So You Want an Auxiliary Fuel Tank for Your LR4...

Discussion in 'LR4' started by avslash, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    Posting this in response to the inquiries in the LR4 for Highway Travel thread.

    First off, if you are faint of heart, or faint of wallet, this is not the mod for you.

    My LR4 was so highly modified, with so much money dumped into it, that I finally woke up one day and said "I can drive 700+ miles in my diesel truck, I want to be able to do that in my Rover, and I don't care what it costs". Turns out, it cost quite a bit to get there.

    There is some hope though. I have heard mention that a company is currently working out a distribution agreement for these tanks in the U.S., and searching for shops willing to install them.

    There are also several other individuals who have made this work with one of the three or four various options available from Australia or South Africa. Kudos to them and however they accomplished it, so this thread only applies to my experience.

    My tank is the Long Range Automotive (LRA) tank from Australia. The kit they sell is designed to work with basically every iteration of LR4, except those that are sold in North America. The difference, obviously, is our particular emissions requirements. I contacted them directly, and they were willing to ship one directly to the Port of Houston, Texas for me. This necessitated hiring a customs management firm that they recommended, paying duties, fees, etc. and eventually resulted in my driving to bonded warehouse at the port and picking up the tank/kit myself. They were several hundred dollars of taxes/fees/whatever added to the cost of the tank/kit from this. Plan on additional expense if you do not live close enough to a port to take possession of it yourself.

    The tank itself will bolt directly into the space previously occupied by your spare tire, so make sure you have a plan to carry your spare elsewhere, as well.

    Once the tank is in place, the science project starts. From my research before I did this I saw a few different ways people have accomplished this; from professional looking jobs to bits that looked like they were cobbled together from the irrigation section at the hardware store, it ran the gamut.

    I wanted a finished product that I could trust to work on the side of a mountain in Colorado, so again, I broke out my wallet to the tune of aprox. $2,000.00 more.

    I am fortunate to have a racing shop near me that can fabricate most anything, so I took it to them and spent an hour or so discussing what I wanted and how I thought it should be done. Essentially, what I wanted was a reliable install with all of the factory emissions equipment remaining in place so I could avoid any check engine light or smog testing issues. The technician who did the install drives an LR3, so he was both interested in the project, and somewhat familiar with the LR4. It was a good fit, and we set a date for the install.

    Prior to dropping it off, I ran all the wiring for the install myself. This was straightforward, and able to be done from the instructions included with the tank/kit.

    The shop did the rest of the fab/install. All of the other installs that I have personally seen or seen documented on the web appeared to basically discard most of the pieces of the installation kit included with the tank, as they do not match with the connections on the NAS LR4. On my install, we used virtually everything, but made modifications as necessary. The biggest win for mine versus the others I have seen is the usage of the dual filler pipe assembly that is included with the kit. We cut it as needed, swaged it out to match the factory fill pipe to the main tank, and welded it together. We also ended up welding over one or two bungs that were not needed as we matched the existing emissions components connections to the new fill pipe assembly. The use of the fill pipe from the kit also allows me to fill either tank as I wish, and not have to pump fuel into the system until both tanks are full, as I have seen in at least one other install.

    See my next post for pictures, and I will try to answer any questions as I am able.
     
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  2. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    The transfer pump switch/gauge installed.

    [​IMG]

    View down fill nozzle showing both fill pipes. Gasoline nozzle can slot into either one so you fill either tank at will.

    [​IMG]

    View of customized fill pipe assembly with fender liner removed, and connections of auxiliary tank lines, and factory piping running back to main tank with new connections made.

    [​IMG]

    Right rear shock tower. Transfer pump mounts to top inside edge of this as per the kit instructions.

    [​IMG]

    Connection bundle going to main tank.

    [​IMG]

    More to come, but I have to break for Halloween now...
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  3. rickyn f355

    rickyn f355 Full Access Member

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    very cool!
     
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  4. jwest

    jwest Full Access Member

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    What are the cylindrical canisters near filler at top of lines? Fuel Filters?

    I have the tank and it’s definitely a top 5 most appreciated/useful mods item for me.
    My list is sort of funny when you see people going on about farkles. It is camping/“overlanding” prioritized probably with true trail use secondary:

    1-proper tires on 18” wheels (BFG at ko, no contest)

    2-spare tire onto rear swingout whthervots s full bumperbor just the solo swing arm.

    3-dual battery - which to me also includes all the practical items it supports such as fridge, extra always hot 12v sockets, 110 inverter

    4-underbody armor (yes doing all of it at once can be pricey but it’s so worth it to protect the stuff. I have the following plates and guards: radiator corners, front lower lip, engine center, trans section, rear diff, sill sliders extended to frame)

    5-roof tent of some sort. A rack isn’t as useful as most people think and frankly it’s near 10th place in my opinion. Roof tents don’t need a rack and most of the crap people put on one is too heavy for this vehicle design.

    While it can of course carry it, and I’ve done it, 20 gallons of fuel and water should be way down near the floor level, ideally behind each front or at least on the rear bumper if possible.

    Anyway, a rack isn’t even needed for Jerry can carriers. You can cheaply and just as securely use two sets of cross bars like Yakima or Thule with the front being the tent and rear pair to mount jerry can holders or pelican case, etc.

    This rackless approach saves $1000 and removes about 70-100 lbs depending on the rack one might’ve ended up with.

    I actually have bridging ladder/waffle boards simply sitting on the factory roof tracks. I can stand on them for photography or the fit under the rack I have that is only mounted seasonally.

    Anyway, I LOVE the 2nd fual tank!!

    I could do the inyally myself now but mine was put in by Columbia Rovers in Portland Oregon several yrs ago.
     
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  5. rickyn f355

    rickyn f355 Full Access Member

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    this is beyond awesome...any reservations from a safety perspective having a fuel tank right underneath the back if the car?
     
  6. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    @jwest

    Sounds like you and I have about the same philosophy.

    I would have to look at a parts diagram to know exactly what those canisters are. They were present from the factory, and connected in a similar spot in the stock set-up, so they went back in. I believe one of them is a charcoal type filter for a vapor return line. The other one, I don't know for sure. The only additional fuel filter mounts in-line with the transfer pump on top of the right rear shock tower.

    I'm strongly considering a roof tent, but I'm leery of parking 135 pounds on the roof. When I did my first trip in the LR4 years ago, I had a spare tire, bridging ladders and assorted other crap up there that probably weighed probably 175 pounds or more. That experience sucked on any kind of technical trails. I'm glad it happened early in my career with the LR4 though, as all of my subsequent mods were made with the thought of keeping everything off the roof.

    Do you have an inverter permanently mounted somewhere? I keep one with a pigtail floating around in the back, but I haven't located a good spot to permanently mount it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  7. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    @rickyn f355

    Valid point, and I have been asked about that before.

    The tank sits largely between the frame rails on the sides, and in the rear it sits in front of the factory steel inner bumper and the Tactical Rovers steel rear bumper. Not saying I might not end up barbequed some day, but overall, I like my chances.

    Of course I grew up riding around in a Silverado with side saddle tanks, and my neighbor had a Ford Pinto....
     
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  8. ryanjl

    ryanjl Full Access Member

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    Sorry if you posted this, but how many gallons is the auxiliary tank?
     
  9. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    LRA rates it at 108 liters, so that works out to 28.5306 gallons.

    I would call it roughly 27-27.5 useable gallons.
     
  10. avslash

    avslash Active Member

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    Another note on the setup, is that the transfer pump is rated at roughly 30 gallons/hour.

    That means that it takes a decent bit of time to transfer a full tank of fuel from the auxiliary to the main. It is not an issue for me, I just engage it while driving and turn it off when done. I have seen one other system posted where the installer added a second, higher capacity transfer pump to allow for a quicker transfer. I didn't think the additional plumbing complexity was worth it, so I just allocate some time to make the transfer.

    I have seen a wiring method on a Toyota Tacoma forum for a similar system that uses the same gauge/switch. Evidently the switch unit has the capability to be automatically switched from the sending unit in the auxiliary tank such that if the main tank is below a preset level, and the auxiliary tank is above a preset level then the transfer pump will automatically engage and transfer fuel until the main is full, or the auxiliary tank is empty. It seems slick, but again, I tend to prefer simple/reliable.
     
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