Lotus Elan

Leaky Fuelcap?

PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:25 pm

While the honeymoon period is far from over on my recently purchased 71 +2s 130 I have noticed that the paintwork is tarnished around the Fuel filler cap and on the bodywork below it. As I have discovered this is from fuel that seems to leak from the filler cap while driving it in tiny thin streams heading towards the boot.

Is this simply a leaky fuel cap? A common problem? what is the best way to fix up the paintwork without respaying?

Also the car does smell of petrol more that I had anticipated - anyone elses too?

All comments gratefully received

Rich
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:12 pm

Rich,

The fuel cap on mine didn't leak - it gushed when cornering to the right! I was once stopped by some friendly traffic cops who told me what was happening.

That is now fixed but the car still smells strongly of petrol. I'm pretty sure the smell is coming from the breather pipes and where they connect into the tank. If you look at the latest edition of the Club Lotus journal there is a schematic diagram to cure the breather problem. The diagram is not very good quality so I don't think it will scan very well if you wanted it e-mailed but I'll try if you need it. Also I know Spyder do a mod to the petrol filler pipe/breathers for about ?40 or so. They claim that it cuts out about 98% of the petrol stink out. I plan to do something about mine over the winter. Mind you, the car won't seem the same without a smell of petrol about it.

Hamish :)
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PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:40 pm

Hamish

I Would really appreciate a link to get a hold of the Spyder Mod, I will try that as it is only ?40. The less petrol smell - the less worried I am about the imminent possibility of bursting into flames!

Rich

While I have a captive audience - Also the car sometimes seems really reluctant to start if the engine is warm but has subsequently been left for say 1/2 hour (EG. driving 10 miles to a supermarket then doing a weekly shop returning to my stunning Lotus only to be left looking daft for 5 minutes trying to start it). It always starts first turn when cold.
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:09 pm

Rich,

Point gap is set too close. (I'll look pretty foolish if you don't have points.)

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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sun Oct 31, 2004 9:28 am

Rich,

Here is the link to Spyder - <a href='http://www.spydercars.co.uk/' target='_blank'>http://www.spydercars.co.uk/</a>. I haven't seen the mod to the filler cap there, I only found out about it when I was talking to them about something else. You'd be better calling them. Also you have to send your own one to them for conversion.

Have a care though, this link can be detrimental to the wallet. There are many tempting goodies available.
In case you are tempted by the Spyder drive shaft conversion - I went for the Tony Thpmson Racing version as it doesn't use any doughnuts at all and it's much the same price. I now have a smooth Elan with none of the dreaded surge!

Hamish. :)
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PostPost by: garyk » Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:07 pm

Rich,

As to the problem when starting warm, are you sure that you're not flooding it? I find that I need no throttle at all to start when the car is warm. If I fluff it and it fails to start first time then it's back to the procedure for starting a flooded car, i.e. fully open throttle and turn until it fires.

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PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:21 pm

Gary

You know I think you are probably right. Although I have a vast amount of experience driving Classic Cars (about three weeks now), the chances are that it is probably my fault. I will try to start it when warm without any Gas at all when warm and see how I fair. Thing is, that I find it hard to tell if it is flooded - the usual sign - the car stinking of Fuel Vapour - is always present!

Rich
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PostPost by: carrierdave » Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:05 pm

Richard,
The other item that can cause hot starting problems can be attributed to the location of the ignition coil.

On many Elans you will find the coil under the air filter box opposite the oil pump right up against the rad hose.
What tends to happen is when you stop the car the heat from the water over heats the ignition coil causing a very poor spark.
You then have to wait for the ignition coil to cool down sufficiently enough to enable you to get a reasonable spark to start the car.

If you can, move it up in front of the pedal box, making sure that it does not stick up too high and crack your bonnet. Try this as a temporary measure to see if it improves things.

Dave
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:45 pm

:ph34r: Hi Richard,i forgot to say,only pump throttle three times when starting from cold,as stated by another reply,try hot starting with little or no throttle till it fires. the smell of petrol is a plus2 problem, andy at spyder should be able to help with his mod. hope everything else ok,cheers,martin
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PostPost by: LJOIII » Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:17 pm

Rich,

Have you fixed your fuel cap leak? I've had my +2 for 15 years and have given up until I do a full restoration. When I looked at what was required to remove the fuel tank to reach the various vents (which are most certainly dried out and cracked given that I live in the desert) I decided that the smell wasn't too bad.

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PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Mon Nov 08, 2004 6:34 pm

John, Martin - all

No - I have not yet fixed the leaky fuelcap. This is due to the fact that I use the car as my every day car (which even in November is a pleasure) and have not had the time to do it due to work commitments. When I next take leave I will send my Cap off to Spyder and they can do whatever it is they do.

As far as the hot starting goes I actually think that it is just me. It is just a matter of finding the right "nack" that one just doesn't need on modern cars.

Martin - things are just dandy with the car performance wise but, I will be bringing it in soonish for another retune and to have the brakes done I expect. The exhaust is a little noisy and a little smokey but again, I think I am just forgetting the age of the car and the Lotus engine!

I am still umming and ahhing about what to do with the paintwork though if anyone has any bright ideas? Perhaps a particularly good wax someone in UK has tried?

Rich
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PostPost by: chrishewett » Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:03 am

I have fitted the Spyder fuel filler and although I havnt run the car on the road since there is no smell of petrol in the garage anymore. This is a situation that previously only happened when all the petrol had evaporated and the tank was empty!
The mod is very simple and anyone who could weld could do it themselves. The vent pipe nearest to the filler is cut off and blocked up. The other one which runs up through the head lining and down is connected to a brass pipe that joins the filler tube a few inches below the cap. The only tricky part is that if you weld a pipe to the filler you then cant pass it through the bodywork. Instead a hole is drilled and a nut is welded to the inside of the tube. A standard appropriate plumbing fitting can then be screwed in after the tube has been passed throgh the bodywork. All in all if you cant do the job yourself the spyder option is good value.
Chris
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PostPost by: Greg Foster » Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:40 am

I am considering taking the filler neck out and doing modifications to it. Since I have owned the car gasoline has sloshed out of the filler cap on hard right turns and ends up staining the side of the car big time much less wasting fuel. I will go to the salvage yard and find a neck which has the flap in it, cut off the original filler and cap and weld it onto the other neck, to try and alleviate the problem. Any thoughts?
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PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:00 pm

Greg,

That sounds like a great idea. I may do something similar as and when I get the Spyder Conversion done. Or indeed I may even try to pursuade them to do it at the same time!
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