| Blue Torch Fabworks is on our short list. A secret little list we keep close to the vest – a list of companies that we can count on 100% of the time, and we know they always create high-quality, custom products that are durable, fit perfectly every time and look incredible.
We were recently finishing up two projects – the All-Pro flat bed conversion project, and a complete frame-up build of a buddy’s Jeep – and we were in need of custom fuel cells for both of them. While we typically pre-plan as much of every build as possible, the fuel tanks would be towards the tail end of each of these projects and we knew both of them would require something relatively custom to fit both applications. What we didn’t know was that one of our projects – the frame-up Jeep build project – could accept one of Blue Torch’s off-the-shelf gas tanks built specifically for Jeep YJ’s that have relocated the rear axle using a 4-link setup, but more on that later. Needless to say, when we got to the point in both of these builds where we needed to order fuel tanks, we knew we could count on Blue Torch to deliver in a big way.
Project 1: All-Pro Flat-Bed Conversion Project
As we were finishing up this flat-bed conversion project on Danny Pitts’ rig, we had the option to put a few more ounces of JB Weld on his leaky, rusted-out, under-protected gas tank, order a replacement unit (which would still be exposed to rocks, stumps and other trail debris), or get an in-bed fuel cell. We chose the latter, and hind-sight 20-20, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
With a quick call to Blue Torch, we gave them our measurements, dimensions and requirements, and in no time they built us a custom, rectangular fuel cell that not only fit our application perfectly, but looks great and provides the needed safety that we wanted.
|Installation – Blue Torch Fab Works In-Bed Fuel Cell
||Drill, drill bits, 4 nuts and bolts, sockets, wratchet, flat-blade screwdriver
| Installation really couldn’t have been more simple, especially considering we were replacing the stock fuel tank.
We started by disconnecting the ground cable on the battery (no sense in having stray sparks flying around as we worked on a fuel system). We then removed the stock gas tank and replaced the fuel lines with 3/8″ fuel hose.
| Next, we set the new Blue Torch FabWorks fuel cell into the bed, marked the holes, drilled them, then bolted the fuel cell into place. We then installed a set of -8 AN fittings on the fuel lines and attached them to the tank. We then filled it up with gas, primed the fuel system and checked for leaks (of course there weren’t any).
Blue Torch built an all aluminum cell using state-of-the-art technologies, perfectly sealed (and pressure tested) TIG welds, and a really bitchin’ “Blue Torch” logo facing rearwards, letting everyone behind us see the custom work they’ capable of.
This unadorned, yet effective fuel cell sports a large, D-Ring filler head making it easy to add gasoline from the pump, or from a jerrycan, and its large enough to get plenty of large fuel-cell safety foam blocks inside too. You’ll also find that this fuel cell offers the standard fuel feed line, return line and a vent line, replete with anti-inversion check valve, just in case you put your rig on its lid.
The custom fuel cell made by Blue Torch Fabworks is the perfect adornment for our All-Pro Flat-Bed Conversion Project. It provides us with the safety we need, the functionality we wanted and head-turning good looks that we’ve always come to expect from Blue Torch.
Project 2: Jeep YJ, Ground-up Build-up
A buddy of ours called us several months back telling us his intentions to absolutely gut a relatively pristine 1989 Jeep YJ. We grabbed our note pad, our cameras, donned our dirty work clothes, and raced over to see what he was up to and to give him a hand.
His plans included a V8 conversion, Dana 60 rear axle located with a Stage West 4-Link kit, ¾ ton Dana 44 front axle, 700R4 slush box, Atlas 2 transfer case and much, much more. He had already stripped the innards, removed the body and painted the frame when we first walked into his shop – a clean rig to work on, cool!
After several months of back-breaking work, we completed the rolling chassis, fitted the body back onto the frame and had even breathed life into the freshly rebuilt Chevy 350 mill. We were, however, using a 5-gallon pail to hold our gasoline since the original gas tank had gone the way of the ghost (don’t try this at home kids, we’re trained idiots). With the rig getting close to its maiden voyage, we needed to get a gas tank for this beast and fast. Dan didn’t want a fuel cell in the back of his Jeep, as he had already planned for a large tool chest, back seat and other necessities. What he wanted was a replacement gas tank that would still work with the big Dana 60 that was pushed backwards, stretching the overall wheelbase to 100+ inches. A pretty tall order considering the axle would articulate well into the path of the original equipment gas tanks turf.
I put a call into our friends at Blue Torch and was told that they offer such a cure for what ailed us, and could set us up relatively quickly. Not only would this tank replace the original and clear the swinging big-iron underneath, but it would work with the factory fuel gauge sending units, pickup/return/vent lines, and even the filler tube and gas cap – sweet!
When the replacement Blue Torch fuel tank showed up, we were pleasantly surprised to find a bunch more benefits to this tank, such as:
- All-Aluminum, fully MIG welded fuel tank
- All-Steel fuel tank skid plate, mounting system and tank straps
- Fully baffled fuel tank to reduce fuel sloshing
- Original-equipment style mounting system that would allow for us to simply bolt this unit into the original location
- Extra thick and super tough, form-fitting skid plate that would protect the fuel tank from the worst bashing we could throw at it
Since the skid plate and the tank are made of thick aluminum and steel, it was a bit tougher to install than the flimsy, factory unit, but it did go into place within 20 minutes or less. We did make the mistake of moving the rear axle too far back, and we had to modify the skid plate and tank a bit to clear the rear axle under full compression. Because the tank and skid plates are made of solid metal construction, some annealing and a 10-pound dead-blow hammer fixed our issue in short order.
The super heavy duty BTF replacement gas tank for our project YJ was just what the doctor orderd. The fitment wasn’t perfect, but it was very good and certainly overshadowed the flimsy OE gas tank in comparison. The finish and quality of the BTF gas tank is second- to-none. It provides excellent ground clearance, works with all of our OE filler necks / fuel hoses and will shield our precious petrol from the nastiest of boulders.
|Blue Torch FabWorks, Inc.
|1247 South Oats Street
Dothan, Alabama 36301
Phone (Tech): 334-673-2755
Phone (Sales): 866-RCK-CRWL