Fuel tank repairs

Ah its a funny old game. Restoring old equipment is fun and frustrating in equal measures… take today. Little one was at orchestra practice, dearly beloved was entertaining her mater in foreign climes so i had a couple of hours free to play in the sunshine. You may remember the fuel tank had a horrible repair to the area surrounding the drain plug so I removed all the old body filler and then cut out all the rust. I then cut out a new ‘bottom’ section of the tank and brazed on a 10mm brass nut – into which will go a 10mm brass bolt. Simples.

What I hadn’t banked on was when i tried to braze the repair panel to the tank that the seams in that area would all melt as they were simply sealed with lead. Aha I thought, i know how to lead following the restoration of my Etype Jaguar (another blog entirely) now so I was pretty confident I could reseal those seams again. So i took what felt to be a drastic measure and heated up the damaged ‘panel’ on the tank until it came free. NOW I could braze the repair panel into place which was harder than i thought as the tank metal is MUCH thinner than my repair piece.

Cutting a long story short, the repair panel and the damaged panel were combined together knowing full well I could seal any micro holes with lead and the whole section was re-united with the tank itself. That took more time than i thought due to the metalwork retaining heat and remelting the lead I had placed previously. Eventually it was done though. Now to test my handiwork. I will be cleaning out the tank and resealing it internally with a modern ‘tank sealer’ from those gold old boys at POR so I was not too concerned about filling the tank with water. At first it was a a joyous moment as the tank did actually fill with water. My repairs were good. However the rest of the tank is not as good as it looks and there were a number of pin size holes around the various seams that projected beautiful little jets of water in all directions. I dont doubt the tank sealer will actually do its job and seal them all permanently, but  i will do a belt and braces job and seal them one by one with more lead. A job for another day though :)….


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