Alternative Fuel Tanks for Pickups with Sidesaddle Tanks 2005-01-1427
Seventeen full-scale crash tests were conducted to evaluate technologies to reduce the vulnerability of sidesaddle tanks on full size GM pickup trucks manufactured during the period 1973-1987. These vehicles were alleged by the U.S. Department of Transportation to be vulnerable in severe side impacts. The test program was intended to evaluate designs that would reduce vulnerability in all crash directions. The best test results were obtained by two strategies that relocated the tank to less vulnerable locations. The two locations were: (1) in the cargo bed (bed mounted tank) and (2) underneath the bed, ahead of the rear axle and between the frame rails (center-mounted tank). Tanks mounted in these locations were subjected to a series of crash tests that simulated severe front, side, rear and rollover crashes. The crash environment for these tests was more severe than required by FMVSS 301 “Fuel System Integrity”. Designs were developed for the bed mounted tank and the center-mounted tank that survived the series of multi-directional crash tests with fuel leakage less than that permitted by the FMVSS 301 standard.