How to: Remove rubber around the gas flap

Discussion in 'E9 Projects and Restorations' started by Stan, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    Is I continue to remove parts to prepare for paint, I ran into another snag. The gas door flap has a rubber dam that acts as a seal and to guard the filler neck from spillage. The seal around the door removes easily but around the hinge not. I don't want to tear it.
    What am I not seeing?

    making the "hack mechanic" look like a PhD

    Stan
     
  2. mikes

    mikes New Member

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    Gas door

    Stan,

    That gas door and rubber boot are a total pain. The gas door needs to come off to get the rubber boot off. You can gently push the rubber aside to work a 1/4" drive socket with a short extension onto the three nuts that hold the door to the car body. Once the nuts are off slide the door and rubber boot off, trying to keep the door hinge from rubbing the threads on the studs. The spring that holds the door shut wants to push the hinge against the studs. I damaged one stud taking the door off and had to buy a 5mm die to clean up threads. I don't remember the thread pitch, but I can find it if you need the information. It is a common thread for many of the nuts and bolts that fasten items to the body, for example the heater fan cover and headlights. I bought both tap and die since I also had to rebuild one of the welded on nuts on the heater fan cover.

    It sounds like I am just ahead of you in the process. My bare shell went to the body shop two weeks ago.
     
  3. Bill Riblett

    Bill Riblett New Member

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    Like mikes says, this is no fun. Leave it for the paint shop to deal with. The spring that holds the door closed has a lot of leverage. You don't want to damage the boot - they are NLA.
     
  4. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    And if you think removal is challenging, try mounting it. Definitely leave that to the body shop.
     
  5. Stan

    Stan Well-Known Member

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    Man, I wish you lived in York ME!
    Was it difficult to remove the "waistband" trim? I can see a lot of nuts and they all look a bit rusty! And rear view mirrors, what is the trick there?
     
  6. mikes

    mikes New Member

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    Belt line trim

    Stan,

    The belt line trim isn't too bad. Hit the nuts with a good spray on solvent and let them set a few hours before attempting removal. When you think you have them all you will find more way back in the rear seat pockets, way forward in the trunk, and beside the front door hinges. I salvaged some trim off of a badly rusted 2800 CS and those nuts absolutely won't come off. I was able to cut the bolts with a cold chisel without damaging the trim, but I didn't care about the body. With your west coast car, normal removal methods should work fine.

    Mirror removal is straight forward. You will find the screws, I think on the underside of the mirror, if not there, you will see them when you pull the glass.
     
  7. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    The base of the mirror rubber gasket has a small flap on the trailing edge, bend it back and there is a very small screw which holds the mirror stem to the base. Remove mirror and then remove base.
     
  8. kys911t

    kys911t Member Site Donor

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    Is there a secret to getting the door back on (nuts in particular). I have spent about two hours maybe more working on this, seems like longer and Im totally frustrated now even more than sometime my girlfriend get me. My hands now so swollen, red and bruised. I got the boot back on pretty easily and I can get the door back in place on the studs but the studs just do not seem to be long enough or the rubber suddenly seems to have got thicker and getting the nuts on yet with a washer seems to be almost impossible. Im still working on this. I'm getting disparate. Even thinking of shaving the rubber? Heating the rubber? Any suggestions? Going to work on something else for a while.
     
  9. John Buchtenkirch

    John Buchtenkirch Member

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    I installed mine in about 45 minutes just last night. A definite case of what mechanics & body men jokingly refer to as “Hitler’s revenge” when working on German cars. If you have really big hands you had better let your girl friend do it.

    I removed the gas cap (for extra clearance) and stuck the nut to my finger tip with body man’s strip caulking (also called dumdum in the trade) and reached around the corner & started the center one. I used a ¼” swivel head ratchet, an ultra short extension and a regular socket to finish tightening the nut. The upper and lower I started by loading the socket with the nut and turning just the socket and extension with my fingers, then I stuck the ratchet on for final tightening. The lower one is the worst to start, I may slot the hinge hole for it the next time and have that nut already started before the install.

    Personally the whole deal is pretty sorry :(, the rubber doesn’t seal to the filler neck so if you spill any gas fumes will get in the trunk. If I ever puff out the fenders I’m going to look forward to eliminating that gas filler entirely. Be nice to your girlfriends & wives, small hands could be a big asset on this job. GOOD LUCK :-D:-D:-D ~ John Buchtenkirch
     
  10. kys911t

    kys911t Member Site Donor

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    Thanks John!...I got a couple of suggestion on how to do this short of taking into the shop and have someone do it for me..so I'm going to try a couple of these suggestions before I get desparate and take it in.
     
  11. JhwShark

    JhwShark Member

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    I need one

    I am in need of the gas door...to replace a damaged one. :cry:
    Anyone have a spare??
    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  12. John Buchtenkirch

    John Buchtenkirch Member

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    This one photo says it all, I should have posted earlier. You can see the very short extension I used on the ¼” swivel head ratchet --- an even shorter one would have been better but I don’t think anyone makes one. You can see the strip caulk holding a nut on my finger tip and a screw on the tip of a screw driver. Now you guys know a pretty good body man’s trick :-D, one that even a lot of top mechanics’ don’t know. The strip calk is also good for sealing around taillights, side marker lights, antenna wires and filling holes. ~ John Buchtenkirch
    !!aa5.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
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  13. Sven

    Sven Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Reinstallation

    I just did this last weekend. It took about 20 minutes to get it all sorted.

    Step #1 - Install rubber boot around body flange. The three studs should be poking through the 3 holes in the rubber. Remove the two rubber plugs.

    Step #2 - Wrap the gas flap panel with a dish towel and tape. Some additional tape around the filler opening is probably a good idea.

    Step #3 - With the door spring in the "open" position you should be able to slip the flange/spring assembly around the body of the opening. At this point the forward tip of the mounting flange will bump up against the forward stud. Using a screwdriver with the tip of it's blade bent at 90°, from the trunk side, poke it through one of the two holes in the rubber boot. Slip it under the front lip of the flange and then pull towards the interior at the same time as pushing it forward, thereby slipping the flange hole over the forward stud. The flange should be over all three studs now.

    Step #4 - Thread a nut on the forward stud as far as possible. You should be able to reach through the opening to do this. The two rear studs will not stick out through the flange holes far enough to get a nut on.

    Step #5 - carefully close the flap door. It will not close all the way because of the towel. This should now have exposed enough of the rear stud threads to get the nuts on. Working through the two holes in the rubber boot (a flashlight inside the boot will help) and some putty (per John's suggestion) place the nuts on the two studs and carefully tighten them. Make sure they are not cross threading. Work all three nuts evenly.

    I do agree that this is not one of the more pleasant CS tasks. I did have an advantage because the fuel tank is out of the car, so I could sit inside the trunk space on a stool comfortably facing the rubber boot.
     
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  14. kys911t

    kys911t Member Site Donor

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    Did you use the washer too of just the nut?
     
  15. Sven

    Sven Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Yes, I was able to get an SS lock washer on. It probably is not necessary given all the spring induced tension that exists in the connection. You could get the nuts on first, get everything tightened down, and then pull them off one at a time to add a plain - and thin - washer. There is not much stud length available.
     
  16. alanmcg

    alanmcg Member

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    pic update

    hey sven,
    give us some update pics of your project - whats eta for completion?
     
  17. m5bb

    m5bb Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Thanks Sven and John for the instructions for replacing the gas filler door.
    I started out doing this without searching for this page on the forum. Needless to say I wasted a bunch of time and had to start over. What a PIA job.
    I did discover a tip that might help others.
    After constructing a handle to pull up on the edge of the mounting flange I still had a very difficult time trying to pull up and push forward on the door to get the back edge over the first bolt.
    Those springs on that hinge are quite strong.
    So I was sitting at my desk/workbench and had some bolts sitting there for the beltline trim and was able to wedge one in the hinge and tilt the hinge just enough that I could put it up next to the bolt and only have to pull a little to pop it over the top of the bolt. Success! See photo.
    I didn't have any body putty so a little upholstery headliner glue was handy and made the end of my finger very sticky to get the washers and nuts on.
    BTW you can put 2 nuts in the end of the 8mm socket to bring one out to the front of the socket so you can get it started on the bolts.
    So glad that is over with.
     

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  18. zinz

    zinz Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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  19. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Procrastinator Staff Member Site Donor $$

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  20. Keshav

    Keshav Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    I could be mistaken but aren’t those breather holes with the two caps missing on the new boots??
     

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