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I took it all to bits today and de-soldered the gauze so I could see what was behind it. Interesting! There was a steel tube about 1/2″ diameter, 2″ long with a plug soldered in the end. This in turn was soldered to the inside face of the end plug for the tank. The gauze was outside this tube. Of course it was a sealed system so the cable/spring went in from the outside and just moved inside the steele tube, moving air backwards and forwards 😆 This also explains why it leaked no oil through where the cable entered.

So, sometime in its life this has been bodged. At the moment I’ve left it with a blanking plug until I can find out how it should function and be assembled. Answers below if anyone knows….

On the plus side I removed the tank as part of all this and got a mountain of debris and dirt out of the oil and petrol tanks. It never hurts to wash your tanks out with paraffin every couple of years.