RANGE FINDER

With an available 6.7L Cummins producing 900 lbft of torque, the ability to tow more than 31,000 pounds, and best-in-class payload ratings straight from the factory, there isn’t much a late-model Ram heavy duty can’t do. However, one factory shortcoming tends to keep these trucks from living up to their full potential: lack of fuel capacity. While the factory 32-gallon tank found on 2500 and 3500 crew cab, long bed models has a range of well over 500 miles loaded, that number is nearly cut in half when ’13-17 Ram HDs are towing or hauling at maximum capacity.

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Once the ’16 Ram was up on the vehicle hoist at Titan Fuel Tanks’ Idaho Falls, Idaho headquarters, the remaining fuel in the factory tank was siphoned out. Then the guys at Titan made sure the OEM tank was supported via a transmission jack before loosening the tank strap bolts.

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Where applicable, the factory tank’s plastic shield will require removal. In this particular truck’s case, no OEM shield was being utilized. We’ll also note that some installers may opt to pull the driver-side inner fender well and even the wheel for optimum working space.

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With the tank strap bolts on the inside of the tank and the frame rail loose, both tank straps were removed (they would be replaced with galvanized steel straps supplied by Titan). It should be noted that Titan offers an optional tank shield for its 55-gallon mid-ship replacement tank, although one wouldn’t be employed during this install.

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After disconnecting the fi ll hose the tank was lowered several inches via the transmission jack. From there, the vent line hose (which spans from the fi ll spout to the tank) was disconnected at the fi ll spout tube end, followed by the smaller vent line hose.

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Up on top of the factory tank, the fuel gauge’s electrical connection was unplugged from the sending unit. Then both the fuel supply and fuel return lines were disconnected from the sending unit.

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With everything disconnected from the factory tank, it was carefully lowered away from the truck. Next, the sending unit would be swapped over to the Titan tank, as well as the factory fill and vent hoses.

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This side-by-side photo of the 32-gallon factory tank and the 55-gallon Titan unit (PN 7030313) helps put things into perspective. In addition to its added length, the Titan tank hangs approximately 2.5 inches lower once installed. The Titan tank is constructed of 0.250” wall cross-linked polyethylene, incorporates rollover safety vent valves, carries a lifetime warranty, and retails for $1,320.

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The Titan replacement tank comes with the sending unit mounting hardware already assembled, so swapping things over is a piece of cake. The 3/8” nylon lock nuts are simply removed from the studs that secure the top flange, followed by removal of the top flange, which exposes a fresh O-ring gasket. The O-ring gasket, studs, and retainers were left alone during the sending unit transfer process.

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Removing the fill hose from the factory tank required a small flathead screw driver to loosen the worm gear clamp. Both the location and orientation of the fill hose are unchanged from the factory tank to the Titan unit.

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Both the fill hose and worm gear clamp are retained and reemployed on the Titan tank. The guys at Titan made sure to install the fill hose so that the same angle would be utilized.

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The same goes for the vent hose transfer, where a flathead screwdriver is needed to loosen and then retighten the worm gear clamp. Once the easy part was over (swapping over the fill and vent hoses), the guys at Titan moved on to pulling the factory sending unit.

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To remove the factory sending unit, the OEM hold-down ring had to be loosened. The hold-down ring was rotated counter-clockwise using a large flathead screwdriver and hammer.

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Prior to pulling the sending unit, it’s important to take note of how the unit is clocked. Specifically, the electrical connection for the fuel gauge, the fuel supply, and the fuel return nipples have to be positioned at the same angle once installed in the Titan tank.

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At this point, the guys at Titan inspected the ½” flanges inside the tank to confirm they were seated properly (and most importantly, not overlapping), and also checked to make sure the inside of the new tank was free of any debris. Then, after carefully positioning the fuel float into the Titan tank, the factory sending unit was lowered into place.

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Once the sending unit was positioned on top of the new O-ring gasket, it was carefully rotated until the fuel gauge connection and supply and return line ports were oriented the same way they were in the factory fuel tank. Then the top flange was placed over the sending unit mounting studs.

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From there, the supplied 3/8” nylon lock nuts were installed and torqued to 20 ft-lb in order to secure the top flange. To properly seat the O-ring gasket, the nuts were torqued in a star pattern, and each nut’s torque spec was rechecked approximately 15 minutes later.

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With everything swapped over to the Titan tank, it was time to install it under the truck. With a helping hand, the new tank was positioned on the previously used transmission jack. It’s worth mentioning that all of Titan’s mid-ship replacement tanks feature an exclusive low fuel trap design, which employs a baffle system that keeps fuel from sloshing during acceleration or braking to ensure the pickup is always submerged in fuel (even with as little as five gallons left in the tank).

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After raising the tank a few inches from where it would eventually be mounted, the fuel supply and return lines were reinstalled, along with the fuel gauge electrical connection being reattached. Then the fill hose and vent lines were reattached, and the folks at Titan made sure the vent line was free of kinks and that it was angled downward, toward the tank. Finally, the tank was fully lifted into place and the supplied galvanized steel tank straps were installed.

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Because the customer didn’t opt for Titan’s optional tank shield, rubber bushings had to be installed on the bottom of the new tank straps. Then both tank straps were secured using the factory mounting hardware. While this particular set of tank straps installed tightly without the need for shims, Titan includes zincplated shims with its tanks in the event that they are required to get the tank straps as snug as possible.

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By design, the fit and finish of the Titan tank makes it look like a factory option. As you can see, the 55-gallon unit simply fills the space the factory tank didn’t. And even though it sits 2.5 inches lower than the OEM version, the Titan unit still sits higher than the DEF tank (far right).

Since 2003, Titan Fuel Tanks has been supplying extra capacity fuel tanks to truck owners that need to go further, longer. Constructed of cross-linked, high-density polyethylene, the company’s tanks are stronger and safer than factory units, don’t infringe on cargo space or compromise the truck’s functionality, and directly replace the OEM tank. Looking to get more range out of its support rig—a ’16 Ram 3500—5.11 Tactical contacted Titan about a 55-gallon midship replacement tank. With a few simple hand tools and access to a vehicle lift, the Ram now benefits from having 72 percent more fuel capacity. Follow along for the full install.DW