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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time to Up-armor… The Gas Tank

Things that make you go......hmmmmmm.

Bax
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Original Article

With the price of oil again pushing prices at the pump close to $4 a gallon, I’m thinking of the last time gas prices were this high in 2008 and gas theft was way up.
Some thieves didn’t bother cars with locking gas caps, while others didn’t even look at the caps and just put a hole in the bottom of the tank to drain it.
Gas prices will fluctuate but over the long-term they can only go higher, meaning such thefts are almost guaranteed to continue and increase. We drive 4WD vehicles that sit high off the ground, relatively easier to access the gas tank when compared to the average car. My insurance deductible is $500 and I’m not sure I’d want my rates to go up by making a claim, so my plan is target hardening; locking gas cap and some sort of protection or the tank. Parking in a secure garage or with the gas tank side up against a wall are not options right now.
Standard skid plates are available for some trucks but probably not for many cars. Also, many skid plates are made for protecting the tank from damage from rough terrain rather than preventing someone with a screwdriver or icepick from making a small hole. Sensors to detect gas tank molestation are also being marketed, but they are expensive and unproven.
I’m no veteran metal worker but have jerry-rigged a few minor projects, mostly with success. My plan is to fashion some sort of sheet metal, maybe diamond plate, to protect the tanks. This won’t stop a determined gas thief, but will deter the lazy ones or those with less time. Hopefully.
Why go to all the trouble? My guess is that in a situation where we need to bug out, fuel will be extremely tight and theft will be rampant. Ensuring we keep the fuel and prevent damage that could ground us is vital. So I think these precautions will be called for. I’ve only been thinking about this for a couple days and need to take a few photos before I decide what to do. Related ideas and suggestions would be appreciated.