HOW TO - making a fuel sender hatch

Discussion in 'How To' started by Diddymen, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    I cant claim this was my invention, I'd seen lhu1281's version which looked spot on so I thought I'd give it a go....

    Heres where its going to go.......

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    I decided to cut a hole in it for fuel sender access and here is the cover I made

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    what do you think :D









    ok it's not going to be left like that

    I started off by doing loads of measuring (measurements to follow), then carefully cut out the hole for the hatch so I can reuse the cut out bit for the "door"

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    then cut down the section of flooring so it is slightly bigger by about 15mm each side of the hole

    here you can see it cover the opening pretty well

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    and with the cut out sitting on top

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    then I cut out a section of the large peice which was slightly smaller than the opening and the "door"

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    this will be welded under the cargo floor for the cut out bit to sit on top of so it will all sit flush.

    and heres what I've got so far

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    next I cut a small peice of the spare body cut along one of the recesses, this will act a bit like a catch to hold one edge in place

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    and here it is welded on so you can see the job it will be doing (this veiw will be the underside from within the petrol tank area

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    I fitted a lock to the fuel sender hatch - its the type used in lockers.....

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    and with Keys....

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    From the other side you can see the lock body is a bit long, a bit longer than I would have liked but as it didnt cost anything :D .....

    I had to make a new latch for it though and you can see it attached here (not quite finished) in the locked position...
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    I had to make it so it would clear the bottom of the "door" when unlocked....
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    there is about 1 - 1.5mm clearance which is ideal :D

    heres the latch I made next to the ones that came with the lock........

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    next I had to make a catch for the latch to "lock" into. I bent a bit of steel into a right angle, then clamped it onto the body cut "landing" piece to mark the height of the latch. I then cut a slit into it and using a file finished it off. Here it is next to the latch

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    Holding it in place before welding I checked the latch would clear it......

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    once I was happy I welded it on

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    then double checked it was working with the lock and "hatch"

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    very happy so far it works a treat :D

    next I layed the "landing" piece on the bus and scribed around it so I could drill some holdes through the load area in the right place to weld it in

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    I welded on the "landing" piece I'd made from the body cut, and ground down the welds....

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    here is the hatch next to the opening....

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    and from under neath

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    and with the hatch on.....
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    and with some of the marker pen cleaned off...

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    think it will look great once its all painted :D
     
  2. Why the lock - are you worried someone will steal your sender?
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
  4. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    lol .....busted !! :-[

    I wanted some way of holding it shut other than self tapping screws, if I could have made it using some other way which didnt need a key I would have done .........but saying that the lock didnt cost me any thing ;D
     
  5. delilah

    delilah Sponsor

    That's a great job! Wish I did metal work at school ...I did cookery!!!
     
  6. Just going to attempt this job myself, though not so sophisticated. I'm using a circular hatch from a boating supplier.

    Diddymen, you said the measurements were to follow, but I can't see anything. I am going to use the measurements from the "specialpatrolgroup" website. Think I will start small, then gradually go bigger until I can see where the centre of the sender is, and then hold my inspection hatch in position and mark around it. 8)
     
  7. Diddymen's is fair more superior to the one I cut out... and I would advise anyone to do it his way ;)

    I did it during a moment of madness that lasted half an hour..

    Everything was in situ, engine, tank, separating firewall.... Even half a tank of petrol....

    It was a bit sphincter clenching at times... I was lucky......As there were a few sparks

    Pics:-

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    Not the neatest I know.. But it works... no smells or odour... And it gave me a chance to finally repair the sender, without remove the engine....

    Shame, the sender was only 12months old... :-[
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
  8. Hmm, the measurements I used seemed to be quite a bit out, both front to back and side to side. Won't know exactly till my hatch comes and I can finish cutting out. 8)
     
  9. I cut my hatch pretty much dead centre.. But as you can see the sender is a little to the left... You can still access it from here, fully remove and have a feel around.. ???
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017
  11. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  12. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    measurements from the off side

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    25.5cm is to the top of the floor pressings and not the bottom

    and measurements from the near side:-

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    from memory I think the fuel sender might have been sitting here (as shown by the round magnet)

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    not 100% sure though as looking at one of the early pics in this thread it does look central to the sender.

    If I was doing it again I would probably move the hole towards the front of the bus by 2cm - and possibly accross to the off side by one pressing (although I'd have to double check with the tank in) like this

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    hope that is of some help, if the measurements dont make sense then hopefully counting the pressings/ridges in the load floor from the pics might help.

    .........I'd love to see pics of yours the2ems :thumbsup: - if your hatch is closer to the sender than mine, then it might be worth you putting up some dimentions incase it helps others too :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  13. Diddymen

    Diddymen Moderator

    on closer inspection of the earlier pic the sender is definatly here:-

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    so I would keep the same measurements from the sides but move the hole towards the front of the bus.

    you could reduce the width of the hole by cutting along the lower part of the pressings/ridges of the cargo floor for the sides of the hole. I chose to cut mine along the tops due to the way I wanted to secure it. If your going to use screws or bolts though it would make sense to have them in the lower part of the pressings/ridges though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  14. rickyrooo1

    rickyrooo1 Hanging round like a bad smell

    i wondered why i had this on my van, i thought they was standard lol someone must have made mine then.
     
  15. I like this going to make a one -
     
  16. I had also thought about a engine inspection hole does this create any problems with cooling etc
     
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  19. Thanks Diddymen for putting up those dimensions. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, the dimensions I used from "specialpatrolgroup" seem to be out. I will take some pics of my progress and confirm the measurements when I am able. 8)
     
  20. Update to fuel sender hatch.

    This first pic shows the measurements from "specislpatrolgroup" which I used to drill my first hole.

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    Second pic shows where the hole comes using these measurements.

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    The third pic shows where the measurement is taken from at the back.

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    The measurements of 765mm must have been taken without trim panels in place. As my panels were in position, my measurements were slightly less, but still came in the centre of the floor. The measurement from the back is from the inside of the lip as shown in the third pic.

    After drilling the first hole with the largest drill I have, I attempted to look through with the aid of a torch to check that it was in the correct position. It was quite awkward to see anything, with the hole being not very big, so I also tried probing with a length of stiff wire to see what I could feel. Fingers were not an option. The tank is about 4 inches below the hole, so you would need hands like ET to have any chance of feeling the sender.

    Based on what I could see and feel, I drilled the second hole (the middle one). This made it slightly easier to look through, as I could shine the torch through one hole, and peer through the other. Again based on what I could see, I drilled the third hole. This is now virtually central to the sender.

    I will confirm the measurements before I start cutting out to fit the inspection hatch. The hatch I am using is circular, with an outside diameter of 6 inches. Looking at the position of the third hole, it is obvious that when the hatch is fitted, the front to back positioning will not be central to the sender. Side to side should be OK.

    Just got to wait now for delivery of the hatch and sender. 8)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2017

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