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Some of you might have read my post a few days ago about a close call with a cell phone driver who almost rear-ended me. This prompted me to start looking into a fuel cell to replace me stock tank. Then it occurred to me that while I've always heard that the stock setup is dangerous, I've also not heard of one blowing up in a collision. While it would make some sense that since the tank is bolted to the trunk floor it might be more prone to rupturing in a collision than a tank that is strapped under the trunk floor. And having the inlet tube in the back may also make the tank more vulnerable. But, most cars had/have their tanks in the back, and all inlet tubes are vulnerable wherever they are if they get hit. So is this design really that dangerous, or has it gotten blown out of proportion? Hit me with some facts, because I'd rather put the money into something more fun, like horsepower!
 

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over the last 25 years i have bought probally 200+ plus mustang parts cars , most wrecks from local junkyards i deal with , now i buy more modern wrecks to fix, however i have seen at least a dozen hard hit rear end colisions, and 1 had a resulting fire from a ruptured tank, but i saw none that exploded!
 

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Well I can say I've never personaly seen this happen. I like you have heard the myth. But I think that just what it is.

If your worried, than I've seen someone bolt a piece of 1x1 square tubing to the back of their rear frame rail. That's a cheap added protection. Or there is something called tank armor that's a piece of sheet metel that bolts to the top of your tank and mostly separats it from the rest of the trunk incase of a leak. (This is not so cheap.)
 

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Jim,
The phrase "blowing up" is a bit overstated. The information comes from the insurance industry dated back to the late 60's. Many cars including the Mustang were subjected to impact testing from various angles. Today they are refered to as crash testing. The main difference between the two is that back then they actually used two cars to crash into each other.
The Ford folks in an effort to satisfy the insurance industry issued a "potential safety notice" which outlined the possibility of fuel "entering the rear of the passenger compartment".
There was never any explosions from any tests conducted. Interestingly, it was the FB model that suffered the worst in these test. This is what was brought to the surface again a few years ago in a Primetime television report about exploding gas tanks. (in pickups)
The '60's info was dug up to bolster the claim that automakers (not just Ford) knew about these "safety issues" many years ago.

Essentially, any car has the potential for this to occur, not just ours. If it's a concern, spend a few bucks and rest easier.

6f09k
 

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Years ago Pintos took a bad rap for being dangerous and exploding in a rear end collision because there was so little protection for the gas tank. However much this was exaggerated trying to get a story, whatever truth or falsehood there is to it, as far as protection for the gas tank goes, old Mustangs are in the same boat, as are many other cars of the era (Cam***o).
 

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If anything, a fire is the fear, especially if a gas tank ruptures....There was an accident a year ago where an 18 wheeler ran into a broken down S500 Benz, the impact caused the fuel to leak and a fire erupted. I remember talking to a coworker who said "I'm never gonna fill my gas tank more than half way". Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that the people died because of the impact and not because of the fire.

There are different schools of though on this subject, do what makes you feel safest.
 

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I have owned over 300 Mustang, mostly 65 66, and many were wrecked. Never had one that burned, not to say it could not happen. I bought a real nice restored 66, that had spun out, and went backwards into a telephone pole between the gas cap and tail light. The leading edge of the pole pushed all the way through the trunk lid to the panel right behind the rear glass (coupe), up against the rear axle. Gas tank was totally smashed, trunk lid in a tent shape higher than the roof. I drove the car home by hanging a 1 gallon can on gas in the engine compartment.
 

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I don't really think it's necessary to go with a fuel cell in a street car. Keep in mind that using a fuel cell for a street car is not all i's cracked up to be. The foam inside deteroirates over time and you should replace the cell every 5 years or so. Secondly, a fuel cell certified for racing applications (and to withstand a good impact) is not cheap, although neither is the value of your life.

Do what most of us with classic cars do. Just drive carefully and pray a lot. ::
 

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There was an accident a year ago where an 18 wheeler ran into a broken down S500 Benz
i think any story that starts off with "an 18 wheeler running into.." cannot have a happy ending
 

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The problem lies in the fact that the tank is the trunk floor, so that in the event of a rear end collision the fuel from a ruptured tank might enter the passenger compartment.
tank armour and a firewall behind the seatback should provide protecttion from any spilled fuel
 

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years ago i was driving my wifes 66 mustang convertible on a 2 lane highway that had just been reblacktoped and had just rained and my 2 rear tires were marginal and i passed a bread truck at about 50 mph and went into a spin and collided with the mustangs rear end into a parked semi on the shoulder of the road.I had a brief case type tool bag behide the drivers seat and i still broke the seatback,shortened the mustang by 2 feet,created a gas leak but no explosion or fire. i recieved a bump on the head from a convertible top bow and no ther injuries.Before getting out of the car i shut it off.It was the only accident i ever had and i blame it on questionable tires! wes
 

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In most cars (especially newer ones) the gas tank is not part of the trunk floor, so in an accident the tank can break but gas will just spill onto the ground and not into the inside of the car. Gasoline in liquid form doesn't "blow up" but it can cause nasty fires and if your trapped in the car from the accident, well...

About the pintos: i know a guy who got burned very bad in one, i think others in the car actually died. Pintos burning are no myth.
 

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I agree with th eothers, it is an old wives tail told to scare young testosterone filled drivers from being stupid with their mustangs!
 

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Most of the fires happened on 60 Minutes
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, I own two of the trucks that are supposed to be fireballs. I think it was Dateline that did that one, but I remember a while later a couple Popular Hot Rodding editors were scrounging a junkyard and found the truck that they had used for TV segment. It still had a model rocket engine strapped to the fuel inlet to insure that when the would explode when it was hit! Outboard mounted fuel tanks were standard on many trucks for years, not just the '73-'87 . The class action suit over it has been going on for years, and I think it is still in the appeal process. Originally I a notice that I would get a $1000 credit for each truck towards the purchase of a new truck, or $100 cash. Then I a notice later that the $100 cash settlement was overruled and all I could get was the $ discount. Then a while later I a notice that it was still being hammered out. None of this made any difference to me, since I never believed there was anything wrong with the trucks anyway.
In the late 70's I was working as a mechanic. While I can't say that exploding Pinto's were a problem, I can say without a doubt that MANY other cars had their tanks in the same position and were of a similar design ( were almost identical, as were Dodge Colts). Funny (well, not really)thing is, my Mom's Pinto exploded. Not because it was , but because a bed fell off a truck in front of her, and she ran it over, it got caught in her rear axle, and lit up by the cat. She pulled over to the shoulder and watched it burn.
 

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I've owned 4 mustangs over the past almost 30 years, been rearended at least 6 times some of which were pretty good hits and never had a problem. Not saying it can't happen but i've met a lot of "mustang people" over the years and never heard of anyone that knew of this actually happening, personally i chalk it up to media hype over an isolated incident ...

Now that being said, the best insurance is to drive a fastback, that metal trap door should contain things just fine ::

James
 

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Just get the firewall kit for behind the rear seat.

Mel ::
 

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Some of you might have read my post a few days ago about a close call with a cell phone driver who almost rear-ended me. This prompted me to start looking into a fuel cell to replace me stock tank. Then it occurred to me that while I've always heard that the stock setup is dangerous, I've also not heard of one blowing up in a collision. While it would make some sense that since the tank is bolted to the trunk floor it might be more prone to rupturing in a collision than a tank that is strapped under the trunk floor. And having the inlet tube in the back may also make the tank more vulnerable. But, most cars had/have their tanks in the back, and all inlet tubes are vulnerable wherever they are if they get hit. So is this design really that dangerous, or has it gotten blown out of proportion? Hit me with some facts, because I'd rather put the money into something more fun, like horsepower!
My uncle experienced this problem first hand. It wasn't an explosion, but the car went up in flames. He had to have a decent amount of surgery after.
 

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Maybe 15 years later one or two more have exploded?

How do these old threads get found, lol.
 
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