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Re: New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:00 am
by Elanman99
My comments were not meant as a criticism, more as an observation of what I found.

I had more or less forgotten that mine was the first one you made and I actually was now thinking that me being the first customer for a Elan tank was an urban myth. I was then, and still am, very impressed with the fabrication and welding but the angle of the filler was disappointing.

I replied mainly because I wanted to know what the easy method was to correct the angle discrepancy.


Re: New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:53 am
by Andy Wiltshire
Experience has taught me that there are occasions when I have to respond quite firmly I'm afraid.

We are all aware that on occasions when discussions are raised on forums, they can often become one sided, negative and sometimes quite vociferous towards a subject. Constructive criticism should be welcomed yes, but when that view or criticism is ill informed, or typed in a manner that would be rude if said in person, it's then a different matter.

I'm stating the obvious here but once something is on line it stays there. When that is a negative issue it can then adversely effect a business whether big or small. Even if the issue was correctly raised, that company can always be tarnished. In the eyes of the reader it will always be a current issue and readers don't normally read all of the pages.

A extreme example of this was an ongoing thread whereby the owner of classic car (not Lotus) started a thread on a forum criticising the fuel tank that he had received. His list of faults was long and he was very annoyed and made that clear. Numerous other forum members then expressed their views and opinions and linked it to other forums. Remember that on the internet everyone is an expert! A friend made me aware of the thread and I was shocked to see that it was my company mentioned. However, when I looked into it, it was in fact another company and not ours, and the original poster had got it wrong and all of the posters were ill informed! That thread is still visible and only recently a potential customer asked me if those "issues" had been rectified.

Enough of that and I hope that I haven't offended anybody on here. At the end of the day I would happily compare our tanks to any others.

With regards to the questions raised about the filler necks, I have attached a very rough drawing below which might explain things a bit.

Diagram one shows a normal type weld around a filler neck. This is not ideal as there is then a common point immediately above the weld which is the weakest point, and secondly, if not welded correctly, undercut can occur. This is when the thickness of the material is reduced at the edge of the weld. When you have a filler neck with a wall thickness of 1.5mm this isn't good and could fail.When welded in this manner the angle is fixed.

Diagram two shows how we make our filler necks. The edges of the hole are turned inwards approx 10mm. The filler neck is then fed into this hole and the inner seam is welded inside the tank. This is a far more professional technique and has a better appearance. There is no chance of the filler neck being weakened, and it's also has extra support by the tight fit between it and the tank body. Also of benefit is the ability to slightly alter the angle of that filler neck once it's in place without distorting the top of the tank. If the top of the filler neck is gently tapped by a cupped hand, the angle will alter to suit each individual car. There will be no adverse effect on the tank and as shown by the postings here our tanks are reliable numerous years on. .
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The below picture shows this arrangement on one of our tanks. This tank however has an additional breather at the request of the customer
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I hope this is of help.

Andy Wiltshire
Axminster Specialist Panels Ltd.

Re: New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:01 am
by Andy Wiltshire
Sorry, the picture was posted twice. Here is the second intended picture.

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Re: New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:13 am
by Craven
Are we sure this angle is always the same, IIRC I have fitted a no hinge cap filler, early type, that is sorter and at a different angle.
elan-filler.jpg and

Re: New vs Old Fuel Tank

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:46 pm
by pharriso
As a reference point, Lotus list a single fuel tank A026L0702 as fitting all Series 1 through S4/Sprint non-Federal cars.