Fiat centoventiquattro ongoing fix it again

Ahhhh yes. You think things are going your way but really the elements are conspiring against you. Within an hour of making the Berlina run I get a call from the better half. “Uh… I smell gas strong in the Fiat.”

“Where are you?”

“Right in front of work.”

“Where is it coming from? trunk? Engine compartment?” I am already pulling the gas tank out in my mind

If you’re reading this blog you’ve experienced this sort of thing. That night I spot a puddle forming under the passenger side rear corner below where the gas tank lives. Great.

There is dirt, there is gunk and a spaghetti of fuel lines and wires but no reason for the bottom of the gas tank to have rusted out.

The bottom of the gas tank is rusting from the outside in and yet the inside of the fender is perfect as is the inside of the tank. ??? I held this up to the light and saw some very small pinholes. With gas that’s all it takes to form a stinky leak.

You think I’m kidding… there is not any rust in here, that’s dirt and dust from 1975 in there.

I spent Saturday morning pulling out the gas tank. I thought about using JB weld to fill the hole but after I bead blasted the bottom of the tank I saw that I was going to be spot curing the tank monthly for years if I didn’t fix it all at once. I had a can of POR 15 gas tank sealer left over from a motorized bar-stool racer restoration project so I dried the gas tank in the sun for an afternoon then coated it.

The tank sealer is silver and thick. I spent about an hour rolling the tank around to make sure the inside was well coated. Here you see the inside of the tank after 24 hours of drying, only 72 hours to go before it will hold gas.

The coating process was very easy but this was a car that had a clean gas tank so I suppose it should have been expected. Two hours after starting to pull the gas tank out I was sizing up the 101 1300 rebuild for the Sprint. I’ll let you know how the seal works next week. Up next… driving the Berlina.


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