2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

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MiJaWi
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

Hello. My name is Mike and this is my first post on this forum. I've been driving a silver 2004 FWD Vibe since 2018 but this car has been in the family since new.

I just swapped out my rusted metal tank for a 2007 plastic tank from a scrap yard Matrix. My gas tank has been leaking at the seam for a while now and have been putting off a swap due to a lack of data about such a swap. I can confirm that it is possible, but is most definitely not a direct bolt in swap. Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic, so if you see something in my post that looks like I did it wrong, then I probably did ;) .

I started the process by making a scouting trip to the U-Pick scrap yard near me to see what they had. Found a 2007 Matrix almost entirely intact. Next step, pull out my tank and look at what was needed off the 2007 Matrix before going in the scrap yard with the tools. I had already bought a plastic tank from another yard because this U-Pick yard drills out the tanks to drain the fuel.

What I ended up taking off the Matrix:
1: Fuel tank with pump assembly inside (took the tank straps with it + they looked almost new)
2: Charcoal Canister and all hoses attached to it (kept it attached to the tank when I pulled them)
3: Fuel filler neck (turns out the vent lines are different sizes, so the hoses to canister were different)
4: I clipped the wires from the fuel pump assembly and the canister because I had already seen that there were differences.
5: Unrelated Bonus items to the swap, sitting in the back of the Matrix were the two straps that come with the car (still have the Vibe straps) and a bag with the little attachment points that screw down into the sliding rail for the back of the car (I use mine all the time so now I have extras).
6: Took the heat shield, but it's rotten at all attachment points so I grabbed it to eventually use it as a template for bending a new one.

Main differences and similarities between models:
1: '04 Vibe has two elec. connections at the top of tank. One for fuel pump assembly and one for tank pressure sensor (I believe that's what it's called). The '07 Matrix has only the fuel pump assembly connection and it's wired the same as the '04 (It's the same connector)
2: '04 Vibe canister only has 2 wires going to it for the vent valve (not sure if that's what it's really called. The '07 had a 7 wire connector on it. It had the pressure sensor at the canister along with the vent vale and a leak detection pump.
3: The gas tank straps are different. The '07 straps bolting right in holding the plastic tank in place.
4: Possibly the biggest difference and largest modification was the hole in the floor for the pump assembly. The '07 tank was too far forward and the pump assembly touched the floor (almost cleared).
5: '04 Vibe has 3 fuel system lines running to the front of the car (fuel supply line and two related to the EVAP system). '07 has only 2 lines (fuel supply line and one EVAP line).

Here's what I did to the '04 Vibe to pull this swap off. I didn't necessarily do all this in the order listed because there was some trial and error and refitting that had to happen. The easy stuff started with swapping out the fuel filler neck. It uses all the same bolts on the inner fender well. swapped the fuel pump assembly from the '07 Matrix (remember the tank had been drilled out to drain by the yard) to the one I got from another yard. Put the tank in the car with the '07 straps. Bolted up the charcoal canister from the '07 after drilling out 2 of the 3 bolt holes that had broken off removing the old one. Connected up all the hoses from the filler neck, canister and tank as they were in the '07 Matrix. I couldn't really find any info on the '04 EVAP system online, so I had to guess on which of the two EVAP system lines to use that go up to the engine compartment. One of them goes up towards the top of the air intake box and has a test valve (schrader valve???) on it. I hooked up to that line. The second one on the '04 runs to some kind of sensor or switch that has an electrical connection in it and then connects to the air intake box lower on the side. I can't find what that thing is called. It's currently not connected to the EVAP system at the back right now for lack of hoses off the canister of the newer car. I cut the electrical connector on the top of the fuel pump that goes to the pressure sensor and extended the yellow, brown, blue wires to the charcoal canister and wired them up to the canister's connector matching wires (found an '07 wiring diagram to confirm that's where the pressure sensor went). I also wired up the black and red wires going to the original canister to the 'same connector as the pressure switch wires matching the black and red wires. I was left with a grey and a white with black stripe wires not connected. It seems they are for the leak detection pump on the '07, but I couldn't find where this would be on the '04 so I'm assuming it's not on the car until I find out otherwise and left them wrapped up with the other wires in that cluster. Before the tank was fastened in, I cut the access hole in the floor larger (close to 50% larger) towards the front of the seats to give proper access to the fuel pump assembly and made a new cover and just used sheet metal screws to fasten it to the floor. This curved cover also gives a bit of room for the top of the fuel pump assembly for clearance.

In the end it all seems to work, except for a potential gas gauge issue. When first turning on the key after the swap, the gas gauge didn't move. It sat below empty (normal resting state when off) and the low gas level light was on. After some messing around and watching some YouTube videos I couldn't determine why it didn't work. The amount of gas added to the tank after the swap should have moved it to 1/8 of a tank or more. I drove the car to the closest gas station and filled it up. When I got in the car and started it, the gauge was reading full (not quite to the top of the full line). Time will tell if it reads empty when it's got plenty in it. Might take a week of driving to work to figure that out.

I think I covered everything there, but I do have a couple questions that I hoped someone could answer. 1) If the ohm range for the two fuel sending units were reading different, would that be why the tank was reading empty until it was filled. If so, would it be advised to go back to the scrap yard and grab the fuel gauge that went with that sending unit to read accurately. I didn't really know what I was doing but I watched a video on testing the ohms of the sending unit to see if it worked. The '07 unit was somewhere around 300+ ohms empty down to 15 when the float was lifted all the way up. The '04 unit was just over 100 ohms at empty and less than 15 when all the way up (full tank or more). Could it be that the gauge thinks that 100 ohms is empty and won't move up until the newer sending unit gets to that part of it's range? Or am I looking at this all wrong :). 2) Can someone tell me what the second line, or maybe it's easier to say what both lines coming from the charcoal canister to the engine compartment go to on an '04 Vibe? Probably applies to an '03 as well.

If you got to this point, thank you for your patience, and I hope it all made sense :)

Mike
MiJaWi
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

Update:
It's looking like the fuel gauge in the '07 is also different from the '04. I'm almost 130km into the first fill after the swap and the gauge is moving down quickly. It's at 1/4 already when I use to get 450km + to a tank. Looks like the gauge is only going to read the top 1/3 or so of the tank. That seems to fit with the Ohm readings I got from both sending units. When the gauge reads empty I'll be fill it up to see how much gas I actually used to get to the empty line.

Does anyone know if the gauge cluster in either the '04 or '07 is one unit for all the gauges, or are the individual gauges able to be swapped? I'll probably be going back to the yard I got the fuel system from and getting the gauge cluster from the '07 Matrix and looking at the difference between mine and that one. I also found a device online that I could put inline between the sending unit and gauge that adjusts the ohm reading going to the gauge to do exactly what I believe I need done in my car, but it'll cost more than I've already spent on this swap so far. It will also take about 1 month to get that shipped to me if I order it.

Mike
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joatmon
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Location: SMC MD

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by joatmon »

Hopefully its a sender to gauge matching issue, and not that you leaked out a half tank of gas somewhere.

I don't know if the fuel gauge movement is an easy swap between clusters. I know the tach and speedo are no solder. I also know that the 04 and 07 clusters as a whole assembly are not interchangeable, would take some creative wiring to fit an 07 cluster in your 04 (I know that's not what you were asking about).

I can see where 300 Ω from the sending unit vs 100 Ω the cluster is looking for would cause the gauge to read empty long before it was actually empty. If it's linear, you hit 100 Ω (empty) while still having about 2/3 of a tank of gas left

I don't know how compatible the fuel pump assemblies are between the 04 and 07, but looking at the attached PDF of 03 matrix fuel pump overhaul, step 11 shows that the sending unit can be removed/replaced. It sure would be nice if the 04 and 07 fuel pumps were similar enough that you could just take the 15-100 Ω sending unit from the 04 pump and put it on the 07 pump.

Sorry if I missed you saying why, but why couldn't you use the 04 pump assembly in the new tank?
Attachments
w140001.pdf
03 fuel pump overhaul
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MiJaWi
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

When the gauge hit the E mark I pulled into the gas station and topped it off. 12 Litres to fill it. The gauge is only reading the top 1/3 or less of the tank. I got the gauge cluster from the '07 Matrix this morning, but even they are different from the '04. Main plug is the same and the gauges work, but the newer cluster has a second plug that my '04 doesn't have. The tire pressure light stays on, which is not a problem to cover up because my car doesn't have pressure monitoring :) . The odometer readings on the two clusters aren't that far off each other either. The '07 is at 265,000 km and my '04 is at 247,000 km. When I have more time later today I'll dig into what the smaller wire connector runs on the newer cluster. I know it's not the door light, any of the 4 gauges or the seat belt light because they all worked when I plugged it in and started the car.

So... Anyone wanting to swap out the old rusted metal tank to the newer plastic ones, there is a lot to it besides just the tank. And I thought it was just a front grill change from '04 to '05. A lit of little things under the surface was changed. I think I fell down a rabbit hole with this project. No wonder I couldn't find any info doing this swap :lol: .

Mike
MiJaWi
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

joatmon wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:25 pm
I don't know how compatible the fuel pump assemblies are between the 04 and 07, but looking at the attached PDF of 03 matrix fuel pump overhaul, step 11 shows that the sending unit can be removed/replaced. It sure would be nice if the 04 and 07 fuel pumps were similar enough that you could just take the 15-100 Ω sending unit from the 04 pump and put it on the 07 pump.

Sorry if I missed you saying why, but why couldn't you use the 04 pump assembly in the new tank?
I looked at the sending units of the two pump assemblies. They're not compatible by the way they attach to the unit. The sizes are different and they work in a slightly different way on how the wiring works.

The '04 unit is held down by a metal ring and screwed in place. The '07 has a plastic threaded ring the tightens down. The top of the assemblies are just different.

Mike
Caretaker
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Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by Caretaker »

Sir, I throw this thought your way with the sole intent of the safety of you and your family. Whenever pumping gas into my plastic container for eventual use in my lawn mower, I have read and practiced the policy of keeping the plastic container on the ground while pumping in the gas so as not to initiate a static electricity charge and cause an explosion. If this isn't just urban legend, is there any danger in having an automobile's plastic gas tank sitting raised off the ground or is there some kind of built in static charge suppressor?
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
* '09 Vibe: 1.8 liter *
* '10 Hyundai Elantra Touring *
* '07 Honda Fit Sport *
On Deck: '23 Kia Niro/'23 Subaru Crosstrek
MiJaWi
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

Caretaker wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:27 am Sir, I throw this thought your way with the sole intent of the safety of you and your family. Whenever pumping gas into my plastic container for eventual use in my lawn mower, I have read and practiced the policy of keeping the plastic container on the ground while pumping in the gas so as not to initiate a static electricity charge and cause an explosion. If this isn't just urban legend, is there any danger in having an automobile's plastic gas tank sitting raised off the ground or is there some kind of built in static charge suppressor?
I always put the container on the ground when filling. Static discharge at the pumps is no urban legend. I'm sure the pumps around here have pictures showing not to fill containers in the vehicle. I've been working with various types of plastics for close to 20 years. Currently making custom vinyl graphics. Just sliding the vinyl prints across the table builds up static. It can't really be avoided, just reduced through various methods. As far as the plastic tank is concerned, it is grounded by the mounting straps but the filler neck is metal and where the filler neck meets the body/door is a rubber membrane, so I think they have that covered in the car itself. I also believe the pumps themselves are extensively grounded. I believe (and I'm not about to test out my theories at the pumps :) ) the biggest threat to static discharge at the pumps is human contact without grounding out somewhere first.

Mike
Bookworm
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by Bookworm »

Except that static discharge isn't the threat that the safety nuts would have you believe. Frankly, it's a good idea to keep the darned can on the ground no matter what, because you then have both hands readily available for stability and control. People keep thinking they're more skilled and coordinated than they are, however.

Here's the _real_ information.

Yes, static electricity can ignite volatile fumes. They've recorded up to 15,000 volts for person generated static, and humans don't even feel it until it's well over 2,000 volts. (Penetrating the skin to hit a nerve) Static is generally somewhere in the 10 to 30 millijoule range. Methane can ignite at just 1 millijoule - at the 6 to 11 volume percent. (https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/7328370/ )

That's the key. volume percentage.

For gasoline to ignite, there needs to be between 1.4% and 7.6% volume percentage. (http://www.chemicalspill.org/WorkerRTK/chemicals1.html)

Think about it. That's a LOT of gasoline vapours. You'll be choking on the odour before reaching just 1%. Our ignition systems are nominally 50-100 millijoules, with some modern ones hitting 200 millijoules, at 12-25,000 volts. (or even higher). Gasoline's air fuel ratio is 1 gram of gas to 14.7 grams of air - in the cylinder. You'll die if that much is in the air around you - or at least be very sick.

So, the real ignition risk is right at the point where you're putting fuel into the automobile itself, or if you spill it all over your pants, and you're more likely to start a fire than an air fuel explosion - from smoking a cigarette while pumping gas. I've lost track of the zaps I've received by getting in and out of the car at a gas station when the weather is cold (I wear flannel shirts and jackets), and I've yet to blow myself to kingdom come.

Is it a risk? Sure. I think you're more likely to have someone drive into your car at the pump than it catch on fire, however. (My uncle died that way) Is it a real risk? I don't think so. I think it's just another thing thrown out there to justify turning your car off :), and keep people from pouring gas down their trousers. (I've fueled a running car as well. The starter was failing, and after driving three hours to get it going again, I wasn't going to risk not being able to restart it after getting gas.)
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joatmon
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Location: SMC MD

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by joatmon »

I guess if you had electrically conductive tires, perhaps the gas tank material might change the static risk of a plastic vs metal gas tank, but since most cars don't, I wouldn't be worried about tank material being a factor in this swap.

As for the second connector on the 05-08 cluster, some years ago somewhere I found the attached 05 instrument cluster wiring diagram. Perhaps it will help figure out what signals go through the second connector. For comparison, I also attached the wiring diagram for an 04 cluster. Unfortunately, the two are from different sources, so the visual styles make it less easy to do a direct comparison.
Attachments
05-instrument-cluster-1-of-1.pdf
05 instrument cluster wiring
(102.51 KiB) Downloaded 1 time
04-matrixclusterwiring-046cm.pdf
04 instrument cluster wiring
(78.86 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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MiJaWi
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:23 am

Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by MiJaWi »

I've got the '07 Matrix cluster in the car now. Haven't had enough free time to go over the wiring diagrams yet to see what is run off that second smaller connector, but so far all the dials and lights that are important are working. The one thing that is missing from this newer cluster is the O/D light, which is not an issue. Don't really turn off overdrive anyway. I'd bet that that if I went back to the yard and looked at the donor car there probably isn't an O/D button on the shifter for that year. The tire pressure light is on all the time on the new cluster, but I covered that up with some matte black vinyland it blends right in with no signs of the light. My original cluster didn't have that light, so I'm thinking it wasn't an option in '04. Now I just need to run the tank down to see how accurate this gauge is. My old one I could run right to the empty line with no issues.

The Check Engine, Battery, Oil, Seat Belt, Doors Ajar, Headlight, High Beam lights all work as they should.

Mike
Bookworm
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Re: 2004 Metal Tank Swapped With Newer Platic Tank

Post by Bookworm »

My 07 Vibe and my current 07 Matrix both have the overdrive button, for what it's worth.

The light is in the temperature sub cluster, bottom right.

Hope that helps.
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