How to Install an Auxiliary Fuel Tank in a Ford Transit for Extended Range?

April 4, 2024

As Ford Transit owners, you may have experienced the need for additional fuel capacity for longer trips or fewer stops at the gas station. Installing an auxiliary fuel tank can give your vehicle extended range, and the freedom and convenience that come with it. This article aims to guide you through the process in a clear, step-by-step manner.

Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the installation process, it’s important to understand what exactly an auxiliary fuel tank is and why you might want one. An auxiliary tank is a secondary fuel storage system that’s often installed in the rear of a truck or van. This kind of setup is especially useful for vehicles like the Ford Transit, which are often used for long-distance travel or heavy-duty work.

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Having a secondary fuel tank increases the total capacity of fuel you can carry, allowing you to travel longer distances without refuelling. This added range can be a game-changer, whether you’re on a long road trip or using your Transit for work.

Choosing the Right Auxiliary Tank

Choosing the right auxiliary tank for your Ford Transit is a crucial step. The choice depends largely on the size of the tank that your vehicle can accommodate, and the type of fuel your van uses.

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If your Transit is a diesel model, you should opt for an auxiliary tank designed for diesel fuel. These tanks are typically made of aluminum, which is resistant to the corrosive effects of diesel. In terms of size, a popular option for the Transit is a 30-gallon tank, but you can find auxiliary tanks that range from 15 to 100 gallons, depending on your needs and the space available in your van.

When selecting a tank, it’s best to consider the balance between added capacity and the additional weight. More fuel means more weight, which can affect your Transit’s performance and fuel efficiency. As such, choose a tank size that matches your range requirements without excessively overloading your van.

Acquisition and Preparation

Once you’ve selected the appropriate auxiliary tank, it’s time to acquire all the necessary components for installation. Along with the tank itself, you’ll need a fuel transfer pump, hoses, fittings, a manual shut-off valve, and a fuel cap. Also, remember to have a set of installation instructions handy. Most tank suppliers will provide these, but if not, you can often find them online.

Many Ford Transit owners opt to have their auxiliary tanks professionally installed, but if you’re handy with tools and like a good DIY project, you can certainly tackle this yourself. Remember, safety is paramount when working with fuel systems, so make sure to have proper safety equipment on hand.

The Installation Process

Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter – the actual installation of the auxiliary fuel tank.

Step 1: Position the Tank

The first step is positioning the auxiliary tank in the rear of your Ford Transit. This typically involves removing any rear seating or cargo space. Ensure the tank fits snugly and securely.

Step 2: Install the Fuel Transfer Pump

Next, install the fuel transfer pump. This device transfers fuel from the auxiliary tank to the main tank. It should come with detailed instructions for installation.

Step 3: Connect the Tanks

Now, it’s time to connect the auxiliary tank to the main fuel tank. This involves running a hose from the bottom of the auxiliary tank to the main fuel tank’s fill pipe. Make sure the connection is tight to prevent fuel leaks.

Step 4: Install the Manual Shut-Off Valve

Next, install a manual shut-off valve in the hose between the tanks. This lets you control the flow of fuel between the tanks. This valve should be easily accessible from the driver’s seat.

Step 5: Secure the Fuel Cap

Finally, secure the fuel cap on the auxiliary tank. The cap should fit snugly to prevent fuel vapor from escaping or water from entering the tank.

Post-Installation Checks

After the installation is complete, it’s critical to conduct post-installation checks. Start by filling the auxiliary tank with a small amount of fuel and check for leaks. Then, check the efficiency of the transfer pump and the shut-off valve.

Also, remember to check your vehicle’s performance. Extra weight in the rear can affect the Transit’s handling, so take your van for a drive to see how it feels with the added tank.

Remember, an auxiliary fuel tank not only extends the range of your Ford Transit but also adds an element of convenience to your travels. Whether you choose to install it yourself or hire a professional, the added benefit is worth the investment.

Maintenance and Safety Measures

A vital part of owning an auxiliary fuel tank is knowing how to maintain it properly and understanding the safety measures involved. Regular inspection of your tank system is crucial to ensure it remains in good working condition and to avoid any potential fuel leaks which could lead to hazardous situations.

Check the fuel transfer pump regularly to ensure it is functioning efficiently. The pump is responsible for transferring fuel from the auxiliary tank to your Ford Transit’s main tank. In case of any malfunction or reduced efficiency, consider its immediate replacement to ensure uninterrupted long drives.

The auxiliary tank itself should be checked for any signs of damage or corrosion, especially if it is a diesel fuel tank. Diesel fuel can be corrosive, hence the majority of such tanks are made of aluminium for its resistance to corrosion. Regularly check the condition of the tank and replace it if necessary.

The fuel cap is another part that demands attention. A loose or damaged fuel cap can lead to fuel evaporation or water entering the tank. Make sure the cap fits snugly and is in good condition.

The hoses and fittings connecting the tanks should be checked for any wear and tear or leaks. Any leak in the system can be dangerous and should be attended to immediately. Also, inspect the manual shut-off valve to ensure it functions well. This valve controls the flow of fuel between the tanks and should be easily accessible from the driver’s seat.

As for safety measures, always remember to turn off the ignition of your Ford Transit when refuelling, both main and auxiliary tanks. More importantly, always have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.


Installing an auxiliary fuel tank in your Ford Transit is a decision that comes with numerous advantages. Whether you are embarking on extended road trips or using your vehicle for heavy-duty work, the extra fuel capacity is a game-changer. This installation is a straightforward process, especially when you choose the right tank and follow the steps carefully.

However, it is not just about the installation. The maintenance and safety measures involved in owning an auxiliary tank are equally important. Regular inspections of the tank system, the transfer pump, the hoses, fittings, and the fuel cap will ensure the system’s longevity and your safety.

No doubt, the combination of careful selection, proper installation, and regular maintenance will not just extend the range of your Ford Transit but also add an element of convenience to your travels. Indeed, an auxiliary fuel tank is a worthwhile investment for every Ford Transit owner. Remember, the key lies in choosing the right tank and treating it with the care it deserves.