Lotus Elan

Petrol tank removal

PostPost by: tyasman » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:37 pm

I have a '70 S4 and have just discovered a very slight petrol leak from the tank. Is there a drain plug in the tank? If so it might be loose. Can it be tightened without taking the tank out? Looks like an easy job - ie disconnect the inlet/outlet pipes, and the large bolt under the rear valance. It looks like there are two smaller bolts near the front end of the tank. Do these secure it as well or do I leave them alone? I'd be glad of some advice beore I start unbolting everything in sight! Thanks for any replies
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:30 pm

The tank is fastened down to the boot floor with 3 off 1/4" UNF nuts. The drain plug is accessible without removing the tank as it lines up with a large hole in the boot floor.

With the fixing nuts and piping removed the tank can be made to wriggle out of the boot

I think you will be lucky if it is the drain plug thats leaking. I would say its 99.9% likely that the bottom of the tank has rusted through.

Therse is a used one on eBay at the moment (I have no connection) but if you are keeping the car get an aluminium one!

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PostPost by: RobL7/Elan » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:25 pm


Another possible source of some leakage is the plate securing the float sender unit to the front of the tank. I also had a small amount of gas leaking from the bottom of my S2, and upon examination found that this round plate on the front of the tank to be the source. It is hard to get at, but there are several screws securing it to the tank, and these can be tightened with an angel phillips screw driver, or a very short phillips head as used in some electric screw drivers, being held from above by vise grip to form an 90 degree driver. Otherwise loosening the tank, and move it forward to allow access to the plate. If you do that, perhaps consider removing the plate and applying some sort of fuel proof sealant, and re attaching it. My gas seepage was stopped after tightening the plate alone. Best of luck!

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PostPost by: msd1107 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:00 pm

Axminster Specialist Panels ( http://andywiltshire.com/index.htm ) makes aluminum gas tanks for the Elan. He sells on Ebay occasionally, but the price is the same if you buy direct.

The price is not cheap, but then look at the asking prices from the usual suspects. And you never have to worry about the tank rusting out.

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