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Boot Smell


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I am on my third Herald and I have had an issue with all of them I want to finally nail. 


The "smell" of a Herald is one of the evocative aromas I know (a combination of petrol, oil and rotting carpet). This is fine in the naturally aired cockpit, but the problem is that anything soft and absorbent you put in the boot (sleeping bag / clothes etc) will carry that smell with it.


We're looking to do some camping and also drive through France later this year so we will need extensive use of our pongy boot.


I have stripped out the carpet in the boot and have propped it open for the winter to let it air and to see if there is a fuel leak (I don't think there is).


Anyone got any advice?

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If its a fuel smell then apart from a perforated tank being rusty underneath then the normal culprit is

the short hose from the tank suction pipe to the supply pipemgoesnhard and might seem tight but leaks

drain back fuel you also need to check the state of the union and oilive on the suction tube reserve

union may be too loose or if its a rubber olive ...degraded and leaks with full tank and on drain back


is the fuel cap at its best , its a poor design suffers alot of neck damage over the years and spillage can enter the boot from the body sealing grommet


most water leaks are from the tail lamp seals



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Rubber hose doesn't need to leak to cause 'petrol smells' in the boot.    Rubber, or whatever is called rubber these days, is permeable to vapours from the fuel.

Fitting new rubber will limit it for a while, perhaps long enough for a holiday.



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John, some of the branded fuel hoses are also vapour proof.

Trouble is often the hoses are not suitable for modern fuel, so a branded bit of R9 rated hose should help with fuel smells. Avoid braided hosesat all costs unless the supplier can certify it is R9 or higher.


As to carpet, take it out, wash the boot and replace the carpet/mat with something new (or at least not rotting away!)

Clean the spare wheel. New tyres have a very rubbery smell, so may need airing for a while or wrapping in a plastic bag.

Which leads me on to the simple solution, used by my goodself.

Put your luggage inside quality bin liners! keeps smells/leaks etc out. Job done.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks everyone on this. I have decided to go for the good clean and plastic vacuum bag option in the end.


I aired an empty boot over the winter and then did a test, running the engine for a good while with the boot closed, to see if the fuel smell returned and it did not.


I have used a couple of sheets of MDF to level out the boot floor and bought a new boot carpet from Rimmers and it's pretty good.


I will get the vacuum bags for longer journeys.



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Clive, missed your response above.

Which "branded" hoses are vapour proof?    You're quite right about R9, meaning the SAE J30 specification.  That documents costs $70 to buy, so here's the nugget, as a picture - tables don't do well in a post.




And which "braided" hoses should be avoided?   

Any of the PTFE lined, S/steel braideds are vapour proof, although they are expensive and the special but essential connectors even more so!




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