old car

Fuel Tank

February 2004:
tank outlet - click for larger image

No petrol could be coaxed through the pipework .........  The pipework and tank outlet looked OK - the picture is taken looking up in front of the petrol tank; the copper pipework disappears into the nearside chassis member.

.  .  .  .  .  all was revealed when I took the drain plug out - there was no petrol at all in the tank!

fuel pickup - click for larger image

Very conveniently, the petrol pick-up pipe ended just inside the drain plug.  It was easy to push a flexible pipe over the end and confirm that the pipework was OK by blowing from the fuel pump end into a small jar of petrol - it was!

A gallon or so of petrol into the tank - no leaks (but see below) - and the pump enthusiastically squirted petrol in the direction of the carburettor.

April 2004:
Boot Lid Off - click for larger image

The boot lid and the spare wheel carrier had to come out for repairs which exposed the petrol tank.

spare wheel carrier - click for larger image

A slight smell of petrol weeping from the tank meant that it also had to come out.

petrol tank - click for larger image

The tank was held in place by two U-bolts and dropped away quite easily after the filler pipe and tank sender unit had been disconnected.

petrol tank perforated - click for larger image

After cleaning up and a bit of wire brushing more significant holes appeared in one end plate of the tank.

Once the sender unit was removed I was able to clean the tank out with several thorough swills of cellulose thinners.  After a helping bash with a soft-faced mallet it was amazing how much debris was loosened and came out!

petrol tank resin - click for larger image

The leaking end was first plugged with "Leakfix", which has worked well for me in the past.  Once fully cured, the whole end was treated liberally to fibreglass resin and matting.

petrol tank inside - click for larger image

After checking that the tank was now fuel-tight with more cellulose thinners I applied a tin of Slosh fuel tank sealant.

petrol tank inside - click for larger image

I used a small size (500ml) tin recommended for small tanks, but should have bought more as all the surfaces were not covered.  A further 500ml tin was required.

petrol tank inside - click for larger image

Various views inside the tank show that initial coverage was not perfect (two unexpectedly large baffles inside) but that the Slosh did stabilise the rust particles I hadn't managed to dislodge !

fuel pickup - click for larger image

Do make certain that the filter in the bottom of the tank is blown clear before the Slosh sets - otherwise no petrol will get through!

May 2004:
petrol tank painted - click for larger image

The finished tank looks very much smarter than when it came out !

May 2006:

The old tank has now started to leak when it is almost full. A temporary repair has been made using Leak-Fix but I really need a better tank.

petrol tank new - click for larger image

An advert in the ATDC Magazine resulted in a good though slightly bent tank arriving.

Needless to say - THIS time ALL the fuel sender unit screws sheared off but there is sufficient metal to drill and re-tap for the more common 2BA size screws.

June 2006:

This tank was very gooey almost oven-greasy inside with a thick gunge that has probably preserved the inside!

It was cleaned out very effectively using Drain Cleaner followed by a lot of water to flush it out.

petrol tank inside covered - click for larger image

Then POR15 "Metal Ready" prepared the inside for POR15 "Fuel Tank Sealer" from Frost Auto Restoration.

Unlike other fuel tank sealers, this one sets hard, very hard!    I was unable to save the filter gauze in the bottom of the tank as the Sealer started to set so quickly - so it was broken away by a screwdriver.  The inside of the tank finished up with a very hard and impervious seal so I did the outside with it as well!

petrol tank inside filler neck - click for larger image

.  .  .  and then refitted the tank level sender unit as the one with the tank was corroded solid.

July 2006:

.  .  .  and fitted it in the car.  No pictures - well one tank looks very much like another except this one is silver!

I tipped the very small amount of residue into the ash-bin - 2 years on it is still covering the bottom of the bin despite hot ashes being put on it!

September 2009:

the "new" tank is still OK.

Don't forget - DON'T overfill, as the vent pipe is on top of the tank and WILL deposit any excess on the floor!