Smell of petrol when going through roundabouts? Then read this...

Discussion in 'How To' started by Joker, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Whether you're new to vans or not this is an essential check you need to make.

    If you've just bought your first camper then check all the fuel hoses are fitted correctly - any smells of fuel are wrong and you should check the following

    1) Remove engine

    If you have an upright engine you can't get to the firewall without taking the engine out. If replacing all fuel lines half of what you need to disconnect to take the engine out is done. Engine removal, even for a first timer takes about 1 hour. If you have a pancake engine with either twin or single carbs it is possible to remove the firewall without engine removal.

    2) Remove firewall

    With the engine out remove the firewall. This will give you the chance to inspect the fuel tank for corrosion too. On a late bay it should look like this.

    3) Fuel tank breather pipes

    On the top of the tank there are 2 stubby pipes sticking out. These are the breather pipes.

    All this does is take off the vapour as the fuel expands. These will criss cross behind the firewall, and come out into the expansion tanks, back into the engine bay where they are joined to a rubber T junction, a pipe then goes from here to the airfilter. Here the vapours are safely drawn back into the carb.

    These lead to the small expansion tanks
    you can see up inside the rear vents on your van. As the fuel gets hot (and it does) it needs to expand. Again, the small rubber pipes will perish over time, I found mine totally rotted and not connected.

    4) Fuel filler hose

    All parts are available here
    Here's a view of what it looks like with new parts images. Top is for the prototype window van (crossdresser also), bottom is late bay window

    If you get the petrol smell on a full tank or going round corners the most likely source will be the rubber pipe at the tank end. This is not cheap, I bought the long piece (26b) with the bend 2 years ago for £42, its now up to £49 but its a small price to pay to a) get rid of the stink and b) protect your bay from fuel leaks. 26a might be the part you need for a crossdresser.


    This is a very good quality part, if you have long bendy arms, or a small child you can fit this without removing the firewall - you go thru the paint tin hole.

    Here is the part for the body end.

    5) Fuel lines

    Replace all fuel lines with high grade hose - you can now readily buy aerospace grade fuel lines from motorsport suppliers although normal good quality fuel lines are all good. Choose wisely though, pay for good quality from a reputable source

    6) Connections

    It is very important to use the correct fuel clips for holding the pipes together securely - jubilee clips are NOT suitable for this job

    7) Fuel filter

    It is not a good idea to have your plastic fuel filter in the engine bay. There are good quality glass fuel filters around which are better suited for use in the engine bay. I found that 2 filters in the system, one close to the base of the tank, and another directly after the fuel pump outlet (mines a pancake engine) was suitable, away from any direct ignition sources and heat, but also easy to check

    #8 Fuel tank sender

    If you have the firewall off check the fuel sender is nice and snug - again, these can come loose and the seals can perish

    9) Maintenance

    Checking the fuel lines, connections and state of the rubber should form part of your routine maintenance checks on your van. Once you've done behind the firewall though you can pretty much forget about these bits.

    All of the above is little more than a mornings work, a day at most, and should cost no more than £80 all in. Yanking the engine out is a good opportunity to give the engine a good clean, tart up any wiring inside the engine bay, install engine bay lights etc

    Be warned, if you can smell fuel then that means its leaking!!

  2. Woodylubber

    Woodylubber Obsessive compulsive name changer

    Great advice, karma
  3. Mine were perished badly:-


    My new ones, it was a right fiddle to do, but worth it:-
  4. This job is a must as far as i'm concerned, all my hoses and pipes where well past it and where just waiting to burst
    Check yours people you know it makes sense
  5. Nice one Joker.

    Don't forget this little pipe too!

    Tucked up above the leisure battery
    JAMA and Fancy-bug like this.
  6. yes, I meant to add that, have'nt taken a picture yet. Good call
  7. I only found out about that pipe after I brimmed the tank at the petrol station and petrol started pouring out on the opposite side from where I was filling! Not Good
  8. Ive just replaced all that on mine, i did it with engine in but the carbs and heater blower removed to remove the tank.

    The heritage very expensive elbow seems good quality but i wish it was about 1" longer, it would make it easier to fit and more secure.

    While i had the tank out i used the por 15 tank sealer kit, its hard work, and you need loads more marine clean than it comes with, but if it doesnt flake should give me a tank that will last another 35 years :)
  9. Betsy73 likes this.
  10. Sorry guys been a bit busy but looked today the elbow going into the filler is F--cked splits top n bottom hence hard left handers leaving petrol trail I dont fancy dropping engine i have the later 2.0 one i can feel around hose jubilee clip through paint tin hole but you only seem to have about 2" clearance is it possible to loosten and retighten new hose through that hole ?

    Cheers Carl
    JAMA likes this.
  11. yes. Its a b'stard of a job and you'll cut your wrists to ribbons but its doable. Easier with engine out, but then , isn't everything? I find jobs like this so much easier if you get your whole upper body in the engine bay.

    You could always stick a small child in there
    JAMA likes this.
  12. Hi there

    This is my first post as I'm new to the vw bus world. i bought "Mavericks" 3 weeks ago and am over the moon with her apart from the smell of petrol.
    A quick internet search came up with this thread and i though i would go with your advice.

    Thanks very much as well, as all the breather pipes in my engine bay were rotten and have now been replaced.

    I have just a few more question if someone could give me a bit of advice.

    The bus smells of petrol now when i turn a sharp left, so like joker said I'm assuming its the fuel filler neck, so i went and bought one from VW heritage,
    this one in fact

    I'm going to drop the engine this weekend but as I'm doing it out side i want to get the engine out and the lines replaced in one day.
    This is my problem, I'm not entirely sure i have the right pipe for my bus. Ive been looking around on the internet but cant find what pipe connects to the fuel tank.

    If someone has come across this before could the steer me in the right direction.

    Mavericks is a 1972 high light bay.

    not sure how to put a picture up here yet but i will figure it out.


  13. Silver

    Silver Needs points/will pay!

    EDIT Scratch that last post, your a 72. That bit looks right for your year.
  14. Cheers for that.

    I will take a look this weekend and see how I get on.
  16. 7mm I think. It is available from vw heritage I bought 1 metre and it was more than enough.
  17. Cheers dude I shall order a length of 7mm at the same time as ordering a new fuel pump...

  18. I need to replace my filler neck asap but i dint realise it was £55

    How the hell can they charge £55 for a bit of rubber hose thats rediculous

    Has anyone found a cheaper alternative or had a hose made to suit?
  20. Cheers for the link robo but its the pipe that goes from the fuel tank to the steel filler pipe i need

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