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Fuel tank repair...Passenger side S4

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Ive been on the Lotusespritworld and looked up repairing fuel tanks. The information on this is on the drivers side. Has anyone got a help guide or usefull advise on taking out the passenger side tank. Thanks

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Hi Gareth,

I did the guide on driver's side tank many years ago. Someone else added a footnote on the passenger side. It's a lot more difficult and requires taking the engine mount off. It takes about 8 hours if you're not familiar with doing this job to take out and about 6 hours back again. A trained guy will take about 8 hours all in.

I tried sending you a PM but your inbox is not accepting any new messages. Email me at [email protected]

Regards,

David Walters

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Gareth, here's a quick guide,

I used the car's fuel pump and extended the hose to a fuel drum to empty the tanks, put a jack under the passenger side to get as much fuel over to the tank with the pump as possible.

Get the car well in the air, you're going to need room underneath it.

Boot lining out,

Trim round 1/4 window

Engine bay side lining

Disconnect the header tank hose and the fuel cap release cable.

Hoses from filler + breather and vent back.

Wood on top off tank.

Set Belt

Rear hatch gas struts and get the hatch as high as possible.

From underside

Engine tray

Fuel balance pipe hose, (don't be underneath, there will some spillage of remaining fuel)

Use a trolley jack and a aprox 9" flat piece of wood (spread the load) to support the engine.

Remove both engine mounts (some say you can get away with only the one) it's far easier taking both out and dropping the engine as much as possible, watch the rear valance the engine is now cantilevering on the gearbox mounts and the exhaust tail pipe could damage the valance.

Better with 2 for the next, final bit, one underneath pushing up through the access hole, the other guiding, jiggling, lots of swearing from both.

It's a pig of a job, and there are NO short cuts.

Mine went back with all new seals and lower hoses, replace the material from under the tank with something non absorbent, and don't make it any thicker than original.

Hope that helps.

Roger

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hi i did a s4 passenger side tank, it requires part of the body grinding back to get the tailpipe of the tank out start at the top and keep striping down i did not feel that un doing both mounts made any difference on my car email me if you want any advice icould let you have my phone no . paulp

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With respect Travis, "passenger" is the other side on your car. Looking from the rear the right side tank will not come out over the cam cover unless you drop the engine. I found, with relatively new engine mounts I got more clearance dropping both, making it much easier to get it out. I agree about the grinding, Lotus got it in there some you should be able to get it out. I think there may also be some "tolerance" issues with Lotus's, some minor inconsistencies. yes.gif

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Ok, lets be clear. There is NO NEED to cut anything. I pulled mine last week. Roger is pot on and describes it in detail, but mine was slightly different. I had to remove the fixed plastic trunking from the ns air intake that fatsened by 2 pop rivets.

The tank would not clear this when raised.

I only removed 1 engine mounting, (NS) but also had to remover the chargecooler, upper cam carrier and the intake manifold.

Once again the tank would not clear these no matter what. with plenum in situ.

These being the only differences to what Roger has described.

Its a shit awfull job. Prepare to ache for a good few days afterwards.

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Roger,

Thanks, i didn't look what country the question came from.

Still, no need to cut the body or lower the engine.

I did remove the intake cam to allow the left side tank to be removed. I also pulled off the cam cover, chargecooler, & fuel rail.

Edited by Vulcan Grey

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I had to remove the fixed plastic trunking from the ns air intake that fatsened by 2 pop rivets.

The tank would not clear this when raised.

You're quite right, sorry I forgot that bit, mine had 4 pop rivets on each making 8 in all, and every one of them fought me!

(Dremel to the rescue) wallbash.gif

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I just did mine this week, passenger side tank had a very small leak causing a bad petrol smell in the car. I removed everything on Roger's list including both Engine Mounts, but still the tank struggled on it's way out. I had to move the engine slightly over to the drivers side with a long bar to get enough clearance between the intake tower and the body. Before struggling to get the tank back in I decided to grind a 3mm slither of fibreglass off where the body was interfering with a Dremel and a small cut-off disk, just enough to leave the fixing holes for the quarter panel trim intact.. That's all it took, the tank went back in without any problem at all and didn't catch on anything. I should have done it before trying to take the tank out as it would have save me an hour of swearing and head scratching.

Here's some photo's, the leak was from 3 tiny pin-holes which sould be clearly seen after the rust was blasted off. I had the holes welded up and then a whole new bottom fitted over the orginal one and painted with POR15 for $150. I used new closed cell foam when re-installing and replaced the big 'grommet' where the pipe comes through to the balance pipe. It took 7 hours to get the tank out ( due to hard to get to engine mount bolts and heat shields etc - Eventually I found that these are easier with the engine lifted up an inch or two to aid access ) , but only 3 hours to put back again

post-5938-086910000 1285214456.jpg

post-5938-089534200 1285214474.jpg

post-5938-093884300 1285214493.jpg

post-5938-075874900 1285214507.jpg

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I had the holes welded up and then a whole new bottom fitted over the orginal one

You're welder is very lucky it didn't blow his head off :shock:

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Hi all "tankers"

Did you seal the tanks from the inside? If not, you may have a problem in couple of years. Gasoline mixed with 10% ethanol (don't let anyone fool you, ALL pump gas has alcohol), is very corrosive. Next time,

use this on the inside side

TANK EPOXY SEALER http://www.caswellplating.com/aids/epoxygas.htm

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Trouble with the Esprit tank you see, is that is has internal baffles creating a labryth of many chambers. These chambers are only interconnected by small holes/slots for the fuel to equalise through making it difficult to get Epxoy coatings to coat the whole of the tank's interior. Also it means that after you have finished sloshing the epoxy around, you can't be sure that the excess has all come out.

All that increases the chances of the coating coming off in lumps later in the tanks life, and bits of Epoxy coating floating in fuel can only lead to a more serious disaster. So no, I didn't coat the inside of the tank but the outside did get a good coat of good paint after the reapir was completed. The damage to these tanks is generally caused from the outside in and not from the inside out, so I reckon this repaired tank may well now outlast the car - especially as it's no longer sat on a damp sponge.

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I used the POR15 sealer, probably similar to the epoxygas. It managed to get round to where I needed, I know that as I had a few small holes which all sealed up nicely.

You can weld tanks quite safely, if you take the right precautions which normally involve getting the oxygen out of there, either by filling with liquid or inert gas, but I know somebody who had a petrol tank explosion cause some severe burns and that was only set off by a mobile telephone call when the tank was off the car.

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