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rogerch

That smell of petrol

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When I first get in the car it stincks of petrol, it's not from perished breather pipes as I changed those when re-assembled after the re-spray, (that'll teach me, it never smelt before), there are no leaks I have teken the undertray off and it's all bone dry, and no smells ! So fuel tanks arn't leaking, no perished hoses, balance pipe OK, so what next ?

Anyone got any ideas????

Roger

Oh once I drive, open the windows the smell does not return, even when I put the windows back up, seems to only happen when the car is stationey.

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Rubbers on the filler caps? Changed mine and the problem was solved!

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Wow ! you're up early. In the mean time I think I may have found it, the high density foam under the left tank is moist, and a bit smelly. It's really not leaking yet (seaping) and I have to go to Port Macquarie on Monday (about 100 miles) so I'll leave well alone and get home with the minimum fuel remaining. So I'd better start researching fuel tank repairs.

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Ooh bugger :thumbup:

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A week of your life, significant amounts of skin, and a bucketful of expletives.

And a few hundred dollars.

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Take it out, get it fixed, put it back. What am I missing ? :thumbup:

Change the foam.

Oddly, on mine the foam seemed to have protected the tanks but thats not the common experience here. It is open cell foam, therefore drinks fluid, just like a bath sponge.

Suggestions I've read so far have been nylon doormats, astroturf, Golf practice mats, again astroturf or a closed cell foam

For those in the UK, I've found these in Halfords Halfords Mat

They are for the top of tool cabinets, are 10mm thinck so would need sandwiching but are made of foam rubber, wont hold water and are currently only £3 each., usually £10. I'm going to get some today and see.

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I'm living in blissful ignorance, it’s only the passenger side, one filler hole, one balance pipe and however it’s held in, OK I will probably change the balance pipe and rubber hoses + the huge grommet the balance pipe passes through, that’s OK. I also have some similar foam that my speaker drivers arrived protected in, for the tank to sit on, so far no problems.

Only fixing up the tank, what now is likely only a pin hole by the time I pull the foam off who knows how big the hole will be, or how many. Worst case scenario is I get a new tank from Lotus Bits.

But here’s the biggie, I’ve been looking at some POR stuff readily available here, but does it work, anyone have experience of POR tank kit I think its called. Or any thing else I might use ????????? :thumbup:

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Por15 tank sealer, used it, did a great job but it takes ages, so you'll have to blank off the tank if you want to use the car without a two-week hiatus.

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By my reckoning the tanks are about 9 gallons/40 litres each, is that about right ?

And yes Andy it will probably off the road for a week or 2, anyoing because I've only just got back in it after a month with a screwed back, but hey ho, it's part of the fun of Lotus ownership. :)

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Tried to put my tank in with a screwed back, got a mate to help but he managed to put the pump in incorrectly (he's too short to see what he was doing) so my fuel smell was worse after the tank leak was sorted.

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The balance pipe's a good idea to check. Mine went. There were no puddles on the floor and only a vague wiff on petrol. But it had corrode and was leaking. All sorted now.

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Bugger,, sorry to hear about your tank Roger. It was only last week you said you were looking for a new project, so now you've got one. Maybe if you had kept the wing on it would have delfected some of the rain away and helped to keep your tanks drier. huh.gif

I hope you manage to sort it without pulling the engine, good luck with it and I'll look forward to seeing how you go. Easter's coming, so if you need a hand I might be able to come for a day or two and give you a hand if you think it might help.

Edited by stevem

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I might need a change of plan here. When I saw the Cardio Vascular surgeon yesterday, he said he get me in within the month, OK I figured that’s 4-6 weeks not bad, plenty of time to fix the fuel tank.

See I have to drive myself to hospital, about 100 miles, so need the car.

I get a phone call this morning, 2 weeks !! I don’t know if I should be pleased or terrified !

Anyway the long and the short is maybe I should take the tank out and block off the balance pipe so I can still use the car, so does anyone have any good info on how to blank off the balance pipe safely.

Sort of a contingency plan.

Edited by Roger the Dodger

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Blocking off the lower balance pipe is easy. Just use a short length of a 1 inch diameter piece of aluminium rod (or whatever) to plug the end and a couple of hose clamps. Then the RH tank with the fuel pump can be filled and the car driven, albeit without a fuel gauge. I ran mine this way for about 6 months. The annoying part is having to fill it up every 120-150 miles to be sure not to run out of fuel. Depends how you drive it of course... Getting the LH tank out is a real pain. I had my jammed between the body and the top cam cover for a while. Then discovered one has to lower the LH side of the engine by removing the engine mount or take other more extreme measures to get it out. It's not a short or easy job.

Good luck with everything

Trevor

PS, I forgot to say, I left the empty LH tank in place for the 6 months of course.

Edited by tjs98jetta

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I've just been reading the how how not to removal of fuel tank on LEW, have a look below, is that a fuel tank he's working on and what is that sticking out of his mouth ? :D

Clicky for LEW

Now should I take the tank out and seal the balance pipe, before I go to hospital, thay way I can have things underway, or should I just leave the whole lot until I escape.

By the way Trevor I think my fuel gauge is in the right tank, as in drivers side, I hope any way.

5 hours to beat for left hand tank removal, can he do it?

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Hi Roger. I guess you have to do something with it or you will spend your recovery time in hospital wondering about it. It will drive you mad if you leave do nothing and it might be a while before you feel well enough to pull the leaky tank out. At least if you pull the tank out now and seal off the balance pipe, when you come out of hospital you can sit quietly in the garage and repair it.

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I've been thinking about this. The amount of work just to get the tank out, then put it all back with the balance pipe blocked off, I just don't think is worth the effort. OK I have to wait a week after the proceedure, but then I can do the whole lot in 1 go, get it up on stands dismantle what I have to, sounds like I can get the tank physically repaired here in Coffs, and I can punish myself and do the timing belt at the same time. If I was actually loosing fuel I might think differently, but it's a smelly seap only at the moment.

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I have the same problem Roger.

I've got a clamp which has crimped the balance pipe from the LH tank, I'll try & take a photo for you 'cause I've no idea what its called!

I drove around 'till the fuel light came on (as you mention, the fuel sender for the gauge is in the RH tank), then put the clamp on the balance pipe, then filled up the RH tank. After a short time the remaining fuel in the LH tank seeped out of what must be a hole, & the fuel smell went.

Ok, it does mean you need to replace the balance pipe as well, but it does mean the car is usable with the LH tank still in place. Just remember not to fill from that side!!

Now saving up for some alloy tanks, engine out, do cam belts etc. etc.

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OK I have to wait a week after the proceedure, but then I can do the whole lot in 1 go, get it up on stands dismantle what I have to, sounds like I can get the tank physically repaired here in Coffs, and I can punish myself and do the timing belt at the same time.

Well my offer stands, if it helps I can come up and help you with the job providing it's a weekend. I don't mind driving up first thing on a Saturday morning and giving you free labour for a couple of days. Just let me know when you come out of hospital and we can fix a date.

Edited by stevem

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Thanks for the offer Steve, all being well 2 weeks today is my release date, so see how I go a week after that.

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In case you decide to just clamp it for moment, here's the picture (not too bad considering I couldn't see what I was taking).

The bit at the top is effectivly a thumb screw so you can turn it quite easily by hand once in position.

Pushes the two hinged rods together & stops the flow through from the full RH tank.

Does the job for the moment.

P3250038.jpg

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Ah, I see from my manual that although my car has the in-tank fuel pump on the RHS and the fuel gauge sensor in the LH tank, the earlier year model(s) has the sensor in the RH tank and an external pump (or two). Sorry for the mis-information, but you can still drive it with the LH tank blocked off as several of us have done.

Good luck whatever you end up doing for now.

Trevor

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Thanks for the info Trevor. I might get brave tomorrow and at least try to isolate the left tank.

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Well I made a start today, the filler hose is out all the ducting is out. I'm taking it steady, no rush.

Looks like I have to remove the passenger seat belt. With the side piece in the engine bay there are 3 bolts along the bottom flange, a small Phillips at the top of the wheel arch, what else ?? I’m assuming of course this has to come out.

Help please

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