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Colin
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Folks Hi,

 

Triumph Herald 1200. 1970.

Does anyone know if the fuel tank drain plug has a gasket? And if so, will it be (should it be) a specific material to the fuel system resistant to modern unleaded fuel?

Last season I moved the tank a bit without complete removal to get to the rear overriders when replacing the rear valance.

I think I have dislodged muck and gunge as, on a trial restart recently, no fuel was reaching the fuel pump.

Thinking I may as well start at the back and move forward, I started to make moves on the drain plug which clearly has been chewed up on the edges. In the process of tapping a socket onto it, fuel started leaking out. I’m in the process of allowing to drain into a bucket at the mo.. . . . .

When that’s done, I want to take the tank out and flush it clean (if I can).

What’s dripping out is quite dark in colour . . .  but whilst with rear valance off, I scraped down, primed and undersealed the whole of the back area up to diff..

I’m thinking the dark colour is underseal from round the drain plug nut dissolving. If not, there’s a lot of fine gunk in the tank.

However, the real point is that I shall be assertively trying to remove the drain nut and will require a new washer of the correct variety if they exist when I do. If not, I’ll make one.

But from what material?

And are there any tips for clearing any potential gunge within the existing fuel lines forward of the tank please?

Cheers.

Colin

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Colin,

My GT6 sat in the garage for 15 years and one of the many problems I had when I started trying to revive it was sludge in the fuel blocking the pipes onward from the tank. The trick I used was nylon strimmer cord which effectively Dyno-Rodded the pipes. I'm unsure of the Herald drain plug washer material. 

Good Luck!

Doug

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If your tank is damaged/leaking in that area now, be very cautious of welding, as apparently the petrol fumes can hang about for ages. Also the same for using heat to free plug, even when the tanks empty, as I understand.

Maybe info on net on how to clean a tank inside to make sure it's ignition free?

To clean out that bottom crud, I'm not sure. Folk used to get rid of the main stuff on motor bike tanks, by chucking in some gravel, old nuts etc and giving a good shake about. 

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Frosts do a repair kit  which I used on the fuel tank on my Vitesse . 2 years on its been fine . They do 2 sizes I bought the larger pack which was too big, luckily I had a spare tank which I was able to treat . 

Paul 

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Gentlemen:- Thank you! 

Some very inventive solutions there! 

Yes, house boiler in garage perturbed me a bit, too! That got switched off pronto!!

I love the strimmer wire/cord idea. 

As the dripping slowed, thought I'd try to shift the nut again. This time the whole drain neck moved. With finger and thumb I wobbled it further until it came away completely! That emptied it a bit quicker!! 

New tank for me, then. But I DO  like the dyno-rod fuel pipe trick. Thanks for that.

Looking at the breakage, you'd never know the nut was not part of the drain tube and I could see NO sign of a washer!! 

Thanks again, Gents! 

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19 minutes ago, Colin said:

As the dripping slowed, thought I'd try to shift the nut again. This time the whole drain neck moved. With finger and thumb I wobbled it further until it came away completely!

That's what I was afraid would happen. If the tank is otherwise good, it can be left to ventilate for a year or two then it will be safe to weld a repair patch 😛

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Gentlemen:- Thank you! 

Some very inventive solutions there! 

Yes, house boiler in garage perturbed me a bit, too! That got switched off pronto!!

I love the strimmer wire/cord idea. 

As the dripping slowed, thought I'd try to shift the nut again. This time the whole drain neck moved. With finger and thumb I wobbled it further until it came away completely! That emptied it a bit quicker!! 

New tank for me, then. But I DO  like the dyno-rod fuel pipe trick. Thanks for that.

Looking at the breakage, you'd never know the nut was not part of the drain tube and I could see NO sign of a washer!! 

Thanks again, Gents! 

 

Non-member:- a year or two?? Heck!!

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8 minutes ago, Colin said:

Non-member:- a year or two?? Heck!!

😁

Well, you may be able to do it quicker but you really don't want to weld until you're sure there's no petrol vapour left. I've read a theory that it's possible to render the fuel vapour safe by flooding the tank with inert gas (CO2 or welding shield gas) while welding but it seems to me you'd need a LOT of gas flow to ensure that's all there was inside the tank. Plus, of course, the weld is unlikely to be completely sealed, so you then need to use the "repair kit" that Paul mentioned. I would raise a note of caution on that - unless you get it exactly right, the lining paint will flake off and block your pick-up pipe. My local radiator repair place told me they no longer do fuel tanks precisely because they had that problem too often.

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21 hours ago, NonMember said:

The usual advice regarding removal of the tank drain plug is don't. It's usually rusted in more strongly than the hole is welded to the tank.

They come off easily enough but the problem is that most people when trying to remove it pit the nut against the tank. Ergo, the neck comes off the tank.

You're meant to pit the nut against the neck and leave the tank out of it altogether. Grip the neck firmly, make sure it can't move then use all the available force against the nut. They'll come off easily enough especially if you've an impact wrench. 

Incidentally this one had a metal washer. It's since been cleaned up but I reckon a nice new fibre one will improve things, plus a new nut into the bargain.

DSCF4344.jpg.560b6ebd5276e7ebcdde2d37de15a6f2.jpgDSCF4337.jpg.6069c93f5416c01085d10200804b24e9.jpg DSCF4347.jpg.0d1a74198ad306ba66b45707f971ac1c.jpg

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68 Vitesse . . . If I welded (what a regret), I would very strongly consider ‘rinsing’/cleansing to eliminate as much fuel ingress as remained!

Probably best I dont!!

I am, I think, looking at locating suppliers or manufacturers of aluminium tanks . . . and why bother with a drain tube at all, if its going to rust together and be placed such that it gets all the road muck!

Colin L, thanks! . . . the nut edges had been roughed up and the socket I wanted to fit on wouldn’t sit on it. With the very SLIGHTEST of taps to see if I could persuade it to fit, fuel started to leak. SO the whole down tube would have been paper thin. Frankly, although I’ve not yet removed it from the car, if it was to look like those in your pictures I’d not use the tank again anyway! 

I’m now on the hunt . . . hopefully, goodbye steel  . .  and unwarranted drain tube 😄

Cheers All.

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22 minutes ago, Colin said:

Frankly, although I’ve not yet removed it from the car, if it was to look like those in your pictures I’d not use the tank again anyway! 

That tank may be fit for purpose, as it's surface rust?. Is it normally internal rust, as any water sits at the bottom, that causes failure?.

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2 hours ago, Colin said:

Frankly, although I’ve not yet removed it from the car, if it was to look like those in your pictures I’d not use the tank again anyway! 

That tank is almost mint, it's got years left yet. A bit of rust on the drain tube cleaned off nicely; it's now in a coat of matt black and will get the final gloss coat before going into one car or other.

DSCF8679.jpg.a43679ea475db45aa3cfc4cf641990e3.jpg DSCF8681.jpg.f478c5c61402585d35ea63f431cedd1e.jpg

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On 10/05/2020 at 23:16, NonMember said:

😁

Well, you may be able to do it quicker but you really don't want to weld until you're sure there's no petrol vapour left. I've read a theory that it's possible to render the fuel vapour safe by flooding the tank with inert gas (CO2 or welding shield gas) while welding but it seems to me you'd need a LOT of gas flow to ensure that's all there was inside the tank. Plus, of course, the weld is unlikely to be completely sealed, so you then need to use the "repair kit" that Paul mentioned. I would raise a note of caution on that - unless you get it exactly right, the lining paint will flake off and block your pick-up pipe. My local radiator repair place told me they no longer do fuel tanks precisely because they had that problem too often.

Exhaust gas from a running car will do the same as CO2. Just dont breath it
Solder makes sense as no need to weld.
Beware POR14+1 if you do not apply it correctly it will bite you in a big way. I did my deceased Mk1 2.5PI Estate tank with it and  I had paint like seaweed floating in the tank.

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As stated, to undo the drain plug you need to hold the neck firmly and work against that. 
 
If the tank is otherwise good you can wash it out with a hot caustic solution, which will also remove any fossilised hydrocarbon crud from in there. Suggest two or three washes and a thorough rinse. Final rinse with a dilute phosphoric acid solution to passivate. You’ll probably need to cut a fairly big section out to get away from rusty metal. Repair method..... MIG welding  has a depressing tendency to porosity, especially if even tiny amounts of rust present. TIG should be better in skilled hands though the same applies if rust present. Solder or braze likely best.

My GT6 tank was TIG’ed and leaked. Body soldered successfully (3rd attempt) Then slosh sealed internally. So far so good.

If you can find a decent used tank, especially in the larger size, that is likely to be much easier. There are still a few places that will repair tanks (Often radiators are their main business) but getting scarce.

Nick

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50 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

There are still a few places that will repair tanks (Often radiators are their main business) but getting scarce.

Nick

Locally I have at least one firm, they operate as part of a franchise called Fuel-Tank Renu https://brownlowradiators.com/fuel-tank-re-nu/

I had thought it was a country-wide operation but I've not managed to find any on the mainland this morning, but there's bound to be an equivalent. They did my estate fuel tank a few years back; split the welds, blasted the inside, rebuilt then coated inside and out. Back then it was about £100 for the job and it came back looking like new.

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I have welded and soldered a tank.

The only reason -it was a 1921 car.

I wouldn’t consider it for a “modern car” like a Triumph where a replacement can be found.

I found it to be a really, really tedious job - especially the Mig bit as trying to avoid pinholes  was  a real  difficulty.

Please don’t underestimate the bit about petrol vapour. There are of horror stories  of explosions.I’m not really sure about the car exhaust gas  method, though CO2 and Argon seems sound.

I am not advising anyone how  it should be done but I steam cleaned the tank for  hours and hours and then filled up the interior of the tank as much as possible with water.I was still rather apprehensive.

Soldering a patch on will still involve a naked flame (unless you have an unusually powerful soldering iron)

Old tanks are in terne plate (which is like tin plate but 80% lead  the rest tin) so effectively the tank is “tinned”  already and will solder (relatively)easily.An annealed copper patch ( source - old hot water cylinder) can be sweated on with some lead plumbers solder.

I tried the “small nuts and bolts or gravel”  in the tank and had a frustrating time getting them all out again  -small length of chain is easier.

Your arms will ache agitating the tank.Some advocate using a concrete mixer.

Acetone will shift the goo and “varnish” (Buy from builders merchants who supply glass fibre supplies to roofers)

Finally,  agitate with phosphoric  acid.Jenolite is very expensive.Machine Mart’s version seems just the same and a fraction of the cost.

 

 

 

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Gentlemen:- Thank you! 

Some very inventive solutions there! 

Yes, house boiler in garage perturbed me a bit, too! That got switched off pronto!!

I love the strimmer wire/cord idea. 

As the dripping slowed, thought I'd try to shift the nut again. This time the whole drain neck moved. With finger and thumb I wobbled it further until it came away completely! That emptied it a bit quicker!! 

New tank for me, then. But I DO  like the dyno-rod fuel pipe trick. Thanks for that.

Looking at the breakage, you'd never know the nut was not part of the drain tube and I could see NO sign of a washer!! 

Thanks again, Gents! 

 

Non-member:- a year or two?? Heck!!

 

Thanks to you, Vanadium, for your latest. I am exploring having an aluminium one made. I don't weld and can't see why I would even bother, if one part of it had become so paper thin it virtually fell off . . . 😊

Cheers for now,

C.

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11 hours ago, Colin said:

I am exploring having an aluminium one made

Colin,  I have one fitted that came from Alicool  (http://www.alicool.co.uk/f-tanks-triumph.html) and it is a work of art that is a pity to hide under the boards.   They do not list one for a Herald but give them a call; very friendly bunch who also attend the Triumph & MG Stoneleigh spares bash.  They would need a dimensional correct tank to work from and not cheap but if they saw a growing demand ......  Dick

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Out of curiosity and while waiting on a delivery thought I would try the drain plug on one of my spare tanks, used a Stilson on the neck and 24mm socket on a breaker bar, came out ok. Surprised how clean the tank is inside but can not see beyond the baffle, the six screw float unit, Smiths with TB/5/4/000 on it, metal float and some white "corrosion" on main body.

Dropped the torch inside, trying to get it out was like the story of the monkey trying to get nuts out of a jar.

Regards

Paul

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4 hours ago, Dick Twitchen said:

Colin,  I have one fitted that came from Alicool  (http://www.alicool.co.uk/f-tanks-triumph.html) and it is a work of art that is a pity to hide under the boards.   They do not list one for a Herald but give them a call; very friendly bunch who also attend the Triumph & MG Stoneleigh spares bash.  They would need a dimensional correct tank to work from and not cheap but if they saw a growing demand ......  Dick

Thanks! That GT6 Mk1 tank looks amazing - I wonder at them making one of those, for a relatively rare car, but none for the Heralds and when you think of it, Vitesse too... I know some suppliers are still selling Herald tanks (saw one on Paddocks' site yesterday) but it's good to know the option is there. It's entirely possible with the higher mix of ethanol in fuel that the demands may rise in the future.

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16 hours ago, trigolf said:

This is probably a daft idea - but most, if not all modern car fuel tanks are made of plastic. Would it be possible to 3D print one ?.... I'll get me coat😕

Gav

Ideas  that provoke thought are never daft, Gav.

I don’t know how you would 3D print it.

Perhaps more on the lines of -“rotational moulding “ which I understand is the  process used for all sorts of plastic containers of all. shapes and sizes like my Titan central heating oil tank.

and there is   “blow moulding” where the plastic is blown into a mold 

I would imagine the cost of setting it up would be prohibitive.

Some sort of ethanol/ petrol resistant resin or epoxy  could be utilised for a fibre-glass construction?

That aluminium tank sounds an  attractive option..

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