1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Old news but need clarification on exploding gas tanks on Chevy trucks?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by nrgflow, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. nrgflow

    nrgflow Junior Member
    from Seattle
    Messages: 5

    I recently acquired an 82 Chevy pickup 3/4 ton pickup and after the fact starting finding articles about exploding gas tanks from side impacts. Is there a way to relocate or to prevent this from occuring? In addition, I have dual tanks so does that mean that I am vulnerable from impacts from both sides?

  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    In a nutshell, you are vulnerable on both sides.

    On a positive note, I have never heard of anyone it actually happened to. NBC got in big trouble for "forcing" the gas tanks to explode for their on camera tests.

    The way I look at it, even in the rear it could still explode if you get hit hard enough.

    One option for you would be to buy a set of nerf bars. They do sell them for 81 - 87 trucks, though for some reason not for 73 - 80 trucks.

    GM offered a settlement to all owners back in 1994 (I believe, I owned 2 so I got 2 coupons) which was a discount coupon off the purchase price of a new truck.

    There has to still be at least a million (probably 2 million) of these trucks with the side saddle gas tanks still on the road today. The side saddle tanks were used from 1973 - 87 in all fullsize GM pickups and C and K 30 model small dumps, and duallies.

    The dually and cab and chassis trucks continued to use the side saddle until 1989, when the body style changed.

    You could adapt a Blazer or Suburban gas tank to fit your truck, but to do it right welding and bodywork is involved.

    If I were you and worrying about it, I would get the nerf bars and live with it, or sell the truck.

  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I wouldn't worry at all.You much more likely to get run over by a car,or fall down the stairs,than get blown up in your truck.

    If it was that much of a concern,there would have been more done about it.
  4. nrgflow

    nrgflow Junior Member
    from Seattle
    Messages: 5

    What companies sell nerf bars that will cover from wheel to wheel? So far I keep running into running boards and step rails.

  5. cj3859

    cj3859 Member
    Messages: 44

    no problem!

    #1 - update your will.

    #2 - if you stop faster they will crash into your cab.

    #3 - just kidding,lol!
  6. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    chevy gas tanks

    GM made a settlement with many of the states attorneys general whereby an owner of one of these side saddle tank trucks was entitled to a $1000 rebate coupon on the purchase of a new GM product excluding Saturns.

    Don't know if the settlement is still in effect, so if you want to get rid of the truck it could be worth an additional $1000 if you trade in for a new GM product.
  7. okhorseman04

    okhorseman04 Junior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 3

    saddle tanks on chevy trucks

    I bought a 85 gmc, and had the same question. i did some research and the internet. gm web site all of the crashes and tanks exploding was scarry. I was told that you can remove the rear spare tire and install a tank form a van stile tank you will have to do some modifications. this will put it between the frame and the back bumper. will have to cut out one of the filler doors and weld it to back bed. just a ideal.
  8. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I have a 86 that was hit dead in the tank bent frame. 8 inches I'll post picture. once i find it.
  9. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I didn't get it and my truck was hit in the tank 22 gallon of gas in the street too.

    The coupons ran out 2 years ago.
  10. PackRat

    PackRat Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 47

    Anybody seen their "scientific test" footage? You can clearly see the flare pot sitting under the tank, when they impact the truck. Gasoline+open flame=DUH. What a setup deal. If you put a roadflare under the seat, it will burn one down, too.

    I've seen dozens of 73-87 Chevy trucks with the box sides caved in. Never seen one burned down, because of it. Catalytic convertors, now there's another story entirely.

    The Asst. Police Chief(before he was Asst. Chief) drove a 92 Lumina right into the passenger box side of a high school kid's pickup, on ice. Pushed the box side into the tank several inches. Didn't even make the tank leak, let alone explode.

    My advise is this: Don't drive around with road flares on your running boards, or your truck might, maybe, could possibly, blow up, when hit, if the stars are in alignment with Venus, and you have sacrificed a live chicken to Satan.

    Just another instance of too many crooked lawyers, with too much free time, and plenty of greed.

    P.S. Sorry for the little rant, but this is nothing more than politics and baloney. It really ticks me off.
  11. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Have to agree with PackRat

    The whole GM side tank issue has been blown up way out of proportion (pun unfortunately intended). NBC was taken to task for using Estes model rocket engine to start the fire in their video footage because they were unable to get the tank to ignite otherwise. Here are the facts: the trucks not only comply with the federal side impact standards that were in effect when they were new, but GM proved that the trucks even comply with current safety standards! As for installing a tank in a different location, well unless you're planning to use a racing fuel cell the odds are that a non-stock tank location is more likely to get punctured in an impact than the factory designed and tested location. Keep in mind that the original accident that got all the publicity was caused when a drunk ran a stop sign at 80 mph and t-boned a kid's truck. Naturally the lawyers piled on GM's deep pockets for being "at fault" and not on the drunk driver. Sorry for this rant also.
  12. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    You can read another discussion about it here:


    My opinion remains the same. I have the original GM "Special Report" on the topic right here on my desk which I can scan but someone needs to use photoshop or something to stitch all the panels together, as I have no idea how to.

    NBC was seriously full of BS.

    BTW the cab-and-chassis trucks came with a steel brace wrapping around the tank that may or may not fit under a pickup box...

    Personally, I replaced the tank with a high-capacity unit from a Jimmy (for capacity not so much for safety) using the crossmembers cut from the donor frame welded into place in my frame. I mounted it sideways so the filler faces out the back (where on a pickup it would come out behind the license plate). My intention is to cut a hole thru the bumper where it comes out and add the spring-loaded fuel door/license plate frame from a 1960's GM product...
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2005
  13. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

  14. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

  15. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I hadn't seen that one before. Doesn't leave much room for misunderstanding, does it?