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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2010, 09:29 PM
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Bronco fuel tank shield

Hello all, I have a fuel tank from a Bronco in my '91 dually, and its sits pretty low to the ground. I was told Bronco trucks have a big and strong steel shield that protects the tank in case something hits it. My neighbor said he can help me install one in my truck if it is not overly complicated. So my question to all of you nice and knowledgeable people is, what is involved in removing this shield from a Bronco truck? There is a junkyard I can go to that sells parts really cheap but I have to pull them myself. Please keep in mind that I am a 100-lbs girl, I can walk on my hands so I should be able to push the tank and shield away if they decide to fall on me, but I'd rather keep the wrestling moves to a minimum - what tools should I bring with me? The junkyard does not allow cutting torches and the likes, but I should be able to borrow a battery-powered hammer-wrench-gun-thing and the bits that go with it - is there enough space under a Bronco truck to use those? Also what else I may need? Again I only need the shield (and maybe some bolts that go with it if they are something special), the tank itself can remain attached to the Bronco truck. If you have any pictures that would help me I would greatly appreciate them too

Thank you!
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:53 PM
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As I recall on my 90 Bronco, the shield was only held on by a couple bolts on the front and the rear. It was attached to the same frame crossmembers as the tank straps.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:48 PM
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L. Ward, when posting this thread I had not noticed there is a Bronco truck section here on FTE - I did a search there, and you are absolutely correct - there are eight bolts that hold the shield on, and apparently the shield holds the tank itself. So when I remove the bolts for the shield, I should expect both it and the tank above it to attempt to kill me by falling in my face, tehe It also appears that these bolts often get very rusty, and do not like to come loose - how would you suggest that I go about this? I have secured the 1/2" hammer-gun and some batteries for it from my neighbor, also 6-side bits because I was told they work better on rusty bolts than the 12-side bits I "inherited" from my ex. Should I also take a cutting/grinding wheel tool in case the bolts are really stubborn? Would I be safe making sparks so close to the fuel tank? I most certainly do not want to blow myself up a second time
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:53 AM
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I just scraped my rotted 89 bronco and I was thinking of taking the skid plate off of it for my buddy but it aint much of a skid plate, my f350 has the offroad package and the skid plates are about 3/16 think steel.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:55 AM
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Click the image to open in full size.

Yes the tank does rest on the Skid Plate. I assume that you are doing this at a local PAP style JY, so hopefully they will have already drained the tank, if not, definately make sure to block it up while you are removing it. Some PB Blaster or other type bolt breaking spray is handy too (WD40, etc). The electric impact is handy, but make sure you also take a long extension and a breaker bar, spray them down real good and let it soak in, then wedge a wrench in on top and hit them with the gun, if that doesn't work, use the breaker bar instead. Also make sure the socket and wrench fits good and snug, less chance of rounding a bolt off that way. On mine, I seem to recall that they all ended up just shearing off when I went to change out the tank.

As for grinding, anytime you are near fuel vapor sparks are the last thing you want, and honestly I wouldn't even want to try and do the ones on the back with a grinder, as its fairly snug to get up there if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:07 PM
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CLR, it may not be much of a skid plate (I assume you mean it will not protect the tank in case I got hung up on a giant boulder or something of the likes?) but it is more than I have right now - my truck is a 2wd dually, the most offroad action it will see are dirt and gravel roads, so in reality I only want the fual tank shield as a bit of extra protection against a stray gravel stone picked up by the tires and shot at the tank.

L. Ward, thank you for the picture - I now know what I will be working with. It does not look too bad hopefully the bolts either come loose or break off. Yes I have a big breaker bar, it is in the truck at all times in case a tire goes flat (that's an interesting moment there, as these wheels weigh just about as much as I do), and there is a long extension to go with it cause of the dually wheels, I also have a pipe that slips on the breaker bar. I will buy some PB Blaster on my way to the yard, and I will leave the cuttoff wheel tool at home. Thank you for the advice!
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:07 PM
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