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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

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Fuel Lid Hinge Repair

Author: Dennis W Saffro DDS

When I pushed the fuel-lid release button to open the fuel door on my 1974-1/2 Interceptor III Saloon and heard the awful sound of metal hitting concrete, I knew it was going to be an exciting day! The flap (lid) and part of the hinge were sitting on the ground and immediately my mind envisioned my poor Jensen screaming in pain from this open wound in its side. Not wishing to publicly expose this trauma to the outside environment and fearing that someone would ‘remove’ the gas cap or siphon the gas or both, I undertook the task of trying to figure out how to repair the problem.

After phoning Bob Gowdy, who is my mechanic and technical advisor, I discovered that the repair of a broken fuel lid hinge can be handled in four ways.

First, the entire filler bowl assembly which includes the hinge and gas filler can be removed and replaced as an entire unit. The unit costs about $200 and the labor to un-rivet, remove, replace and rerivet is an additional $70. However, it takes time to receive the part, like the year 2000!

Second choice was to remove the old filler bowl assembly, try to reweld the broken hinge and then reset the assembly. The approximate expense of this procedure is about $100.

Third, I could do nothing and embarrassingly drive around praying that no one would steal the gas cap, the gas or try some Rambo-like stunt such as dropping a match into the tank!

Finally, comes the way I chose to repair the broken hinge, and although the out-of-pocket cost was minimal, if you measure the hours I spent (about two), the shark-like damage to my hands, and the near-coronary frustration, then I calculate the cost was about $5000!

Now it is time to discuss the repair procedure, If you place your hand inside the area housing the fuel lid, you will be able to feel the hinge, split pins, washers, hinge spring and bracket (please see Figures 5 and 6). Having fingers like E T would be extremely helpful for these repairs. There are upper and lower brackets welded to the fender side of the filler bowl assembly. These brackets have a hole through the middle through which slides the hinge pin. This pin also passes through the bracket welded to the back side of the hinge arm itself. This is a solid bracket which fits between the upper and lower brackets welded to the filler bowl assembly. Therefore, the hinge pin passes through all three. This is the key to the repair procedure.

The hinge pin is held in place by split cotters at each end. Remove a split cotter and washer from each end. This is as about as easy as sticking your complete hand into a sewing thimble and then crossing your fingers! Next, spray some WD- 40 (or reasonable facsimile) on the hinge pin and try to slide it up and down. The hinge spring that is responsible for the fuel lid popping open will probably come off during this process. Pay attention to theposition and direction of the hinge spring so you can replace it correctly later. You can actually remove the hinge spring just after the split cotters and washers are withdrawn, by slipping each end of the spring off the pin.

Once the hinge pin is loose and moving up and down freely, push the pin up from the lower bracket so it just clears it. Then angle the hinge pin and the ‘door’ bracket slightly towards the gas cap to clear the lower bracket, being careful not to bind the pin against the upper bracket. Then gently slide the pin and door bracket downwards to clear the upper bracket, freeing those pieces from the car. You are now the proud possessor of the two pieces of the broken bracket, all ready for re-welding. Ensure that they are aligned properly. Chances are that they will only fit together one way! However, should this not be the case, compare your broken pieces with an intact one in a fellow Jensen owner’s car. Weldment of the two pieces can be done by any competent welder and should cost about $10. I happen to have a welding kit (Fedco $29.75) and did the welding myself.

However, I am a dentist by profession and am acquainted with solders and metal melting equipment and procedures. I would not suggest you attempt this task yourself unless you are mechanically inclined and safety oriented (like safe sex).

After the broken hinge bracket is repaired, reverse the steps used during dis-assembly. Leave the lid off until the very end. This procedure will be as equally frustrating an experience as removing the hinge.

However, successfully completing this task will be far more rewarding. You will have accomplished what no other moron, other than yourself, has previously done! Now retire to tending your cut-up hands, high blood pressure, headache, backache, neckache, legache, and retrain yourself so you are once again speaking in a language that is not filled with words four letters long!

Item #DescriptionQuan.R.H.D.Item #DescriptionQuan.R.H.D.
61filler bowl assy comp less lid1CT618077Washer-nylon-lever to bowl265555
62filler bowl assy1CT618178Pin-spiral -lever to bowl1S409
Not ill.hinge assy17177679Switch -warning light191254
63hinge pin17329580Locknut - switch to bowl191255
64split pin26675381End stop - switch191256
65spring - hinge17329082Actuator spring173632
66Solenoid1CT395383link - rod - lid latch174664
67Locknut - solenoid16535184Washer - nylon - link to lever165555
68Adaptor screw - solenoid17406085Push on fix - link to lever1S395
69Locknut- solenoid to rod16535286Latch173174
70Spring - return - solenoid17318487Washer - nylon - link to latch165555
71Rod - solenoid17317788Push on fix - link to latch15395
72Operating liver - solenoid17317389Washer - fibre - latch to bowl265556
73Boss - lever17371790Locknut - latch to bowl265353
74Locknut - born .o levy16540391Grommet - filler bowl166600
75Washer-nylon- solenoid to bowl16555592Lid - filler bowl173791
76Push on fix - solenoid to bowl1S39593Washer - plain - do., to hinge365503

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