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Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

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Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by wdf on Mon Jun 03 2013, 11:35

I gave my Lister D with orchard sprayer a full load test for an extended period to test and adjust the pump. (up to pressure with sprayer attached..)...and cooling hopper steaming nicely...

anyway, everything is perfect, the pump now does not leak, and the engine itself runs fine....

but.. after and hour I noticed a pertrol leak around the tap, i first thought it was the tap... which is was not nor was it the fibre seal... it was a microscopic crack in the solder that joins the brass flange to the tank....

upon draining, and removal, and close inspection under the light it was obviosuely an "old" crack..... but what has happened after running for a long period on Shell Unleaded.......... (my local garage)... the modern detergents had cleaned the "muck" out the crack that had been selaing it for 70 years...it appears this crack maybe actually original.... but obviouesly during the rebuild I soaked the tank in caustic to clean it.... and then a fresh tankfull of Shell finest detergent petrol finally found the slight weep in the solder...

anyway, questions is... what is the best way to repair this.. ideally it looks like that to re-solder the flange joint would be one way, but I dont want to make it worse than what it is.... what about these magic chemicals you can slosh into your tank to seal them?

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by stationary stu on Mon Jun 03 2013, 11:43

A tank sealer might be your best option, take the tap out and fit a blank into the tank so you can let the sealer sit above the crack. Some have tried plastic metal but that hasn't get the best results as the petrol finds a way through it.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by wdf on Mon Jun 03 2013, 11:59

stationary stu wrote:A tank sealer might be your best option, take the tap out and fit a blank into the tank so you can let the sealer sit above the crack. Some have tried plastic metal but that hasn't get the best results as the petrol finds a way through it.

Stu.

ok, thanks for that. I will try some POR15 tank sealer (from frost.co.uk)... its only £11 for the smallest tin, and it claims to be the best on the market and is ethanol resistant....

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by Villiers on Mon Jun 03 2013, 16:27

Wouldn't faff about with tank sealer just get a soldering iron and some flux, warm it up and rub the iron over the area, chances are the solder will flow into the crack and seal it, if it doesn't then add some more till it does.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by pjjms on Mon Jun 03 2013, 18:53

The POR15 is good, and I have sealed a few tanks with it now (as in surface sealing). But, I have had no luck with it fixing small leaks. It is like a thin paint and any leak that it can run through is not going to be fixed by it. It's very good for coating the inside of tanks and stopping all the crap that these old tanks have in them.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by wdf on Tue Jun 04 2013, 07:26

pjjms wrote:The POR15 is good, and I have sealed a few tanks with it now (as in surface sealing). But, I have had no luck with it fixing small leaks. It is like a thin paint and any leak that it can run through is not going to be fixed by it. It's very good for coating the inside of tanks and stopping all the crap that these old tanks have in them.

Ok, so its looks like I will be soldering it then.... I will have a go later this week and post the results....

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by stationary stu on Tue Jun 04 2013, 10:44

I've used the stuff that coats the rust inside tanks that would probably be the same as tank sealer as it leaves a thickish paint layer in the tank and it was a lot cheaper then tank sealer and it's the same stuff.

Stu.

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soldered....

Post by wdf on Sat Jun 08 2013, 23:21

I can confirm today i successfully soldered the crack in the join of the flange to the tank...... and I can also confirm that is was a "dry joint" since 1945... basically whilst it had some solder on the surface, there was a massive void in between the flange and the metal of the tank... after cleaning this "gap" and applying some flux, I got to run plenty of solder into this... then found this continued further round.... basically from new, it had never been soldered properly, and hence they had never accounted for 2013 spec Shell detergent fuel in 1945... and that it can clean and find any crack or crevice......(the gap in between the flange and the tank had some grey muck in it... so cleaned this a bit with a wire brush and applied flux into the gap..)

after refitting the tap i filled it with 3/4 tank of petrol and left in on a bench (outside) to check for leaks... and at the end of the day, refitted it and had a test run.....

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by stationary stu on Sun Jun 09 2013, 12:36

Great news you didn't have to apply a tank sealer and you did it the conventional way, just a case of biting the bullet and having a go, well done.

Good job, :thumbup:

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Sun Jun 09 2013, 19:37

Yeah, always solder if you can. I have used POR-15 tank sealer & it is really good stuff, but it is a major faff to use & if not used exactly by the book it won't work properly.

Tank sealers are great, really great, but should really be used as a last resort.

One of my restoration threads has details of my use of the tank sealer (think it was the Homelite thread), but I really had no other options with that one, apart from paying a small fortune having a new tank made up, which would've involved destroying the original. It's not a quick process though, your tank will usually be out of action for at least 2 weeks, ideally more like a month to 6 weeks.

Anyway, glad to hear it's sorted. BTW it probably wasn't the detergents in the fuel, it may have been the ethanol they add in it now (it's much more penetrating than straight petrol). A lot of the old motorcycle boys are having trouble with ethanol additives in modern petrol, it's not good on corks & causes them to expand & break up (not good for vintage Harley Davidson bikes, which have cork floats, as one of my dad's mates found out). My advice is to buy the more expensive "Super" unleaded, as most (not all) companies don't add ethanol to this petrol. Ethanol is in ALL standard unleaded fuels though. Personally I don't see the problem with the stuff, as it hasn't caused me any problems. I find a small dose of 2-stroke oil in the petrol every now & then keeps my corks & the insides of the float chambers in my carbs all in very good order (stops everything drying out so much). The "Super Unleaded" is OK, & won't rot your corks or old fashioned tank sealers like the ethanol laced fuels, but the octane rating is a bit too high for these old engines & they can be a bit fussy on it.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by wdf on Mon Jun 10 2013, 00:15

nutgone wrote:
Anyway, glad to hear it's sorted. BTW it probably wasn't the detergents in the fuel, it may have been the ethanol they add in it now (it's much more penetrating than straight petrol). A lot of the old motorcycle boys are having trouble with ethanol additives in modern petrol, it's not good on corks & causes them to expand & break up (not good for vintage Harley Davidson bikes, which have cork floats, as one of my dad's mates found out). My advice is to buy the more expensive "Super" unleaded, as most (not all) companies don't add ethanol to this petrol. Ethanol is in ALL standard unleaded fuels though. Personally I don't see the problem with the stuff, as it hasn't caused me any problems. I find a small dose of 2-stroke oil in the petrol every now & then keeps my corks & the insides of the float chambers in my carbs all in very good order (stops everything drying out so much). The "Super Unleaded" is OK, & won't rot your corks or old fashioned tank sealers like the ethanol laced fuels, but the octane rating is a bit too high for these old engines & they can be a bit fussy on it.

Thanks for that, having been driving diesels since 1995 (my last petrol was a 1985 V8 Rangrover) I have now learned something new... found a good article here..

http://www.groups.tr-register.co.uk/wessex/ethanol-update.html

looks like due to the enviro policies they have to have a certain amount of bio fuel to comply with legislation (2013) hence, by helping prevent a cute polar bear cub from floating away on a bit of ice it looks like anything made of rubber will rot instantly on contact with the new 10% ethanol petrol...


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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Mon Jun 10 2013, 12:14

Think certain types of rubber are OK, like nitrile etc.

Best thing is to look at what they're using in America, as they've had ethanol in their petrol for over 10 years now, hence the use of American POR-15 tank sealer.

There's a lot of "old wives tales" that go with this ethanol as well, & many people think it's fine.

One good thing is it is hygroscopic, which means it will dissolve a certain amount of water so should stop it settling at the bottom of your tank.

One bad thing about it though is that it's hygroscopic, which also means it can attract moisture in damp enviroments scratch

My dad only uses the super unleaded in his classic bikes, but I am still using basic unleaded in most of my engines as all my cork petrol taps are on 2 strokes, all my 4 stroke engines have no cork on them at all & all fibre/copper washers.

I think it's one of those things, only time will tell. But at least we can look to America to learn any lessons.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Mon Jun 10 2013, 12:36

BTW, that article is very good, but they got one thing wrong:

Hydroscopic isn't even a word. They mean Hygroscopic. Wink

(Sorry, I'm a secret grammar Nazi Twisted Evil )

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by wdf on Mon Jun 10 2013, 12:54

nutgone wrote:BTW, that article is very good, but they got one thing wrong:

Hydroscopic isn't even a word. They mean Hygroscopic. Wink

(Sorry, I'm a secret grammar Nazi Twisted Evil )

Yes, hygroscopic is "Readily absorbing moisture"

....and.........

hydroscopic ....An optical device used for viewing objects far below the surface of water

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Mon Jun 10 2013, 16:02

I couldn't find hydroscopic in my big OED & it comes up with a red line on my spell checker. I assume it relates to a hydroscope (which also comes up with a red line, but then again so does..... erm.... a few swear words Embarassed so that doesn't mean much).

Good article though, my car has been off the road since just after christmas, but is going back on the road soon, I definitely won't be putting normal unleaded in it when it does as it's likely to have changed since I last filled her up. It's a 1983 BMW 5 series, with early computerised fuel injection system. I always maintained I got the same miles out of £10's worth of super as I did out of £10's worth of premium. Now the ethanol level has gone up I will just stick to the super & see if I can find out who is adding the stuff. If I have to use BP I will, but they are generally the most expensive of all the garages. Can't afford to be replacing bits & bobs all over the place as I struggle to keep a car on the road anyway (I run a classic as the insurance is so cheap, I couldn't afford to insure anything modern) the 525e is the most fuel efficient of that series & still quite cheap to buy, so actually represents quite cheap motoring for me, as I never go far anyway. I could go for an old 3 series, but they weren't as well built & are generally thrashed (also don't handle as well & I managed to put my 5 in a ditch last year, would probably kill myself in a 3).

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by stationary stu on Tue Jun 11 2013, 13:11

I wonder why garages mainly in the South West get different fuels?

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Tue Jun 11 2013, 13:36

stationary stu wrote:I wonder why garages mainly in the South West get different fuels?

Stu.

I was wondering the same thing myself Stu. I used to have a mate who delivered fuels in this area & all tankers would fill up at Shoreham (near Brighton) & that is where all the south east places get their fuel from for quite a large radius. I can only guess that the south west have one major filling point as well, & perhaps it is their normal procedure to add ethanol every time, or maybe they have ethanol-proof storage tanks down there??? It is at these depots that all the additives are put in. Most companies use the same additives, but in different mixtures. All you would do is dial in which company you worked for & the correct mixture of additives would be added to your fill. He only delivered heating oil, red diesel & white diesel & his company used JET Fuels.

I would be very interested to find out some up to date info on this, preferably before my car goes back on the road. That article was good, but was written in February 2011.

There must be a way of testing for ethanol in fuel. Would love to know if there's some kind of test kit where you add some powder or something to a jam jar of petrol to see if it's in there.

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by pjjms on Tue Jun 11 2013, 19:16

I would have thought the ethanol content would be public knowledge. I think the oil companies have this information available on their web sites?

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

Post by nutgone on Tue Jun 11 2013, 20:05

Many of them are going out of their way to keep it a secret as they know what damage it can do. AFAIK it's still not a legal requirement for them to publish ethanol content in fuels, but you would expect them to be doing it by now, wouldn't you?

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Re: Lister D fuel tank leak - Shell detergent petrol.....

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