Fuel filler probs
One might say that the Evo1 fuel filler cap is a step backwards from the neat locking flap arrangement on the Delta 16v. The change was apparently required for homologation of the new Evo1, locking fuel flaps don't make for fast refuelling!
Investigation into a smell of fuel on a nice Evo1 led to a loose filler pipe outer securing ring.
The plastic securing ring isn't gripping the filler neck, let's see why.
The handsome filler securing ring looks to be attached by a ring of screws, but is actually
secured to a plastic ring at the top of the internal fuel pipe by 4 plastic spring clips.
These need to be perfectly aligned to clip securely to the internal mounting slots.
The internal expansion tank had slipped down 20mm over the years, the rubber pipe connecting to the filler had lost its flexibility, so it was pulling the filler neck down too. Positioning the expansion tank properly pushed the neck up, and outer securing ring out of its clip slots, so the outer ring kept coming loose, and the filler cap sank into its hole.
The whole assembly needs to be perfectly aligned for the clips to connect properly, a new flexible rubber pipe joint would do the trick, but they aren't available. Eddie at AE car is having some silicone hoses made to the pattern, but they weren't ready for this job. So we'll have to get inside and see what we can do.
See You tube vid below for full report.
Internal filler pipe, showing slots for the outer ring clips
So I removed the spare wheel, side cover and parcel shelf support. To access the third hidden fixing screw on the front of the shelf support requires removal of the rear seat side bolster, this has 1 fixing screw at the bottom inner side, it's hidden under a flap of carpet, with this screw removed you can push the bolster downwards, which will release it from the top fixing clip. This in turn reveals the shelf support front fixing screw.
I undid all the fuel filler jubilee clips and removed the expansion tank and pipes. I covered the now exposed fuel tank hose, and took great care to avoid any fire risk, I did keep an extinguisher handy.
I decided to remount the assembly with the outer ring and clips fitted first, and line it all up from the top down, this was tricky! A rubber seal fits in between the outer ring and the car, so clipping the ring to the inner pipe needed some serious pushing.
I left the stiff connecting pipe in hot water for an hour, but it didn't soften the pipe much, with a bit of WD and a lot of pushing, the pipe went on. The whole assembly was eventually back in position, but all the pushing loosened 2 of the fixing clips. I fitted them back in, but doing it all that way around was probably a mistake. Next time I'll fit the outer ring on last and not try to be clever!
The job is on a You tube vid to your left.
Here's the hole waiting for some serious squeezing
Working in this cavity is like a bucket of old razor blades! The plastic pipes are like cast iron! The top clips are now limp 20 year old plastic!
So eventually all was back in place, with all the pipe clips fitted.
I stretched the rubber strap over the tank and clipped it in place, but the knob on the expansion tank was still too low for its hole. I pushed the tank upwards, and this unclipped the top again. Shit!
This is just between us, and not shown in the vid, but I was so pissed off at this point, I got hold of my drill and put self tapping screws through each of the stupid pretend bolts, through the car and into the inner pipe flange. I screwed these up gently, it worked a treat!
A dab of black on the countersunk silver screw heads made the repair invisible. The picture of the white car in the header is with these screws fitted.
I refitted the seat bolster, shelf support and wheel arch cover, and put the spare wheel back in place.
The filler neck is now secure, the locking cap fits well and now removes easily. However, the header tank still isn't seating quite right, so I'll keep in touch with AE car and get a nice, soft, new flexible pipe as soon as I can.