It was Tracy on the phone. She was on the side of the road with a nice police officer behind her with his lights on. The car was dead, again...
     When we started this project it was our intention to build a unique vintage sportscar with the power, handling, creature comforts, and reliability more in line with that of modern automobiles. Well judging by the fact that I autocrossed Sharky last week and beat about half
the cars there including two Porsches, the handling is there. The power is about like that of your average anemic economy car but we'll be changing that before too long. Creature comforts? Let's just say it's more creature than comfort for now! Reliability has been pretty good though. We have had, and will continue to have, minor issues until we have finished with our upgrades, but in the two years that we have had the car there has only been one malfunction that has caused Haifisch to coast silently to the side of the road. The thing is that this same problem has occurred three times! After running the tank low on fuel, dirt would get in the line and clog it up. We didn't usually run the tank very low anyway because the needle in the fuel gauge would start bouncing all over when it got down below a quarter of a tank (I can think of times when I could have used that attention-getting feature in MY car!). Anyway, it was time to do something about it.
     The problem had to be dirt or rust in the fuel tank so we pulled it out for inspection. This is easily done on the Ghia by simply removing a few bolts and hose clamps and lifting the tank out of the trunk. The next step (shown above) was to take the fuel gauge sender out of the top of the tank so we could have a look down inside. I noticed that the little pad that rubbed the thingy that sends the electrical signal to the gauge wasn't rubbing very hard and that the thingy was dirty. So I "fixed it" while we had it out (it never worked again & we finally bought a new one).
 
    Gee, do ya think THIS could be the problem?
     You're looking at a bunch of gross brown dirt/rust? being dug out of the bottom of the fuel tank where the fuel line attaches. Looking in from the fuel sender hole though, the tank looked really good inside so where's it all coming from? There is a vent line that runs along the top inside of the tank and exits near the filler hose that lets the air escape while you're filling the tank. It was full of this junk.
We cleaned it out with a coat hanger and our high-pressure hydraulic flushing system-er, garden hose with a spray nozzle.
 
    Tracy prepares the tank for painting with a Scotchbright pad. She's getting good at this...