How to Get Your Fuel Door Right
Few people realize the great potential fuel doors have when it comes to customization-no two doors are alike, you could say. Even worse, a lot of people choose wrong, and they end up with something that they can't use! This little guide will help you to get it right, and pick the fuel door that's perfectly tailor-made for your ride.
A question of fit
Strangely enough, this is what a lot of people get horribly wrong. Before all considerations, you must consider whether or not that replacement or custom fuel door is the right size and shape for your specific year, make, and model.
The best way to go about this is to use your current fuel door as a reference point. If the manual doesn't give the exact dimensions (height, width, and length), take the time to measure the one you have. Believe us; it will save you a lot of time and money.
Another work around is to shop online. Most of the more reputable retailers have a nifty drop-down sorter that helps you to find fuel doors specific for your vehicle.
To chrome or not to chrome
That is the question. Picking out a design is all about the kind of look that you want to achieve. If all you want is a basic, simple, off the factory look, go for the OEM replacements. These are normally the most affordable of the lot and should set you back only a couple of bucks.
Of customs, there are many. Most common are the metallic or chromed-out doors that add sheen or shine to your ride. Here's the thing most people know: if you don't want to shell out too much for the chrome look? Get an acrylic or plastic copy! It looks just as good but is far more affordable.
Truth be told, quality is not too weighty a factor when it comes to fuel doors. So long as it isn't too cheap and brittle, it's good enough!
All in all
It really comes down to personal taste and personal style. Go for fit before form. A safe price range is between $25 and 35 for the most basic replacements and upwards of $40 for the more customized jobs.
Putting in a New Fuel Door
Few things are as simple as a fuel door-they keep your fuel secure in its tank and protect it from the elements. Nowadays, they even add a bit of style with so many different custom designs to choose from! The only thing simpler than a fuel door is the process of changing one out. It's a simple procedure that anyone can do themselves in just 20 to 30 minutes-that'll save you a lot.
Difficulty level: Easy
Stuff you'll need:
- New fuel door
- New replacement tree
- Owner's manual for your automobile
- Socket wrench
- Wrench set
- Screwdrivers-flat, Philips, or even torx-bit (depends on your vehicle)
- Pry tool
- Electrical tape
Step 1: Detach the plastic or rubber tether that anchors the fuel tree to the door with a pry tool.
*NOTE* You might want to consider wrapping the tool with electrical tape to avoid scratches.
Step 2: Remove the two bolts that secure the fuel door to the chassis of the car.
Step 3: Carefully ease out the old fuel door.
Step 4: Detach the nut and twist off the spring clip used to secure the door in place.
*NOTE* You can skip this step if the new fuel door Is compatible with the spring clip already installed.
Step 5: Re-attach the tether onto the front bracket and carefully put the front bracket into the fuel pocket opening.
Step 6: Align the rear bracket with the plunger housing, and just hand-tighten the bolt-this will allow you to adjust the fuel door assembly later.
Step 7: Secure your new fuel door but, again, only lightly attach the bolts.
Step 8: Carefully try the door across its full range of movement-this step is crucial because it will let you fit the door and re-align if necessary.
Step 9: Only when you are completely confident that everything fits in place should you tighten the loosely installed bolts from Steps 5 and 6.
Step 10: You might want to clean the newly installed door at this point. Keep too the old parts you removed so you have a backup-just in case!
- Take extra care when working around your fuel tank. Apart from the standard goggles, gloves, and closed-toed shoes, you should also keep any open flames (like cigarettes or candles) away from the fuel tank's access way.
- To save heartbreak and money, make sure that you get a fuel door that is an exact fit for your vehicle's make and model.