Getting real close now. I have a really good knack for not working on my projects on the days I have off and then cramming as much work as I can into the few hours I have before I leave to do my nightshift on my first night back to work. 🤷♂️ It's really dumb, but it's a clear pattern!
I tried a couple of things to finish off my sending unit modification with the tools I have on hand, but just put on my big boy pants and went and spent ~$85 on a Dremel "starter kit", if you will. Came with enough things to get the job done, most importantly a much higher operating rpm (16k vs 33k rpm) and some legit cut off wheels.
The cheap HF wheels are so brittle and barely cut. These look like the wheels I use on my grinder, just tiny sized. They throw off some good sparks and transfer some crazy energy in the form of heat, so you know it's working.
Anyway, some pics.
I didn't take a pic at each step I took, but this is what I got. The cuts I had made before this pic, and before I got the Dremel, had it looking like the pics from my Bronco's sending unit that I posted earlier. The cut out portion was a square, but not a big enough square for my needs. I had test fit some pieces and then marked the last chunk to remove.
Chunk removed. In hindsight, it would have been easy to make this a single cut from top to bottom at an angle with the Dremel I have now. The cut looks rough due to my other attempts with other tools.
Looks like I don't have any before pics of the washers supplied in the kit before I started chopping those up too. Because of my bulkhead placement, and the fact that these washers are larger diameter than the ones that were used on my Bronco's sending unit, I had to chop them up in places for clearance.
Anyway, here's a pic of the original sending unit before I started drilling on it. I used a washer to mark my hole. You can see what the washers look like here before I chopped them up.
What a mess. Don't go this route, kids. lmao. Had to make a few cuts to clear everything, for both washers. I test fit the retainer ring that holds the unit in place once you put it in the tank.
Next issue was the hose on the bulkhead. Basically everything attached to the sending unit is in the way of the hose. lol. Of course it is. I chose this side of the sending unit for my return, because it'd interfere with the fuel gauge plug on the other side. I figured this hassle was worth dealing with vs the plug.
So, I chose to run the hose under the housing for the rheostat (the white box) and then zip tie the hose to the stainless tubing. I luckily had some stainless zip ties, so that came in handy. I was contemplating the longevity of a nylon zip tie and then remembered I had some of the stainless ones, so that really made me feel better about putting one in the tank.
I also shortened the hose a bit. If left at original length it would stick past the filter on the end of the sending unit. I took off a couple inches and it now ends about midway down the filter. I figure that may help the fuel pump suck up fuel returned to the tank a little better, even if just a smidge. Really only a benefit at low fuel levels I'd imagine.
So that's the effin' monstrosity I have created that's going into my fuel tank. My Bronco sending unit was a lot less complicated. Oh well.
My Bronco's sending unit for comparison's sake. Yes, the return hose just free floats in the tank like that, though it's a pretty stiff hose. No issues that I've noticed so far.
Alright, let's put this bad boy in the tank!
Fuuuuuuuu.... it doesn't fit.
It took a deep breath and a little finagling to get everything through the opening. Mostly some repositioning of the return hose while I fed everything through, then I was able to position things back once through the opening.
View through the filler to make sure it sits alright before installing the retainer ring on the sending unit.
Gasket and retainer ring installed. No going back. I mean, I could, but I won't.
Since that whole mess was over, I took care of some other essentials. I cut up some strips from that inner tube I picked up for the price of.. on the house.
Making straight, flat strips from a tubular (🤙) object wasn't as fun as I had hoped. Either way, it got done. I cut two wider ones for the bottom straps and two narrower once for the upper straps since they are different width straps.
Cut them big, then trimmed them down using a lower strap as a guide. Didn't go for perfection, just a "good enough" trim.
My alarm telling me I needed to wrap things up and get ready for work went off, so I didn't get much further than this. Before starting on the inner tube stuff, I removed the filler neck from the truck and I plan on wire wheeling that tomorrow morning and painting it. Also picked up a set of new clamps to replace the old ones when I was on my way to work.
Looks like the old clamps were either originals or replacements from the dealer.
After the filler neck is painted I should be good to go as far as installing this hot mess. Yay...