Jim Smart
September 20, 2006

One thing that will stop a classic Ford dead in its tracks is fuel contamination caused by in-tank corrosion. It isn't the fuel that causes corrosion, but water in the fuel, which settles at the bottom of the tank, setting up electrolysis along the grain boundaries of the steel.

This is especially true with antique cars that sit a lot. Water settles at the bottom no matter how reliable your fuel source, and corrosion sets in over time. Unless you keep on top of fuel maintenance with regular fill-ups and liberal doses of fuel-drying additives, corrosion will rear its ugly head with clogged fuel filters, fuel starvation, and stalling.

This is the American Designers fuel tank for vintage '61-'66 Thunderbirds. It is about what you can expect for any kind of classic Ford with a strap-on fuel tank. We ordered not only the tank, but also the sender and enough fuel hose to get the job done. Galvanized construction makes these tanks corrosion resistant.

Arnold Marks of Mustangs Etc. in Southern California has a '62 Thunderbird packing 390 FE-Series V-8 power. The car was plagued with stalling at the darnedest times. Tired of calling the local auto club for a tow back to his shop, he opted for a new American Designers fuel tank from The Paddock. American Designers makes some of the best fuel tanks because they're galvanized inside and out for outstanding corrosion protection. What's more, it makes these tanks for all kinds of Ford and Mercury applications.

We've replaced a lot of drop-in fuel tanks in Mustangs, Cougars, Falcons, Comets, Fairlanes, and Mavericks. The rest of the Ford lineup, including '71-'78 classic Mustangs, employ strap-on fuel tanks that bolt to the trunk floor from underneath. Marks stresses safety whenever you're replacing a fuel tank. Aside from the obvious, such as ignition sources that can cause explosion and fire, you want to completely drain the tank before removal. This gets the weight down and makes the tank easier to remove and handle. Fuel needs to be stored in a certified container designed for the task during your work. Use nothing less.