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Post  David2010 on Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:38 am

i've just been told that it is possible ( without too much fettling ) to fit a Mini right hand tank in both the Elf & the Hornet.
Does anyone have a photo of such a tank - also a close up showing the alteration required to the filler or better yet a drawing
complete with measurements.
Mini right hand 5.5 gallon tanks are readily available from a number of Mini specialists, but because of their cost (about 250 pounds)
I would be very reluctant to purchase one unless I could be sure of a successful outcome - an Elf capable of holding 11 gallons !!

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Post  superworm on Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:23 am

I have a Left hand Elf/Hornet tank on the righthand side of my ELFie. It is possible to fit since the spout on the E/H tank is pretty much normal (as in 90degrees) to the side panel as distinct from the mini tank which is at quite a severe (!!) angle as it comes out of the threequarter rear (back) panel of the mini and is thus useless to our requirements...as is the special mini RH tank unless a) you can afford one and b) you know a good welder who can move the spout!

I have made the exit hole for the spout in the exact opposite place to the left hand side ... both vertically and longitudinally (ie height above the bumper flange (below the top edge of the fin) and fwd from the rear light swage....big enough to accept the spout grommet (from Minispares, etc)


My tank is mounted on an identical support as the left hand tank....'appen get one from the same source (scrapper???) as your tank:::

Mini spares lists this ..not sure if its the same as for the LH tank;;

As the RH tank will effectively sit further back than the LH, the straps I used were two "long" straps rather than the LH's 1 short and 1 long:


These are bolted to the rear seat panel and the boot floor, as for the LH tank, and joined with a longish (3") 5/16 UNF Screw ( screw has thread all the way to the head while a bolt has thread only part way ..the rest being "plain" diameter) ..and nut...you can be "posh" and braze a nut to the boot floor strap to replicate the LH tank short strap and dsipense with a "loose" nut. Again. iirc, I fitted a support bracket to the rear seat panel to fill the gap between seat panel and tank to stop the tank moving fwd as the straps are tightened.

I then used a 6" piece of ss braided pipe (similar to http://www.minispares.com/Product.aspx?ty=pb&pid=38653&title= but longer) to fit the feed spout pipe from the tank to get the fuel pointing forward as the feed spout is (obviously) now pointing aft (more anon). I then used copper nickel (cupronickel?) 5/16" dia pipe to go fwd to a hole in the boot floor (grommeted!) for this pipe (and the plastic vent pipe from the top of the tank).... (methinks and also the main battery cable...busy little hole!!) . iirc correctly, I had a longer piece of the ss braided pipe to actually go through this hole rather than pass the metal pipe through it and joined up to another metal pipe going to a new pump....

(While I'm in the boot (trunk!!!) you will neet to fit the (later) slim battery (if you're not already) and pack that out towards the centre of the boot (with a lump of wood in my case) else you'll have to remove the tank (OMG!) every time you need to replace said battery!!)

(Again, while I'm in the boot, I'm not entirely enamoured with the feed spout on the tank being pointing at the rear of the car (shades of Mustang Mk2 as our colonial freinds will testify!) as it appears to me to be quite vulnerable in the even of a "Rear Ender" (steady on boyos!!!!). If I ever remove my tank, I will have it properly flushed to my welder's satisfaction and have the feed spout welded up and a new spout now welded to the (now) front of the tank.)

Now we have two feeds under the rear subframe..one of which (LH) goes to the existing SU fuel pump. We now need another SU pump (and its mounting bracketry) affixed to the opposite side of the sub-frame. The outlets of both pumps must now be fed (via metal and braided rubber pipes http://www.minispares.com/Product.aspx?ty=pb&pid=38653&title= to a metal "T" piece (I think I made this myself using 5/16" cupronickel pipe using silver solder braze (not soft solder!!)....the logic behind this is that the non-return valves in the pumps stop the fuel from flowing from one tank to the other (to cut a long story short...my buddy fitted a RH tank to his rally mini feeding both tanks "Teed" to one pump...he filled up the tanks and then parked up with the nearside wheels on a high kerb..he then wondered why a large qty of his fuel was in the gutter)...this story is getting longer..hope no-one is getting bored!!!....the leg of this "T" piece now needs connecting to the underfloor (or wherever) existing fuel pipe. If you have access to a pair of in-line 5/16" NRV's (Non-Return Valves)..Google it???, you'll get away with just the one pump but you'll have to figure out how to determine the contents of t'other tank.

We now need to feed the pump with electrickery so a wire is needed to go fwd towards a new (Double Pole-Double throw (DPDT with On-Off-On configuration)) switch....similar to :


...But I think the hole size required of this particlar switch is a bit on the tiny side (6.2 mm dia)...a 12mm dia hole would be better and match existing switch hole size...I'll have to surf a bit more ... can't remember what the manufacturer of my switch was...I'll maybe have a shuftee behind my switch panel soon...

just spotted this on evilbay ...just the ticket...


Anyway, we also need a wire from the tank contents gauge to go fwd to the same pole side as the pump feed. The existing pump and contents gauge goto the opposite side of the DPDT switch. The existing tank contents and pump supply feed goto the centre contacts of the DPDT switch....I'll appen generate a wiring diag if you can't figure this out!!!...my wiring is routed upwards to the roof and goes behind the headlining and down the front RH (A) pillar and along the parcel shelf to the dash panel.

The net result is with the ignition on and the switch flicked to the left, you get feed to the LH tank pump and the LH tank contents are displayed in the dash Speedo Fuel Qty dial gauge....With switch flicked to the right, the LH tank feeds are switched off and you get feed to the RH pump and the RH tank contents are displayed on the gauge. With the switch in the centre (Off), there are no feeds to either pump and the contents gauge displays "full" ....leave the switch centralised when you leave the car and if anyone tries to nick your Elf/Hornet, having hot wired the ignition, he will only get as far as whats left in the float chamber(s) will take him (1/4 mile??) before the carb runs dry and Elfie/Hornetto will splutter to a halt.

By definition, both pumps and Qty display are dead with the ignition turned off if you've wired it up properly.

You only need to hack a piece out of the RHS of the removeable wooden boot floor panel to allow clearance for the new tank.

Phew...hope this helps


PS when I first fitted my RH tank, I was most disapointed with its "performance".... I was hoping (11 gallons!!!!) to get from Lancs to Devon on my hols on one filling.... unfortunately, I had also fitted a 1.5" SU with a totally B*ll*cks needle in it... I only made it as far as Bristol before requiring a fill...needless(!!) to say, I now get quite a loooooong way on my twin 1.25" SUs and 1071 "S" engine!!! (anyone need a 1.5" SU with adapter plate to fit a regular E/H inlet/Ex manifold ???)

Last edited by superworm on Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:44 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added PS....added e-bay ling o DPDT on-off-on toggle switch)

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Post  David2010 on Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:12 am

Alan, your have answered all my questions about the fitting of a right hand tank.
Your advice about requiring a slimmer battery if an ordinary left hand tank is installed on the right hand side is of course correct.
However, the right hand tank as available from Minispares / Minisport has an indent running along that side of the tank adjacent to
the battery - so no need to change the existing battery.

My main worry was/is that if I purchase a new Mini right hand tank - the services of a skilled welder/fettler will be needed to modify the
filler neck assembly so as to allow the filler cap to be positioned at the exact opposite place on the right hand wing - in other words an
exact mirror image of the existing left hand filler cap position on the left wing.Twin tank Mini Cooper S variants manage this effect well.

Since raising this enquiry a local Hornet owner (not yet enrolled on this site) has told me that his Hornet has the twin tanks with perfect
filler cap simitary.The hard part - the modifying of the Mini right hand tank filler - was done by a local garage who simply removed the left
hand tank and used its filler spout geometry as a pattern for the left hand side - obviously as a mirror image if you follow me.

The problem of petrol overflowing when the car is parked on a slant was solved by running the overflow pipe from each tank across the
boot ceiling and having the right hand overflow pipe exit through the overflow hole provided for the original left hand tank and the
overflow pipe from the original left hand tank exit through a new overflow hole on the right hand side of the boot floor ( its exact
location being a mirror image of the existing left side hole ).

My Hornet friend used the same metal band and mountings for the new right hand tank as those used on the original left tank.
I believe that 2 SU Pumps were also installed inside the boot interconnected via a T piece to both tanks and controlled by the same
switch on the dashboard you described with the option to power up either the left or right pump (or neither one for anti-theft purposes).
All very complicated to describe - but I'm hoping I've got my facts right for this next project.


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It will look something like this.

Post  Red Riley on Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:40 am

I used a plastic tank from Paul Gulson in Australia. Simply using the Mini Cooper twin tank connection pipe with the single stock pump. The neck is not at the right angle for the Elf, but other than that it fits. One of these days I'll get around to cutting it and gluing it back on at the correct angle. Yes, glue, it's plastic.


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Post  Toga on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:42 pm

I used a Mini R/H tank, cut the neck off and fitted a rubber adaptor pipe to get the right angle. Worked a treat. It'd be much cheaper just to fit a bigger L/H tank though !

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Post  Naughty40 on Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:31 pm

Not sure if it is of any use to you,but my son has some converted left hand tanks,if you would like a picture please either pm me or mail to


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Post  1071kev on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:05 pm

My Mk 1 Elf has a standard mini R/H tank, factory fitted. The fuel pumps are mounted differently from the Cooper S set-up but you can use all the standard parts required for a R/H tank in a mini saloon. The neck does come out at a different angle but it still works. When I repaired my car I fitted the tank stand and strap mounting plate as it had prevoiusly been fitted but feel they need to be moved closer to the arch to get a bit more clearance for fitting the filler cap. I may try to modify the neck at some point in the future.


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Post  RobBFG on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:46 pm

I've been there already aswell. The joke of it is: There is still more room in the Elf boot than my Rover Mini Cooper with it's 7.5 tank!

While I had the original tank out I used it as a template to make the mirror image tank. Sorry but I don't have an interior shot at the moment.

I bought a tank and fitting kit from Mini Spares with the thought that you just cut the filler neck at an angle, turn the end through 180 degrees and weld it back on. Unfortunately, while I believe this is what the factory did originally, the mini's filler neck is just too short for that plan.

Plan B (as shown):
I found a scrap mini tank where the neck was sound and cut the neck off flush with the tank. This was then welded to the new tank by a friend of mine and has proved to be a winner.
Now I can't find my template for cutting the neck off the new tank, which is not going to be much help. I do know that the angle across the neck makes one side 1cm longer than the other, but I can't find the actual length that the stump needs to be.

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Right Hand Tank for my Mk.1 Elf

Post  David2010 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:28 am

Only found your fab photo to-night - still getting the hang of this site !
Yes the general feeling is that in the absence of templates or drawings - the safest thing is to use the existing Left hand tank's
filler neck / spout as a template and have a skilled-at-the-welding friend do the business on a Minisport sourced Right hander only
of course in mirror image.

Would welcome a close up of your tanks's fixings and plumbing if you can post a photo.
Best wishes from Dublin

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