View Full Version : TR4/4A TR4A clogged fuel filter

05-18-2018, 10:15 PM
The tank on my 1965 TR4A has been cleaned and recoated twice. After a couple hundred miles, the after market filter, which is before the pump, clogs causing car to miss. Thinking tank coating was separating, tank was pulled, cleaned and recoated. Both done by professional radiator shop. The “stuff” found in the filter and fuel drained from the line was the size of 2 pinheads and smaller. Light green on one side and black on the other. When squeezed between thumb and finger, the stuff disintegrates. Car runs fine with new filter, until clogged again. I was blaming the tank again, then I checked the fuel line from the tank and found a thin coating of residue. When pulled out with a pipe cleaner, it became a green powder. Also, the tank coating manufacture told me the coating would break off in chunks, not the way I described. The lines are copper - nickel with rubber fuel tubing connecting. A fuel line manufacture did not think it was possible that the lines were the cause. At this point, I don’t mind changing the tank and lines if that would solve the problem. But I’d like to know the problem. Anyone with a similar issue?
John DeLuca

05-18-2018, 10:29 PM
How about moving your filter to after the fuel pump. That way you use the filter on the pump . You are less likely to get a stall or gas stoppage with this arrangement.

05-18-2018, 10:51 PM
That's my thought too, assuming you still have the original style fuel pump. Let the sediment bowl work for you; clean it and change the filter as necessary.

Sure sounds like corrosion of some sort; but even E10 shouldn't attack copper/nickel like that. Is there any chance it sat for some time with something else in the lines, like rainwater?

I had a somewhat similar issue with my TR3, which I attribute to the paint shop removing the cap and leaving the filler neck open (in spite of my specific directions to tape it off). Took some time, but all the dust from sanding and painting eventually caked and blocked the fuel line. I cleared it by blowing compressed air backwards through the line, then letting the sediment bowl and filter (after the pump) catch the dirt. No problems since.

05-18-2018, 11:04 PM
If there is that much stuff coming through would you want that in the pump? I would get several disposable filters and just swap them out as they get clogged up and hope that eventually it will all get flushed through the system.

Have seen several threads here about tank sealant and flaking issues. What fuel are you using? Ethanol free?

Moss does have tanks both Aluminum and Steel but they are expensive.


05-19-2018, 08:31 AM
" ... Also, the tank coating manufacture told me the coating would break off in chunks, ..."

Coming from the coating manufacturer, that's not very reassuring!

If you poke a cloth swab down into the tank and wipe the sides, does the swab pull up something similar to what's in the lines and filter?

Tom M.

05-19-2018, 10:20 AM
My guess is that if you install a new tank ($175 from Victoria British, if I have things right, plus not insignificant shipping), blow out the lines, and put the filter downstream from the pump, your problems will go away. I've never liked the clean and coat approach. Just my 2p.

05-19-2018, 10:50 AM
I presume the TR4 tanks are like the TR3 tanks with baffles in them. If so it would be difficult to get complete coverage of all parts of the tank.


05-19-2018, 06:38 PM
Plus one for new tank and replace the copper/nickel lines with stainless steel or similar.

05-19-2018, 10:33 PM
Thanks to all who responded. I’ll answer as best I can. My thinking on the filter location is to filter before the pump. Chance of stuff getting into tank or lines was pretty slim. Kept everything sealed. Chances of happening twice? Gas does have ethanol. The tank is clean...as far as I can see. That’s part of the puzzle. Maybe behind the baffles as suggested. Stainless lines would be nice, but a pain to bend, at least for me. Maybe another brand of copper-nickel. I’ll install a new tank and give the lines a good hard look, then decide whether to change or not. Thanks again.

05-19-2018, 11:35 PM
I am using plain copper lines that I got from an AC place. Are there any downsides to copper lines. Went with copper as it is easy to bend and will not corrode.


05-20-2018, 08:15 AM
Copper lines are not very durable in this application...they tend to work harden from all the movement a car goes thru and can break or leak unexpectedly. Use cupronickel lines which are designed for brakes and they are pretty easy to bend and install.

05-20-2018, 08:48 AM
Hello Rut

Thank you.

Will look into sourcing cupronickle lines.


05-20-2018, 09:32 AM
I am using plain copper lines that I got from an AC place. Are there any downsides to copper lines. Went with copper as it is easy to bend and will not corrode.

The only downside I know of is that it "work hardens" when repeatedly worked, between an engine and a frame for instance, and tends to get brittle and crack. It is very resistant to corrosion. Hardening and cracking is not a problem when properly installed, with a loop for example, usually. Copper nickel might be better but no reason in my opinion to change.
As for "stainless" which incidentally is a name given to hundreds of steel alloys, none really any better than copper nickel although I suppose you might want to polish it. https://www.bssa.org.uk/faq.php?id=10
If you are still set on stainless you can get it in annealed rolls although the supplier probably gets a greater benefit than the user.

05-20-2018, 11:27 PM
As I have not fitted the line from the connection to the tank I may go ahead and order this line and redo the front section later.