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Thread: Gas tank metal or plastic?

  1. #1
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    Gas tank metal or plastic?

    My under the seat gas tank on my 48 CJ2A is rotted out from sitting. Is it best to replace it with a metal or plastic one?
    Thanks,
    Tip

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, I would prefer the steel tank for the rigidity. Since you will be sitting on top of it, I feel more secure having a metal tank, especially if you fill the gas tank with plastic gas cans. Static electricity could build up between the two plastics and in very rare occasions, could cause a fire. That's why it is recommended to rest the spout of the gas can on the lip of the gas tank to prevent a discharge of electricity. A bit of the same principal of setting the gas can on the concrete when at the gas station, because it has been proven in rare instances that if you leave it in the bed of a truck, it doesn't ground properly if you have a plastic bed liner.

    A plastic gas tank will not rust, so that is one good point in favor of the plastic. A steel gas tank can be coated internally with a product called Red Kote. This will prevent future rust issues if the Jeep is stored for long periods of time without the gas tank being full of fuel.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Steel cans rust from the normal condensation of water that can accumulate when sitting. A can of RED-KOTE will cure that issue. Plastic is impervious to the rust. Cheap and all plastic will eventually dry out and crack. When it does it is usually not a drip. When weight is important you cant beat plastic. I am not sure how the plastic tanks install but a good repro steel tank will go right in with a little neck adjustment if it needs it.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    In the '48 truck I went with a plastic tank. It's not a structural piece that has to bear weight in that application like it is in a 2A. I wanted the rust and corrosion resistance.

    It is a very heavy plastic tank, as rigid as the original steel tank.

    No absolute clear choice here.

  5. #5
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    Hmm, I just wonder how long it would last.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Both will last a good long time, if not a lifetime when properly cared for. The steel tanks suffer from rust when not kept full of fuel. The plastics will never rust, but the plastic can deteriorate if it sits out in the sun all the time. Neither is a bad choice, it all depends if you want to have a traditional looking tank in steel or you don't mind the look of the plastic.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Also check to see if you have to "re-engineer" the plastic tank install. On my CJ3A the plastic tanks I looked at had the pick-up and sender in different spots. That could also affect your decision.

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