Friday, 21 August 2015

Rover 216 GTi restoration - part 2 'Removing the tank'

Finally got the petrol tank out after giving the tank retaining bolts a damn good soaking in plusgas. Having said that, the nuts still put up a fight which resulted in some slightly twisted metal where the hook-type bolts slot into. One end of the hook is a curved, mushroom head which fits into a slotted hole within the rear floorpan suspension crossmember and it's this hole that has opened up slightly. So add another job to the list - tidying up holes and replacing tank strap retaining bolts.

Removing the tank is easy as it's empty. Just make sure all the hoses, electrical feeds and rigid fuel pipes are disconnected first and only after fuel pressure has been neutralised by removing the fuel pump relay, starting the engine so it runs on residual fuel in the fuel rail and filter, and then letting it cut out. Another way is to put old rags around the bulkhead mounted fuel filter bleed screw and open gently to release pressure.

While under the car (supported on axle stands of course, in gear and with front wheels chocked) I started poking around the rusty bits. never a good thing for peace of mind but essential if only to fully realise the size of the restoration project.

here's some photos. 

Slight surface rust on fuel tank seams

Nearside rear sill

Offside rear sill

Nearside sill closing panel or lack of...

No tank - floorpan in great shape

Fuel pump exterior parts

The tank. 52 litre capacity

The lowered tank. Note the straps

Fuel sender connector

Mushroom head tank strap bolts

Two tank retaining straps

Slightly bent tank bolts

Filler tube (rubber)

Tank strap retaining bolt in position
The tank retaining straps are steel bands covered in rubber so will need careful inspection for corrosion and cracking. You definitely don't want a full tank of petrol dropping and scraping along the road so all these parts will be reconditioned or renewed.

Due to the layout of the rear suspension, I will have to remove it to enable clearance to get any cutting, grinding and welding gear around the inner sill to wheel arch area. While the suspension is off, it will be stripped, checked, sandblasted and powder coated with all rubber parts renewed using urethane bushings etc. New dampers and springs will also be fitted. At the moment, the problem that needs solving is how to enable the car to be moved in and out of the garage when the rear wheels and suspension are removed. I reckon some sort of cradle with large castors is in order.