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I have a 96 Taurus. The gas tank is shot and needs replacement. Ford put both a 16 gal and 18 gal tank in these cars. Has anyone had any experience visually identifying which tank is in their car? I called the dealer and asked if the VIN would identify tank size, they said NO. The dealer also said there should be some sort of visual number or part number on the tank; I didn’t see anything? I would like to identify the proper tank since it will be a special order item.

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You probably have the 16 gallon one. 18 gallon was for the FFV cars.

Fuel Tank and Fuel Tank Filler Pipe
Two fuel tanks are available with the following features.

Standard tank has:
60.5 liter (16 gallon) capacity.
single evaporative emission valve (9B593).
Flexible fuel tank has:
68 liter (18 gallon) capacity.
dual evaporative emission valves.
Composite heat shield flexible fuel vehicles only with high temperature sealer partially encloses both tanks.
A fuel tank pressure/vacuum transducer is:
installed in a cam-lock hole in the top of the fuel tank (9002).
sends a reference signal to the powertrain control module (PCM) (12A650) to indicate fuel system absolute pressure.
Refer to the Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual for more information.

All vehicles are equipped with a restricted fuel tank filler pipe opening that allows only a non-leaded fuel nozzle to be inserted. Both unleaded gasoline and flexible fuel (FF) fuel tank filler pipes (9034) are equipped with an additional tube for attachment to a vapor management control valve sensing line.





The fuel tank filler pipe consists of:

The restrictor, which consists of a narrow opening in the fuel tank filler pipe covered by a spring steel trap door.
The smaller non-leaded fuel nozzle will fit through the narrow opening and push the trap door aside, allowing normal filling. Leaded fuel nozzles will not fit through the narrow opening.
The restricted fuel filler is manufactured as an assembly, and must be serviced by removal and replacement with a new fuel tank filler pipe.
Fuel tank filler pipes are not to be modified in any way.
Fill limiting is accomplished through fuel tank filler pipe configuration. The fill limiting system is designed to permit an approximate 10 to 12 percent fuel tank volume air space when the fuel tank is filled to capacity. This air space provides for thermal expansion of fuel as well as being an aid to the in-fuel tank vapor vent system.

A special screen is installed in the fuel tank filler pipe of flexible fuel vehicles to prevent siphoning of fuel from the fuel tank through the fuel tank filler pipe.
 
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