Photograph restoration

Fuel tank and bay.

The fuel tank and fuel tank bay are areas that need special treatment, for a number of reasons.

On these models with the upright engine the fuel tank cannot be removed (easily) without removing the engine. In fact to attempt to remove it by stripping the top of the engine down is very brave but for whatever reason take the engine out first.

With the engine out you will be faced with the fuel tank bay access panel, this has screws all around it including two coming up from underneath.

Drain the fuel tank before starting to remove it, it's awkward enough as it is without a couple of gallons of volatile and explosive liquid sloshing around in it.

With the straps still fitted remove the filler neck rubber hose and all the breather pipes. Do this carefully, especially the large filler hose as I don't think they are available any more.

Ok, with that lot off undo the two nuts that tension the straps, they are located under the fuel tank bay floor, just behind the engine/gearbox mounting beam. These may be corroded so take care and soak them in a release agent or 3 in 1.

Ok, straps undone AND FUEL TANK SENDER UNIT WIRES DISCONNECTED just lift it out......yeah, right. It is unbelievably snuggly fitted and takes a certain amount of jiggling. Watch out for the fuel feed pipe sticking out of the bottom of the tank as it's easy to bend it.

With the tank out it is easy to carry out repairs in the fuel tank bay. These seem to be just corrosion on the floor of the bay. Beware though, there are two 'bracket' looking things at the front of the bay on Microbuses, these are for the rear seat belts so do not remove them.

The fuel tank can now be inpected and reapirs carried out. Check in particular the bottom of the tank in the area around the fule feed pipe outlet as this is exposed to the elements under the bus.

You may find that the main breather elbow rubber is cracked. This is a common cause for fule leaks when the tank is full so I decided to get rid of it.

Here you can see the split in the elbow.

So, just make one out of metal, this was actually made from part of one of the old handbrake cable conduits.

And as you can see fits very nicely. You will also find that the tube that sticks out of the tank needs to be cut down slightly to make it the same as the original.

This involves welding on the fuel tank...need I say more? My tank had been empty for about a year so there were no fumes/liquid inside. I would advise you to let the tank vent for a good few days before doing any welding on it.

Ok, just weld it up then!!

As you can see, the elbow is at a slight angle so before welding it put the tank back in the bay and line up the breather pipe to the right position.

Tank fitted, straps tightened.

Fitting the pipework is relatively straightforwar though just remember that once the panel is on and the engine is in you can't get at any of it!!

Here the tank panel is fitted Don't forget to reconnect the sender unit!!

Here you can see the way I re-routed the fuel feed pipe to run over the gearbox and is attached to clips on the rear bulkhead.