Lotus Elan

Fuel Tank

PostPost by: hat » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:52 pm

I would appreciate some views on my fuel tank. I have just put about half a tank of fuel in it for the first time and I think the first time in around 18 years. After about half an hour I had a potential bomb attached to the house as much of the fuel was now on the garage floor.

Having cleared the street I investigated and it seems that there is a leak at a level just above the quarter full point and somewhere below the filler pipe. I am happy it isnt the filler neck which I notice has been a problem on other posts.

The question is, if it is holed, presumably through rust, is it worth repairing as it could go elsewhere or is it replacement tank time. Any tips of repairing ????

Thanks
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:29 pm

Hat,

I have been posting re a rusty petrol tank on this site for a few days now. This seems to be a common problem.
However, I'm just in from a Club Lotus, Scotland meeting. There I asked the guys about our problem. Of the 6 people I spoke to, they have all suffered from rusty tanks. 4 of them have tried coating the inside of the tank (like the stuff advertised on the Frost site) and they have all suffered from further problems because the coating started coming off. The flakes seemed to cause worse problems than the original rust particles.
They have all subsequently replaced their tanks. So coating looks like it may not be the sest way to go. By the way the other two bit the bullet and replaced their tanks without trying anything else.

Steel tanks seem to be as rare as hobby horse shit nowadays. So it looks like an alloy tank for me. They are, I think, available from the likes of Paul Matty, no doubt for quite a price. I was given a name locally that may be able to fabricate a tank for me. ( I live near Edinburgh).
If anything reasonable comes up I'll post it.
Hope this helps.

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:46 am

Good Evening Gentlemen, I'd say a new tank is in order. Maybe there are inexpensive "newer" car gas tanks that would adapt, purchased from the local salvage yard for a lot less than an original replacement. The filler neck from your old tank could be cut off and used to mate up to the new one... ? ? Patching any gas tank is risky, in a fiberglass car it's dangerous.
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PostPost by: 72plus2 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:25 am

Perhaps this is the right time to convert to a fuel cell? I think Tony V. from the Loony Club has converted cars to this type before. I also remember that an attempt to get a number of buyers together to do a group buy a couple of years ago. I am not sure whether they were succesfully. A search of the archive may turn up something.



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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:50 pm

If someone can get a group buy going, hopefully in the UK for a drop in rigid fuel cell for the the +2 and the Elan (S4 size so it fits S1-S3's as well) then I'd jump at the chance. It has to be a simple replacement though - no hacking around with bodywork/boot trim/filler necks etc and must use the original sender and/or fuel gauge.

As a price guide Matty's charge around 200 quid in steel and 250 quid in alloy for an Elan tank with no +2 tank being listed. I'd hazard a guess that we'd be looking at around twice to three times that price in low quantitites - too much I reckon to interest most owners.
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PostPost by: wildoliver » Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:31 pm

Well I'm sticking my neck out here, I can get produced a steel repro of an orginal tank, or an alloy or steel tank of any design, how much would people sensibly pay? and if i can get a list of firm purchasers together i will get them produced.
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PostPost by: hat » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:58 pm

Thanks for your comments.

I got to the bottom of my problem which turned out to be a weeping seal around the sender unit. Strangely the source of the leak seemed to be coming from the bottom of the tank and not the sender. I guess it will pay me to investigate the problem more thoroughly next time.

I only discovered this after I had removed the tank from the car. Its not bad but rusty nevertheless. I did contact Matty who did confirm they were about to offer an alloy tank for around £250 plus vat with about two to three weeks delivery.

Thanks all
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