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Triumph TR6 - Leaking Fuel at -5 Degrees

Hey All.

Murphy came to visit me today. Managed to find out what that gas smell was in the garage tonight. Rear carb was dripping fuel. Since it's about 18 degrees F in my garage, it was loads of fun plugging the line. I removed the fuel line, inserted phillips head into it and tightened the clamp. This should hold until warmer times and I can get the carbs rebuilt. I noticed the fuel stopped leaking when I raised the line about 1/4 of an inch up. Maybe parking it for the season with a full to the gills tank of fuel was a bad idea? Wondering your thoughts on the matter. Also wondering how long I've got to live with the smell. The puddle was about a foot in diameter, so it was a decent sized leak.

I thought the smell was the snow blower I used this morning (I overfilled the tank on it). Glad I looked under the six tonight but wish I had done so this morning.

Poor Don... tired, smells like snowblower exhaust and premium fuel. To a TR6 owner that's perfume... to my wife, it's unpleasant. I think she'd prefer B.O. to the stinky fuel smell right now.

Garage doors are open to air out the smell. It's +5 degrees here in western New Jersey and heading down to -5 later tonight.

Wish I was in Mr. Gooch's neighborhood today!

Stinky Don in New Jersey
D Hasara

Hey, Stinky. Yup - IMO it's a bad idea to park for the season with a completely full tank. Hydrostatic head in the tank will push the fuel to the carbs. Any leak there (where was it?) will drip until the tank level equalizes or it's fixed/plugged.

Also, and potentially worse, if the carb needle valves don't hold 100%, gooseoline will flow into the engine, down the cylinders, and mix with the oil - which could wreck the bearings if the oil's diluted enough. Watch the dipstick if the gas was coming out out the carb throat. Change the oil before the spring come-out if you have any level rise or the oil smells like gas. So take a good drive the next warmish day and put it back in with 1/2 tank.

BB (oops - sorry for the typo)
Brent B

Brent,

Don't know if this makes sense, but the fuel appeared to be coming out of the bottom of the carb. Didn't really gat a chance to research it since it's sooooo cold in the garage. Just happy to have it stopped. It'll probably drip for another hour or so until it runs out of goosoline in the fuel bowls.

Thanks for the tip on the oil change. It never occurred to me it night run into the cylinders.

Since the interior it out and it's leaking like a siv(sic), a good drive is not in the near future. May have to syphon some fuel out if I see another leak. Real bummer...

Signed,

Stinky Don (I hope that name doesn't stick)
D Hasara

Not really a bummer - just disconnect & plug the line from the fuel pump to the carbs.

Sounds like that bowl plug o-ring is leaking, btw.
Brent B

Brent,

Done. Phillips head in the line and clamped. 2.7 degrees presently. O-ring probably hard and brittle. Hopefully it'll warm up a bit so I can get the carbs off and rebuild 'em.

Signed,

Stinky
D Hasara

BTW, how combustable are fuel fumes at 0 degrees?
D Hasara

Don
I do not know but do not think you want to find out.
Get yourself some absorbent stuff to soak up the fuel from the cement floor. Gasoline Fumes are more dangerious than raw gasoline.
Funny, I thought it was best to store with the tank full along with some stabil. No condensation in the tank....no fumes.
Rick C
PS Don enjoying some of that good old Canadian blast?
Rick Crawford

Hard to light at best. You can put out a match in a pail of gas at that temp. Just don't hold it at the top surface for long to get the fumes going. Get some absorb or kitty litter or just paper towels. Like Rick suggests. Get rid of excess. Put the stuff used outside to fume off and then dispose.

If its cement some will absorb so either let it vent. Or with wife gone out hold a match to the puddle area edge. Will burn off. No it won't be a raging flame. OH move the car first by the way!! Don't use that method with an ashfalt or gravel floor.

In the old days in Northern Canada an old seperator bowl half full of gas was often used under an old tractor to get it warmed up enough to start. Fumes burn low and hot no explosion unless confined. Go for breakfast.

Deisels took longer so we poured it in an old tire then lit. Before EPA and available hydro on the farm of course.

Bill Brayford

Update:

Fumes are much less in the garage this morning. Kitty litter on the sopped up spill overnight and the garage door was opened for a few hours after I plugged the leak.

I think if I'm going to store the car with a full tank in the future, I'll put the front on ramps to keep the carbs higher than the feul tank. After this mess, I see the full tank in storage as too much of a risk. I'm only happy I was around to catch the problem. For those with cars in storage, I'd suggest taking a peek at them. I believe the cold had some part to play in the failing seal. Thanks for the blast Rick.

I wonder how much more benificial storing with a full tank really is since it's only for a few months. Seems to me, after my snafu, the risks are not worth the benifits.

Signed,

Stinkus McFumus (a.k.a. Don from Jersey)
D Hasara

Don
Keep in mind that you found a problem and can fix it. Carbs should not leak winter or summer/ full tank or empty.
So now our cars a kittens eh Bill?
You are welcome Don:)
Rick C
Rick Crawford

There he goes againg, that Rick C.

Next thing you know, Goose jokes.

Ok. When the fuel tank is full, is it's level ABOVE the bottom of the float bowl in the carbs?

I can't believe that could be the case.

Perhaps a siphon was started when the o ring started to leak?

Curious,

Jim
Jim Deatsch

Jim
Bill mentioned kitty litter not me.
Yes a full tank is above the carbs.

"Perhaps a siphon was started when the o ring started to leak?" gotta agree on that statement. But might be more the Newton thing.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Since the interior is out, I'm able to check the carbs and the tank easily. The top of the tank is above the carbs. The fuel levels were so close that, after I disconnected the fuel line, if I raised the line a half an inch, the flow stopped. If I parked the car with a gallon less fuel in the tank, the leak may never have occurred. Because for bowl is at the carb bottom, I'm in agreement a syphon was in effect. This would have probably meant about anoth gallon on the garage floor until everything equalized.

It's a good thing I moved the car from the basement to the garage for the winter. I finished the basement which means playing with the six indoors is only possible in the cold garage. For those of you who may not know, a TR6 will fit through standard sliding glass doors provided you remove them from the tracks. Depending on your door mirror type, you may have to remove that as well.

Glad this mess was confined to the garage although the house did stink for a bit last night (no, I didn't have the chili for lunch).

-Stinky
D Hasara

Regardless of whether it's a siphon or not (I don't think it is) it would make sense to pull & plug the fuel line to carbs if one insists on storing with the tank full. Otherwise, store 3/4 full with some stabilizer in there.

And believe it or not - when I got home today (driving the van - I drove the TR6 yesterday), I smelled gas in the garage. Past experience made me lift the hood, and my 3rd (middle) carb was leaking - very slowly - from the unused choke module. Again. Yes - the tank is about full. Did I post a thread about #*^!! laughing demons once before?

It's epoxied up on the rotating end, and I thought leak proof, but the module construnction is kind of funky. My night is being spent rotating the disk in small increments to see if it seals. Otherwise it get's fixed this rainy weekend.

BB (ok - call me Stinky, too)
Brent B

Yes James a good portion of the tank is above the float bowl as Don found out. As Brent points out think of a simple water level

For home garage use Kitty litter works better than industrial absorb. Litter contains an odor eater substance. Kittens are great Rick. I'll take a little Pussy over a Goose any day? Not quite as urbane as the New Yawkers.

Yep a full tank sitting in the attached garage is better than a near empty one. Full tanks will leak usually enough gas that you pickup on it and do something about. Before spring when its leaking on your red hot exhaust manifold?
Near empty tanks explode not often but?

Bill
Bill Brayford

Brent & Don:

One of the local Model A guys (also a recent TR6 owner) told me many of their cars use a solenoid switch/valve activated only when the key is on, so if the key is off, no fuel flow. After my round last summer with the same problem, I'm still pondering that. Another parts guy told me about a kid that blew his valve covers off a 289 Ford after the fuel pump leaked gas into the crankcase. He tries to start the car, and BANG! I don't need it. Cooked Goose? Well......let's don't go there.

Rod
Rod Nichols

I've always disc and clamped the fuel line before the carbs and then pop the drain plug on the bottom of the carbs rather than have fuel sit in the bowl and possibly go gummy.
I top up my tank and add stabilizer.
(Use the clamps designed for neophrane rubber flex brake and fuel lines available at auto part stores )
Charlie
Charlie Ballard

Interesting that our British friends would design such a system that would induce fuel flow under less than ideal conditions.

I would think you'd want to introduce Stabil (as I do) then run the car/generator/bike for a few minutes to get it into the float bowls as well.

THEN shut it down and clamp the fuel line.

Seems to me a way to approach it.

Jim
Jim Deatsch

I have said this before. I agree on the full tank with stabil.I have installed a brass shut off valve just below the metal pipe out of the tank where it is rubber hose then back to the metal line that travels along the frame. Shut off at storage time, run the engine till it drains the fuel in the carbs. This is also helpfull at future repairs. With any level of gas in the tank, I can shut fuel off and work on the fuel pump, change the fuel filter, or work on carbs and not have to worry about fuel dripping on the floor. You all know the fuel filter is not exactly in a user friendly location for changing. Sorry to disagree guys but I do not think it is a good idea to leave a rubber hose clamped off for the winter. This little upgrade took me all of 20 minutes and cost me $10.00 and you do not see it.
Seems we all have our opinion on how to store our little kittens for the winter. Bottom line Don..carbs should not leak.
Brent, I think you nailed it down correctly. The needle valve. I changed mine to grose jets (or are they called goose jets). But since you will have it appart Don, I would also change the O-ring. You feel fuel at the bottom of the carbs but is it comming out the throat of the carb and draining down?
My 2 cents worth.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Rick,

Fuel didn appear to be coming out of the throat. It's dry now so a little difficult to pinpoint the exact spot. Choke appeared to have been leaking slightly as well. Bottom line... they're not supposed to leak, but they did. Will probably go the route of installing the shut-off as you did, but need to drain the tank before doing do... unless someone has a better idea or a better location to install the shut-off valve. Would probably want to put as close to the tank is possible and also avoid the heat of the engine compartment.

I can deal with the carb rebuild. I intended to do that once I had the interior back in (by the spring if we ever get one). I'm not too concerned it leaked... only bummed I have to live with the smell until it warms up a bit and the remainder boils off.

I haven't gotten around to removing the carbs yet to get a better idea of what happened. I'm shovelling today's round of snow - no thanks to the cold weather you sent us. One has to wonder if JayDee has a heated pond to swim in or if Jim goes out once in a while to rechisel the swimming hole for him.

Signed,

A slightly less offensive smelling Don in NJ
D Hasara

Don
No need to drain the tank. You already have the rubber line there now. Clamp it off as close to the tank end as possible. Cut the rubber line long enough to go over the new shut off valve. Install the shut off valve and remove the clamp. Now you can install the other end of the rubber line to the line traveling the frame. You might have to cut the metal line a little to fit the shut off in-line.
Don, not trying to be funny/smart re my "bottom line". We all seemed to be dancing around the issue and not offering up some help on fixing you problem. My friend, be careful how you keep yourself warm if you still smell gasoline in the garage.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Hi Rick
Just clarifying my previous comment...I made it sound like I leave the clamp in place..after I clamp the hose I then install a short hose that is sealed at one end then remove the clamp..I agree its prbably not the best for the hose to be clamped all winter
I like your idea for a shut off valve...off to home depot I go !!
Charlie
Charlie Ballard

This thread was discussed between 16/01/2004 and 18/01/2004

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