View Full Version : More fuel capacity
12-21-2002, 03:54 PM
I have been thinking about adding a new belly combo fuel/baggage unit to my -18. However, I'm now faced with re-cover of the plane and have decided the best way to increase fuel capacity might be to just install the larger fuel tank on one side. I need to add at least 1 more hour of range. I know this has been discussed before, but which larger fuel tanks are the best in respect to size, ease of installation, fit, etc.
12-21-2002, 04:47 PM
Murph..........call Mark at 605-757-6628 (Dakota Cub). He has new tanks that are just what you are looking for.
12-21-2002, 05:48 PM
The Dakota tanks do look like a nice way to go to get more range, expecially if you are rebuilding and your stock tanks and covers are in bad shape.
12-21-2002, 09:11 PM
Get as much as you can cause I am counting on you to be the tanker for the Freightliner this summer??? Your's does burn diseal right?
I would love to put 24 gallon tanks in my 12, and infact the next on will have them!
Best get with that rebuild so your ready by June for Alaska, Sounds like you must be on it already? April is not that far off either.
If all else fails, just throw in a couple more rolls of Duct tape and a few extra 5's.
12-21-2002, 09:40 PM
Do the Dakota tanks require removal of any ribs or anything rash?
Obviously, I don't know what my tanks look like yet, but I figure it will be more cost effective to replace one or both than buy the Landes belly combo, since I've got to recover anyway. I surmise that the Dakota is a 24 gal tank, right? Doesn't someone make a 30 or 36?
12-21-2002, 09:45 PM
Murph, I installed a set of the Dakota Cub 24 gallon tanks. It is straight forward and you don't have to change the structure of your wings. You modify two ribs, add another set of tank straps and change out the tank covers and the leading edge in front of the tank. From my conversation with Mark they didn't even change the leading edges on the first ones. The tank is supported the same as the stock tanks so you don't have the problems with leaks like others have had with some tanks.
12-22-2002, 09:30 PM
Atlee Dodge has 30.5 gallon tanks. My 12 has 2 of 'em. Again, you have to make some room by modifying ribs, etc.
12-22-2002, 09:58 PM
Is it kosher to just change one tank to a 30.5 and leave the other as a 18? That would give me 48.5 gal. and would be easier to guage when I'm only filling partially. I guess it wouldn't cause too much of an imbalance. I've never noticed a problem on other planes when the tanks are not filled equally.
If I did change just one tank, which should it be, right or left?
I'm tryin' Tim! If I get too much fuel, you guys will run off and leave me. It's hard carrying the load for those who are load-limited because their tires are so big. :P
Another thing to consider. If you put a belly tank on, at least you can take it off if you want. with the others, you are stuck with what you got. Not that I think the 24 gallon tanks are bad.
12-22-2002, 10:38 PM
Running off and leaving anyone is never a problem for me, I only make 88 mph on a good day and the Freightliner gets accused of stopping at all truck stops!
Personally I don't like the 30gallon in the wing the weight is not in the best location? (personal opinion) If on floats it is a good option, wheels the, the added fuel/cargo with at belly pod is my choice?
Either way you can haul an extra 5 for me ok!
12-22-2002, 11:04 PM
Hey D Model:
Do you still have the homemade tank? Would you sell it? That $500 sounds a lot better than the $2,300 or $3,500 figure for the Landes setup.
OK, Tim I'll carry your fuel if you won't make fun of my tires.
12-22-2002, 11:12 PM
I won't make fun of your tires, just trying to keep you with the gear still attched to the plane! Your call on the skids, personally I wouldn't go to Alaska with anything less then 29's, Even if you don't plan on needing them! It would be ashame to be saying "I wish I had the tires that Tim Recomended"?? Mine will be for sale at a great price when Steve ever gets them off of his and mails them to me!! Heck I bought the winning ticket 2 weeks ago! Come on!
12-22-2002, 11:19 PM
The only time big tanks weigh more is when they have a big load of fuel. The only time you fly with a lot of fuel is to go someplace where you're going to burn it off. If I depart with 61 gallons and have more than 35-38 when I head home, either the weather was bad and I turned around or I screwed up and took too much fuel. I can't remember purposely taking more than round-trip plus a half hour's gas in any airplane. And....good luck getting a belly-pod field approved right now. Field approvals may be back but they sure aren't easy to get.
12-22-2002, 11:43 PM
I'm inclined to agree with you. Since I'll be recovering the wings anyway, this seems the best plan. However, I think I'd rather have the 48 than the 61.
If you'd just loan me those 29's for a while I might just decide I had to have them. Then again, I figure that once Steve sends me the 31's, I'd throw rocks at your old 29's. Yep he needs to hurry. It's almost Christmas.
12-23-2002, 12:44 AM
I remember Crash talking about different tanks on the same plane. I'm sure it's been done. I wonder if Dakota Cub or Atlee's stc's require two tanks. My FAA guy has said no, no, and no to deviations from stc's lately. My paperwork is at my mechanic's hangar, so I can't tell you what it says tonight. Anybody out there know the specifics?
yes I still have my tank---No its not for sale. But I will check to see if they still have the Mold.
12-23-2002, 11:35 AM
12-31-2002, 05:28 PM
The Atlee Dodge 30 gallon tank STC is for installation of either one or both tanks. I flew my PA-18 for 11 years with one 30 gallon Altee tank in the L.H. wing and a stock 18 gallon tank in the R.H. wing. My PA-14 I built up with two 30 gallon Atlee tanks as there was no other good options at that time. I sold the wings off my PA-18 (in rebuild) last month and purchased a new set of Dakota Cub wings with 24 gallon tanks installed in each wing. My humble opinion is this: I feel that 48 gallons is enough fuel for 90% of the trips I take. I personally don't like belly tanks with the additional complexity of a fuel pump, switch, wiring, weight, expense, looks, etc. I like a balanced load (same size tanks), side to side. I like the way Dakota tanks mount. I like the fact that the site guages are more accurate with the smaller tanks. The good news is there are more options then ever for the amount of fuel you need to carry and none of them are a bad way to go. Crash
01-01-2003, 02:56 AM
Thanks a bunch to all who have commented. Today Atlee sold me one new 30.5 gal tank for my left side. He says that it will work fine and I think I'll like having the large tank to run on and the 18 for reserve. Six hours is about all I can handle in one stretch anyway. Adds 11 lbs. Saves about half the cost of the Dakota tanks. Should also save some work over mounting 2 new ones with the 24's. As to the imbalance, most of the time I'm running with one full and one empty anyway.
01-01-2003, 09:44 AM
01-01-2003, 01:59 PM
All personal choice, however I agree with you Diggler (wowser)! I don't like the mount for Atlee's tank (if extreme caution is not taken when setting up the wing(prior to cover). Does anyone know if Atlee changed the process for which he welds the seem at the mounting flange??
Murph, Just get it done and (re-read the posts on setting up the wing washout and tramel (prior, during and most importantly) double check prior to cover!! Take the stress out of the mounting area so that it lays flat! shim as needed. Might Call Tom Murphy about the welding mod he (suggests) on the tanks if Atlee has not changed his process during construciton??
Good luck and get with it! Summer is fast approaching and we are going to Alaska!!
02-10-2003, 11:27 PM
. Even had the line Teed into the left tank line just before the Selector, so I didn't have to take the left tank out and weld a fitting in it. Cost about $500 total.[/quote]
My cub was set up like this and if you left the pump on and the belly tank ran out it would overcome the lack of head pressure from the tank when you were down to half hour fuel approx. End result was the engine would quit even though you knew you had a half hour left. I was like you in not wanting to weld another fitting in the tank. I tied into a tee I put in the top of the site gauge. This also solved a couple other problems. You never knew when the belly tank was pumping air. With my new install you could see if the pump was pumping fuel or air in the sight gauge. It also eliminated the need for a check valve. On the old install if the check valve wasnt working due to a speck of trash it would allow your wing tank to drain back into the belly. I never had that prob going into the sight gauge up high. I was just reading the posts and didn't know if you had ran out of fuel like that and thought you might be interested. Not that big of deal if you know about it. Good Flying
02-11-2003, 01:19 AM
I think I would go with the Dakota tank also. I have had the Atlee tanks crack on me in flight and let me tell you it was no small leak. It's pretty unnerving watching the fuel stream off of the bottom of the wing waiting for some static electricity to make your day a little more exciting. :o I had to keep flying for another half hour before I could land. I lost a lot of fuel in that half hour. I have often wondered, what if I had been low on fuel already or if I couldn't of landed for a longer period of time. It could have gotten real ugly. My two cents.
02-11-2003, 01:57 AM
I installed a 32 gallon belly tank on my cun a couple of years ago I chose it for many reasons #1 being I wanted that fuel capacity I can carry 68 gallons of fuel, thats plenty for a trip to the other side of the Alaska range and back. I liked the fuel being more centered in the airplane rather then sloshing around in those big wing tanks. I had a leak in my right wing tank a year before so when I removed it for repair at that time I had a fitting welded in the top of the tank in case I ever installed a belly tank or podtank combo. The other reason I chose a belly tank was price it seems there are lots of them around on the used market now that everyone wants big wing tanks. I bought one that had never been on a airplane for a grand the instalation price is cheaper and much faster then any wing tank plus I can remove it at any time. My airspeed was unaffected and I kind of like that big skid plate between me and the ground. The down side is I increased the weight of my airplane by 32 pounds.
02-11-2003, 09:44 PM
I hate to bring this up, but my A&P was at the Safari Club International meeting last week in Reno and ran into Jim Richmond (Cub Crafters). Jim said he was doing battle with Dakota Cub because some of their tanks are starting to crack. I hope this is B.S. because I have two Dakota tanks going in my project as we speak. Anyone out there have any first hand info on this? Crash
02-11-2003, 11:13 PM
dig in crash; if marks tanks are leaking or cracking find out where dont start something and not finish it thats what this is all about not just to here a one sided deal ps im in the process of putting one in myself
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