Ford Capri 2.8 Fuel Tank Replacement in Aluminium

Its pretty typical with the age of many Capri`s still either on the road or in garages being repaired or restored, that their steel fuel tank is showing signs of corrosion and maybe even perforation.

In this instance  we had been asked to replicate a Ford Capri 2.8 injection fuel tank as the old steel one was too badly corroded.

Fuel tanks were typically pressed or stamped out of sheet metal and flange welded in the days of Ford Capri manufacture. Many fuel tanks were simply “hung” from the chassis or floor pan and suffered with corrosion due to the rear wheels kicking up water, road dirt and the likes onto the mounted fuel tank. Many tanks now days are manufactured from plastics and hence do not suffer with corrosion like the Steel Capri tanks.

Obviously in some instances repair is possible. This usually means stripping the tank, removing any risk of explosion by means of emptying the fuel tank, pressure washing out and then purging and filling the tank with” inert” gas before cutting / patching / welding / repairing the tank.

Over the years I have seen many tanks repaired with “chemical metal”, which eventually still “seep” fuel, not ideal.

So if you are needing repair or replacement of your Ford Capri fuel tank, you know where to come.

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Above – bottom pressings and ends tacked up, fuel swirl pot, pick up and return

Image showing top of tank ready for pressure testing


Completed tank with breather pipes fitted and filler flange taped off to stop dirt

getting into tank

Polished and cleaned up.

Any Capri experts will notice the fuel pump mounted on the wrong end of the tank ! oops

Does help if I weld the bottom to the top section of the tank in the correct orientation.

In this instance I ended up cutting the top section off, remaking and re-welding / re-testing.

Wont be making that same mistake again !

For all tank repairs and custom manufacture to suit your requirements, please contact us as below.

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For all your Custom Car & Motorcycle Parts Manufacture and Welding / Repairs
SEE –
www.flashcustoms.co.uk
Don`t forget to email or call us for all your custom made 1 off bespoke items.

Alloy welding / repairs, custom parts, Welding Instruction.

Thanks for reading our blog – we hope this has been of use to you.
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Motorcycle – Cafe Racer, Polished Aluminium Dash Assembly

Lovely little job here, drawings were supplied by customer which we duly transferred to a 2d cad program ready for loading onto the laser machine in order to cut the main parts from 10mm thick aluminium.

Laser cut parts

Laser cut parts

Once parts had been laser cut, I had a very good friend drop them on his cnc mill, and counter bore the back of the cut holes, smaller ones were for various warning lights and needed to be recessed to allow for the fixing nut, the large clock apertures counter bored to allow the rolled aluminium clock tubes to sit neatly into them.

Trial assembly

Trial assembly

The clock bodies / drums were fabricated from 1.5mm thick ns4 aluminium sheet, cut, rolled and tig welded together, re-rolled and checked for size against the recess diameter in the back face and also the bottom discs.

Clock bodies rolled, welded and checked fro size

Clock bodies rolled, welded and checked for size, polishing begins

Once all parts were manufactured a mammoth polishing effort commenced

Showing underside of assembly

Showing underside of assembly

Several grades of soap and mops were used in the polishing process, even wet and dry grades were used on the face to try and remove as many marks as possible. Its always handy to have a good polishing motor as the mops can really drag the spindle speed down. Ideally you want to be polishing at about 2800 rpm, with good quality mops and soaps to get a good finish. Its important to start with a rough sisal fast cutting and hard polishing mop, they are particularly useful for first stage polishing on all metals including aluminium, brass, copper and steels. These will remove light marks left from preparation and are usually used with Brown metal polishing compound on soft metals or Black metal polishing compound on steels.

After a couple hours polishing

After a couple hours polishing

Stitched polishing mops are versatile cutting and polishing mops for general polishing but are less aggressive than sisal polishing mops. Stitched polishing mops are ideal for use on aluminium, copper, brass and steel and can be used with -Brown, Blue, Black, Green or white polishing soaps.

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Ready for soft loose leaf final polishing mop. The most popular type of finishing mop, loose fold polishing mops can be used with Blue, White, Pink and Jewellers Rouge polishing compounds. Loose fold polishing mops are manufactured from 100% white soft cotton, with no hard pieces.

Finally polished and ready to pack up and despatch to customer

Finally polished and ready to pack up and despatch to customer

After polishing with mops and soaps I always use a good metal polish to bring up a bit better and add a lustre to the parts.

Hopefully soon have a picture once fitted to the bike.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

For all your Custom Car & Motorcycle Parts Manufacture and Welding / Repairs
SEE –
www.flashcustoms.co.uk
Don`t forget to email or call us for all your custom made 1 off bespoke items.

Alloy welding / repairs, custom parts, Welding Instruction.

Thanks for reading our blog – we hope this has been of use to you.
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FLASH CUSTOMS – Specialist Custom Car & Motorcycle Parts
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Formula Ford Fuel Tank Modification

I made this fuel tank in aluminium for the local Further Education College when they started a Motorsports course. One of the first cars they purchased for race and testing was a formula ford with 1600cc engine.

The race car itself had been stripped down and various improvements made to it to improve all aspects of the car by students and lecturers .

Original tank with new sender flange hole cut in

The fuel tank itself was originally made with fuel pickup  fuel filler neck and breather and foam filled, no facility had been required for a sender unit. Upon strip and rebuild it was decided this year that they wanted to upgrade the tank to include a fuel level sender.

Sender unit & machined flange

A new sender unit was sourced and a new alloy flange to mount the sender was machined and collected with the tank for mods and fitting.

Now with a tank that has been foam filled to prevent fuel slosh is not as easy to modify as a tank with baffles. Typically you can never get all of the foam out of the tank. As this foam has been soaked in fuel it is very difficult to prevent ignition of the fuel vapours when electric arc welding.

CAUTION !!  – DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

So to modify this tank I needed to mark and hole saw the new aperture for the new fuel sender mounting flange, upside down to any swarf falls out and not into the tank. I cannot just start welding – I had to fill the tank with an inert gas (argon) to remove all the oxygen in the tank.

Filling with argon gas

Argon – an “inert” gas

Argon gas is an inert gas (non-reactive) and is also heavier than air. I f we completely fill the tank with argon gas – even if there is still tank foam and fuel vapours in it the fuel vapours will not explode. I would not recommend anyone try this at home as it can be dangerous and I have seen a tank “blow” and send the welder across the workshop (he was lucky not to be hurt) and the tank ended up ripped apart due to the explosion when the fuel vapours ignited.

Fuel tank foam clearly visible through new hole

 I could not remove all of the foam and hence filling the tank with argon. I prefer to completely empty the tank, wask it out / steam clean it inside and then fill with argon before welding new fittings to a used tank.

Having had experience of welding aluminium tanks that have been used I know that I can get away with filling foam filled ones with argon before attempting welding of new fittings etc.

tacked up sender flange

See above the sender flange in position tacked up and level in the tank, note also the argon gas is still being fed into the tank by the black hose. Please also note that the bottom hose stub (fuel take off stub) has been taped up to prevent heavier argon gas escaping from the bottom of the tank.

New Flange welded in position

New flange welded into position, once this has cooled down its ready for blanking off and pressure testing again just to make sure that there are no pinholes in the weld and potential leaks.

If it is leak free then we need to fit the sender and squash the foam blocks and push back into the tank through the filler neck.

Fit the sender 1st and then push foam back in thro filler neck

AGAIN I NEED TO REITERATE – PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME !!

Hopefully the college will be happy – and now they can see how much fuel is in the car without using a stick.

Hope the students take care of it and plumb back in neatly :)

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

For all your Custom Car & Motorcycle Parts Manufacture and Welding / Repairs
SEE –
www.flashcustoms.co.uk
Don`t forget to email or call us for all your custom made 1 off bespoke items.
Thanks for reading our blog – we hope this has been of use to you.
Recommended sites
FLASH CUSTOMS – Specialist Custom Car & Motorcycle Parts
Automotive LED Lights – Car & Motorcycle LED Lighting Solutions
Loaded Wallet – Discount and cash back offers
Cash Back – Cash Back & Money Saving offers

Get Fit at Home

MK3 VW GOLF ALLOY HEADER TANK FABRICATION

MK3 VW GOLF ALLOY HEADER TANK FABRICATION

A new job this week was to make an alloy header tank for a GOLF MK3.

This was made to customer specification for fitting by the customer. The tank itself is to be mounted where the coil pack normally resides and so this needs to be relocated.

Initially I considered making the tank form 2mm thick NS4 Aluminium however upon measuring out some sizes soon realised this was a baby tank and could easily be manufactured from 1.5mm thick NS4 Aluminium.

Image below shows sketch I was working to –

The header tank was to include a CNC machined pressure cap and weld in neck, 15mm bottom outlet and return 6mm stub.

Return Pipe stub was machined on a CNC lathe and is a standard item we keep on the shelf.

The 15mm outlet pipe stub was machined by hand on a manual lathe with a ridge around the end, this is to reduce the chance of the pipe slipping off the stub and is a standard method we use instead of just a straight piece of tube. No one likes pipes blowing off stubs – there is always someone to take the proverbial when things go wrong.

Below is all the parts and sheet pressings ready for tacking up.

Set up on this job is critical, with the tank being so small and made from aluminium heat transfer through the material will quickly saturate through the job, this will lead to welds “flooding” out as the material becomes so hot that it has the effect of welding with too high an amperage. Heat input and heat “management” then is critical to even, regular welds.

If joints are misaligned then a nice even fillet will not be achieved easily, this could mean the weld fillet will be lopsided and penetration in the joint may be affected.

Weld joint set up above is good and literally the inside corners of the material are tacked up touching each other, this is ideal for this type of tank made from thin aluminium material. Even a gap in the joint in material this thin is going to make welding this difficult as if not careful the material will melt away before filler can be added. I like to weld thin gauge aluminium outside corner joints with no gap so that as the welding arc heats up the material a small “tear-drop” appears, I then know that a good penetration bead will be achieved. This in turn helps me achieve a good “sealing” weld. I used TIG welding to complete this tank for looks and neatness.

So once all panels are tacked up I will proceed to fully TIG weld the main body, again ensuring that I manage the heat input to reduce the chance of the material becoming saturated with heat and the weld “growing” in width. We want all welds to be the same fillet profile thus ensuring a nice even looking job. On this one I actually had one joint with a gap in as I had mistakenly taken off a mm when allowing for bending allowance, I should have added it on (DOH). So I had to really turn down my welding plant, concentrate my welding arc to ensure that both edges melt evenly and add filler wire as soon as possible before the edges “blew” away.

When the main body was completely welded, after inspection; I continued to tack in place all fittings, ensuring alignment and welded them in one at a time.

The resulting tank is shown below

You will notice that the pictures show flat mounting brackets either side of the tank, these will be drilled by customer upon fitting to allow the tank to be fixed in position using 3 bolts. The tank needed to be pressure tested before and after these mounting brackets were welded on. This ensured that the tank is leak free before adding these mountings and also after welding them in position. With a clean and using a bit of “chrome” polish the tank is ready to pack up and despatch to the customer.

We only generally offer custom made 1 off jobs but, welcome any enquiry and would willingly help and advise any customer with any project.

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Thanks for reading :)

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