The Definitive Fuel Tank Guide - Page 5 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #81 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 05:41 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3,042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock2001 View Post
I pulled my tanks now and luckily there is only one spot that's in rough shape. My skills are more around mechanical rather than painting, sealing, stripping, but I'm always trying to become more competent so let me ask some detailed questions since I'm not sure I understand the tactics you guys talk about.

I don't know much about POR except what little I just researched. I thought it was a paint-over-rust product, but it seems like you have to go through a process to clean any rust off first? Also some people say it doesn't bond well unless it is/was a rusty surface. Is that true? I expect I'd have to strip the paint off the tank and then POR the outside, as long as it works well with clean bare metal. What's the best way to strip the paint?

How would you POR the inside? With the vertical separater it would seem difficult, but I assume you dump in some amount of the product (for the 3 stages) and slosh it around? You won't be able to spray off the degreaser/etcher steps though? Is sloshing around water good enough for those steps?

Someone mentioned powder coating tanks to me, but I didn't see any comments here to do that so is that flawed in some way?

I'm sure it's probably best to get somebody else to do this, but if I did that I wouldn't be able to do any of the stuff I do currently. And I'd probably have no money left either. So I'm looking to give it a shot. How bad could it be.

Thanks
Rock
I don't think POR is the right stuff for the inside, it is not resistant to gasoline. According to POR you only have to remove "loose" rust but IMHO I would at least wire brush it to get as much off as I can before using the product. Using stuff that you "slosh" inside the tank doesn't work all that well when you have partitions and baffles. One professional shop cuts the top open so they can get inside to repair any leaks and then they brush the inside with sealer before closing it up. Because of the history on the fuel tanks I would have the tanks sealed inside. Too much work to get them back out when they leak. A quick look in HMN gets Elizabeth Radiator elizrad.com and West York Radiator in York PA.
David Teitelbaum
jtrealty is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #82 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 06:33 PM
Registered User
 
mieczkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 1,216
Let me address some of these questions as someone who has done a lot of tanks with POR.

First, the POR product requires a process which includes a very intense cleaning using a specific cleaner (including using boiling water) in multiple steps, second using a phosphoric acid etching compound, then engaging in a multiple step rinsing process. Afterwards it requires a forced air drying period in which the interior must be absolutely dry. Then, and only then, do you use the interior coating material.

To do it properly you don not just "slosh around" the material. We have a fixture which clamps the tank and then we rotate the tank through all three geometric planes for about 30 or 40 minutes. We also utilize this fixture during the cleaning and etching phases. This rotational motion is the same process by which many fiberglass and other resin-based shapes are created using a positive pour-in molding process. After the elapsed rotational time the remaining material is drained and discarded. The tank is allowed to dry for at least a week in our shop.

No internal coating will fix significant leaks. That is not what is intended to do. If a tank has a leak we fix the leak first before we do any coating - we fix leaks by either welding (if visible) or with epoxy if they are just "pin" holes. We don't use POR to fix leaks - it is used to coat the tank not fix the leaks. We also blast, brush or strip the exteriors and then use a POR15 external coating to protect the exterior of the tank. It is a very labor intensive process. I believe used properly it is a good product - and there are other products out there for refinishing fuel tanks which are probably equally good.

I think that if you haven't used the product or had experience refinishing fuel tanks using this general technique you should probably not offer an opinion based on your imagination, or based on the experience of others who may not have followed the proper protocol in using the material.

I always advocate to those who have serious fuel tank issues to simply replace the tanks. That is the best option in my view. For many folks on a tight budget that is not always an option. If you need to conserve your resources then the use of POR or a similar product is a viable and in my experience a good option. But be aware that the amount of labor is very significant. And if you shortcut the protocol then you risk having the tanks deteriorate more rapidly. I have priced out what a professional refinishing company charges for refurbishing tanks for an Esprit. With shipping it is so expensive you might as well buy new tanks since the cost is about the same.

Like every other aspect of coating - from painting your Esprit to painting your house - 90% the work is in the preparation. If you do the prep properly re-coating will work well. If you don't, then it will be disappointing.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
mieczkow is offline  
post #83 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 06:50 PM
Registered User
 
pete inno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 238
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by mieczkow View Post
Let me address some of these questions as someone who has done a lot of tanks with POR.

No internal coating will fix significant leaks. That is not what is intended to do. If a tank has a leak we fix the leak first before we do any coating - we fix leaks by either welding (if visible) or with epoxy if they are just "pin" holes. We don't use POR to fix leaks - it is used to coat the tank not fix the leaks. We also blast, brush or strip the exteriors and then use a POR15 external coating to protect the exterior of the tank. It is a very labor intensive process. I believe used properly it is a good product - and there are other products out there for refinishing fuel tanks which are probably equally good.
Tom, what kind of epoxy would I use to fix the pin holes in my tank?

Thanks.

Pete
94 S4
pete inno is offline  
 
post #84 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 09:10 PM
Registered User
 
mieczkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 1,216
We generally use JB Weld. But be careful with the pinhole concept. We always take the metal down to a bare, rust-free surface first with a grinder, then probe any holes with an awl. Ninety percent of the time the holes open up to something pretty large which requires welding. We will install steel plate if there is good perimeter metal.

The name of the game is exposing and evaluating the bare metal to determine what kind of repair is called for and what is feasible given the condition of the tank. If the holes are big and you don't weld, then you'll need to have someone repair the damage. After the repair is completely will want to pressure test tank.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
mieczkow is offline  
post #85 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 04:11 AM
Wingless Wonder
 
carbuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the Back of your Mind
Posts: 5,293
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by mieczkow View Post
Ninety percent of the time the holes open up to something pretty large which requires welding.
^^ X2 on that.

Unless you replace the bad areas with new metal, buying new tanks is the most long-lasting solution.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
carbuff is online now  
post #86 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 07:06 AM
Cal H
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 982
Years ago I took a leaking tank from an older classic american car to this place and they put in an inflatable bladder that attached itself to the inside of the tank. I don't know if there are places like that anymore but it seemed to work for the 5 years I had the car.

Cal H
maxvelocity is offline  
post #87 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 07:56 AM
Wingless Wonder
 
carbuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the Back of your Mind
Posts: 5,293
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvelocity View Post
Years ago I took a leaking tank from an older classic american car to this place and they put in an inflatable bladder that attached itself to the inside of the tank. I don't know if there are places like that anymore but it seemed to work for the 5 years I had the car.
Yeah but that would not work very well with the baffled Esprit tanks I bet.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
carbuff is online now  
post #88 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 08:28 AM
Ben Holloway
 
tardis2112's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by 89.5 Esprit SE View Post
Actually this may or may not be true. The Esprit sender uses a standard bolt pattern, however it is directional. The later Esprits used a tube type sender with the same bolt pattern. If you don't pay attention then it seems like the bolts won't quite fit, however that means the sender needs to be rotated till all the bolt holes match.

Now with the earlier cars including the SE, a swing arm with a float was used, this sender can only fit in one direction or the float will hit the side of the tank.

So Boyd would need to know which orientation the sender needs to have, to install the bolt pattern properly. For the tube type senders used in the V8 it should not matter.

Randy
Thanks for the clarification Randy. I didn't realize the V8's had those tube type senders, so that's great that their owners don't have to worry about the issue.

In my case, it was the float/arm type and the bolt pattern was indeed pointing in the wrong direction to clear the side of the tank.

For anyone who may try to have Boyd position it correctly, be sure to be very exact with the measurements you provide them. There is not much room for error if you want the arm to move all the way up and down freely.

- Ben Holloway
tardis2112 is offline  
post #89 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 04:37 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 75
So coating the inside is generally beyond a DIYer. OK, that's what it looked like offhand, and I personally wasn't too concerned about that. I don't know if there is a consensus, but I'd expect a very low percentage of tanks have rusted from the inside anyway. I'm sure it happens, but it seems like the external rusting is the real issue due to the foam and body leaks.

I don't have any holes luckily, just a number of surface rusting spots, one worse than the others. It seems doable. So I can strip the paint, cleanup the rust spots, and follow the POR procedure for the external surface. Sounds like it'll work fine on clean bare metal? And I can just strip the paint with a sander? About 220 grit?

Thanks
Rock
Rock2001 is offline  
post #90 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:03 PM
Registered User
 
mieczkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 1,216
You are right on that point - I have not seen any tanks with troubling internal corrosion from an Esprit. The issues are the exterior and the especially lower corners and the lip seam - the consequence of the use of the foam as well as the exposure to the environment.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
mieczkow is offline  
post #91 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:04 PM
Registered User
 
Vulcan Grey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 4,833
I refurbished mine with the POR-15 fuel system.

Cleaned off rust on outside, used metal ready etch and cleaner inside. Coated inside with POR-15 sealant. Then I coated outside, painted, along with truck bed lining, protected seams with bonded on rubber u-channel bumpers.

That was back in 2002. Still fine.

Travis
Vulcan Grey Esprit 89 SE

My Lotus Project Photo Collection
Vulcan Grey is offline  
post #92 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock2001 View Post
So coating the inside is generally beyond a DIYer. OK, that's what it looked like offhand, and I personally wasn't too concerned about that. I don't know if there is a consensus, but I'd expect a very low percentage of tanks have rusted from the inside anyway. I'm sure it happens, but it seems like the external rusting is the real issue due to the foam and body leaks.

I don't have any holes luckily, just a number of surface rusting spots, one worse than the others. It seems doable. So I can strip the paint, cleanup the rust spots, and follow the POR procedure for the external surface. Sounds like it'll work fine on clean bare metal? And I can just strip the paint with a sander? About 220 grit?

Thanks
Rock
I would agree that if you only have surface rust and no pinholes, that only doing the exterior would be adequate, although likely not as long lived as doing both the in and outside.

You need to remove all the old paint, everywhere! We have seen a number of tanks where the original paint flakes off in sheets, clearly showing an improper paint/prep process from the factory. It can be removed by sanding or with a wire wheel, or a grinder with a flap wheel. Probably a 220 grit is too light, I usually use a 60-100 grit for stripping paint depending on whether machine or hand sanding

Randy
89.5 Esprit SE is offline  
post #93 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 04:49 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 75
Great info. Thanks. I think I'm ready to tackle this.

Rock
Rock2001 is offline  
post #94 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 06:00 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 75
I got distracted with some other cars, but hoping to get back to this on the weekend. One last question that I feel might be straightforward, but I want to ensure I don't break anything.

How do you remove the plastic inserts from the top of the tanks? Some seem bonded in there. Do you cut through the bonding? If so, what is used to re-bond it later? One seems to be pseudo pressed into a rubber grommet. How does that one come off? I feel like I'm going to break it if I put much force on it.

Thanks
Rock
Rock2001 is offline  
post #95 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 06:14 PM
Registered User
 
Vulcan Grey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 4,833
Plastic inserts in the top of the tank?

There aren't any in the tank, but the flange for the pump and the sender have some. You don't wan to remove those, just remove the whole pump assembly and entire sender. Don't leave those in the tank when you refurbish the tanks!

Travis
Vulcan Grey Esprit 89 SE

My Lotus Project Photo Collection
Vulcan Grey is offline  
post #96 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 576
I'm not sure what you are referring to. Do you mean the plastic/rubber channels on the tank edge?
89.5 Esprit SE is offline  
post #97 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 08:02 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 75
Maybe I can get a pic. But the tanks have a plastic 'cap' on the top side that connects to the overhead vent hose, as well as the charcoal canister. Also, I guess it's the fuel pressure sensor on the top of the passenger tank.
Rock2001 is offline  
post #98 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:06 AM
Registered User
 
mieczkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 1,216


I've seen a lot of tanks and nothing like what you're describing is something I've seen on the tanks. There are plastic pieces on the fuel level sending unit and on the top of the fuel pump where the electrics hook up, but nothing like that on a stock fuel tank once you remove those two items from the tank. Because Lotus had the quirky habit of using hoses to connect two different diameter ports they sometimes added a piece of tubing on a port or "neck" so that a larger diameter hose could be accommodated - maybe that is what you are seeing. You need to post some pictures to show us what you are referring to.....

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
mieczkow is offline  
post #99 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:36 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 75
What I thought was the pressure sensor must be the level sender. But I don't see anything in the manuals about taking that out, or the other plastic caps shown here. Any ideas?
Attached Images
     
Rock2001 is offline  
post #100 of 132 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:59 PM
Registered User
 
Vulcan Grey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 4,833
Huh. Interesting. Those aren't shown in the parts manual '98-'00.

Part of the fuel vapor recovery breather system.

Travis
Vulcan Grey Esprit 89 SE

My Lotus Project Photo Collection
Vulcan Grey is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community > Lotus Discussions > Lotus Esprit

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome