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65 Riv gas tank?? ideas?


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The gas tank for my riv has a lot of pin holes thru the bottom, and the metal is thin. One radiator shop said they could not fix it. I Really do not want to buy another used one, don't need another rusty one shipped to my house. Had the idea of just welding a new piece of metal across the bottom , but really? Anyone ever try to modify the 65 skylark repo gas tank to the riv? Ideas?

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I would be careful about welding on an old tank. It is sort of a bomb when you think about it. Residue, fumes all make it sort of spooky. Also, my guess is that the metal is paper thin all around. I put a brand new reproduction Quanta tank from a 68 Tempest in my 63. Had to fab the filler neck and the sender fitting somewhat to work but all the other dimensions are virtually identical. Sounds worse than it was. The new tank was dry and the metal was good. Used same straps etc. The sender unit is slightly off. I am now showing empty at about 1/8th. I got used to that and I like to keep the car full most times anyway. Externally, it looks identical. I got so sick of 50 year old gas tank junk in my carb I almost pushed the car off a cliff. It was an intermittent, aggravating problem. All the used tanks were just as bad as mine. Liners are a "dubious fix". Nobody makes a reproduction. It was time to get a little creative and start fresh. No regrets. Very happy now. PRL

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The two areas that required some "custom work" were the filler neck and the sending mount. We had to cannibalize some parts from the old tank. It was such a PITA that I didn't feel too bad about cutting it up. Here's what we did:

1. The filler neck on the Riv is slightly longer and has a slightly lower angle than the Pontiac application. Cut the filler neck off the Riv tank and splice it to the neck on the Tempest tank. To fit the Riv it needs the angle to be slightly lower but luckily you can gently/carefully bend (by hand) the neck on the new tank to the right angle. About halfway, cut the Tempest filler neck and weld on the old neck from the Riv. Using paper towel cardboard rolls, you can make a template that simulates the bends required. That said, you'll be taking the new tank in/out a few times throughout his process but since it's clean, dry and light, it's not so bad.

2. I used the original Riv sender unit, but the mount on the Tempest tank has different fittings. The Riv has screws (6 I think) that the sender unit mounts to. The Tempest has a simpler, twist style arrangement. Using the sender unit from the Tempest was not an option because the electrical characteristics are totally different. Instead, we cut the collar out of the Riv tank and welded it to the Tempest tank. It requires slow, careful MIG welding because all the metal on those tanks is galvanized and thin. You have to scuff the galvanized coating off to get a good weld and carefully "booger weld" the new parts on because direct bead welding will fry and warp the metal. Go slow! Careful overlapping meant we had a gas-tight weld but virtually no grinding. Finally, we coated all the welds with POR 15 fuel proof paint inside and out. That means wearing gloves, taking your finger and dabbing paint inside the roof of the new tank and inside the filler neck to cover all the welds and prevent future rusting. The process is vaguely reminiscent of an annual physical in a pervy way, but it's worth doing. I didn't want to ever see rust in that tank ever again.The welds are mostly above the waterline (gas-line) anyway so the paint isn't subject to too much gasoline once it's dry.

It was not simple bit of customizing, but definitely do-able. I had a lot of trial and error fitting time because I literally had no idea if it would work. But it did. The biggest challenge is the welding. I was driven to do it because I was so sick of crappy gas tanks and junk in my carb. No regrets, glad I did it. Let me know if you need more info. PRL

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Do a thorough search on the forum. Somewhere in the back of my mind, somewhere, someone has found a repo replacement that works. If I remember correctly, it was a unit for a Pontiac Tempest (GTO) from the late sixties. Also, a friend here in KC took his tank to a local radiator shop. They were able to clean, repair, and seal his tank for $160.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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If only I could come up with a sending unit that would work without welding, my factory unit has two lines and one wire, mine works but they don't make a repo sending unit, if only they made a tank that has a similar sending unit wiring I could use a new sender also, but i will weld it if I must, thanks guys

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Ive been following this thread closely, I have a leak at the top of the tank where the sending unit sits, does anyone know if the gastanks.com gm sending unit gasket fits my 65 Riv. I figured I would check with you guys rather than trust what someone on the phone tells me.

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