Fuel Feed line leak. WARNING! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Fuel Feed line leak. WARNING!

About two weeks ago on the way to work I began to smell a strong fuel smell (2006 Elise, 26,000 miles). When I got to work I could not locate any visible leak but the odor was very strong. Of course I spent the next hour searching LT for the possible cause of the leak which gave me lots of good leads but none of them panned out. I took the car to Scottsdale Lotus. Chad in the service department located the leak in short order.

What had occurred was the Fuel Feed Line that ran from the fuel pump to the rear bulkhead in the engine compartment had been apparently rubbing on the bottom side of the airbox or possibly an engine mount and a large pin hole had worn through the fuel line. From the location of the leak in the pressurized line I was lucky not to have an engine fire!!!

The line in question is #14 in the diagram and the location of the leak is circled.



Some pics of the actual fuel line.



The close up pic below is about 50% larger than the real line.




Here's the good part. Lotus has clearly identified this problem because they have replaced the old fuel feed line with a new and improved one that is routed in the engine bay differently and has a thick protective rubber coating on it to prevent any rubbing from cutting into the actual line!

The old part number is A120L0001F
The new part number is A128L0019F

I don't know what year the new part was first used, maybe someone can chime in. Inspection is easy. Trace the line from the circled location in the pic below where it plugs in to the line that goes to the engine. You can wiggle around and feel the line as it goes near the airbox....If you feel a flat spot you've got a problem. Time for replacement or at least zip tie some larger diameter tubing over the trouble spot.



It's my opinion that this is a design defect and Lotus would seem to agree by the upgraded line. Thanks to Scottsdale Lotus for fighting for me but Lotus would not warrantee the item as a design flaw.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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thanks, Mike.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That plastic line has always scared me in the stock fuel system.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would have let it burn to the ground. Insurance money is awesome.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That plastic line has always scared me in the stock fuel system.
Agreed - When the VF kit was being installed I didn't get the warm fuzzies how it was routed through the bay across some metal edges. In retrospect, I should have followed my instincts and covered it. Thanks for the heads up... I know that feeling though.. On track I smelled fuel and almost dismissed it thinking it was a car in front of me and I decided to pull off the track on the grass and shut down... My after market fuel rail lifted off the injectors when a screw backed out on the rail hold down tab. Scary Stuff!!!!
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Damn you Alpha Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read this thread yesterday and pretty much dismissed it.
I drove around for a few hours yesterday and all was well. 5 minutes ago I went out and my car wouldn't start. For some reason, I thought of this thread. I opened the door and saw the fuel pooling up under the car.

I don't fee like investigating it right now, so I'm not positive it's the same issue, but I suspect it is. At least it happened at home.

It's hard to see in the pic, but my undertray is raining.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unhappy Ouch....

Let us know the results.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, it looks like it is coming from the top of the fuel tank. It just rains over all 4 sides of the tank. I can't find any leaks in the engine compartment. I'm thinking its probably up near the fuel pump, but I ran out of time. I'm guessing the guy who replaced the pump for the VF2 might have done a sloppy job.

I guess you're off the hook Mike.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That could be good news.

I wish I had supercharger install problems!
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Found it. Isn't there supposed to be a clip or something here? I think the car went about 1000 miles since the fuel pump change.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Found it. Isn't there supposed to be a clip or something here? I think the car went about 1000 miles since the fuel pump change.
Yes. You are missing your yellow clip. You can get some at any dealership. If you need any, let me know. I have over 16,000 at my plant right now.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i had a similar problem, the engine quit, i smelled fuel strongly.
i keyed off, coasted to a stop and investigated.
the quick disconnect at the engine end of the subject line had come apart.
i managed to reconnect, went home and safety wired the offender.
lucky i had not fully warmed up the car else i would have collected the insurance.
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Found it. Isn't there supposed to be a clip or something here? I think the car went about 1000 miles since the fuel pump change.
It looks like you need to replace your tank, the flange for the cover plate looks damaged.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As long as it keeps most of the fuel inside, I'm fine with it.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The cut on the plate is not damage. The structure of the car is cut to allow easier removal of the fuel pump without dropping the tank (something I don't reccomend). That is where the cover plate for the access hole goes. Your tank is fine. I use a small zip tie arround each of the yellow clips to help keep them in place.

I looked again and I now realize you mean it looks like part number 11 is scratched or cut. Interesting.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Great thread, bookmarked !

Peace!
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I had this exact problem. Thank you for documenting your repair and detailing the new hose. I opted to repair the line with a new brass fitting connector and then wrapped it with an extra sleeve. Also ziptied it awayfrom the airbox
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Can someone post a clear picture of the blue sensor on the fuel pump cover?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Also ziptied it away from the airbox
Zip Ties on fuel lines (or any plastic lines) are generally not a good idea since they can wear thru the line over time.
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