wales
Hi Shayne, yes, 95 (5 door) Colorado, just mooching,learning, and researching, but saw this and thought, just a tad more than flippin hell, when I saw the cost.
 

Shayne

Well-Known Member
Guru
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
13,851
Unlike Landrovers cruiser faults are usually age related and specific to series . :text-threadjacked:
 

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Country Flag
scotland
Lovely job done there, but please excuse my ignorance here, total cost nearly 1300 pounds, how much is a breakers fuel tank,or is there some tongue in cheek or in joke here...
Or my gosh, what am I getting in here, seems very expensive to me..

Believe me - its no joke ( :lol: ).

I wanted to sort the problem once and for all and wouldn't want to get a tank from a Breaker, even if I could find one, as I suspect it would come with problems.

That was a discounted Toyota tank - courtesy of Simon Holton (cheers Simon :thumbup:).

I had no response to repeated calls to Breakers for the tank cradle, so I guess there aren't many of these 100-Series being broken at present.

I did manage to find a set of five wheels though. £490 complete with four hubcaps.

I then spent £240 getting the five alloys blasted and powder coated in "Silver Sparkle" :icon-cool:.

Five 275/70/16 BFG A/Ts set me back £900 :shock:.

So, its nicely shod ready for towing horses into wet fields and I have a spare set of wheels with road tyres in reserve.

Its a 13-year-old car and I was expecting to have to spend on it in order to get it into shape. Hopefully I won't be doing this for the rest of its life :icon-rolleyes:.

Bob.
 

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Country Flag
scotland
Hi Shayne, yes, 95 (5 door) Colorado, just mooching,learning, and researching, but saw this and thought, just a tad more than flippin hell, when I saw the cost.

I have just had to replace the diesel pipes on my 1998 '95' as the spill-return pipe rusted-through above the tank. I'll be putting up a "what I did" thread on the 90-Series Forum at some point.



DSCN3238_zpse54b18a6.jpg





I had to replace the tank guard on the 95 about three years ago as it was rusted out. I removed it the other day expecting to find that the tank was shot but no- it looks fine :thumbup:.

Both the 95 and the 100 are fairly corroded underneath (Scottish and Yorkshire winter road salt :icon-rolleyes:) yet the 2001 '100' needed a new tank and the 1998 '95' is fine.

There is no rhyme nor reason - take a good torch with you when you go looking and make your own mind up about a vehicle on the day. I reckoned that I could sort out the 100's problems and went for it.

Cars from the 'deep South' are probably the ones to go for as those North of Watford are likely to be corroded underneath :shock:.

Good luck in your search.

Bob.
 

Honey Badger

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
29
Country Flag
wales
Thanks for the reply bob.
I enjoyed your thorough job on the tank resto.
Mind, having said that, I just picked up a £750 labour bill for fitting two £6 gaskets to my T5
I will keep an eye out for your next job on the 95..
Thanks Steve.
 
Top