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Gas Tank Safety 1964-1970 Mustangs
#21
Mister 4x4;265133 Wrote:
secluff;265100 Wrote:As Gold Rush stated, it's a wonder all the wonderful people we've put in office in Washington haven't banned anything that doesn't meet present safety standards. The Big Three have all been in Sixty Minutes "Bulls Eye" at one time or another. What ever makes big news. I remember the fuel tank on the 73-87 Chevrolet pick up trucks was mounted on the outside the frame with only the quarter panel to protect it. Of course once the fires and explosion's resulting from accidents on that one made the evening news the Lawyers phones were ringing nonstop.
I know it means nothing to family's that have lost someone, but these cars met all the Government safety regulations at the time of manufacture. There are kits out now to place a safety barrier for cars like the 65-70 Mustang's and other cars with similar fuel tank set ups.
The poor ole Pinto. It really was a good car. America was learning something new about these new smaller cars. Packaging of components was more critical now that there was not as much room to put things as there was on Dad's big ole 65 Galaxie. "Crush" room just wasn't there any more. When hit from the rear at high impact, the tank was being pushed into the differential and the filler pipe was being pulled out of the tank. Mix in some hot exhaust and sparking metal being shredded...Another Sixty Minutes" special.
Ford did come out with a safety recall for the tanks. It added heavy shields, including the critical area in front of the tank, and a longer fuel filler pipe with improved retention so it would no longer pull out when the tank moved in an accident. They also had another campaign where they replaced the fuel cap with a better sealing one. The car continued to sell really well up to 1980 when it was replaced by the Escort.
I believe unless you have access to a army tank, no vehicle is going to be 100% safe. You see cars In NASCAR that are built with the latest in technology, including fuel cells, by teams with unlimited budgets....and you still see fires!!

Yeah, I don't put much credence, if any at all, into those "Consumer Alert/Expose' " stories from the likes of 60 Minutes, Dateline, Consumer Reports, et al. I still remember the big debacle of NBC [Dateline?] rigging the side-saddle tanks on the Chevy pick-ups to explode, as well as Consumer Reports demanding the drivers get the Suzuki Samurai to roll over on camera (or at least up on two wheels)... no matter what it takes.

Consumer Reports rated the mid-80s Pontiac Grand Ams as the absolute worst car on the road, safety-wise... "death trap" was one of their words, with verbiage to the like of "front seat passengers will not survive front impact events." I'm here today to tell you that is complete bunk! I T-Boned my wife's '87 Grand Am SEV6 into a Dodge Shadow that pulled out in front of me while I had the green light... and I was doing almost 50mph and stopped within 5 feet. Not one scratch on me, and not one piece of glass broke. The car did it's job... fantastically.

They're all pretty much just like movie critics anymore - whichever studio pays the most is the one who gets favor. So, I never pay attention any of that B/S.

The under trunk fuel tank location on 71 to 73 can give protection in rear end crash ?
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#22
Hashem_73;265140 Wrote:The under trunk fuel tank location on 71 to 73 can give protection in rear end crash ?

No more or no less than any other car with rear mounted fuel tanks.

The big difference will be having the filler cap & neck in the tail light panel - most cars have them on the side (either driver or passenger side) behind the rear wheel well opening. The filler neck itself is metal and fits into the fuel tank with a rubber grommet, so it will pop out of the tank if it needs to during a rear-end impact.

1971 to '73 Mustangs are not significantly less safe that other cars with rear mounted fuel tanks, but are indeed safer than the same era Ford Pintos (that had documented rear fuel tank safety issues). 1973 Mustangs have bumpers that are safety rated, as opposed to '71-'72s that were decorative only.

I hope this answers your question.

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#23
Mister 4x4;265144 Wrote:
Hashem_73;265140 Wrote:The under trunk fuel tank location on 71 to 73 can give protection in rear end crash ?

No more or no less than any other car with rear mounted fuel tanks.

The big difference will be having the filler cap & neck in the tail light panel - most cars have them on the side (either driver or passenger side) behind the rear wheel well opening. The filler neck itself is metal and fits into the fuel tank with a rubber grommet, so it will pop out of the tank if it needs to during a rear-end impact.

1971 to '73 Mustangs are not significantly less safe that other cars with rear mounted fuel tanks, but are indeed safer than the same era Ford Pintos (that had documented rear fuel tank safety issues). 1973 Mustangs have bumpers that are safety rated, as opposed to '71-'72s that were decorative only.

I hope this answers your question.


Regarding the redesign of bumpers I read is 73s had bigger front urethane bumpers that is 5mph impact certified. the rear bumpers are decorative thats v true.
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#24
Hashem_73, I would not let any of this deter you from enjoying your 73. This era Mustang is just as safe as any other vehicle built during that time. The 71-3's have a good safety record and met all the Government required safety requirements in effect then. The only problem the feds had was with the 71 Mach1 pop open fuel cap. During some rear end or roll over accidents, the pop open cap was "Popping open" and spilling fuel. A running change in 72 and up production was to use the standard twist on cap. There is a nice repro 71 Mach one cap that uses a twist on cap under the pop open cap. The Pinto discussed earlier was a completely different class car built on a different chassis. Enjoy your Mustang!! thumb

Steve

No Officer...I really don't know how fast I was going, my speedometer stopped at 140!
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#25
Hashem_73;265154 Wrote:Regarding the redesign of bumpers I read is 73s had bigger front urethane bumpers that is 5mph impact certified. the rear bumpers are decorative thats v true.

You are correct - the 1973 front bumpers are 5mph impact certified. The rear bumpers also have mounting brackets that are impact absorbent, but I don't know the speed rating (5mph as well, I would imagine).

As secluff said, they're a lot safer than it might sound with all the "Pinto" talk. Don't let it keep you awake at night. Wink

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#26
I lived through the era of these "unsafe" cars and am still here and won't hesitate to take my '71 out on the highway.

I worked for the Nevada Highway Department (later DOT) on construction projects for many years, saw many crashes and aftermath of crashes. The two I remember most were a Corvair that rear ended a truck and burned, and a new Oldsmobile that burned after a relatively minor crash. Never saw any Mustangs or Pintos burn, although I saw them after they were involved in crashes.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#27
The 73 rear chrome bumper itself is the same as 71 & 72. As I recall, that piece of sheet metal on a 73 between the bumper and the body is a 2 1/2 mph 'crumple' section that was supposed to prevent more severe damage to the body in the case of being bumped in a parking lot. I'm thinking that addition was driven by insurance costs for cosmetic repair.

Interesting discussion that a few years ago was seemingly everywhere, probably in response to the rise of popularity of vintage cars as a hobby, but lately has been subdued.
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