Making new gas tanks for Hudsons?

Jon BJon B Administrator
edited June 2013 in HUDSON Posts: 6,776
A friend in my local AACA was waxing enthusiastic about a company that makes brand new gas tanks for his '41 Buick, and he gave me the company name: Tanks, Inc., out of Monticello, Iowa. http://www.tanksinc.com/index.cfm They do NOT make Hudson tanks, but I wonder if anyone who needs to replace his tank, might be interested in contacting them to discuss the feasibility of making a limited run of Hudson tanks (probably for Step-Downs, since if any Hudson model would provide the numbers necessary for economies of scale, it would be '48 through '54. (I'm hoping they all have the same size tank!) Another thought: maybe a tank currently made by the company, for another make of car, could be easily adapted.

At any rate, it is at least possible that a new steel (not stainless) tank could be produced that wouldn't cost much more than the price of rebuilding an old tank. Anyway, it might be nice if someone looked into this, on behalf of his fellow owners. (I own a '37. No hope for me!)
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Comments

  • EssexAdvEssexAdv Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Posts: 599
    Jon, 48 - 51 full sized tanks are different than 52-3. Then the 54 has a different neck. Also, I believe some of the later stepdowns also had a smaller tank. Not that it would be big deal to replace the smaller tank with the full sized tank (that is it I am correct that there is a smaller step-down tank). So there are at least 2 different tanks (48 - 51 and 52-3) and the 54 tanks would need a different neck. So, the thought of having one tank for all goes out,. I'm not trying to discourage the thought just want to spark some conversation about the differences and the possible need.d
    Lewis Mendehall
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    edited June 2013 Posts: 6,776
    Well, that's a fair comment. But going just by the '48-51 models (which evidently have identical fuel tanks), relatively large numbers of these survive (as compared to later and earlier years of Hudson) and this could still entice a manufacturer to have a go at tooling up for repro tanks. Especially if he could have some indication that there was demand for his output.

    One way to handle this would be to ask the fabricator to estimate the cost (to Hudson owners) per tank, in a limited run of (say) 150 tanks. Then, an announcement in the WTN could solicit a deposit ("earnest money") from potential buyers over a six month period. (The deposit would be non-refundable unless the project failed to materialize, in which case it would be returned to each potential customer.)

    If at the end of the six months the orders equal 150, the fabricator would have a certain assurance that indeed his total production could be sold, and could go into production. The deposits would then be applied to the price of the tanks. If at the end of the six months the orders fell far short of the requisite number, the deposits would be returned to those who paid them, and the fabricator wouldn't go into production.

    In this way we might overcome the unwillingness of manufacturers to go into production on items for low-production marques like Hudsons.

    Currently, the above-mentioned company makes tanks for "popular" cars (Mercurys, Olds, Buicks) at a price in the low $200's. I wonder if, even given that our demand would be less (thus tooling costs have to be absorbed by a fewer number of sales) the price couldn't still be kept to less than $300? At this price you're competitive with a Gas Tank Renu repair job. As good as Gas Tank Renu is, I'd be willing to spend a slight bit more to get an authentic and brand new reproduction tank!
  • GrimGreaserGrimGreaser Senior Contributor
    edited June 2013 Posts: 688
    Someone on this forum had a 46-47 (I beleive) and stepdown tank (not sure what version) made by Rick's Tanks. http://rickstanks.com/ stainless so I think the price was about $600.
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    Posts: 6,776
    I recall this discussion awhile back. Stainless steel is fine for those who have a need for it, but for most of us the carbon steel reproduction tanks in our Hudsons will more than outlive us, at a price that's less expensive than steel. Actually, the original steel tank on my '37 has not yet required repair.
  • Ducor KidDucor Kid Expert Adviser
    Posts: 208
    In checking the website it looks like the 49-51 Ford poly tanks are the closest in size to my 50 Pacemaker. They make universal steel tanks of the same basic design as the Hudson. Does anyone have the tank dimensions for all stepdowns? With that info we might get some where.
    Larry
    Looking for a salty piece of land! Central California
  • HudzillaHudzilla Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,416
    Essex Adv,How are the 48-51 gas tanks different from the 52-3 ? I am aware of the 54 having a different neck but where are the differences on the others? The only difference I am aware of is the large capacity 25 gallon racing tank that was an option. As far as I am aware part # 302705 was used from 48-53. Am I missing something?
  • lostmindlostmind Expert Adviser
    Posts: 1,124
    The spare tire was moved to vertical location in '52 , I think that is why the tanks are different?
    Wellington , Ohio
  • EssexAdvEssexAdv Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Posts: 599
    Lost mind is correct. The tanks are different shape to allow fro the different rear bumper height and the vertical spare tire
    Lewis Mendehall
  • Aaron D. ILAaron D. IL Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,675
    I hear of more '40's Hudson owners that have rusted-out tanks than step-down owners. At least here in the midwest.
  • PAULARGETYPEPAULARGETYPE Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,772
    WELL I'M THINKING THEY ALL HAVE RUSTED OUT IF YOUR IN A PLACE THAT USES SALT AND HOW LONG THE CAR WAR USED I'VE HAD THEM LOOK LIKE NEW AND I'VE HAD THEM WITH HOLES SO BIG I THOUGHT WOW!!!!!! I THINK THERE WERE SO MANY STEP/DOWNS SAVED THEN SCRAPPED THAT ALOT OF TANKS GOT PUT A SIDE FOR ( THE NEXT HUDSON I'M GOING TO SAVE )
  • RonSRonS Senior Contributor
    Posts: 791
    I never knew about the difference of the 48-51 v. 52-53. Can these tanks be used( made to fit) even though they are incorrect as original? I paid $370 for a fine repop on my 50 Cadillac. It was sold by a fella in Minnesota. He also sells new senders. Could be a good deal for you Paul. Also, I thought that Ricks Tanks in El Paso was making Hudson tanks in stainless. Happy Fathers Day to all.
  • hud nuthud nut Senior Contributor
    Posts: 25
    I installed a tank from a late 1952 Hornet into my 1948 super six that did not have a tank when I got it. I had it cleaned and sealed and it bolted in with no problems at all.
  • 53jetman53jetman Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,206
    I have to go along with "Hudzilla" - Same part number for 1948 thru 1953 = same tank for all models of step-down. The Jet of course used a bit smaller tank with still a different location of the filler tube
    Jerry Bean  -  Lima, OH,  Home of the M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank - email: JerryBean@mail.com - A 2nd Generation Hud-Nut -  HET Tech Adviser on Hudson Jets 1953 & 1954 & HET Registrar of all Hudson Jets
  • HudzillaHudzilla Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,416
    Well I've interchanged 49 to 53 gas tanks with the tire well or without - dosen't matter it's the same tank. Pacemaker, Wasp, Commodore Super 6&8 , Hornet, same tank. No difference.






  • cpr3333cpr3333 Expert Adviser
    Posts: 209
    According to the master parts catalog, the 20 gallon fuel tank with part no. 302705, fits all cars except Jets from '48 to '54.

    There is also an 'extra capacity' tank (no actual capacity given) with part no. 308491 listed for '53 and '54, except Jets.

    The neck assemblies listed are the same for '48 to '53' (300552) but different for '54 (310024) again, except for Jets.

    It doesn't specify what actually came with the cars, only what fits. I'm guessing there are three possibilities for '53 and '54:

    1. The 'extra capacity' tank was optional on all models
    2. It was standard on some series and optional on others
    3. It was standard on some series and not available on others.

    Based on the fact that both fit any car, I'm guessing #1 is the most likely scenario.

    Chris Reinman

    Grant, Florida

    1950 Pacemaker Deluxe Brougham (My father's first car!)

  • Ric West INRic West IN Senior Contributor
    Posts: 337
    Measured l-w-h of 1949,1953 and 1954 tanks in my collection. All the same,but 54 does
    have a smaller diameter filler neck. These were taken off cars in the early 60's and tagged by me.

    "Ric"
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    Posts: 6,776
    Putting aside the debate on whether or not all StepDown tanks were basically the same size, we would agree (at least) that '48 through '51 are the same. Right?

    So, now, how about someone (especially someone whose tank is rusting out!) taking the initiative to contact this company and see what would be required to go into production with these things? What might the price be in (let's say) a production run of 150? 200? 100?

    Maybe it is so costly to tool up, that the price is way out of reason in which case, "we tried."

    But if we're down to $300 or less, this would (I think) be fairly attractive to someone who might otherwise have to pay that much just to have someone patch and re-seal his old tank.
  • lostmindlostmind Expert Adviser
    Posts: 1,124
    I stand corrected , my assumption was wrong. I think it was the muffler location that was changed because of spare tire relocation. But that's way off subject.
    Wellington , Ohio
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Administrator, Moderator
    edited June 2013 Posts: 5,034
    There are others in this thread that would certainly know more than me, but I think the '52's vertical spare tire well is where the misconception of the different tanks has come into Hudson lore. Roy is on the right track in that the vertical tire well crowds the gas tank more than earlier models and, coincidentally makes it difficult to incorporate the "split" dual exhaust. At one time I had probably 9 or 10 tanks on hand and every one of them was identical. Yesterday I set my eyes on a Jet tank, and they are noticeably smaller with a small intake pipe that is located in a different location than the bigger cars.
    Russell http://www.52hornetvert.blogspot.com HETrlchilton52@gmail.com (drop the HET)
  • GrimGreaserGrimGreaser Senior Contributor
    Posts: 688
    Another option for those unconcerned with originality is the floor mounted Mustang fuel tank. I believe I saw someone do that on the HAMB to a stepdown. Essentially cut the trunk floor, brace properly, and drop the Mustang tank right in. May not work with the vertical spare mount.
  • KdancyKdancy Senior Contributor
    Posts: 2,104
    OK-- note back from tanksinc.com
    (I just don't think you could justify the cost quoted for a small club)

    "We typically do production runs of 100 gas tanks at one time. You may be able to get away with a few as 50 but the individual cost would be substantially higher. "

    Justin,
    I guess the deciding factor to be - how much per tank for the 100 run?
    How much does shipping per tank usually run or do you ship by pallet?
    would drop shipping to customers be possible to avoid double shipping charges?
    length of time needed to fill the 100 run order?
    please advise,
    Kerry

    Without seeing the tank it is really hard for me to give you a quote. But ballpark for a “typical” 100 run gas tank order would be about $500 per gas tank. At that price we would want you to pay for ½ up front and the remainder upon shipping to you. If you wanted us to stock them and them drop ship them we would still need ½ of the money up front and the cost of the tank would be higher as well to pay for warehouse and labor costs. If we were to make a second run of 100 tanks the price would be closer to $300 or possibly less for the second batch of 100 tanks.

    A typical tank is about $25-$35 shipping per tank if only 1 was shipped at a time. Truck freight would be considerably cheaper if you shipped them by the pallet. We would need at least 6 months to produce 100 tanks. It takes 2-3 months to finish the tooling to make the tank and after the prototype is approved then it takes about 3-4 months to have the production run finished.

    Thanks,
    Justin Somerville
    Tanks Inc.



    53 Super Super Wasp Coupe
    53 Studebaker Coupe Custom
    64 Champ pickup
    53 Hornet Coupe od no drivetrain,  haven't decided what to do with this one


    Kerry Wellborn, Florida http://s294.beta.photobucket.com/user/studebaker2/library/
  • Jon BJon B Administrator
    edited June 2013 Posts: 6,776
    Kerry, thank you for taking the initiative to contact them and get the story. I'm sorry to hear they're going to run $500, even in lots of 100, but I realize that the tooling and setup charges are probably phenomenal. And those charges have to be divided up amongst all the tanks that are manufactured. Also, it's possible that there is a liability insurance angle; we might be paying a substantial amount per tank to insure that the producer is shielded from losing his shirt if (for example) someone's tank explodes after an accident, and he decides to sue everyone remotely connected with the incident.

    So, unless some self-employed panel beater decides to knock off a few of these in his spare time, we'll have to return to the tried and true methods of reviving our rusted tanks with bits of tin and fiberglass, and plenty of protective resin!

    The only other remaining possibility is that Tanks, Inc. (or indeed any other tank reproducing company) would already make a tank for another make of car, which was close enough in size to work with a Hudson. Then, Tanks, Inc. could simply knock out a run of those tanks, but move the filler pipes and gas line inlets to the "Hudson" location.
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 5,034
    I think that's too many tanks at too high a cost for the average Hudson Bear.

    Surely, if the inlet pipes could be secured, someone like bentmetal could fashion tanks and do a run of 15 or 20 and make it a profitable and viable venture for him and a reasonable cost for the customers.
    Russell http://www.52hornetvert.blogspot.com HETrlchilton52@gmail.com (drop the HET)
  • PhantomPacemakerPhantomPacemaker Expert Adviser
    Posts: 18
    I was just on Tanks.inc and noticed the 55-56 Chevy gas tank is almost the same size as the one I pulled form my Pacemaker. Also, the fill is on the correct size. Just need to purchase the elbow.
  • GrimGreaserGrimGreaser Senior Contributor
    edited June 2013 Posts: 688
    The difficulty I see getting a different OEM tank under the back of a stepdown and using the stock fuel fill location is getting the tank inlet right. The Hudson tank inlet comes in at the bottom-left-rear of the tank, fitting below the frame with the vent tube running over the top of the frame. Most other makes have the inlet come in at the top of the tank. Now, if their Universal tank, say U4-90, had the neck coming into the bottom of the tank - we might be able to get that to work with minimal fuss in our cars.
  • RonSRonS Senior Contributor
    Posts: 791
    Man, how does Ricks claim $600 for stainless? I agree with Russell. There are many Cadillac antique models for sale that are between $300 & $400. Cadillac changed tanks 41 to 49 , 50 to 56. 57 is alone and so on. Stepdowns ran from 48 to 54, nearly 600,000 cars and a survival rate of what 1% that's 6000 potential. Sales should be 150 to 200 right off... at $350 -400 per car. Most of us would buy one while the getin' is good. My thought is to add a flange at the bottom of the tank, ala GM. That way that long filler tube can be removed and ease the installation. A clamped hose can join the filler tube from the gas cap flange to the side of the tank. Would that lower the cost?
  • RL ChiltonRL Chilton Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 5,034
    letmebooya-

    Yep. Buy a used tank and have someone like ReNu refurbish it. Should run you around 300-350.
    Russell http://www.52hornetvert.blogspot.com HETrlchilton52@gmail.com (drop the HET)
  • 53jetman53jetman Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,206
    I just had two tanks dipped at American Metal Cleaning in Toledo OH last week for $ 100.00 each. We will now use Bill Hirsch's sealer which will take care of them for the rest of my life, at least.
    Jerry Bean  -  Lima, OH,  Home of the M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank - email: JerryBean@mail.com - A 2nd Generation Hud-Nut -  HET Tech Adviser on Hudson Jets 1953 & 1954 & HET Registrar of all Hudson Jets
  • RonSRonS Senior Contributor
    edited June 2013 Posts: 791
    53jetman, Are there any pit holes in your tank. Does it leak anywhere?
  • 53jetman53jetman Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,206
    RonS - The Jet tank has a couple of pin holes in it, but will not be much of a job to solder up. The tank as a whole is quite solid. The '54 tank just needed to be re-cleaned. Whoever sealed it originally did not make sure is was chemically clean before adding the sealer - therefore some of the sealer flaked off and was doing a fine job of trying to clog my fuel filters.
    Jerry Bean  -  Lima, OH,  Home of the M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank - email: JerryBean@mail.com - A 2nd Generation Hud-Nut -  HET Tech Adviser on Hudson Jets 1953 & 1954 & HET Registrar of all Hudson Jets
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