Thursday, February 7, 2013

*snif snif* What's that smell?!

 Nobody with a vintage VW want to smell that smell.

That "raw gas is leaking all over the place from somewhere" smell.

I had that smell after driving the bus to the Ethanol-free station a few days back, so I peeked in the engine bay and I did not like what I saw.

Raw gas on the right side wheel well , underneath the fuel filler door.

This was the first time I even remotely approached pumping in a full tank of gas, so I suspected that the sloshing of a nearly full tank with minimal to no baffling was taxing the cap and that not only was the gas cap probably leaking, the body to filler neck seal that prevents oversplill from the cap from running into the engine bay was also leaking.  After all, the cap seal is probably 47 years old, and the body\neck seal is at least as old and covered with overspray and such from over the years.

Time for another package from the good people at Wolfsburg West

The new cork gasket installed on the original gas cap.  With a new cork seal, the cap is nearly impossible to get on and off.  I hope it still vents properly (the cap is a venting unit) and doesn't allow negative pressure to build up in the tank as the fuel pump draws out the gas, or I will start to have fuel pump issues again, or lean-running conditions associated with fuel starvation.  That little Pierburg mechanical fuel pump fitted to the bus isn't made to draw against a suction created by a non-venting gas cap.

With the cap off, you can see the filler neck to body seal, here painted red and slathered with general goo from the road.  Must get that seal out, and it won't be easy as it is painted on, and hard as a rock from the passing of time.

So I put the gas cap back on, to keep junk from falling into the tank while I work, and go to it with a pocket knife, chipping away at the old seal until it frees from the body  and can be pulled out with a little brute tugging.  Here is the filler neck sans seal.  You can see straight down the side of the filler neck into the engine bay.  Not a good place to have gas dribbling.

And here is the archaic, petrified seal removed from the bus.  Hard as nails. Getting it out was a PITA.

With new seal in place, fuel filler area cleaned up, and the cap back on with the new cork seal.  The discoloration above the filler is  debris in the paint finish from the respray in 1986.  It would not clean up, but the rest of the job looks great.

I also swapped the 120 main jet in the carb for the 115 that Dad had in it.  Seems counter intuitive to reduce the fuel flow to the car when the air is cool and dense, but I'm having the sensation that under acceleration there is a slight bogging before the engine clears its throat and takes off down the road.  I wonder if the plugs are getting gooey from running rich with the 120.  The 115 sure seemed to make the car run lean last summer, which manifested itself in a hot engine.  Maybe a 117 main is the ticket.  Either that or I should just get used to the necessary weather-affected musical carb adjustments.  Such is the tinkerer's plight.

It is raining today, so I'll have to test my repairs tomorrow.  Fire extinguishers at the ready, of course!

1 comment:

Steve Reed said...

Oh, yikes. Leaking gas in a VW is never a good thing. (In any car, I suppose.) Remember when one of Dad's bugs burned because of a fuel line leak?