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TR2/3/3A Help!! Gas smell from Tr3!

Jprmm15

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I need some suggestions. I am currently have my fathers 59 TR3 sitting in my garage while we are restoring another one in his. I took the 59 off the jack stands last night, put gas in it and it fired right up. Great cruise last night. Anyway, the tank had no gas in it all winter and now I walked into my garage this mornin and the gas fumes are quite bad. There are no leaks that I can find anywhere. Anyone have a remedy for this? My wife gave me the hairy eyeball this morning about this and I don't want to have to give this beauty back. Is this just the way they are? Help!!!
 

Mickey Richaud

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Common trouble points are the little cork seals at the bottom of the carbs - where the choke jet enters the carb body. Cork dries out over time and needs to be replaced.

Let us know what you find.

:cheers:
Mickey
 

TR4

Jedi Knight
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I too would suspect the carbs first. You might want to take the car out for a short run and then take a paper towel and see if you find any fuel leaking on the bottom side of the carbs. Then follow the fuel delivery system back to see if any other spots might offer up traces of fuel.
 

JohnnyMead

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The joint between the carb body and the float bowl is also a leaky place.
In addition to the carbs, I would second Phil's suggestion about following the fuel line. You may be able to catch a small leak before it deposits gas on your garage floor. I really got the evil eye over that once!
Also, the fuel tank is vented and I've noticed that that puts out gas odors - sometimes rather strong.
John
 

martx-5

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JohnnyMead said:
...
Also, the fuel tank is vented and I've noticed that that puts out gas odors - sometimes rather strong.
John

I get those gas odors from my vent also, but usually only when the tank is full. For some reason, when it gets to 3/4 and below I don't smell it anymore...or maybe by then I've just gotten used to the smell... :sick: :laugh:
 

Marvin Gruber

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I would guess leaky carbs first but raise the trunk lid and see if the fumes gets stronger. You did mention tank had no gas all winter. Put my money on cork in carbs first.

Marv
 

JohnnyMead

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Jprmm15 said:
Guess I will have to drive it and find out. If it was the carbs, would the necessitate a full carb rebuild?

Maybe not. If the cork jet seals are the problem you could take the jet assembly off and replace stuff, but I discovered it was pretty easy to take the whole carb apart and replace all the leaky, cruddy bits. Once the carbs are off the car it is way easier to understand their construction.
I'm no expert, just having fun learning as I go.
John
 

TR4

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I agree with John. Rebuilding carbs is quite easy if all you need to do is replace O-rings and cork. If the throttle shafts are worn enough to require sleeves though, I would send them to a professional. At least, that's what I did with my ZS carbs.
 

Moseso

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All good suggestions. After going through all those place on my old TR, I finally had to admit that the pin-hole leaks in my fuel tank were the source of the smell. Small enough that the tank wouldn't empty over the Winter -- large enough to create a distinct odor in the garage with the aforementioned effects on my wife too.
 

60TR3A

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My recently-acquired '61 TR3A smells exactly as my first car, a '60 3A did back in '64: a heady mixture of gas and leather, rubber and steel. I love the smell but I'm guessing what the O.P. is smelling is a bit more than the old car smell I'm enjoying.
 

JohnnyMead

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TR4 said:
I agree with John. Rebuilding carbs is quite easy if all you need to do is replace O-rings and cork. If the throttle shafts are worn enough to require sleeves though, I would send them to a professional. At least, that's what I did with my ZS carbs.
What I did was cure the gas leaks and the sticky pistons, etc. then over the winter I sent the carb bodies out to be re-bushed. With cleaned up carbs it was easy to disassemble and send them in.
 

TR3driver

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I mostly agree with all of the above; except that I wouldn't even consider rebushing the carbs at this point. Just change the jet seals (Moss has some O-ring replacements for the cork that work <span style="font-weight: bold">much</span> better in my experience) and the float bowl gaskets (which never last more than 2 or 3 years for me). You'll need to recenter the jets and readjust the mixture afterwards, but those are basic skills that any TR3 owner needs to know. And not difficult at all, once you know how. For a first time, it's probably worth removing the carbs from the engine just so you can see better what is going on. But both operations can be done fairly easily with the carbs still mounted on the engine.

To check for leaking carb seals, touch your finger to the bolt that holds the float bowl; and to the bottom of the jet (clevis for the choke lever). If your finger smells of gasoline, the seals are leaking. They almost always start out not leaking enough to drip, just enough to stink.

Moseso's comment about the fuel tank is on the nose, too. Real easy for a pinhole leak in the bottom to go overlooked, except for the smell.

Oh, and you might want to consider some better ventilation for the garage :laugh:
I installed one of those "power attic vent" fans so it runs whenever the garage light is on and the air is above 75F, which greatly reduced complaints from SWMBO.
 
OP
J

Jprmm15

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We replaced the gas tank with a brand new aluminum one last year because of this same problem, pin hole leaks. We thought that was where the smell was coming from but now I know it's something more. 3 hours until I can get home and fire her up to check out leaking carbs, but that probably sounds right. I just rebuilt the carbs for our 60 3 so maybe I will throw those on there temporarily to see if that helps. I wish it was leather and steel smell. Thank you guys for all the posts. I will keep you updated.
 

Moseso

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Jprmm15 said:
We replaced the gas tank with a brand new aluminum one last year because of this same problem, pin hole leaks. We thought that was where the smell was coming from but now I know it's something more.
While that should fix the gas tank problem, it's not an actual GUARANTEE of doing so. The aluminum tank replacement I bought had one little-teeny hole in one of the welds. After doing EVERYTHING else I could to find a leak, I finally pulled the new tank out and tested it with an air hose and soapy water -- and found the smelly place that needed to be repaired. Among other things, my nose told me, as much as I didn't want to pull that tank, the trunk was where the odor was strongest.
 

tomgt6

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All the above ideas are good, but you all forgot the most import 2 rules.

1st don't let the wife in the garage

2nd if she does go in the garage open the door before she gets there or leave a window open.
 
OP
J

Jprmm15

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Well I drove her like she was stolen tonight, great VT night to do it. A little bit of moisture at carbs so I will get new gasket set. I also found the glass bowl on the fuel pump is letting a drip every few seconds out of the top. Is there a gasket for that? I've tried to reset and tighten it but it is still leaking pretty good. I think that's 75% of my problem. Any ideas?
 

Mickey Richaud

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Moss has a rebuild kit for the original fuel pump. Check item # 37 here.
 
M

Member 10617

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Sometimes people tighten the knob under the glass bowl too tight and flatten out the cork gasket that fits between the bowl and the lid. This results in gas leaking out. If you take the glass bowl out -- carefully -- and check the gasket, you may find that that is the problem. You can get a new gasket from Moss or TRF.

It's probably a good idea to check this gasket every now and then (once a year?) to see if it has dried out and deteriorated. Also, it is a good idea to check the bowl to see if there is any sediment in the bowl.

I also found that what I once thought was a leaking gas pump was actually a leaking inlet pipe to the pump. Replacement pipes and replacement pumps are known to leak there. Problem is that the inlet pipes are no longer available from the major distributors. But Macy's Garage can make one for you if that is the problem.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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TRF will sell just the sediment bowl gasket, P/N 500418.

Not sure if it is the same one they supply in the rebuild kit, but if so it is made from an ethanol-resistant synthetic 'rubber' that should last much longer than the original cork.
 
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