I am interested in Man-A-Fre's auxiliary fuel tank and would like some info from anyone who has installed one. I am worried about the mounting and ground clearance of the large 170 litre tank. Could anyone provide me with the tank dimensions and approximate ground clearance (how far below the chassis frame does it extend?). Man-A-Fre cannot provide this info! Does the tank come with an attached skid plate and if so, is it adequate or will I need to add more protection? What would happen in the event of a serious rear-end collision with one of these installed?
Assuming it is the one that ARB supports (Long Ranger) it is the same as mine. I had it installed about a year ago. The ground clearance is as good - actually better than before because the spare tyre isn't in the way any more! I have taken the vehicle in all sorts of terrain and it hasn't connected with the ground yet... But it is extremely robust and built very strongly. It fits in the space underneath where the spare wheel and old spare tank fitted - very neatly.
I wouldn't worry about it - you can't even see it unless you get down underneath the back of the truck - it is tucked in very nicely. In extends about 6" or so underneath.
I don't know what the safety stats. are, but I do know that Australia has some of the most extreme motor vehicle regulations in the world, so I would say that the safety is probably pretty good. Either that or you will be launched into orbit around the planet if it happens...
I would strongly recommend that you get (if you don't already have) after-market suspension (shocks and heavy-duty springs - OME) because when fully laden and fuelled up, she's very heavy... And anyway it will improve your gas tank clearance!
If I install this auxiliary fuel system, I must move the spare tire to some form of external mount. Is the Man-A-Fre OEM swing-out mount a solid device?
You have at least two choices - the ARB replacement rear bar with spare swing-out or the ARB spare carrier mount for the standard rear bar - the later is what I have, many of the people on this list have the replacement bar. I can vouch for the strength of mine - I have taken it through the most fearsome terrain and it has performed perfectly and is very strongly made. TJM also make similar and reasonably strong units.
A couple of things to look out for with replacement tanks.
If you're looking at replacing the main tank, be wary of the dimensions of the tank after installation. They invariably hang lower than the stock tank and don't have a protective plate underneath.
Rust. Welded aftermarket tanks will rust. Invariably from the inside. A few manufacturers try to minimize the problem with aluminized steel, however the welds themselves will rust. This can and does cause fuel delivery problems for those that have replaced the main tank with aftermarket. For those 80 Series that pump fuel from the sub tank to the main tank (93-98 Aussie spec petrol models), it is much safer to replace the sub tank with a larger one. The fuel is pumped to the main tank through a fine strainer which will catch fine rust flakes.
The best way to avoid the problem is to have a tank made from stainless
steel. It is an expensive option though.