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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was smelling gas vapor after driving & parking in the garage. I also needed to move the charcoal canister a little to make room for the vacuum accumulator for the OE cruise that I'm adding. The canister bottom filter smelled pretty gassy and the hose that runs over to the valve on the intake manifold was about shot as well. I saw a couple of posts about refreshing the canister & decided to take a swing at it.
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This was the filter at the very bottom of the canister. The filter on the top side of the screen was mostly deteriorated (the charcoal sits on this filter when right side up).
I used a hack saw blade and cut about 3/4's around the circumference to access the filter on top of the screen & to remove old charcoal.
 

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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's the old smelly charcoal that I emptied out.
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Scuffing pads '6" x 9" and Topfin charcoal (Petsmart's house brand of charcoal for fish tanks $15)
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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used the lid from the Topfin charcoal as the pattern for the two new filters.
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139381
 

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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The filter at the very top of the canister look to be in good shape so I reused it.
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Charcoal granules were just a little larger than what I removed but expect they'll do the job.
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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next step, fill canister with new charcoal & insert first filter.
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Re-install screen by pressing back in place.
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Next, install second filter on the very bottom & tuck it in around the lip/flange full circumference.
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Re-install the two mounting clips after painting them, install new hoses. The fittings where the hoses go on top of the canister are labeled carb & tank and are different diameters.
Done.
 

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+1 to make this a sticky post. Way too many people around here ask about this procedure for this post to not be made permanent.

Well done.

Rick
 

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I did the same to my 86 a few years ago & replaced all the hoses , still get gas smell in the garage after a drive .
 

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You are going to smell gas, always. The canister isn't a sealed unit, so not much different to having a gas soaked rag laying around. Smelling it and having it drip on the garage floor are somewhat two different things. You'll even get a gas smell coming from the carb itself as any unused vapor in the intake works its way back up out. The only way not to smell gas is with TPI or similar closed system.
 

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I also agree that this is a through DIY posting. I don't know if it applies, but I used to work for a company that made Environmental Cleanup Equipment, that used a "charcoal like" medium for adsorbing the fumes. The fumes were then released when put under vacuum. Same principal as our cannisters. My thought is that while the medium we used looked like charcoal, it was a specific medium used to attract VOC's ( Volatile Organic Compounds, or in this case, Gas Fumes). The medium was actually plastic, and when looked at under a microscope, it looked like the surface of the moon- lots of craters. Those craters are where the VOC molecules are stored, and it's the material's specific Affinity for the VOC's that make it work (Ion Attraction). They will store the VOC's until put under vacuum, and can become saturated if not purged regularly.

I think the repair procedure is valid, but I think I would go a step further and find a fairly new Cannister in a Pick and pull, from a newer car with only a few years of service, and then use the Medium from inside that cannister rather than Fish Tank Charcoal. At least then you know you have a specific material designed to do the job. The bottom filters used to be available at Rock Auto or other auto stores. Don't know if they still sell them or not. The Red Scuff Pad idea may work, as long as the medium doesn't work it's way through the pores, and that it also allows the vacuum to build inside the cannister to allow the VOC's to release.
 
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Next step, fill canister with new charcoal & insert first filter.
View attachment 139384
Re-install screen by pressing back in place.
View attachment 139385

Next, install second filter on the very bottom & tuck it in around the lip/flange full circumference.
View attachment 139386 .

Re-install the two mounting clips after painting them, install new hoses. The fittings where the hoses go on top of the canister are labeled carb & tank and are different diameters.
Done.
Next step, fill canister with new charcoal & insert first filter.
View attachment 139384
Re-install screen by pressing back in place.
View attachment 139385

Next, install second filter on the very bottom & tuck it in around the lip/flange full circumference.
View attachment 139386 .

Re-install the two mounting clips after painting them, install new hoses. The fittings where the hoses go on top of the canister are labeled carb & tank and are different diameters.
Done.
Good job Gabe! (y) I would follow Darby's suggestion on the late model charcoal can, makes sense to use the correct medium for it. Let us know how it works after awhile of driving! :unsure: Good luck with the cruise control project! :cool:
 

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1983 El Camino SS - Choo Choo Custom
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Darby & Rick,
Recommendation makes sense, will look next time I go junkin'.
No fishy smell so far, tho may have to rename it the Big Tuna!
Gabe
 

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Darby & Rick,
Recommendation makes sense, will look next time I go junkin'.
No fishy smell so far, tho may have to rename it the Big Tuna!
Gabe
Can't make a joke about the fishy smell :eek: but good luck and keep up the good work! (y)"You can Tuna a car but you can't Tuna a fish" ;):cool:
 
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