Lancia Motor Club

Model Technical and Interest => Aurelia => Topic started by: Charles T on 02 May, 2018, 08:00:02 PM

Title: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: Charles T on 02 May, 2018, 08:00:02 PM
Unfortunately my B20 has developed an issue with the fuel tank.

The tank was tidied up and relined about ten years ago. It seems that the lining has started to break down, potentially due to the high ethanol content that is now put into fuels. I try to use Shell V Power or the BP equivalent.

It would appear that the fuel pipes have clogged up, as little or no fuel is reaching the filter. The traces of red powder in the fuel filter are the evidence of this.

It would seem that the most economical option is to take the tank out and send it off to be cleaned out and re-sealed again.  Is anyone able to give practical advice on removal of the tank? It would also be useful to have suggestions on where to have it re-sealed.

I did enquire about a replacement tank. They are available from Italy but at corresponding expense. It also occurred to me that it should be fairly straightforward to have one made in the UK, using the existing tank as a pattern. Has anyone had this done?

Thank you,

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 08:26:34 PM

I had one made in aluminium - I think it was Graham Bates who did it - with foam inside and a modern type sender unit.  The car is now with Louise and Jason Kennedy.  They weren't interested in storing the original so it was sold, I think it went to Italy.  Its a long time ago, but I think the gauge read backwards until Tim Burrett did the research and put in another that read true.

If I was doing it again (got to dream!!!) I'd use the original type filler tube and cap so it wasn't so obvious.  Perhaps a Fulvia or Flavia cap is the same?  Appia?

Mine was aluminium TIG welded, but there are plenty in the UK who could make an exact replica.  Omicron is an obvious first call.  Jim Stokes.  Both have the reputation for being expensive but that's because people get a LOT of work done at those sorts of places in one go, and it adds up.  Its a few years ago but I remember both having a variety of hourly rates to suit different jobs and not being as bad as feared for one off jobs.

I can remember seeing information on the VSCC forum about where to get the right sort of tinned steel for soldered tanks.  I'm no longer a member but could someone else here search for advice there on getting a replica tank made?

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 08:34:49 PM

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 08:38:27 PM

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 08:58:24 PM

...or an aluminium tank made like they were in hard could that be?

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 09:08:31 PM

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: lancialulu on 02 May, 2018, 09:12:57 PM
I have heard good reports from members who have used Colchester radiators to refurbish petrol tanks.

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 02 May, 2018, 10:16:12 PM

One man band near Axminster.  Works of art...

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: chriswgawne on 03 May, 2018, 04:04:49 AM
Graham Bates made 3 aluminium tanks back in the 90s and 2 of them subsequently developed leaks where welds cracked. These were repaired successfully.
The tank is relatively easy to remove on each series of B20 after the rear sections of the exhaust systems have been taken off the car. And being a Lancia each series of B20 has a slightly different tank and also the sender's vary from Veglia instruments to Jaeger..
If it were me, I would try to get the original tank opened up by unsoldering the ends, cleaned out and repaired without using an inner coating. They just seem to lead to problems.
I have an uncoated 3rd Series B20 fuel tank available in Sunningdale in good order which just needs a small amount of repair work due to corrosion by the drain plug.

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: Charles T on 04 May, 2018, 04:28:50 PM

David many thanks for these suggestions.  I will investigate some of these. The Vintage Car Radiator Company were helpful, but probably unable to assist as they specialise in pre-war vehicles and the corresponding materials. I may see if I can find anyone more local to me in Oxfordshire. Elizabeth at Omicron was familiar with this issue and provided useful information. They are also able to source a replacement tank from Italy.

Chris thank you for your advice on this. I am not sure that my metalwork skills are up to it but this is certainly the preferred option.

Tim thank you also for this suggestion. I will keep this in reserve; Colchester is a possibility by courier.

I will provide an update in due course.

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: Tony Stephens on 29 June, 2018, 08:29:00 PM
My understanding is that tinned steel is unavailable these days except in truly industrial quantities.
Probably stainless might be a better bet.

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: Charles T on 21 June, 2020, 10:46:07 AM
Do threads expire after passage of time?  I had not realised how long it was since I had started on this particular problem. This is mostly due to some other non-car related projects!

I was able to get a stainless steel tank from Ron Francis.  The shape is not quite so pleasing as the original but at least I will not have to worry about it rusting. A couple of coats of black Hammerite have improved the appearance.

The tank fitted in easily enough, with some minor adjustment. Unfortunately the pipe fittings were imperial, rather than imperial.  I also had difficulty getting metric fuel pipe fittings in right sizes.  As a consequence, everything from the fuel supply change over backwards  is now imperial. 

I also had to use flexible pipe for the last section over the transaxle. This is not so tidy and so will go onto the list for when the transaxle next has to come out.

A couple of the soft metal clips which hold the fuel pipe in place have also broken off. There is still plenty to keep the pipes in place but I am going to have to think of some options for replacement.  I assume that the original clips were welded on  and this would be beyond my capabilities.

Last weekend I was able to run fuel through all the pipes and test for leaks.  After a couple of joints were tightened, everything seems fine.  I turned the engine over a few times with the distributor disconnected, just to try and circulate some oil before starting up properly.

Slightly to my surprise, after priming the carburettors, the engine started easily.  It was quite a warm day and so after ten to fifteen minutes, it was up to a reasonably warm temperature and running well without the choke. 

There are a few routine maintenance items to finish before I can do a road check.  I also need to review and resolve the inlet manifold leak issue before I can get back to some regular use. Overall, however, I am pleased to have the car back into operation.


Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 21 June, 2020, 07:27:33 PM

Good to hear you found a solution.

Title: Re: B20 - fuel tank
Post by: DavidLaver on 21 June, 2020, 07:41:37 PM

I wanted to look up the name for tinned steel used for tanks (Terne plate) and along the way found this specialist:

Lately due to the demise of the availability solder coated steel sheets, we are solder dipping  fuel tanks for veteran & classic cars in component form, so they can be assembled and soldered together, we have done tanks for Bugatti, Bentley, Crossley, Jaguar, and Rolls Royce cars, and many others.


We recently hot solder dipped all the radiator cores for a new Isle Of Wight passenger Hovercraft, as samples that were made for testing went to over 3000 hours saltspray testing, but after 125 days the customer wanted to use the salt spray cabinet for another test!  We have tinned radiator cores for Spitfire and Mosquito aircraft in the last few years. 

Another modern product to google is "zintec".