Jeep Fuel Tank Replacement


Staff member
Nov 13, 2006
This repair article will give you the basics of removing , installing or replacing a fuel tank . Some fuel tanks have the fuel pump and the fuel filter in the tank so any repairs involving those parts will require you to remove the fuel tank if a remote access cover isnt used on your particular vehicle . The fuel tank Im replacing today is beyond repair and will have to be replaced .Fuel vaoprs are highly explosive so do this repair in a well ventilated garage or outside if the weather permits . Have as little fuel in the tank as possible , it makes handling the fuel tank much easier . Make sure there are no sources that could ignite the fuel vapors and have a fire extinguisher handy thats rated to extinguish fuel fires . The first step is to remove the negative battery cable from the battery . Chances are the bolts holding the fuel tank in place are rusted so a spray penetrant oil designed for rusty nuts and bolts makes the job easier. You may break some bolts , but any hardware or auto parts store should have the correct grade and size of bolt . If any of the fastening hardware looks questionable , replace it .This Jeep has lived its life in the south so rusty bolts are not a serious problem . The most common method of securing fuel tanks to vehicles is straps bolted to the frame or crossmember that run under the tank and secure it to the vehicle . On this Jeep the tank is held in place with a metal shield bolted to the frame . The shield not only holds the tank in place but protects it from damage during off road excursions. The shield can also retain dirt and moisture which gives rust a place to start. That appears to be what happened to this particular fuel tank . Depending on your vehicle you may have a spare tire under the fuel tank . Remove it and any brackets , hangers etc that will prevent the fuel tank from being lowered . This vehicle was high enough so that raising it wasnt nessecary . Some vehicles need to be raised in order to get the fuel tank out from under the vehicle . Consult your vehicle repair info for raising and supporting your vehicle safely
Below is a photo of the new fuel tank that came with a new fuel gauge sending unit . Also the tools needed are featured

Now its time to loosen all the bolts securing the tank to the vehicle . Place the jack under the tank and remove all the bolts

The next step is to lower the tank just enough to gain access to the fuel filler and vent hoses and also the wiring to the fuel gauge sending unit . On some applications you may be able to get to these hoses and wiring without lowering the tank . These hoses are usually in areas of the vehicle very hard to get to and just as hard to remove from the tank so take your time because this is likely the hardest part of the repair .

Once the filler and vent hoses are removed and tucked away the next step is to remove the fuel supply hoses and wiring . Inspect these hoses now . If they are showing signs of wear its best to replace them . Once the fuel lines and wiring are out of the way the tank can be lowered the rest of the way

On this particular Jeep fuel tank you will notice on the top of the tank two ports that have been blocked off with a piece of fuel line . These ports are for the evaporative emissions . This Jeep is not equipped with any evap systems so a new piece of fuel line and two new clamps are installed on the new fuel tank.

Below is the old fuel tank removed . It has a strap across the top of the tank that has to be removed before the tank can be lifted from the protective shield . Once thats done its a good idea to scrape away any rust or debris thats on the shield . If you have the time paint this type of shield to keep rust away from it and the new fuel tank .

Next we prep our new fuel tank for installation . Install the O ring that seals the sending unit to the fuel tank and insert the sending unit in the same way as the one on the old fuel tank . Secure the locking tabs on the tank to the sending unit , most of the time these are either bent or tapped lightly with a hammer to secure them . Keep the wiring out of the way .

The new fuel tank is ready to be placed back in the shield . Notice the insulator that goes between the fuel tank and the shield . Its important that it gets reinstalled because it prevents metal to metal chafing which will lead to to more rust and eventually another fuel tank leak.

The next step is placing the fuel tank back on the jack for reinstallation . Jack the fuel tank up to the point where the fuel supply lines and wiring from the sending unit can be connected . Use new clamps on the fuel lines . Once all that is secure continue to raise the fuel tank to the point where the filler and vent lines can be reconnected to the tank . A simple trick to make these hoses slide onto the tank is spray the inside of the hoses with some WD 40 . Install new clamps on the hoses , spray them with WD40 and connect them to the fuel tank . Now raise the fuel tank to the point where the nuts and bolts can be reinstalled . This may require some prying on the shield to get all the bolts in place . Thread all the bolts in but dont begin to tighten them until all the bolts are in their places .

Its time to fill the new tank with fuel. Dont try to save yourself a few dollars at this point by using what fuel was left in the old tank . Its very likely full of rust and water and thats something you dont want to pour into your new fuel tank . Add a few gallons of fresh fuel , enough to get you to the nearest gas station . Drive the vehicle for a few miles and then replace the fuel filter . Refer to your repair info for any precautions relating to fuel filter replacement . The old filter will have trapped any debris that was in the fuel lines . The final step is to get rid of the old fuel tank . Contact your local waste management authorities for disposal options . Its possible even a local junkyard will take it off your hands . Keep in mind even if the tank only has a few gallons of fuel left its very explosive so handle it carefully . Even static electricity can ignite fuel vapors .

This is what the new fuel tank looks like installed .

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