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L300 fuel tank "protector"/shield


 
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jejoenje



Joined: 20 Aug 2016
Posts: 726
Location: Alloa, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 22:05    Post subject: L300 fuel tank "protector"/shield Reply with quote

I've been having a look around this forum, as well as "the others" but I've not really found much reference to this - so here goes.

The fuel tank "protector" (I.e. its undershield) on Selma has disintegrated - it was essentially already made of rust and being held
together by ancient layers of underseal, and today's work around the propshaft has made things terminal. I ripped most of what
remained off with no effort at all.

Now, a few questions.
Question Given the age of these vehicles, do other L300 owners on here still have their fuel tank shield?
Question Should I replace it? Would you? Looks like I should be able to get a replacement from Mitsi themselves (although I haven't
asked them yet).
If going for replacement, it looks very much like the only way to do this will be to essentially release - if not "drop" altogether -
the tank. The shield is held in by the same fasteners and bracket that are holding the tank.
Dropping the tank may sound like an easy job, but pretty much all of the fasteners as well as the bracket are very very corroded,
so they could be extremely interesting to release. Never mind the fuel pipes etc. It reeks of one of those "easy" jobs that would
very quickly spiral into a major nightmare, just because of the brackets/bolts not having moved since 1992.
I'd be able to remove (what is left of) the undershield easily enough while carefully suspending the tank in place with a jack (and
block of timber), but refitting a new shield while doing that would be faffy indeed!

Anyway, thoughts greatly appreciated as always.

For info, I have a manual, so it's a single tank. The shield is marked 05165B in the schematic below, with the brackets marked
05107B and 05111B, with the four bolts going into them.


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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4746
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 23:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine (twin tank, auto) still has its shield. It has surface rust all over, but is in one piece. However, I doubt if it would provide much protection, should it hit a big rock. So I suppose the question is; are you doing the kind of green laning/ off-roading where you are likely to meet such dangers? If not, and the tank is otherwise  secure and sound, I would just tidy the remnants of the shield, and deal with whatever rust its removal now makes accessible.
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jejoenje



Joined: 20 Aug 2016
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Location: Alloa, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, so you've kind of hit the nail on the head there with the "deal with whatever rust its removal now makes accessible" bit.

Part of me is very tempted to use this as an opportunity to get at all the stuff around the tank I can't get to without the tank in place.
The rear underside of Selma is quite badly corroded in places, and I REALLY don't like the look of the fuel tank flanges, I.e. the bits
that are actually being held by the brackets, and the bit that the shield also attaches to. I can try to take some photos later to show
what I mean.
The various clamps and pipes running up, over, and into, the tank are also very corroded and crumbly looking.
The tank itself, I.e. what WAS protected by the shield, actually looks in pretty good nick (although again covered in layers of grime and
what looks to be thick underseal, so who knows what's going on underneath). There are no leaks.

Basically it is a case of being very tempted to go into preventative rust maintenance - but the anxious part of is currently huddled up in a
corner somewhere, rocking back and forth and mumbling "don't fix what ain't broken"... Laughing
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 18:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found these plastic fuel tanks in various sizes if you want to be free of rusty tank worries. Also very useful for anyone who wants extra, long-distance fuel capacity. After all, most modern car tanks are plastic. Also probably strong enough to withstand banging on the odd rock!


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Deker
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Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 16:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

One good reason to have a "Fuel tank" protector =

Apart from off roading - Fuel thieves use a nasty method to get fuel out of a tank   Mad

A Spike mounted on a jack, pierces the tank  Shocked    Catch fuel in a large container.
An extra piece of metal under the tank makes the "Pierce" method much more difficult.

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andyman



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 20:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShockedEvil or Very Mad That's a new one on me, but sadly, it doesn't surprise me.
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jejoenje



Joined: 20 Aug 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 20:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deker wrote:
One good reason to have a "Fuel tank" protector =

Apart from off roading - Fuel thieves use a nasty method to get fuel out of a tank † Mad

A Spike mounted on a jack, pierces the tank †Shocked † †Catch fuel in a large container.
An extra piece of metal under the tank makes the "Pierce" method much more difficult.

Mr D


Yikes!  Shocked
That is a new one on me, too!
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jejoenje



Joined: 20 Aug 2016
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Location: Alloa, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 20:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

andyman wrote:
I found these plastic fuel tanks in various sizes if you want to be free of rusty tank worries. Also very useful for anyone who wants extra, long-distance fuel capacity. After all, most modern car tanks are plastic. Also probably strong enough to withstand banging on the odd rock!


Thanks Andy. Yep the Audi has a plastic one, too, and it had occurred to me. To be honest, I may just wait and see how I get on. I think the existing one is actually in pretty good nick, and I don't anticipate the sort of off roading that would seriously risk damaging the tank. The only concern would be bits of gravel flying up during usual driving, but I expect that's pretty unlikely.
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Lewis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic tanks are constructed of steel, which has then been dipped in plastic, to reduce rusting.

Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Petrol tanks

39.ó(1) Subject to paragraph (2), every tank containing petroleum spirit (as defined in section 23 of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 which is fitted to a wheeled vehicle first used on or after 1st July 1973, and is used either for the propulsion of the vehicle or for driving an ancillary engine or equipment forming part of the vehicle shall beó

(a)made only of metal;

(b)fixed in such a position and so maintained as to be reasonably secure from damage; and

(c)constructed and maintained so that the leakage of any liquid or vapour from the tank is adequately prevented, so, however, that the tank may be fitted with a device which, by the intake of air or the emission of vapour, relieves changes of pressure in the tank.

(2) Instead of complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) as to construction, a vehicle may comply with the requirements of Community Directive 70/221 (insofar as they relate to fuel tanks) or ECE Regulation 34 or 34.01 or, if the vehicle is an agricultural motor vehicle, of Community Directive 74/151.




As for some plonker getting a spike through the bottom of mine; I reckon the Galvanised steel bashplate I designed and welded to the OEM Factory fitted one will make that very difficult:-


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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
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Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic should be okay for Jejeune's Deli, it's a diesel.
Wikipedia has this to say about automobile fuel tank construction:
"Two technologies are used to make fuel tanks for automobiles:

Metal (steel or aluminum) fuel tanks welded from stamped sheets. Although this technology is very good in limiting fuel emissions, it tends to be less competitive and thus less on the market, although until recent times automotive fuel tanks were almost exclusively made from sheet metal.

Plastic high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel tanks made by blow molding. Blow molded HDPE can take complex shapes, for instance allowing the tank to be mounted directly over the rear axle, saving space and improving crash safety. Initially there were concerns over the low fracture toughness of HDPE, when compared to steel or aluminum. Concern for safety and long term ability to function should be considered and monitored."
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jejoenje



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 13:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure the tank on the Audi (A3 8L diesel) is full plastic, but I could be wrong.

In any case, I'm not about to change the tank on Selma (no reason to), and if I were I'd look to get an OEM replacement from Mitsi.

I may still look to replace the undershield - the nuts holding both the shield and the tank are in better nick than I expected.
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