After 59 years the fuel tank in the M-38 was starting to have issues.   For a while I had been getting an intermittent fuel smell.   I tried to pass it off as one thing or another as I didn't want to face the obvious fact that the gas tank may be leaking.   I finally decided to check things out, although I was fairly sure what I would find.

The gas tank in the older Willys sits on the floor under the drivers seat.  The problem with this is that it is a serious trap for all sorts of dirt and debris.   This debris can sit under and around that tank and stay wet for extended periods of time causing the tank to rust from the outside in.   The inside of my tank was actually still very clean, if only the outside could have stayed as nice!

All pictures are HERE.

After removing the tank you can see the pile of debris that was trapped between the side of the tank and the rear body panel.

The seam along the bottom of this pile was also quite damp, but I am not sure if it was actually leaking or if it had just wicked there from the bottom of the tank.

In this pile there were a few very old spark plugs a few quarters and some other random junk.

  The wrench was actually below the tank.

The bottom of the tank is in pretty bad shape.
The floor board of the M-38 where the tank sits (under the drivers seat).   There was a lot of dirt, leaves and random debris under there.
The real culprit in the gas smell the small hole next to the pointer.   This area was visibly leaking, you could turn the tank over and watch the wetness of the gas spread from this location.   Some very light scraping and the pointer went right through.  The area around the hole although thin appeared to be still quite firm.
One interesting item found under the gas tank...

The 30-30 round had a Dominion head stamp.  Looks like they went out of business in 1955, so it would be interesting to know when it came to be under the gas tank!

DC CO: 1886 - 1911 , used both DC and Dominion headstamps.
Dominion Cartridge Company (Canadian Industries Ltd.): 1911-1955, still used DC Co. Head stamps and Dominion headstamps.

I searched around the web and found that everyone is selling the same replacement tank for the M-38, Omix-Ada is the manufacturer.   They are a wholesale company so you cant buy from them directly.   I ordered it through Kaiser Willys as over the last 5+ years they have been the most informative and helpful.   
Painting the tank...
The area where the tank will sit was wire brushed and sanded, then painted.   
Installing the tank.
Note the fuel line going out the back of the tank, this would turn into a problem...
When I went to strap the tank down, I noticed that the straps seemed a bit tight.   The implications of this did not initially register.
In this picture the fuel line is not running the same way as it did in the picture above.   The seat is just sitting in place, but the legs on the right of the seat are not quite touching the floor where they would be bolted down to.
I routed the fuel line using flex hose to the side and then down the back of the tank to give make the seat come close to fitting.

OK, so here is the problem I found.   The new tank is not exactly the same size as the original tank, it is just slightly taller..

As seen here, the factory tank is 7 1/2 inches thick, this measurement is near the bottom curve that would sit towards the center line of the vehicle.   I also measured the tank at various locations across the front edge and it is consistently 7 1/2 inches thick.

In the picture on the left below, you can see the new tank measuring 7 3/4 inches in the same spot, and just under 8 inches at the far end of the tank.

This slight extra thickness of the tank caused the seat to hit the rear edge of the gas tank.   I re-routed the fuel line as there was no way it would fit under the seat without serious cutting on the seat frame, I didn't really want to do that.

The tank seems good in all other ways, its too bad they could not have made it so that it was an exact fit.

I added a small washer under the 3 legs to give it a slight bit of room.
Looking down at the fuel filler, you can see the rubber line coming out from under the seat and running around the back of the tank.
I think I am going to move the seat back about an inch, this may help with the clearance issue so that I can remove the washers, and it will also give some breathing room between the seat and the steering wheel.   I will post more pictures and info when that's done.
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