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1947-1948 Underbed Gas Tank

Among the many updates in the new Advance Design body style in 1947, one that certainly stands out, is the change in gas tank positioning. For the first time since 1936 it was placed outside the cab and under the bed.

The dimensions of this 16 gallon tank were based on the limited space between the right frame-rail and the torque tube drive shaft. It was very close to the wood bottom pickup bed and extended over six inches below the actual frame rail.

GM used this type gas tank in pickups during mid 1947 and 1948. For assumed reasons explained in an adjacent article on this website, it was placed back in the cab 1949.

This less than two year tank on the pickup (It was even a different shape between 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks) has become very difficult to find in recent years, so the 1/2 ton was perfectly reproduced in 2008. Restorers no longer have to accept the high priced “just close” stainless 1/2 ton tank usually accepted by the rat rod enthusiasts.

These 1/2 ton gas tanks have recently been reproduced to exact original specifications. They even have inside an outside zinc plating. Check with Jim Carter Truck Parts, Part# MEG149.
Dimensions are: length 24″, width 12 1/2″, and depth 13″.

This gas tank is the same as the 1/2 ton “Single Unit” body trucks (Suburban, panel, and canopy express) during all the Advance Design years, 1947 through early 1955. With the 3/4 ton the truck has a longer frame so its gas tank could be longer and thus thinner yet it held the same fuel volume. it is important to realize this less depth allowed the tank to be higher above the ground. Therefore, it eliminated most tank contact with “high center” road rocks on dirt roads as with the 1/2 tons. To date, the 3/4 ton gas tanks are not being reproduced!

underbed gas tank 1

Bottom View (above) 1/2 ton

underbed gas tank 2

Top Left View (above) 1/2 ton

underbed gas tank 3

Top Right View (above) 1/2 ton

underbed gas tank 4

Outside View (above) Without Grommet

underbed gas tank 4

3/4 ton tank longer and thinner with same capacity

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