Lotus Elan

New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:06 pm

I just received a new fuel tank from Axminster Panels and I am quite happy with it, although I haven't fitted it yet.
The overall workmanship is excellent.

The outward appearance appears to be replicate the old one very well but I'll know more when I fit it. The original fuel sender also fits well in the new tank with no interference issues.
img_1675.jpg and
Picture above is deceiving. The angle of the filler is actually very close.
img_1735.jpg and

img_1672.jpg and
Reinforced fuel sender orifice above
img_1740.jpg and


I note that the internal baffle design, from what I can see of it, is a bit different. The original tank has two semi-circle cutouts at the bottom and top to allow fuel to flow through the baffle. (Excuse the poor photography, hard to capture through the fuel sender hole):

img_1734.jpg and


While the new one, shown below, apparently relies on the gaps around the baffle (particularly on the vertical sides) to allow fuel flow. Presumably this will be sufficient and it certainly presents a dispersed area as opposed to the concentrated semi-circle cutouts. Wondering if anyone has an opinion on this. Is this an improvement on the fifty year old design or does it make much of a difference? Based on the overall construction of the Axminster unit I doubt if it was a "short cut" to not include the cutouts.
img_1664.jpg and
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:34 pm

I've had four foam filled tanks from Andy (Axminster), they have all fitted perfectly and worked without issue. No the cheapest, but then the best seldom is.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:14 pm

On your first picture the filler pipe looked to be at a different angle to the Lotus original, however you do then say that the angle is very close. I too have an Axminster ali tank (When I got it I understood that it was the first Elan one he made) and on mine the alignment between the tank and the bodywork hole is really poor. I try not to look at it!

Other than that the workmanship is excellent

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:33 pm

Based upon Elanman99's post I took a closer look at the filler pipe angles.

Doing a close visual comparison (not scientifically measured) I would have to agree that the angle is not the same as the original. The new one is tipped more to the front as well as slightly more to the right.

Hopefully there is enough tolerance in the flexible rubber tube between the gas cap extension and the fuel tank.

Apparently Andy has not corrected this issue, at least not completely.

My car is in the paint shop but I will try to trial fit the tank this week and see if there is a real problem. Presumably if Mazzini had no problems it will be workable.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:35 pm

One other footnote.

The new alloy tank weighs 1.0 kg less than the old steel one.
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:43 pm

On an S3 I restored I had to cut the filler pipe and re-weld it to get the correct angle. If it’s kinked over it won’t fit properly and the fuel cap will look a bit squiffy.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:04 pm

mark030358 wrote:On an S3 I restored I had to cut the filler pipe and re-weld it to get the correct angle. If it’s kinked over it won’t fit properly and the fuel cap will look a bit squiffy.
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Was this an Axminster one? And if so, how long ago?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:18 am

If I have a chance today I'll photograph my three tanks fitted to a S2, S3 and Sprint. The forth tank was sold with my S4.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:51 am

I'll be interested to see how this turns out (Fitting a new tank is on my 'to do list' for this year)...... we buy allot of tanks from Andy but mainly for Jaguars, they have all been flawless but if the Elan tank filler is out of wack maybe the tank he made his jig from was altered or damaged?? i know he makes the more common tanks in batches but that still doesn't explain why he's not fixed the issue if others have reported it too him?
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:43 am

Not sure if an Axminster one as I sourced mine in the UK. Probably around 4 to 5 years ago now, but it didn’t fit and was a pain in the bum to get right.

Car now sold so all receipts I had went with the car. Sorry.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:21 am

I have one in my S1. Fits perfect! When installing the sender unit use fuel proof sealant on both sides of the gasket. You don’t want to pull the fuel tank after filling it with gas because of a slow leak (ask me how I know).
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:51 am

Are the tanks the same throughout the Elan range?
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PostPost by: RichardS » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:29 pm

I fitted an Axminster tank to replace a leaking steel tank some years ago and fitted perfectly and a nice piece of aluminium engineering. Felt a lot lighter than the original.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:59 pm

I fitted an "Axminster Tank" to my Sprint several years ago, while I dont recall a problem with the fuel filler neck I cannot get the spare wheel in/out with a new tyre, subsequently I use a half worn tyre (which I can just get in)
I suppose I could let the new tyre down but that would defeat the object of having a spare wheel :roll: (pirelli tyres 155/80 x13)
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:55 pm

Brian,
For the spare wheel problem, can I suggest fitting a 70 profile tyre to the spare wheel.
It will act as a get you home spare quite well, especially as you probably will never need it.
They are quite common and are used on the Fiat 500 and Ford Ka.
I got a good part worn one fitted for £10.00. I didn't even need it balancing.
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