How long does it take to change the fuel tank?

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by in over my head, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. we have owned the camper for about 18months now and it always smells of petrol but after filling it stinks. Have had new fuel lines. I think it may be time to have the fuel tank and anything else hidden in there checked. How long does this take for a mechanic to do?
  2. Type 1 or Type 4?
  3. If it is a Type 1 ( 1600 with the semi circular fan housing) then the engine has to come out. If it is a 1700 -2000 then you can get the tank out with the engine in. I would reckon on a days work if it is a 1600 and it is the first time you have done it.
    snotty likes this.
  4. Type 1 engine with fan shroud in the way you have to remove engine then unscrew the firewall . Therefore about 1 to 2 days work.
    Type 4 engine just unscrew the firewall. Say 1 days work.

    However it usually is not the tank leaking but the breathers and the filler hose assembly.

    For instance : on my bus (oct 1973) there is a filler elbow going to a metal tube going to another filler hose to the tank. My filler elbow was split causing stinks after fill up, and that can be replaced with only taking off the paint tin lid top right in engine bay. But also the lower hose had lost elasticity and seeped at the lower joint with the tank if you parked leaning to the right. As found at the crazy car park at the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek. Little puddle and trail....

    The breathers on top of the tank have short rubber linking tubes, and then the breathers in the engine bay one behind spare wheel storage indent, one up high right hand side. and the T piece in the middle .
    These break more often being roasted by the engine.

    Also consider your carburettor might be leaking petrol due to wear or dirt in the fuel metering valve. I have seen a T4 engine with the left hand carburettor dark with residue from petrol running down the outside...
    Skyelectrix and F_Pantos like this.
  5. What makes you think it’s the fuel tank itself?

    If like me an overzealous upholster used screws that were too long to attach panels to the interior and pierced the tank, then you’re right.

    From personal experience however, it’s inevitably the rubber filler neck/elbow (where the fuel nozzle goes in) that’s perished or the joint at the back of the spare wheel well in the engine bay where the breather pipes go (yes the breather pipe joints behind the firewall/above the tank can also perish in time).

    The issue is that to get to the tank itself and change the breather pipe joints means removal of the firewall and to get to the filler neck means removing the large round panel to the right of the engine (and yes you will have to stretch and most probably swear as you Chaffee your arm in the process)

    The whole process is easier to do without the engine in place though....

    The costs to do it at a garage I could not say...... have you considered giving it a go yourself?

    F_Pantos likes this.
  6. Not easily mind ...and it takes a while arsing about , just as quick dropping the engine if you know what yer doing ...and less swearing and more comfortable to do .
  7. If its the breather connection rubber as shown in red (24) on diag that's perished, its easier to do if you remove the rear light cluster first.
  8. This is really helpful. Problem is I don’t really have anywhere I can work on it. On street parking... so not easy if it going to be over a day.

    Although if 24 is by where the spare wheel well is then I can give this a try as had the well cut out. This is engine side not fuel tank side? If it is the bit I am thinking then could well be this is loose and worth a try first.

    What is a normal amount of petrol to smell? I assume some is the norm
  9. Sorry by 24 I mean the red bit
  10. Thanks for your help everyone I am new and keen but certainly not experienced with engines at all
  11. None is normal, but some is common – and potentially dangerous, VW didn’t design it to smell of fuel.
    snotty likes this.
  12. I have a 1979 so think it’s type 4
  13. What capacity is the engine? 1600 is type 1, 2.0l is type 4.
  14. The 2ltr engine is so much better, but look after it as they are expansive to repair. It is definitely a good idea to replace the breathers. THe good news is that with it being a 1979, the fuel filler pipe is not the extortionate one that I had to buy for my 1972.

  15. None. We have proposed in the past going up to one of those car parks and instead of indulging in the usual goings on, to drop the engine in your bus and fix it, before driving home.

    Or buy the hoses, bring it to to Techenders, have a word with Eddie and see if you can borrow his workshop to do the engine in and out over the weekend.
    Valveandy and Iain McAvoy like this.

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