I got these tanks from Rob a couple years back for the price of shipping. The first order of business was to get the bushings out. I tried everything in my arsenal. I broke my half inch breaker bar in the attempt. I was talking to Eben about these and he was willing to give it a shot. So, the next Fortune Pond run I brought the tanks along. They went to Minnesota with Eben and he got them out. So, he shipped the tanks and now removed bushings back to me. They had a little rust in them, nothing serious, so I rolled them and spent a good amount of time cleaning the "legs" of the tanks with a wire brush on the end of a rod mounted in my 1/2" drill. Great, now the tanks are nice and clean, so I took them to my hydro place. I got a phone call a little later from the secretary. The Hydro guy won't touch them. Too old, yada yada. Hmmm. So last winter Eben starts talking about this hydro place in Rice Lake Minnesota. This guy actually get's it. So, when I loaded up for Sea Hunt, the tanks went to Florida with me. Eben got them once again and took them to Rice lake where they both passed hydro with flying colors. Awesome! So I'm home free right? Wrong. I got out a half inch tapered manifold that I was hanging on to just for this project. I started taking it apart and all was going well until I got to the part that encloses the reserve. No amount of force or heat would allow me to get that thing loose. Scratch head........ Hmmmm.. So, I contacted Bill Tucker. I figured he might have something laying around. He said he would look and sure enough, he came up with a really sweet Sportsways manifold. He sent it to me and I tried to spin it into the bushing. Hmmm, my USD manifold threaded in almost too deep. The Sportsways only about two threads. I was wondering if these were one of the straight threaded manifolds. I called Bill and he assured me it was tapered. He suggested I take a tap to the bushings to clean the threads up some. He even offered to send me one to use. I had one laying around from a previous project. So I did as Bill suggested. The manifold fit perfect.
I then painted the tanks and put everything together. After all the trials and tribulations of this project, the scuba gods smiled upon me and everything went together nice AND sealed on the first shot! I owe Eben and Bill a giant thank you! Without their help, this project would have resulted in matching bells if you know what I mean. I'm really looking forward to diving them!