The gas tank was probably original. Its Inside had
a coating that might have been original or might have been applied at some
The inner coating started to delaminate and come
loose. Smaller bits would clog the fuel filter. That's not so bad since
a modular filter costs little, and allows for easy cleaning.
The major problem was the larger flecks of delaminating
coat. These would get sucked op against the tanks pickup tube and block the
flow of fuel. I could run at idle, but what fun is that? As soon as I'd stand on
the gas, the carb would lean out and the engine stall.
The worst such case ruined a weekend with friends at
the delta. I ran out of battery restarting the engine after each stall ! I
had to to be towed in AGAIN !!
I removed the tank and took it to a radiator
shop for boil and coating. The knucklheads at the radiator shop let the coating
fill in the tiny gap between the pickup tube and the bottom of the tank!!
I took a coat hanger wire and hammered
the tip to an edge so I could reach into the tank a bust out the coating that
had clogged the gap. Imagine the sight of some guy in his garage with a flashlight
and a wire poking around down the neck of a gas tank. Sheesh!
To top things off, the new coating didn't
fix the problem. Apparently the boiling didn't remove the old delaminating
coating. The new coating only added to the problem, as it flaked off with
the original coating.
Clearly the tank needed to be replaced.
But what in the world did this tank come from?
The tank is rectangular with a 1 inch
flange around the top. It fits precisely between the boats stringers. Obviously,
whatever it came from had the tank fitted between the cars chassis bars the
same way (if indeed it came from a car).
After visiting every junkyard in the
county, I was no closer than before. I thought it might be from an old VW
Bug because it's so small - at about 6 gallons. But the local VW bug specialists
shops said they'd never seen it before.
What to do, what to do! I took a photograph
of the tank and posted it on some nntp news groups. I got a couple of replies,
on of them stating that he'd bet s 6pack of the King of Beers that it was
from an MG Midget.
Ok, that was good to know. A few days
later, at my local bar, contemplating a beer on the patio, I noticed a couple of
dudes drive up, in MG bug-eye sprites each! After talking with them, I went
for a dive to look underneath each car - Wallah! That's it I proclaimed.
At long last, the mystery was solved.
I now knew where this tank came from. Buying a new one was the easy part.
Since my new buddies had done the restoration their bug-eyeds they hooked
me up with a specialty catalog company that deals in MG parts.
Not only that, but along with the new
tank, I purchased fuel level pickup so I could have an accurate reading of
how much fuel was in my tank. No more being towed in AGAIN! due to running
out of gas! I had tried one of those one-size-fits-all pickups, but it didn't
work. The tank is only 6 inches deep, and those crummy universal things are
made for much more modern vertical tanks.
Anyhow, it was good to have the mystery
solved, and more importantly, the problem solved. No more clogged gas filter,
no more pickup tube obstructions - Yipee!!!