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Nearly passed out!


Tanky
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Good morning Triumphers,

So, I brought the spit to work this morning (as I'm attending my first club meet tonight) and when I started it with the choke out, it started fine, warmed it up a little and pushed the choke back in as normal. Thing is, there was this overpowering smell of petrol all the way into work, (about 15 miles). If I didn't have the top down I would have surely passed out! This hasn't happened before, sure, I've had the odd whiff of petrol now and again, but this was something else. Now, should I be worried? By the way, there was a car on fire on the junction of the M4 and the A4232 this morning on my way into work. Yikes!!!!

Thanks all.......

Charlie

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Hi, this is something you need to look at urgently as leaking fuel is not good. Could be a fuel pipe or a carb float sticking so that the carb overflows (in this case I would have thought the car wouldnt run very well) but either way it could be near the exhaust manifold or other ignition source....

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Brake fluid dripping on the exhaust is certain to catch fire, petrol, no. So let's not scare Charlie! I've had a leak in the pipework at the back which I couldn't  smell while driving, only when stopped, so I would guess the leak is in the engine bay. Check the rubber joints and it could be carbs flooding if a reservoir valve is stuck open. You intend to go to the meeting from work? How far away is it? There will be someone there who can help.

Doug

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Johny, 

I understand. Petrol will have the last say when the fire starts, but you have to consider how it starts. Petrol dripping on the exhaust wouldn't normally do it, else there wouldn't be any Triumphs left! The two fires I've been involved in were started with wiring faults. 

Doug

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Hi guys, 

Thanks for all your help! Problem is, I'm at work so can't get to the Spit right now, might get chance after work, but I don't know what to look for apart from the obvious! remember, I'm a newbie to this sort of stuff. Get a hobby, she said! I'm not too far away from the meet tonight in South Wales so hopefully I can get there and someone will be able to frighten the pants off me again.....

Charlie

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If your spit is running fine then to me the smell will be down to a fuel leak of some kind and suggest tracing the fuel line from the carbs to the fuel pump then back to the tank . Running your hand under the carbs will double check this isn’t e cause. My bet is that it’s down to tubing breaking down . 

Paul 

 

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well first have a good look round the engine and try to identify where the smell is strongest. Run your hands along the fuel lines right from the fuel pump (LH side) round to the carbs (RH side) and under the carbs themselves to try to find liquid fuel (trouble is a small leak evaporates quickly so doesnt leave a damp patch). My carbs (strombergs) overflow into the airfilter box so unless it drips out the bottom its not easy to see but your carbs might be different and Im not sure where the overflow is.... 

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On a Spitfire, the most likely place for an engine bay fuel leak is from the overflow on the SU carbs.  This will be caused either by excessive fuel pressure or by dirt and crud on the needle valve that is operated by the float in the carb, or by a leaking float or an incorrectly setup float.  A leak anywhere else is likely to syphon the tank and leave a large pool of fuel under the car

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Have you made sure that when you closed the choke, the mechanism has fully pushed the jet tubes back up into the carb bodies?  If one or both are stuck down, even slightly, fuel can dribble out of the intake and out though the bottom of the carb and also the air filter housing.  If the car was running okay, and not running rich, this is not likely but worth checking just in case.

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If the front end - carbs and union joints etc  as mentioned above are  OK and the smell persists..

-take a look at the back end :

-cast an eye over the top of the fuel tank. There is a small vertical pipe which is capped off with a blind ended rubber sleeve which perishes and falls to bits and can be responsible for an elusive petrol smell.If it is that there are various ways to occlude it

 

 

4DB0B11A-4E69-4D31-BAF2-9520B0728F01.jpeg

easiest to fit an 8mm  central heating brass  heating brass stop-end :

06993444-7287-4FB0-B837-53399776FA99.jpeg

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Hello all,

Just thought I would give you an update on the fuel catastrophe. Upon opening the bonnet with a colleague and turning the engine over it became very apparent as to the problem....it was a massive split in the main fuel line to the front carb. Easy even for a blind man to spot as it was spitting out by the bucketful. So quickly changed both main hoses and went to my first South Wales meet.

Thank you all for your help. What a team....

Charlie 

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1 hour ago, Tanky said:

Hi Colin, It's just a standard pump. Does this make a difference?

Charlie

I've never used mechanical but would have been wondering if it had been putting out too much pressure, and thereby split the pipe; however those in the know will probably confirm that this doesn't happen... I was just thinking out loud!

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2 hours ago, Tanky said:

Hello all,

Just thought I would give you an update on the fuel catastrophe. Upon opening the bonnet with a colleague and turning the engine over it became very apparent as to the problem....it was a massive split in the main fuel line to the front carb. Easy even for a blind man to spot as it was spitting out by the bucketful. So quickly changed both main hoses and went to my first South Wales meet.

Thank you all for your help. What a team....

Charlie 

Indeed, Tanky, and well done for finding and dealing with it.

But you didn't really need us to tell you, did you, that 

A/ a strong fuel smell is bad news and needs urgent attention

And B/ poke around in the car to see what's wrong

  Or, I hope you don't next time you have a problem.     Not that anyone doesn't want to help, but you need to be able to sort problems as simple as this yourself, if you're out in the boondocks!

JOhn

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Bit harsh I thought. As I have said, I am a newcomer to classic cars with no mechanical experience. I just wanted to narrow down some things it might be if it wasn't obvious. As it turned out, it was. Should I apologise for seeking help for something so obvious?

Tanky

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all john is saying is a bit of look see, a sniff. and a wipe with a finger on things will show up the simpler more obvious failures you dont need a trained eye or special ears to fix most .

its not  being critical or having a put down  were all here to help but there are some thing that stare you in the face ...if you patiently ...look first

none of us frequent on here without some good advice and  the need for banter and thread drift is optional

we are all in the game of keeping the cars running well.

Pete

 

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