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Fuel Cell options

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by manesfesto, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Nov 18, 2019 at 5:45 PM
    #1
    manesfesto

    manesfesto [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I’ve searched around most of the day and couldn’t find anyone with a write up in doing a aftermarket fuel cell in place if the stock tank.

    I have my stock a good whack after denting it a few times the other day and it’s leaking super super slow. I’ve always hated the stock location and clearance.

    are there any aftermarket options that accept our stock sending units? I could do a RCI but would have to figure out an external pump and such. it would be awesome to find a cell that accepted our stock float and sending units but I cannot find one.

    I’d either mount in my bed cage or cut out the bed and mount in the frame rails. Just looking for ideas. Thanks.
     
  2. Nov 19, 2019 at 5:28 AM
    #2
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    Doing an RCI install right now.

    A replacement tank is about $250 so financially a fuel cell as a stand alone replacement in the stock location just does not make much practical sense. My RCI is 15 gal and 30 x 9 x 12 and I am sure it could be placed in the stock location with a little fab work. They have a 17 gallon that's the same but 17 inches tall vs 12.

    My tank included the pick up line, rollover vent valve, and a GM style sending unit installed for a little over 200. I am going with a few AN fittings which are adding another $100. I am debating my fuel transfer system but an external fuel pump and regulator will set you back another $100.

    Plus your gagues other misc stuff probably $100.

    Fabrication work????

    Just get a new tank. If considering an auxillary tank then that's a different story thus I have the Revisted thread in development.


    Good luck.

    I considered a saddle tank on the opposite side but have not found anyone to even suggest that idea.

    I think it can be done if you put a shorter muffler in and moved it as far forward as possible and exhaust exit would need to be straight down or out the side.

    IMG_20191116_161411.jpg IMG_20191117_133735.jpg

    I have the tank plumbing parts are being shipped. I also started a Aux tank thread yesterday too.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/aux-fuel-options-revisted.639116/#post-22047609

    https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/1st-gen-taco-build.210552/
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  3. Nov 19, 2019 at 6:53 AM
    #3
    manesfesto

    manesfesto [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Damn, couldn’t have asked for a better response than that. Thanks. My main concern was just being able to use my stock assembly so I don’t need to mess with other gauges and pumps.

    what would stop you from modifying the tank to accept the toyota pump and such?
     
    Wulf likes this.
  4. Nov 19, 2019 at 7:08 AM
    #4
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    My original tank is fine I wanted to approximately double my range. It was a trade off of tank size vs loss of bed space. I plan on putting my propane and water tank next to it and balance the weight more equally.

    So if in your case money time and effort is less of a consideration chase you don't like the stock tank this suggestion might work for you.

    Buy an RCI or Moeller below deck tent that spans the maximum width of length of the bed. If you want to use the same sending units and pickup from your stock tank you have to select a stock tank height of which is close to the original so that obviously the pickup will be low enough to get most of the fuel and the gauge will be close to a true reading.

    Give me a minute and I'll down load some pic ideas.
     
  5. Nov 19, 2019 at 7:16 AM
    #5
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    s-l1600.jpg

    Ok stock tank

    Looks like maybe 16 inches deep. I can't find dimensions other than capacity 18 gal
     
  6. Nov 19, 2019 at 7:38 AM
    #6
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    There are tons of tank sizes and a few different legit manufacturers but there is always Amazon knockoffs too

    My build thread on Expo Portal
    https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/1st-gen-taco-build.210552/

    RCI 2191A

    19 gal and nearly identical to mine 30x12x12
    I tried thinking I could put 2 side by side but was about an inch too long a the cab side of the bed
    I was going to use the second as a water tank.
    56-58 inches is about the max width side to side.

    # 032525 Moeller Product below deck tank 25 gallon
    Product Dimension: 47.00L x 18.03W x 7.50H

    Probably too short but width wise about right.

    Product #032560 Dimension:
    62.00"L x 24.50"W x 11.25"H
    60 gallons

    This might be a bit too long but you get the point.

    With this run the full length of the bed and next to it put in a drawer bed slide like the one in my build thread cover all with plywood top. Think about weight distribution and total weight. This not an exact suggestion just concepts to be refinedmoe-032525__54764.1558138915.jpg


    moe-032560__92230.1558139365.jpg

     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  7. Nov 19, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    #7
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    PS obviously you need to cut a hole to match the taco.

    In hindsight I like the floor tank length wise in the bed cuase no need for fancy filler options. Just open the tailgate and fill from the rear.

    To balance it out better I would center it side to side then place drawer slides in either side.

    I know sixty gallons is probably rediculous but half that length might be perfect and have a below deck storage area up front.

    Any whoo anything can be done within reason but your always making some kind of trade off

    Lose bed capacity either length or width of hieght wise, actually all three.

    I think if you could get a tank length wise to work at 40 gal that would be awesome.

    Shit I wish I had thought of this more seriously sooner now that I am in progress on my build if I were to start over I would go this way.

    How about 2 of the 25 gal tanks side by side at the rear one for fuel and one for water could keep the stocker for a total of about 43 gal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  8. Nov 19, 2019 at 7:57 AM
    #8
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    Update I see all tanks suggested are below 16 inch I may have estimate stock tank too tall but there are tanks like mine at 17 inch tall. Again you get the point you need to find a Dimension that works or modify it. I think if tank is too short you could make a riser but your gauge would always show 1/4 full. Maybe the float can be bent or shortened or the pickup support shortened.

    download_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  9. Nov 19, 2019 at 12:12 PM
    #9
    manesfesto

    manesfesto [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah based on that rough height estimate of the pump float assembly, most of the RCI cells would not work as they are way to shallow. I find this one which would fit pretty well in my bed cage and be tied into my frame. Could you simply drill a hole for the pump and float to slide down in and run it that way? I am lost as to why this is so complicated, its just a vessel to hold fuel.....

    https://www.jegs.com/i/RCI/821/2171AD/10002/-1
     
  10. Nov 19, 2019 at 12:30 PM
    #10
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    Yes that's the one I said was 17 inches high

    Remember we don't have the length of the pickup assembly so we are still guessing

    I am sure some one here knows or can find out

    You could go to a Toyota parts desk and they should be able to tell you they might even have one in stock..

    Sending units and pumps on 1st gens are dumb newer trucks it might freak out the trip computers

    In a 1st gen it just floats and the resistance is measured based on the the gel of the float is transmitted to the gauge.

    Think of your toilet tank it can float only so high it's mechanical vs electric. When full it closes the water inlet when low it let's let's in. The sender just reads different current based on the distance of movement of the float.

    The send does not know if the tank is one gallon or 1000 gallons just if it's full of half full or empty.

    The fuel pump only knows if there's fuel above the pump or below. If fuel is below it can't pump and will burn up front if left on.

    So bend to bend or cut the float and pick up to match a new level of full and empty shouldn't make any difference.

    If you have a tank at the right depth it's a non issue
     
  11. Nov 19, 2019 at 12:41 PM
    #11
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    I know a lot of folks put fuel cans on the roof especially those with SUV.

    Not the best Idea in the world as it's best to keep that fuel bomb as low as possible..

    Some of my fuel filler neck parts arrived today so I mocked up another couple options if one is willing to raise the fuel container higher to preserve bed space below the top of the bed.

    It could work in an SUV or a truck with a topper .

    Iit could also be used with a siphon system and no need for pumps and fuel lines or gravity with a sump level out let.

    Just connect a hose to a lower valve and let it drain into your main tank while your at camp doing other things.

    Need a tank though less than 18 gallons and do it on empty or you might have a problem on your hands.

    IMG_20191119_135518.jpg
    IMG_20191119_135445.jpg
    IMG_20191119_134521.jpg
     
  12. Nov 19, 2019 at 12:43 PM
    #12
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    PS they also have quick connect systems for race cars so it could be set up to easily take on and off.
     
  13. Nov 19, 2019 at 1:30 PM
    #13
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    If you modify a sender you can fill the tank with water to adjust it to the proper readings. Not wise to mess around with it full of gas. Lol

    Once you get close to get a junkyard sender and practice with that then either get a new one or use your existing one once your confident it is calibrated right.

    PS the RCIs already come with a sender so it's easy to wire up a fuel gauge gm type 0-90 ohms. Mount on front pillar and good to go. Pump pick up would then be easy to cut to the right length.

    Just a little bit off the bottom. Just as the pick up can be shortened it can also be lengthend.
     
  14. Nov 19, 2019 at 1:33 PM
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    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    Also with RCI you just need to reroute the return and vent lines to the new tank
     
  15. Nov 20, 2019 at 3:04 PM
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    Bolsado

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    IMG_20191120_143840.jpg

    The small propane bottle and some of the fuel line fittings arrived to day.

    You can see where the propane tank is going opposite the fuel tank which is why I did not get a tank to fill the complete bed width.

    Below are the fittings mocked up. Stainless Steel line is the fuel line to the pick and will connect to a bulkhead fitting at the bottom of the bed.

    IMG_20191120_164357.jpg

    IMG_20191120_164929.jpg

    I intend to use as a transfer tank so I don't need a return line so that will be capped. The stainless steel lines are kinda pricey so in am just going to tee to regular fuel line for the vent.

    You also see why I went with the shorter tank height is because with the RCI tank the fitting connectors are in top. With the 17 inch tank they would be above the truck bed. This may not be an issue for other folks. In fact you could put the tank inside a in bed tool box and have it completely hidden.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  16. Nov 20, 2019 at 3:39 PM
    #16
    Bolsado

    Bolsado Active Member

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    Below the bed I have options I am considering.

    1) A gravity system (*Note gravity systems may be illegal in certain states)

    If I drill a hole in the bottom side I can place a bulk head fitting plumbed to an electric or manual valve and tee into the vent line. If manual this would be the cheapest and easiest route to go. This would limit refueling to time in camp or if main tank is nearly empty you could stop and open the valve and continue on your way as gravity should fill faster main tank faster than the stock fuel pump draws when driving. Note the RCI fittings are -8AN or half inch. Another tee and valve in line will also give the ability to take fuel out for say a generator or an ATV/motorcycle.

    Downside is it's manual and has limited cool factor and better disconnect it before going to emissions inspection.

    I guess I could go the siphon route as I have it plumbed now. I'll have to investigate that's further.

    2) A electric transfer pump

    More expensive and complex but you can transfer fuel on the fly and I don't need to drill hole in the tank and probably more compliant with various state laws. Below the bed bulkhead a fuel line would be plumbed to an inline fuel filter then an electric inline fuel pump the to the vent tee. Of course a switch is needed and most others have been using momentary switches because it takes so long people forget about it. Most FUBAR stories say they over filled their main tank. No one has mentioned running the tank dry and burning up the pump. I think my preference would be a lighted momentary switch and wired into the door open/seatbelt chime so you definitely know you are pumping. An additional tee and as above could have an external delivery line for toys.

    Down side is if pump fails your SOL.

    3) Is have a true dual tank set up. This involves switches to go from one tank to the other for both fuel pump, sender and probably a pressure regulator. I don't intend on going this way, I prefer the fuel transfer setup. But the other threads I've read don't seem to go into a lot of detail on the plumbing. The spare tire tank mods dont go into a lot of detail in these points or I have missed it. If it were my intention to go with a true dual tank system I would proceed like we have discussed and use a Toyota pickup sending unit to a dual tank switch and probably just a simple separate switch for the fuel gauge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019

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