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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
\'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I just purchased a 1987 Ramcharger to use as a tow vehicle and I have been lurking here for a couple of weeks and soaking up all this SAGE advise re: engine mods, swaps etc. and feel like I have a handle on the direction I want to go with the engine but every once and a while I run across a mystery that seems unsolvable. I have usually found the answer here or the other board that is "Mopar" based or in the Haynes manual but I'm stumped for now. What is the fuel capacity of an 87 Ramcharger and was the factory tank pastic? I read some where it was 35 gal. so when I filled her up and she took 22 gal and the gauge didn't go all the way to full, I assumed that the gauge was off and I still had 10 gal left. The next time I let the guage go lower and she started to cough and sputter a bit and act like she's running out of fuel, filled up again and 25.4 was all I could get in. I could see the fuel in the neck so I know its FULL. Do these vehicles have floating pickups and is it possible I have 10 gal of water in the tank or what? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS: Anyone out there have an Owners Manual (GloveBox Manual) for an '87 RamChgr?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

Have a '84 RC with a similar problem. The factory manual says it has a 35 gallon tank but have never put more than 28 gallons
in it. I've never run it completely dry. The vent that runs from the top of the tank to the charcoal cannister under the hood
appears to be plugged. It's possible there is a checkvalve in the line although my manual shows none.By the way the tank is
plastic. If you find the answer, please pass it on.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I spoke with an other fellow who said 26 gal but when he checked his build sheet it said 35? He said he's never been able to put more than 25 in his. I guess we still have a mystery but when mine begins to read "E" I'll damn sure believe it now. ;-)
Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I just bought a 1985 Ramcharger a couple of weeks ago and was told that it has a 35 gallon tank on it also. Today I went to fill up and I could only get 24 gallons in. My fuel gauge was at about 1/4 full.
 

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Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

Just out of curiosity, has anyone of you pulled the gas tank, drained it, and took gallon containers with gasoline (water, i'd assume works well as well, and is more readily available and easier to dispose of just make sure all of it gets out of there when you're done. I realize i probably didn't need to tell you peoples that, but figured i'd throw it in there anyway) and see exactly how many it takes? If anyone ever feels like doing this, let me know the results. I just like to know a bunch of stuff about other makes and models of trucks than I own.

Tim
"The_Sandman_454"

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif '79 GMC Suburban 4x4 and '85 GMC S15 4x4
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I have tested the fact with my 87 RC and know that it is a 35 gal gas tank, and yes they are plastic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I've put 32 into my 79R/C. My gauge was reading under empty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I always ran my 76's under E on the gauge. Right after I bought my 87, I was cruising along knowing I had the 35 gallon tank, and was getting at least ten mpg, when low and behold the gauge hits E and I sputter to stop. My dearest wife then picked me up and I returned to the truck with a 5 gal can. Two miles to the gas station and filled it to the neck with 25 more gallons...
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

Well . . . The mystery continues! I really don't want to pull the gas tank so I reckon I'll just believe the durn gas guage and when it starts to get on toward "E" I'm going to fill it up! ;-) I am going to put rear shocks on her this weekend and while I'm down there pokin' about I'll check the vents in the fuel system. Who knows, I may just find out what's up here.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

There shouldn't be any atmospheric vents anywhere near the fuel tank. There is a vent line that runs from the top of the tank to the top of the filler neck, this allows air to vent from the tank when you are filling up, should this line get kinked, collapsed, or what ever you will have trouble filling the tank to capacity.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

There's also that mess that runs to the charcoal canister but that probably wouldn't keep the tank from filling, or would it?
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I bought an 87RC new and still own it. The tank is plastic with a full coverage skid plate as a std. The dealer claimed it was a 36 gal. tank but the most I've ever been able to get in mine is 27 gal. I also bought the Service Manual when I bought it. (I new I would keep it forever!) The manual claims that the "Sport Utility" came with a 35 gal. tank. "Light Truck"(s) came with either a 20 gal. tank standard of a 30 gal. tank as an option. I think the reality is that Dodge put in 30 gal tanks in the Sport Utilities and not 35 gal tanks. I used to have a B200 Van with a 36 gal. tank and mine isn't even close to it's size and it certainly isn't a 20 gal.
I think the problem may be the internal tank filter. For some reason, (must have been a good idea at the time) Dodge put an ultra fine screen filter on the end of the pick up tube inside the tank. After years of wheeling in the CA clay, this filter became clogged with fine dirt! (symptom was sputtering on long up hills only!) Took me a long time to figure this one out - primarily because I had just pulled the tank for another reason and there wasn't anything wrong with it. So of course it couldn't be that! What I really did was stir up the mud, clogging the filter almost immediately. Anyway, the fix is simple. Just pull off the filter (it slips on) and add a length of gas line to the metal pick up. This makes sure the tank can be drained dry if needed. The filter was about 3" long and basicly would allow air to be sucked up causing sputtering before all the gas is gone. This would explain the discrepency between your 25.5, my 27, and the factory's 30 gal. capacity. Incidently, I added an external filter just outside the tank to take the place of the internal filter. Haven't had a problem since.
George

Geo. - 87RC
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

Something I learned in my service days is that fuel tanks are designed with what is called a reserve capacity. For some reason these vary from Manuf. to manuf. and and tank to tank. As a general rule the 20 gal. tank has 4 gal. reserve and the 30 gal. tank has a 5 gal reserve, thus making them 24 and 35 gal respectivly. The reasoning is to at least attempt to keep the crude and condensation from getting to the pick up/ end of the filter. If you can find an after market screw on to put in line, this would be great for heavy wheeling and cold wheather climates(condensation). If you can find a unit W/a drain cock on the bottom you can check freqently for water. this will allow the exsention of the hose to the bottom w/out any worries. Four wheels hoo
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

GeoGi's info about the in-line strainer sound good. My '84 RC runs terrible when Gas indicator reads near empty.

Afraid Sandman 454 suggestion about removing tank and measuring it, is the correct one. Unfortunately, its cold and
about ready to snow here so will put it off until it warms.

Did you find anything when replacing the shocks?
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

Well . . . I found out that I still dislike the taste of gasoline, A LOT!!! LOL I blew and sucked on all the vent like things I could and all seem to be clear. Nothing kinked or strangled in any way so . . . I'll stop more often and believe the gas gauge when it says its in need of a feeding. Next spring I'm going to put her i a garage and do a major rebuild/hop up and some minor rust removal and paint job. I'll wait till then to pull the tank. I use the RamCharger to haul a trailer for Civil War re-enacting. I own a cannon and reenact artillery. The winter is re-enacting season down here in Florida so I can't lay her up till prob May. It starts raining about then and what better way to spend the monsoon season than rebuliding/re-encarnating the R.C. The wife want's to paint her Plum Crazy and name her "Moby Grape". The old hippies will get that one, I kinda like the idea too, Oh well, showing my age again.

Thanks guys for all the tips and suggestions!!!!!! ;-)
Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: \'87 Ramcharer Fuel Capacity

I've heard more theories and versions of the truth on this in the last two years on this BBS than I can shake a stick at.

So, I put a Gerry can in the back and ran it empty. It took just about 35 gallons (didn't precisely measure what I added from the Gerry can to drive to the gas station) to fill it up.

So, as far as I can tell, on my '83, it hits "E" on the fuel gage with 7 or 8 gallons left in the tank.

Dodge Section Editor
 
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