Lotus Elan

leaking petrol tank

PostPost by: phatmendus » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:01 pm

Ah yes the saga continues. Just as I thought I was reaching the end of the rebuild, I drove to the petrol station, filled up the tank and..... it leaks!

Basically the leak is very very slow from the spot welded collar which surrounds the sender unit. The fuel seems to be weeping out from under the collar.

Does anybody know of a cheap fix option to solve this new problem. perhaps some kind of fuel resistant sealant or putty that I can put over the collar? Let me stress that the leak is very very slow so the tank is far from rotton.

Thanks

Simon
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:56 pm

I just discovered the same problem on my plus two and I am thinking of doing the following:
increase the thickness of the rubber seal if at all possible and sealing the sender unit and tank surfaces with some kind of petrol resistant sealer.
This should do the trick. at present I can turn the sender locking nut till it reaches the end of its travel if you know what I mean so that is why there is a leak.
I hope this helps you

Robin
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PostPost by: type26owner » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:02 pm

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PostPost by: phatmendus » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:10 pm

Excellent. Thanks for the info. I shall order some of that sealant when their website decides to work.

Simon
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:10 pm

Simon,

Oh dear,

You are where I am. I have a leaky tank (I think porous through corrosion) but I also have an internal rust problem that clogs the fuel filter with rust particles every 60 miles or so :cry:.

Through this forum and from the best advice from Club lotus Scotland, I have looked at the likes of Frost Restorers web site and come to the conclusion very reluctantly, that I will have to replace the tank. I.e. the cheap options to cure this problem are just not worth the hassle or trouble. - two guys in CL tried to line their tanks with some kind of sealer system and ended up with the lining flaking off making worse problems!
So, it looks like I am looking for a new alloy tank. (alloy because I don't want to be faced with a similar rust problem in the future)
However, I am finding it difficult to find someone who will fabricate a tank for me. Plenty of people will say "no problem" but when I ask for an estimate - stunning silence! Looks like we're back in the land of "how much can I make out of a classic car nut".
The only person who replied to an e-mail was 'cliveboy' on this forum and that was only with a rudimentory description. Thanks Clive.
I'll post any info I get through my endeavours to get a new tank.

Meanwhile if anybody can, or who knows someone who can fabricate a new alloy tank to replace an original +2 tank, please let me know. I will be in their debt for a long time!!!

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: chrishewett » Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:50 pm

Hamish,
Why do you feel it important to have the new tank made out of alloy? I can't help feeling that the original tank lasted for many years and probably would have lasted for ever if the car had been used all the time.
The only reason that a fuel tank will rust is if it has moisture in it, usually from condensation. I used to have a trooper that had a very large fuel tank. The previous owner only ever filled it up to halfway and it developed a rust hole just above this level. If I filled it up over this it leaked!
What I am saying is - put a standard tank in, good used ones come up on ebay, and use the car. The original lasted 30+ years, how long are you planning on living?
Forever I hope!
Chris
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:08 am

And while we are on the subject what would be the weight saving of alloy over steel?
John :wink:
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PostPost by: purplepete » Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:14 am

I can fairly strongly reccomend plastic padding leak fix-used it about 5 years ago to repair perforations,and the tank is still perfectly okcost about a fiver!at the time i thought it was going to be just a temporary fix and bought a new tank,but holes are still sealed and new tank still in garage!(not a tank for a lotus,so dont ask!)
On the subject of alloy tanks,Try Merlin motorsport,or demontweeks.

Peter.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:05 pm

I too had leaks in the top surface of the fuel tank. The RTV fluorosilicone has been on there now for ten years now without leaking. However, there is some odor from the fuel. It's always present when the boot is opened up due to the fuel will ever so slowly passes through on the molecular level. The fuel cells for a racecar are only good for about six years due this effect. After that they weep more and more and the fuel smell becomes pungent.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:42 pm

my tank also leaked ---took it to a rad and tank repair shop-----cost 60 bucks cdn [about 2dollars U.S.] :shock: ed
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PostPost by: sgbooth » Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:51 am

Ed,

"my tank also leaked ---took it to a rad and tank repair shop-----cost 60 bucks cdn [about 2dollars U.S.] ed"

Wow, I think I'd have taken it across the border to a US repair shop, at those rates! (vbg).

Regards,

Stuart.
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PostPost by: fasterbyelan » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:19 am

Although I don’t know the tank location on the +2 (it cannot be too dissimilar to the Elan), a moisture trap does existing between the Elan's tank bottom and boot floor. Whilst excessive water that enters the boot will run away via the tank drainage plug bodywork hole, it appears that sufficient moisture will still remain to cause damage.

The first job I had when I bought my car was to replace the tank as the underside was heavily rusted and paper thin. The car was 14 years old at the time (1984) and the tank the original one. Looking at the receipt a replacement came from Chris Neil’s and cost around £50!

This was discussed in an earlier thread concerning fuel gauge’s-See http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtop ... +fuel+tank

Karl

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PostPost by: john-c-elan+2 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:58 pm

Don't forget Club Lotus has 2nd hand parts fair at Stoneleigh this coming Sunday 13/11. Shud find one there ? Rgds jc
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:12 pm

Chris,

The reason I wanted an alloy tank was the guys at Matty's said that new steel tanks were now definately not available, old ones were not worth the bother and the only option was to get an alloy one. Thus my quest.

My tank now weeps fuel down the nearside. :( I won't know where from until I take the tank out - again. Like I said before, I think I'll fit zips to the tank straps!
I've asked a couple of places that I found on the web for prices to make up a tank but after 2 weeks I haven't seen any reply. :? The search continues.

I can't make Stoneleigh next weekend (bad planning - I'm wandering about the mountains near Braemar with a group of pals, it was arranged ages ago).
If you are going and see a tank builder can you please let me know who it is? Will be ever in your debt. I'll buy you a few beers at Hockenheim!!

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: chrishewett » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:09 pm

Hamish,
I will certainly oblige.
Chris
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