Austin A30 Seven

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arceye
Posts: 1890
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:56 pm
Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#101 Post by arceye » Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:29 pm

So, a bit of a struggle due to my damaged arm, but it has been improving every day lately so I decided to tackle the petrol tank last weekend. It has already been off during previous work so I should probably have paid it better attention then but a quick inspection fooled me into believing it was ok.

I decided to start by removing the sender unit and siphoning out most of the fuel, this left an inch or so at the bottom of the tank and given the Irn Bru like colour of the stuff that came out I figured I'd remove the drain plug and remove the rest.

Now, I knew already that these tanks are prone to tearing out the female part of the drain that was soldered in at the factory, what I hadn't realised was some past villain had already managed to do just that and glued the whole thing back in place with fibreglass resin or similar, so, as soon as I gently tried to turn the drain plug the assembly simply fell out. Just as well I tried anyway, as this sort of repair would likely have bit at the most inconvenient time in the future.

This meant not only did I have to try and clean the tank innards I also had to repair a tank that for the last sixty years has been sucking petrol into every seam and rust pore, not the best situation when heat is going to be needed for the repair.

Anyway, the following was at my risk, not recommended, but my choice, so that is my disclaimer for those who might be tempted to do similar :scared:

Petrol tank drained fully,

Image

Not much in the way of large debris but a lot very fine rusty silt.

With the tank off I first cleaned it out a bit with some gravel and water, then flushed it several times with soapy water.

That done I sat it with the air compressor feeding air through it to help purge as much of the fumes / fuel residue as possible, I left it like this for a couple of hours.

Image

So, even then I'm left with a potential bomb when I come to repair it, and I actually wanted to weld the female part of the bung into the tank rather than solder it so I can remove the drain plug without worry in the future, so, a potentially risky procedure.

There were several options then, one being to take the tank down the garden, rig a fuse and set it alight, after the recent injury to my arm I wasn't feeling that brave, another possible is to displace the fumes with exhaust fumes or Inert welding gas, I'm not keen on that because I can't actually see if the gas / exhaust fumes are still in the tank after filling or leaking away.

To be honest, there is no guaranteed safe way for a home repairer, but working on the fact that the less area inside the tank that can hold fumes and potentially explode the better I opted for simply blanking the sender hole, sealing the tank filler and filling it with water. No void should really mean no fumes and no explosion.

One root run, two welds to the sides of that, and one bloody big weave weld over the top meant a big weld but saw it nicely sealed at the first attempt, and no one is going to tear it out again in a hurry.

Image

Dried it out for another couple of hours with compressed air, put it back on the car and sighed with relief that my fingers / eyes and other extremities were all still intact.

Three gallon of nice fresh unleaded and she's bumbling about quite nicely with no signs of anything nasty at the filter.

Right, I know I've been a big girl keep going on about the risk, but I was confident enough with my method, I've spent a large part of my working life round flame, welders and explosive risks so was happy enough if a little wary, but, I haven't wanted to understate the risk, which was still present if reduced substantially by doing it the way I did simply because I don't want anyone to just take a heat source to something like this without serious consideration first.

Teaching granny to suck eggs regarding danger in most cases I know, and others probably wouldn't condone even what I did, but its done dusted, back on and good to go :D

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Grumpy Northener
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:26 am
Location: Hampshire UK

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#102 Post by Grumpy Northener » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:09 pm

Many moons ago I worked for in branch management a large national radiator repair company 'Serck Marston' - fuel tanks were part of our business - we used a hot process - soldered repairs for tanks - the trick was to boil the tank out first - by simply using a stream cleaner - we just used to bung the outlet up - stick the lance into filler aperture and leave the tank to steam / boil for 30 mins - never had an issue with the heat process providing this was done - NOTE - when I say a steam cleaner - your home use cold water pressure washer is NOT a steam cleaner - but if you look up commercial vehicle cleaning services within your area they will be a professional steam cleaner that will carry out this service for you for a small fee - otherwise most vehicle radiator companies will undertake fuel tank repairs for about £100 - £150
1937 Jowett 8 - Project - in less pieces than the Jupiter
1943 Jowett Stationary Engine
1952 Jowett Jupiter - In lots of peices http://Jowett.org/
1952 Jowett Javelin - Largely original
1973 Rover P6 V8 - Original / 22,000 miles

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arceye
Posts: 1890
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Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#103 Post by arceye » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:11 pm

Good advice Mr Grumpy,
I must admit that once over my first option would have been to chuck a half litre of diesel in, leave the sender hole and filler unblanked, ignite it from arms length and then simply do the job after it had burned itself out. Now in middle age I'm not sure if I simply lack the gonads or am becoming wise / less foolish :oops: :lol:

Sometimes I wonder how I even made it to my later 40's, but then apparently only the good die young (phew) :D

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Luxobarge
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Location: Horne, Surreyshire

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#104 Post by Luxobarge » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:38 pm

I think what you did was more than adequate for safety - I've welded a number of fuel tanks with no problems, I used a method similar to yours. The main thing I did was to drain it and open as many orifices as possible well before the time I needed to do the welding (in the last case I did on the Reliant buggy I was able to leave it about a month), and just left it to self-ventilate. Then blowing fresh air through it for half an hour or so finished the job, and had absolutely no problems welding after that. Well done - as you say, it will prevent a problem that was otherwise almost certain to cause you aggro later on.

Good thread this - keep up the updates!

Cheers :D
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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arceye
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Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#105 Post by arceye » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:48 pm

Cheers Luxo :D

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JPB
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Re: Austin A30 Seven

#106 Post by JPB » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:51 pm

arceye wrote:Good advice Mr Grumpy,
I must admit that once over my first option would have been to chuck a half litre of diesel in, leave the sender hole and filler unblanked, ignite it from arms length and then simply do the job after it had burned itself out......
Hmm, that would make for interesting youtube viewing! ;)

:scared:
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

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arceye
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:56 pm
Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#107 Post by arceye » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:39 am

JPB wrote:
arceye wrote:Good advice Mr Grumpy,
I must admit that once over my first option would have been to chuck a half litre of diesel in, leave the sender hole and filler unblanked, ignite it from arms length and then simply do the job after it had burned itself out......
Hmm, that would make for interesting youtube viewing! ;)

:scared:

:lol: Indeed it would, however being neither quite as brave or foolish as in my youth it aint gonna happen :lol:

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arceye
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Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A30 Seven

#108 Post by arceye » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:24 pm

Not a great deal to report on the old girl, she's been avoiding the winter salt largely because she ended up blocked in the garage for weeks on end by my lad working on his land rover.

She did however get a Christmas present in the form of 4 brand spanking new hub caps courtesy of my pal whose Minor Traveller has been torturing me with yet more welding lately. It is nice to be appreciated at any rate.

So while the Turkey was roasting I popped them on :)

Image

Oh, and I glued some foam backed vinyl of a slightly beige / tobacco colour directly to the roof to act as a headlining a while back, I'll try to get a piccy of that at some point. It has a few creases round the corners as it wasn't very stretchy but has helped the interior no end.

On the to do list is fitting electronic ignition in place of the points, this was another xmas gifty, courtesy of my lad who may or may not have been feeling guilty about blocking me in and making me weld new engine mounts to his Landy for a Daihatsu engine conversion.

So, hopefully more on the Austin soon.

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JPB
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Re: Austin A30 Seven

#109 Post by JPB » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:34 pm

:drool: That really is a stunning wee thing. Also; well done for resisting the temptation to fit flashing indicators. :thumbs:
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

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gazza82
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Re: Austin A30 Seven

#110 Post by gazza82 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:07 pm

However a number of owners are fitting flashing LEDs to the trafficators which apparently show up better!

Wonder how many "new" drivers would even think to look at the sides of the A30 to see if it was turning .. ??
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '58 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: kept '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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