Replace an Evoque fuel tank shield

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New plastic tank still has metal shield, which rusts : credit: © Dave Barker
The fuel tank shield offers vital protection, but it corrodes badly. Dave Barker shows how it’s replaced

Need to know

Time: Around 2 hours.
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Tools: General workshop tools including ET10, 10, 12 and 18mm spanners and sockets, socket extension bar. Vehicle lift because doing this on the ground, or even with the Evoque on ramps, would be prohibitively difficult.
Model: Range Rover Evoque 2012 to 2018. Similar job, but different part on Discovery Sport.
Parts and Costs: Fuel tank shield (2.2 diesel and 2.0 Ingenium) LR041435, from around £185 to £307 depending on supplier and if aftermarket, OEM or Genuine.
Work Safely:
• Ensure axle stands or vehicle lift are correctly rated for the vehicle and in serviceable condition.
• Ensure the vehicle is securely on the stands or lift, especially if it’s a wheels-free post lift, before commencing work.
• Wear protective gloves or barrier cream to protect skin from fluids, oils and sharp edges of components.
• Wear a dust mask and eye protection as required when working under the vehicle.
Thanks To: Maddison 4x4, Water House Farm, Station Road, Topcliffe near Thirsk, YO7 3SG. Tel: 01845 587407, maddison4x4.com.

 

Most modern cars now have plastic fuel tanks which solves the old problem of fuel leaking when the steel tank rusts through. Surprisingly, this plastic tank design still brings rust problems because most tanks are held under the vehicle by a metal shield and metal straps. The Range Rover Evoque has a ‘saddle’ type plastic fuel tank which allows for the rear propshaft to run between the two halves of the tank. It’s similar to the design of the tank fitted on Freelander 2 which is held in position by a saddle-shaped tank shield.

On the Evoque, this shield fits over the tank and is secured to the underbody by a metal strap on each side. Like all things metal that are exposed to years of road dirt, water and winter salt, this shield corrodes away leaving the plastic tank exposed and vulnerable to damage.

Fuel tank shields are always prone to corrosion

​​​​​​On this 2014 2.2-litre diesel model with 91,500 miles on the clock, most of the metal of the fuel tank shield had rotted away. However, the two securing tank straps were still in very good condition and did not need to be replaced at this time. If it becomes necessary to replace these straps at a later date it’s a straightforward and easy job without the need to remove the tank, rear propshaft and rear exhaust.

You would think removing and replacing the tank shield should be an uncomplicated task: yes, removing the corroded shield is easy because there’s usually little of it left in place. But, because of the shield’s size and shape, fitting the new one requires the rear propshaft to be removed and the rear section of the exhaust pipe to be lowered.

These jobs are in themselves not that difficult, however this is not something that can easily be done with the Evoque on the ground or even up on ramps – it’s a job best done on a vehicle lift, and with the fuel tank as empty as possible because you have to release the fuel tank securing straps and support the tank.

 

Removing the old shield

Remove plastic guards: Two plastic guards (one each side) are secured to the underbody by six nuts (often corroded). They cover the front of the tank shield, so will be removed.

Access to strap bolts: Removal of the plastic guards allows access to the forward tank shield securing strap bolts at each side. We’re looking towards the rear of the vehicle.

Remove propshaft: Before removing the propshaft it’s advisable to reference mark the flange positions to ensure they’re refitted in the same orientation, and with new fasteners.

Propshaft bolts: It’s a tight squeeze to remove the bolts securing the propshaft rear flange to the rear Haldex drive flange. Collect reinforcement plates from under bolt heads.

Split the flanges: With bolts and reinforcement plates removed, a bolt was inserted through an unthreaded hole in the flange to assist in splitting the propshaft from the drive flange.

Release and lower: With propshaft temporarily supported, the bolts securing the centre support bracket are released from the vehicle allowing the propshaft to be lowered clear.

Remove the prop: The propshaft’s forward flange can now be released from the front drive flange, collecting the reinforcement plates, and complete rear propshaft is removed.

Haldex unit: It is also necessary to tilt the nose of the Haldex unit downward to remove the old shield. Here, the Haldex unit’s side mounting bracket bolts are released.

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Unplug: Before the final drive unit is lowered, the electrical multiplug is disconnected to prevent the wiring from becoming stretched when the unit is tilted downwards.

Remove bracket and tilt: The four securing bolts holding the Haldex unit support bracket to the Haldex are removed and bracket withdrawn, allowing the Haldex to be tilted downward.

Finally out: There is now sufficient clearance for the rotted tank shield to be lowered to the exhaust pipe and completely removed. It’s in a pretty poor state.

 

Installing the new shield

Split the pipe: The exhaust rear section needs to be split from the front pipe (cut the clamp if corroded) and lowered to allow the new shield to go over it.

Access gained: Before lowering the pipe, the rear silencer is unhooked from its mountings. Fuel tank straps are now visible, secured by a front and rear bolt each side.

Support and release: The fuel tank now needs to be suitably supported. Then, using a long socket extension bar, the securing bolts are undone and the tank straps removed.

New tank shield: New tank shield (part no. LRO41435) fits the early 2.2 diesel and later 2.0 Ingenium models. It cradles both sides of the tank, and humps over the propshaft.

Strapped in: The new shield is eased into position and the two tank straps fitted over it and re-bolted in to securely hold the tank and shield in place.

 

Reassembling

Rear end: The silencer is refitted and the exhaust pipe reconnected, then the Haldex unit and its support bracket are bolted back into position and the multiplug reconnected.

Prop and support: With the propshaft bolted back, including reinforcing plates fitted back under the bolt heads, the centre support bracket pictured can be bolted into position.

Check for fouling: Before finishing, the fuel pipes and their mounting bracket are checked to ensure the new tank shield cannot rub on them now, or in the future.

Last to refit: Finally, once everything else has been refitted, the two plastic chassis shields are refitted back into place to protect the underside of the Evoque.

 

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