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Howdy Lads...had the fuel pump die on me while elk hunting in the Rockies.....and of course it was right after I filled the damn tank to ensure it was miserably heavy! Anyways, I researched the fuel pump access hatch and did my own take on it if it helps you out. Initially I was going to leave the tank in place and use a die grinder to cut the panel out but decided since I couldn't squeeze a wet towel on top of the tank and ensure it covered everything, I dropped the tank in the interest of safety.
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First, find the center line bump as at the top of this photo indicated by C/L. I went almost two complete upper ridges over to draw the forward to back lines to cut. It will make sense when you see the completed project.
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I found the tack-welds and measured about a half inch back to make the final cut, but I'd recommend going 5/8" to 3/4" back as I hit the very edge of the cross member.
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Then I bought some flat stock steel about as wide as the ridges, and fabricated a lip for the panel to rest on front to back. After clamping it in place I welded it to the body. This will allow for a strong support edge and a adequate attachment point for screws.
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Then I cut 6-2" tabs to weld into to upper ridges from side to side to support the entire panel front to back and side to side. The back side is easy to weld from the bottom, as you can see in the next photo plenty of access.
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Front is trickier though due to cutting so close to the cross member. As you can see in the next photos I drilled a hole with a drill bit in each upper ridge and welded the support tabs from the top, then got underneath and welded where I could get access.
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I drilled pilot holes for heavy sheet metal screws and attached them through the panel to the re-enforced metal tabs. It is quite sturdy.
In the next post you will see the screws and the primered product.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
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After the fuel pump is replaced I will re-install the tank, paint the cover white, seal it with RTV and some sealing tape, and if it happens again, it should be much easier to address.....Hope it helps you out!

Mad projects from Madman!!!! :)
 

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That came out really nice. great execution...Did the same as you with the flat stock and created a lip so the cover have something to rest on..mine is screwed in place though because I wasn't going to weld around there with the tank in my rig..
 

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That came out really nice. great execution...Did the same as you with the flat stock and created a lip so the cover have something to rest on..mine is screwed in place though because I wasn't going to weld around there with the tank in my rig..
One of the advantages of pulling the tank, but screwing it would have worked as well....Thanks for the comments!
 
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