WHEN it comes to factory fuel fillers, in most cases form tends to follow function, which can sometimes leave a vehicle less than appealing visually.
This car's previous owner had the left-hand quarter panel smoothed out and the filler relocated into the quarter top with this gigantic fuel door. It looked pretty ordinary
Relocating your juice hole can rectify this, whether hiding it behind hinged number plates or tricked-out tail-light mechanisms, or the bolder approach of relocation on the body. The latter can be a nice upgrade, turning a once bland-looking stock piece into more of a feature. Let’s have a look at how to spruce up an already-relocated filler.
The entire section is cut away using an air hacksaw, in the process giving the ends of the hole a rounded edge. This will reduce warping when the patch panel is welded on.
A fresh piece of 1mm sheet steel is then knocked into shape via the English wheel, giving it contours to match the surrounding area. It is then aligned and TIG-welded into position.
A new ‘pop-up’ filler is sourced. Being slightly smaller than what we ideally would have liked, we decide to machine up an outer trim ring. This will help protect the car's paint if the owner ever fumbles to get the fuel pump nozzle into the hole.
A ‘seat’ is made to accommodate the fresh trim ring. Once we’re happy with the size of everything, a new hole is cut into the freshly patched area.
The seat piece is then gently inserted into the hole at the correct depth for the trim ring to sit flush with the quarter top. Once aligned, it is then TIG-welded into place.
With these parts fixed into their new position, attention can now turn to inside the boot area. Some plumbing is re-routed, cut to size and welded to suit the new filler’s location.
After the quarter top receives some body and primer work, final machining on the trim ring’s outside diameter can be made to compensate for such things as paint thickness. A bracket will also be attached to the base of the filler neck on the underside, pulling the filler down to seat it in the trim ring’s machined recessed centre; this will hold everything in place once painted and sealed. Inside the boot, some hoses for a breather and between the filler and the tank will be added.
After a final machine to flush the rounded top off the aftermarket cap, things are now looking pretty slick
SO THERE you have it – an easily accessible fuel filler requiring only a few pretty straightforward and simple modifications, leaving the side profile of this ride looking extra clean. As with any body modification, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it can be a great way to personalise your ride. It certainly trumps generic bolt-ons.
If this looks good to you, why not give it a go yourself? Enjoy.