free hit
counters
Oh that fuel smell....... - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
kehoeautomotive

Oh that fuel smell.......

Recommended Posts

I am in New Orleans USA and I'm having a great time with my Stevens Lotus! The weather here is perfect for weekend drives and I'm driving my car every chance i get. :rambo:

 

I've heard about emission lines that crack and make a fuel odor in the vehicle. I have this problem. The lines all look good so I assume that I have to remove my fuel tank. The fuel smell is much stronger on the right side of the vehicle so I assume it is the right side tank.

 

My service manual does not have any info on tank removal. I have to say my service manual is quite poor actually. I've heard that the parts manual have nice blow ups that help. Any idea where I can get the parts manuals?

 

Should I tackle this repair myself? I have a lift and lots of tools (I own a repair garage but I am not a mechanic). I just removed and installed the radiator for repair and found the job very easy.

 

Does the engine have to be removed? Does the tank come out of the top or the bottom of the vehicle? Anyone know of any pics of a vehicle with the tanks exposed? I can't even see the fuel tanks. Just hoses disappearing into a box.

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Tanks come out the top. Its not complicated just a lot of stuff to undo/move out of the way and a few rusted on bolts and fittings. The side panels come out ( which have loads of pipes running through them) then the tanks  are clamped in place with a ply panel which may have rotted away.  If you do a forum search there are loads of threads about it. Probably a day for the first side to do out and in then an afternoon for the 2nd side as you will know what you are doing !!. Depending on the tanks shape at the bottom you may or may not be able to remove without lowering the engine ( by removing the l/h  engine mount leg). Mine was a stevens n/a which was easy.

If  you can stick ally or stainless tanks in as you don't really want to be doing it again. Have fun!!

 

The pic is the l/h tank on the n/a . If you stand the tank on end you can then roll it out over the top of the engine. Don't try to lift it horizontally as the filler pipe will fowl and the tanks too wide to come out of the gap.

 

Oh and join the forum as a full member and you get free access to the full parts manual as a pdf plus loads of other  discounts at suppliers.

post-1261-0-23580500-1370612064.jpg

Edited by mdw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you check the pipe which goes above the bulkhead window, behind the carpet? That's the one which usually causes the problem...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tank breather hoses crack where they have been glued to the car, or covered with carpet where they go over from one tank to the other as Bibs mentioned.

Then there are the filler hoses, their hose clamps can be a source of leaks. The fuel pump o-ring and the sender cork gasket can also leak vapor.

Also the line fringe the charcoal canister purge to the front of the intake manifold can leak fumes.

Remove the under tray and look in the holes in the bottom of the car to inspect the tanks. Look for rust or signs of fuel leaking. That will let you know if you need to remove and refurbish the tanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mine had a cracked pipe from the purge pump, check this as well it's on top of the right hand side tank, looking from back of car

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!!! THis is all great information!!!

 

 

THANKS SOOOOO MUCH!!
 

Can't wait to get it fixed. My is a turbo model so I'm sure there is some extra stuff. I will check the gaskets, orings, clamps and hoses as well as the tank.

 

I feel a lot more comfortable tinkering with all of this support!

 

I will post up some pics when I take it apart in a few weeks. I will be out of town for some time but when I get back.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This probably won't be helpful but I thought it was funny...

 

I just bought my first Lotus ('91 SE).  After my first long drive I got home and it was dribbling gas out of the right-side.

I took the side covers and tank cover off only to find that someone had stuffed an entire box of scented dryer sheets down into the body well around the tank.

Doh!

Edited by Petemon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude,

 

That is not cool. What an ungentlemanly way to sell someone a car.

 

On the flipside, if it doesn't cripple you financially, get the tanks redone, put in something more durable, and you're home free. At least you will have gotten one of the Esprits biggest known weaknesses sorted out. Should you ever sell the car refurbished tanks will give you an excuse to ask for a bit more methinks.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have carbs on your car check the 'o rings' next to the inlet manifold, they can leak fuel on the underside. A number of Esprits have gone up in flames when petrol has dripped onto the dizzy cap. Also check the banjo connection is tight on the top of the fuel tank where unused fuel gets returned from the regulator. Other checks are as stated above but check all fuel lines from pump onwards. Tanks breather hoses are however your most likely bet.

 

Only then consider the tanks - even the filler cap has a rubber sealing ring and these can perish.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine had the hose above the engine changed, but still smelled of petrol, and I found a big crack in the hose from the right hand fuel tank to the tilt over security valve, placed inside the "c"-pillar. You can see the two securing screws fron the inner edge on the c-pillar.

 

When I drove and opened the window to get the smell out, it just made it worse, because it sucked fuel smell through the seat belt hole in the firewall into the cabin.

 

Anyway, hope you solved it. ;)

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

Edited by Jacques

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now have this issue but it's fixed by turned on the fans with or without aircon so long as the fans are not set to recirculate. Ie ensure they are drawing air from outside. This creates positive cabin pressure which makes me think the source of my problem would be the famous perished fuel vapour hose releasing fumes coming through the seat belt holes?? My shifter gaiter is as new

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Benjamin,

I think you should just take a look at those vapour lines without delay, as they are really easy to renew. Remember the short one in the side. There can be a broken White connector between the seperate prices too, but mostly to be the hoses.

One have to be very carefull not to break the glues on carpet in the middle over the rear glass, but other than that, it's 1½ to 2 hours easy Work. I did this on my SE and problems gone (had a big crack in a short breather pipe.

On my Corrado I also noticed a fuel smell right on start up, and immediately stopped the engine. Went to a dealer, and bought some new fuel pipes (3 pieces). Voila, no leaking. On a Corrado this can lead to a burning car (have been a few cases), just like on the Esprit.

When I bought my Esprit, There was the described problem, and the 650 km trip home gave me a nasty headache. Not healthy.

I just went to a local supplier og general car stuff and bought a few meters for 6 Pounds.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine had the hose above the engine changed, but still smelled of petrol, and I found a big crack in the hose from the right hand fuel tank to the tilt over security valve, placed inside the "c"-pillar. You can see the two securing screws fron the inner edge on the c-pillar.

 

When I drove and opened the window to get the smell out, it just made it worse, because it sucked fuel smell through the seat belt hole in the firewall into the cabin.

 

Anyway, hope you solved it. ;)

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

I recently bought back my s4 that I sold a few years ago and I found a couple socks stuffed in the seatbelt hole from behind. It would have actually been just as easy to replace the hose after opening both sides up to stuff the socks!

 

Some people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly, Rip it off, but slowly and gently. Start from one side, then the other, and Work your way to the middle. Worked easy for me.

Only too it off at the upper edge, so it is still glued at the lower edge. Makes it much more easy.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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


×