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Old 02-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #43
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Fred, Are you referring to the sidewall bulge, or the fuel tank issue I just mentioned? If it's the low fuel tank, maybe we should start a new thread on it? Jim
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:21 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by redboots:
Neil, The F53 chassis underwent a fairly major upgrade in 2006. Prior to that, Ford used a small raised tank above the fuel tank for some reason, I think they referred to it as a 'pony tank'. In '06 they eliminated it, but it was probably too costly to modify all the tank hangers, fuel lines, filler and vent lines, etc. If you look forward from the rear of the tank, there is at least 5 to 6" between the top of the tank and the bottom of the floor of the RV. That 5" along with moving the skid strap up a like amount will go along way towards eliminating the bothersome drag going into just about any gas station, etc. The low center of gravity is a big plus, but IMO not at the expense of dragging every time you go through a dip. Jim
Jim, I have an F53 and rarely bottom out on dips or on entering or leaving anything. Have you had you coach weighed at each wheel to verify that you are not overloaded in the back or possibly too light in the front? Being too light in the front can also cause the rear skids to bottom out.

Raising the tank could require you to raise other components in the system including the fuel filler cap and evaporative canister. To not consider the entire system and just raise the tank could cause a greater safety issue then you are currently worried about. I have had to deal with vehicles where the filler cap was too low in relation to the top of the tank and one would have to be carefull to be out of the line of fire of the backwash when the tank reached its limit and the pump shut off. Consider the entire system, look over the stripped chassis builders guide and consult Ford before proceeding with this kind of modification.

All I am advocating is to look before you leap on this one.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:06 PM   #45
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Could you post a site to look at the pictures of the repair. It would be nice to see how you did it.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #46
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Jim, I was referring to the side wall issue. I believed that Norterto had installed the brace on numerous units.

I thought the fuel tank or rear drag would be a problem on the Ford chassis and the Pacifica, both were low in the back end.

Fred
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:04 AM   #47
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JCM, If you go to Yahoo.com and select Groups, you will find the NRV forum. On the opening page, left side, is photos. Find the sidewall bulge album and you can look through it for the photos of both the problem, and repair. Let me know if you have any difficulty. Jim
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:17 AM   #48
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Fred, I don't know about the Pacifica, but on this Surf Side the 75 gallon tank fits between the frame rails behind the differential and is quite long. Hanging down like it does exposes it to potential damage, thus the skid bar to protect it. It might not seem like much, but raising it 5" will substantially improve its clearance. Neil has posted concerns over the modification, but I think they are unfounded. The filler neck will still be way above the top of the tank, the filler lines will only require a slight mod. , as will the fuel supply lines which might not even require sectioning. The rest is just basically a little cutting with a plasma cutter and some Mig welding. I'm set up for both in my shop. Jim
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:45 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by redboots:I'm set up for both in my shop. Jim
Next time I pass through Kanab, I'll make sure to stop by and have you accomplish my mods.

Fred
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:24 AM   #50
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Be glad to meet you Fred. We're on 30 acres 7 miles east of town. Jim
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:01 AM   #51
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I just completed the project of raising the fuel tank on my '08 National Surf Side. I was able to gain 4" of additioanl clearance on the tank, and 7" of clearance on the drag bar tank protector. It actaully went easier than I thought it would. I used floor jacks to lift the tank after loosening the tank straps, then removed the tank support bars two at a time. Re-drilled them, had to shorten 2 of them due to interference at the top, and re-installed them. I did not have to touch the fuel lines, sender wiring, or remove the tank itself. The filler and vent required a very minor modification where they attach to the tank, but no big deal. This will help tremendously because it seemed to drag on everything. Jim
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #52
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Jim, have you refueled to verify the tank takes fuel without shutting off the pump?

Forgot to mention I snooped at your ranch on Google, Impressive.

Fred
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:38 AM   #53
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Fred, I have not as yet filled the tank but will do that soon. At this point everything is done with the exception of cutting off the drag bar and re-welding it back on after shortening it. The inlet filler and vent lines still slope slightly down to the tank, and the filler neck itself is a good 6" to 8" above that so I'm not anticipating a problem, but the first fillup will tell for sure. I wanted to do this when the tank was near empty and I bet it doesn't have 5 gallons in it as I could lift it easily with my hands after releasing the straps around it. I'm going to post a few picts. of the modification on Yahoo (NRV forums) when I finish up. I'll let you know when I do. I had a Safari Trek that was hard to fill and it can be a pain so I know what you're talking about.
Thanks for the compliment on the Red Boots Ranch. We bought here 15 years ago when land was cheap and its not for everybody. It's very rural small town stuff, quiet and peaceful, but not handy with shopping 85 miles away. We go to St. George, Utah about once every 6 weeks, and after half a day I'm usually ready to get home to our littel one stop light county. Jim
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