free hit
counters
Fuel Tank Removal/Inspection - Induction/Turbo/Manifold/Exhaust - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
jammy-pop

Fuel Tank Removal/Inspection

Recommended Posts

I currently have the engine out of the car and thought it wise to inspect the fuel tanks. I keep staring at them and wonder how on earth they come out! Is it a case of removing the side panels to gain access? I'm thinking I may not bother as it looks like a big job in itself.

 

Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

 

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Here's how I removed and refurbished the tanks on my 4cyl SE.  Of course the V8 is a bit different.  I had to remove the the intake manifold and intake cam carrier, don't think it is quite as bad on the V8?

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/116113253735518541549/LotusFuelSystem

 

Here's most of what I removed!

P7220010.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

easy -if engine is allread out -just undo the sides (black resin-fibre , half way up right/left)

 

..the tanks have a connection on top, behind the carped that covers the inner rear window there, and on the lower end there are two rubber hoses who fit onto the ballance pipe in the middle of the frame.

 

Undo the srews who hold the earth band on them as well, and undo the plywood planking on the top side. If you disconnect the seatbelt system there on the rear bulkhead it helps too  ..same as to undo the tailgate-opener cable there.. in the main thing it is just easy manual work -no rocket sience ..just try !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the left hand tank is out after tasting petrol a few times! Not too bad condition but has started to corrode on the bottom/side where the sponge has been. It's cleaned up ok and will paint it tomorrow. Once dry I will refit and start the other side as I'll forget how it goes together otherwise.

So, what do you recommend to sit the tanks on as the sponge seems to attract and keep hold of the moisture? Bearing in mind the car is almost 17 years old, the tanks are in very good condition so with a good coat of hammerite they should last longer than me!

Cheers,

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neoprene does not absorb water, get an old wet suit from a boot sale and cut some new sections for the tanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, neoprene sponge is high density and 'closed cell' meaning that it does not absorb.  If you go to  a specialist rubber shop they will sell neoprene sponge in 1" thick layers.  Quite expensive though.  Neoprene can also handle fuel being splashed on it without breaking down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

I've got 2 camping mats in the garage about 8mm thick so will be ideal as closed cell construction. Finally found a better use for them!

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used tool chest toppers. These are 1/2 inch thick so I glued 2 together and cut to shape - worked well. Dead cheap too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Styropor (the *Styrol* foam for example for house building and insulation works is a closed type as well)  and cheap ! That is what I have used on my engine work projekt there some years ago

 

..but I'm not sure how it reacts with longer periods of fuel contamination  ..anywhere, you have to mention that there should not be any fuel spills if your tanks are sealed inside & outside :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wel guys, right hand tank is out and in worse condition than the left hand one. You can see how the web is starting to go.

 

Another couple of years and I would have a leaky tank I reckon. Will give it a good clean up and a few coats of paint and should be fine. Might thicken it up with a bit of super metal aswell.

 

So my advice is.........even though it is a bit of a pain getting the tanks out, make sure you do this important job while your engine is out! They didn't look too bad so I could have easily left them and would have been kicking myself if I'd left them to rot!

post-12673-0-32081400-1360594137.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats the extra bit at the bottom of the tank for? A filter? Sump?

Just askin' cos I dont know the V8s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 4 pot has that bit also, I think it's a debris trap. Any bits of rust etc should drop below the pipe level and so not keep being circulated ad risk of being picked up by the pump.

 

Steve.

I#d also recommend putting some Por15 tank sealer in while you have the tanks out, that way any moisture that gets inside will be prevented for rusting them away from inside out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that well is basically like a swirl pot so the pump doesn't run out of fuel when cornering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the interesting point is -you with this older 1996 have the usefull drain port there, something the later V8s don't have ..so everyone who does an inspection on a older one can see there if remains of rust are in the tank/pump system (at least on RH) , just by draining it there

 

As said many times, from all of us owners who have undone the tanks

-it is good to rework them, coat them internally and on the outside ..and put them on styrofoam or simmilar.

 

Nothing new what you have found there jammy ;)

 

..as you can see in my story with the rebuild, just flush the inner side with bathroom-cleaner/garden pool concentrate, something alcaline that cleans off the oily stuff from the fuel remains, and after that put the whole tank into a garden barrel (just from the garden house)   ..fill this with citric-acid and add water until it is fully covered ... let it sit there some days in a warm room, and you can peel of the rest of the cellulose-paint there ..and the rest of the blank metal is clean and shiny/gray  ..  you can now flush it with clear water, dry it with compressed air --fill the inside with POR15 coat, and paint the outside with rust primer & paint.

Edited by Günter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve

 

Recommend you coat the inside surfaces of the tank(s) with POR15 as this seals up the inside of the tank and also holds any small bits of debris in place and subsequently prevents blocked filters and other probs later.

 

The main cause of the tank corrosion is due to the rubber filler neck gaiters leaking or at least this is a contributing factor so change these at the same time if you hadnt already thought about it. I had my tanks welded ( BOC regs) and then gave them a coat of a marine epoxy resin so they should in theory last for years. Closed cell foam around base and sides and all back in place.

 

Hope to get my V8 on the road this year as extensive repairs the year before ( tanks, turbos, gearbox, belts, turbo pipes, mountings, clutch heat sheilds - the usual stuff) and when ready to go and MOT'd the 15 year old radiator decided to let go. Bastard.  

 

Fixed that ( another lengthy job) so hopefuly some miles to cover this year and tempting fate here ........trouble free motoring ?

 

Good luck with the engine re-install and if you have problems getting it fired up give me a shout - i spent a couple of days checking everything ........or so I thought - pay aprticular attention to the rear loom plug connectors as one of these fits where it shouldnt. Its colur coded but under the dark engine bay ........

 

Paul  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul! Well the tanks are backin now and I've sat them on some rubber doormat material which should do the job. I didn't treat the insides of the tanks as they were already back in when Andy and Gunter recommended I did this. I had a good look inside them and were pristine. Shouldn't get any corrosion in there anyway as there is no oxygen present for oxidisation to occur, or so the theory goes!

The filler gaiters were both holed so I replaced them. This was probably where the moisture was getting in to cause the corrosion in the first place.

The engine is off to Stratton Motors on Friday for cambelt change and will start putting it back together next week probably. Thanks for the offer of help, I might give you a shout if things don't go as planned!

Cheers,

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve

 

The belt change procedure is in the book of words ( Lotus manual) and if you dont have the proper tools to lock the cams in place you can improvise by using some drills of the correct diameter. I also made up a crank locking tool out of a piece of round bar with a slot cut into to prevent the crank pulley moving. 

 

There is some sofware that you can download on to a laptop and with the aid of a microphone check the belt tensions - but where the manual recommends....... not just any old where. I used a guitar tuner to check mine and ran the car without problems for a few hundred miles before the coolant rad let go. Put the car away after that and just got on with other car jobs on my other cars.

 

Just purchased a clavis gauge so will check again before I use the car this year. Was not confident about the guitar tuner set up so once I have checked it again should be ready to use.

 

So there may be a clavis gauge available for use localy if somone wants to borrow in the future - dont rush to PM me just yet though as I want to have a go with the new toy myself first !!

 

Paul  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as said many times, 4x drills 4.2mm and 4x 4.7mm should do a good job for timing verification, as wel as the 'cut off' from a broom stick ;)

 

..ohh, and the POR15 (or simply any other epoxy coating, as it isn't anything else, just a differend tradename) also helps in the case that the tanks get pinholed from outside, even if you say that the tanks are now placed on something not absorbing.  The Epoxy-coating justforms a strong inner layer, a second skin ..if done precise -so not to bad in that case.

 

If you look for possible leaks, something I also have said several times:

..you should not only watch out there for the filler neck, as the construction of the intake ports & mesh there next to the sidescreen glass is also a fault-point. Just look there from the inside and you will see that the several layers of molded plastic do not form a precice contact area, so if you wash the car, or the car is parked in the rain, all the water runs there into the gabs and along on the inner side of the resin body..  -it would be a lot of hand-work to seal that up with silicone or polyurethan glue I guess, maybe that is why Lotus has ignored this 'quality drawback' in tha construction 



good software is tune-it ..and it is as said available for PC (you would need a additional microphone) -or use the handy/PDA smartphone software version   ..advantage of the later is that you can actually hold the device in the hand and see what the readot is whilst you tighten the belt ..this also is usefull if you work there 'with engine in'



as we (Mike S  ..and I for example) used it the software was free, not shure why it is now labeled as *shareware* with registration??

 

http://www.tune-it.com.au/

 


older (free?) version [2.0] of the original *tune-it*    ..on a Russian music server ..

http://gitarre.ru/UserFiles/TuneIt!_2_0.rar

 

other versions here (different software)

http://tuneit.free.fr/Site/Download.html

Edited by Günter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main cause of the tank corrosion is due to the rubber filler neck gaiters leaking or at least this is a contributing factor so change these at the same time if you hadnt already thought about it.

 

I spoke to Steve at SJ sports cars and hew told me its not the foam they sit on but the rear windows that leak. When I had mine out I checked and found the windows had water marks from the windows going down inside. The filler neck gaiters sound a similar idea. I know everyone will tell you its the foam they sit on and I can understand what makes people think that but Steve has had many years of working on Esprits so I believe his thoughts are a valid consideration.

 

So in short check for leaks in the area too!

 

Buddsy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you mention the watermarks, right ..and now go there and look where the level of the watermarks and those plastic souround is there that form up the intake port (at least on the S4 series cars, of course..)

 

;)   ..the black(gray) plastic is just there on the rear edge of the window frame (the resin fibre area)  ..and those plastic molds are not perfectly within the shape of the resin body.

 

Steve is right, the foam does not let water in , and it does not produce the water for its own ..it is just meant that the foam collects all that water that runs into the inner side of the body there   ..nothing else -so to replace the foam with something that does not hold up all theat water for long time is still the right way, especialy if you cant stop the water for passing betwen plastic mould intake pieces and fibre body

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve is right, the foam does not let water in , and it does not produce the water for its own ..it is just meant that the foam collects all that water that runs into the inner side of the body there   ..nothing else -so to replace the foam with something that does not hold up all theat water for long time is still the right way, especialy if you cant stop the water for passing betwen plastic mould intake pieces and fibre body

 

I thought most people assumed the water was coming up from the road via the dirty great big holes under the tanks?

 

I think I sealed mine ok though with new sealer.

 

Buddsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke to Steve at SJ sports cars and hew told me its not the foam they sit on but the rear windows that leak. When I had mine out I checked and found the windows had water marks from the windows going down inside. The filler neck gaiters sound a similar idea. I know everyone will tell you its the foam they sit on and I can understand what makes people think that but Steve has had many years of working on Esprits so I believe his thoughts are a valid consideration.

 

So in short check for leaks in the area too!

 

Buddsy 

 

Buddsy is correct in that a major area of water ingress is around the rear quarterlight glass. The bonding of the glass fails, the water gets in behind the glass onto and past the trim panels and then down onto the top of the tanks. The original foam soaks up the water and keeps it on top of the tank. Some water also leaks down the side of the tanks where it is then soaked up by the foam under the tanks and is held there also.

An easy way to see if the bonding has failed is that the quarterlights will not feel solidly fixed to the body - i.e. you will be able to see the quarterlights moving even with the application of light pressure from the inside. Also, the black band around the glass will look detached from the glass, as you can see in the picture.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Ged

post-8786-0-27064200-1362660843.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

none denies that on older cars (as we can see via the TurboEsprit decal) the polyurethane sealing on the rear quarter-glass can fail and let water into the body, especially if the position of the leak is right and matches the way water flows while the car in on the road..  .

 

But now, if we talk about examples, just go there ans spill a bottle of water just onto the intake surround there that follows the rear-quarter glass.  if you already have undone the inner trim panel you can inspect the unpainted inner body area there and see the water pass its way there.

 

 

..anyway -not Buds ..none of those 'big holes' in the underside, at least not on the S4 (V8 ) type body-mold.  there is only one 1cm dia hole in the underside LH and a bigger (around 5cm dia) in the RH underside, both are not covered with a grommet.

 

all other holes in the resin fiber body side pots for the tank area are for the interchange/balancing pipe and for the A/C piping, all those are covered with grommets normally  ..and of course every tank has its ground-stripe/fix screw there as well.

 

 

So the natural way would still be as the description above with the side-quarter glass picture, water runs normally from top to down and gets trapped in some ways in the nearly closed body sections there whee the tanks sit in  (half of the tank hight is covered by the body construction, half covered by the engine bay side panels by the way)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×