Installing a late-model gas tank
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Another cool bus mod, that doesn't cost a lot, and doesn't drastically alter the bus, is to install a tank from a '68 and later bus. The late-model tank holds a tad over 15 gallons, while the stock 55-67 tank holds just over 10. This gives you 5 more gallons of gas, and still allows you to retain the fuel reserve valve, if you have one. I don't know about the interaction of the tank sender and the early guage - I'll update that later. The '67 tank, with it's funky hump, still only holds 10 gallons, sorry.
First, you need to aquire a late-model tank in good condition, along with the connecting hose. You also have the choice of adapting to the late-model filler neck and cap, or cutting an early tank and using the early-model filler neck and cap. I chose the early one. Shown here are the two tanks for comparison. Oh, and get the hold-down straps if you can! This particular tank came from a '68, and the hose came from a '74.
Next I cut off about 10" of the old tank neck, and cut a lenght of the late-model hose to use to connect the new tank to the old hose. The idea is to get the length as close to the original as possible. You'll also need to plug off the vapor-recovery ports. I used a piece of fuel line and a golf tee, and "glued" it together with Aviation Permatex. 72 and later tanks will have 2 vapor-recover ports, instead of one. Install the clamps on the hose prior to installing it in the bus! The krusty tank in the pic is just to provide comparison.
Here's the tank in the bus. The installation method is pretty much the same as a normal tank - lead with the filler, and twist and turn until it's in there. It's actually easier with the new tank, because you have the flex of the hose. Here I used the new tank's hold-down straps to make up the deficit of the origal straps. I simply cut each one down, drilled a hole in it, and bolted it down where the original one used to. Then I bolted the new strap's bolt area to the orginal strap's mounting, and pulled them together. Don't over-tighten, as this will cause the tank to dent, and will also distort the tank shelf. Hook up the fuel reserve or plain fuel tap just like normal - the location is in the exact same spot.
Here's the completed job. At first glance, someone won't even notice that the tank is different! I poured some gas in to get it going, then went and filled it up - put in 13.98 gallons, in addition to what I'd had in the gas can in the garage.
Here's some of the rust from my old tank - I was going thru two fuel filters a week!
Thanks again to Karl for digging out a tank for me!