Tonight I started work on a new stainless steel fuel cell. I was never quite happy with the aluminum tank I built during my suspension overhaul in 2008, so I'm taking the opportunity to rebuild it entirely. I'm using 18ga 304 stainless steel this time, with a better in-tank pump setup (more details to follow, the pictures turned out blurry).
This is the leaky turd that I'm removing and throwing away.
Two sheets of 24" x 48" 18ga stainless from OnlineMetals.com and a piece of 2" tubing for the filler neck.
I built a wood table to go around the Harbor Freight bead roller that lives at the shop. This allows me to roll the beads in the full sheet without having to wrestle the weight of it.
I laid out the first set of bead rolls on the outside of the tank. This face will be covered entirely by the exhaust heat shield, so I'm essentially using it for practice. Even if the forms aren't perfect, it will still add stiffness to the tank.
I copied the same dimensions onto the back side. Because the throat of the bead roller isn't deep enough to swing the full sheet around, I have to roll the form in two halves - half from above, and half from below- and blend the edges.
It's not perfect, but I'm happy with the results!
I started to layout the form on the side which intersects the fuel filler neck. I ran out of time to bend this one tonight, but I think this is the shape I want.
Again, I transferred the mirrored pattern onto the bottom of the sheet.
I will bend the rest next time! I also have to cut a 3-1/4" diameter hole in the top for the new fuel pump, which will be fun.