A friend came by as I was disassembling the rear end and suggested I take a peek inside the gas tank. He said I might be surprised at what I find. We removed the sending unit and he was right. I couldn’t believe how corroded it was! In fact, the float had completely dissolved and was nowhere to be seen. That explains why the fuel gauge always said “E”.
He suggested I buy a new gas tank rather than just cleaning up the old one. With water being heavier than gas, any moisture that got into the gas tank over the years would sit on the bottom. Eventually little pits would form and one day it would spring a leak. Nothing like finding a giant puddle of gasoline on your garage floor. I took his advice and picked up a new gas tank from Classic Industries. I painted it along with an assortment of other parts with Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black paint: Gloss finish.
As I was sanding down the drive shaft, I noticed the word “Detroit” stamped on the end. Cool!
I started giving the driveshaft a fresh coat of Extreme Chassis Black paint as it was suspended from the rafters in the garage with an old coat hanger. Things were going well until I accidentally bumped the shaft and the hanger gave out. The shaft fell three feet to the garage floor! Ugh. I looked at the eyelets on the end and they were definitely out of round. No way would I be able to get a new U-Joint to fit in there. A friend came by and we attempted to heat the metal with a torch and press in an old expendable U-Joint cap to try and reshape it but our efforts failed. Discouraged, I brought the damaged driveshaft to Driveline Service of San Diego and explained what happened. I told them I really wanted to preserve the “Detroit” end cap. They were able to successfully press in the new U-Joint but it was really stiff and they weren’t comfortable it was going to be a good fix. They did some digging and were able to find another driveshaft with a “Detroit” end cap. They ended up cutting off the damaged cap and replacing it with the other “Detroit” cap they had in their shop. Then they pressed in both U-Joints, attached the slip yoke, balanced the shaft and painted it!
Here’s the old end cap:
And here’s the balanced and painted shaft, ready to install!