It was a Jaguar XJ V12 with Lucas injection. In front of a traffic light the driver smelled gasoline-like… We're not gonna be kidding about Lucas. The brand was so neo liberally wrung by its clients that they could guarantee delivery, but not quality. And even that in moderation. We are simply talking about a classic with everything that surrounds it. Likewise problems with the fuel system.
Despite the fact that the current fuels mainly consist of excise duties, they still do a good job in terms of combustibility. Often no longer in the way that petrol used to smell so good and the factory data on ignition time is still like the workshop manuals, but still.
Much suffering unnoticed
A garage owner who has silently specialized in classics has kept track of the fact that in three quarters of the customer cars that come to him for the first time, things are not in order during the fuel route. This often concerns just 'worn out' or outdated fuel hoses. And just as often he wonders why that classic has not already gone ablaze.
Hoses age, harden, become porous or crack
Hose clamps will rust. A fuel pump is a wearing part, just like a water pump. If you're lucky enough and have a classic that just breathes in through a carburettor - or as many carburettors as you can think of - then you have an advantage. That whole stuff is usually clearly visible and reasonably accessible when you open the hood. Fuel pumps, on the other hand, are usually mounted somewhat hidden. The car will have to be on the bridge to gain insight into this.
With injectors there is a good chance that the injection pipe and hoses are on top of the block. The thermal load there is unfavorable. The probability of ignition in the event of leakage is optimal. Optically these snakes often look even better than they are. The approaching infarction or aneurysm only reveals itself when the tube is cut open.
Take a good look first
Of course, the whole thing starts with the visual inspection of the hoses and the mounting clamps. Keep in mind that the pipework under the hood is exposed to possible greasy contamination and aging due to the varying thermal load. The suspension and mounting points of the pipework must also be checked. And assume under the car that the case there is already suspect if there is a layer of tectyl on it.
There is usually also a filter in the tank. The associated O-ring is also a point of attention. Just like the fuel return line.
Fuel accumulators and fuel filters are also items that require regular replacement. The composition of gasoline is, as we already noted, very different from the days when we still put tigers in our tanks with impunity. Not only has that changed the smell. The stuff that nowadays includes a hefty dose of acetone - nail polish remover! - exists is also 'thinner' or 'leaner'. This increases the risk of internal leakage in the high pressure part of the system. In turn, internal leaks can cause fuel to get into the engine oil.
As a result, that lubricant loses a serious part of its lubricating effect
So if you notice that the oil level in the crankcase has risen while checking the oil, it is not a cause for joy. Give the dipstick a sniff or hold a lighter flame at the tip of it. If the oil then starts to burn splatteringly, then there is a problem. There are people who say that ethanol killer gives modern gasoline the right juiciness again. We are still looking into that.
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