Posts Tagged ‘fluid leak’

Smokey Says, Only You Can Stop Fluid Leaks #2

May 21, 2009

Here’s another installment in this apparently all-too-necessary series, mostly based on experiences with my new-to-me Lancia Beta. While replacing my fuel pump, I noticed a pretty intense fuel smell in my car, and had problems with some oily goop dripping out from under the passenger compartment. I also had issues with the fuel getting to the electric fuel pump, and then from there to the engine. After finishing replacing the pump, I pulled up the carpeting in the car, and guess what, the metal fuel lines run inside the passenger compartment, under the carpet, next to the cotton-fiber-and-tar matting that acts as insulation and sound-proofing material. Apparently the matting had absorbed moisture at some point in in the car’s 30 years, which resulted in rusty fuel lines… or maybe the moisture was in the fuel lines from the long years of storage, since there was a plastic coating around them. In any event, the fuel lines from tank to pump and pump to engine were perforated and leaking as much fuel as they could into the matting.

Lancia Beta stripped interior


Smokey Says, Only You Can Stop Fluid Leaks!

May 16, 2009

While this is not a terribly sexy thing to fix, it’s definitely one of the things people like me tend to put off while focusing on cooler things like rebuilding an engine, or redoing the suspension. However, this is something pretty inexpensive you can do in the space of an afternoon. Does your old car still have those fuel hoses with the cloth on the outside? And the cloth is faded to a greyish-brown shade? You might want to think about taking on this easy and cheap repair. Likewise, have you had a chance to take a look at the flexible brake and clutch lines on your rusty-but-trusty car? I’m ashamed to admit mine were pretty cracked up, and I only did something about it after years of owning both my Alfas.

One tip to avoid spillage – use a clamp wrench when disconnecting your fuel lines. Once you’ve disconnected, poke them into a small container, like a quart oil bottle, then remove the clamp and let the excess fuel drain out. As far as the brake lines are concerned, that’s a little harder… I put down a pan underneath, and really, not that much fluid comes out. At any rate, this is a good time to flush your brake fluid, which in all likelihood needs to be replaced anyway. I’d like to say I have some pics I can share of this, but I’m not finding any pictures I took of the embarrassing shape my brake lines were in. I guess I was wise enough to erase the evidence!