Fuel tank destroyed

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 09:53
ThreadID: 95158 Views:2584 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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Just a short note that may stop someone having grief.

A while back I noticed the front tank on the troopy was starting to create quite a vacuum when I removed the fuel cap. I went to the trouble of stripping the cap and cleaning it out so that the one-way breather became functional.

Recently one of our work utes started to run out of fuel all the time. While this was a bonus in the way of the operator having to pay up a carton each time, something was wrong.

I had to go and get it started a couple of times and each time we would put in 20 litres to get it going and then when filled it would only take another 20 litres. The first thing you think of is a hole in the fuel pickup pipe or a slight leak in the system that will not allow the pump to lift the fuel after the tank gets down to a certain level as it is easier to drag in air.

The end result was because the breather was blocked it had sucked the top of the tank in dramatically. The tank was completely destroyed and had to be replaced.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:20

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:20
Hi Rockape,

Valuable information. Our Troopy, petrol with two tanks, displayed the excess vacuum problem a lot of years ago, though there was nothing obviously wrong with the relief valve. Final solution wasn't very satisfactory - provide permanent vacuum relief!

Another Troopy one worth knowing about :

Our Troopy uses two solenoid operated valves to select which tank is in use. One valve selects the tank to draw from, the other the tank to return excess fuel to. But - if either valve fails, you can draw from one tank and return to the other. Fuel is pumped from one to the other, creating an overpressure problem and forcing fuel out the filler cap and also into the antipollution filters. High pressure fuel is there too after the engine stops. We had the situation once where it forced it's way through to the carby which overflowed into the inlet manifold and down through the open valve into the lowest cylinder. Result - next start, a hydraulic lock and one con rod bent into a banana shape. Fortunately no other damage, so it was expensive but cheaper than a replacement engine. All due to one little valve that got stuck.

Like your vacuum tip, a good lesson in not ignoring the little things.


J and V
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AnswerID: 484259

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:57

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:57
Good one John. At a guess I would say the 100 system is similar. Were there any symptoms that would be a warning to the driver?

FollowupID: 759507

Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:25

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:25
I raised this issue on another forum and people would not believe me.

My brother has twice had his tank sucked in.....it wont happen agian.

Fortunately he got his early and managed to beat his with a stick thru the filler and fuel sender holes and blow it back out with compressed air.

It all came from a blocked breather.

First time he found the breatther controll valve was clogged and not working so it was removed, the second time it was the open end of the breater pipe.

its particularly bad in diesels that work in dusty environments......what happens is the opening or the valve gets dampened with diesel and as air is drawn in to vent the tank it brings dust in with it.
Cycles of drying, moistening depositing of dust and the apature is sooner or later blocked solid with a quite hard plug.

If you've been arround red soil, you could swear some sneaky so & so had filled the breather with "stag".

So the diesel pump now just sucks the sides of the tank in

so pay attention to ya fuel breathers....I've extended mine with the diff & gearbox breathers and fitted a gortex filter, but a cheap fuel filter will do the job if you have a breather hose.

AnswerID: 484260

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