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ideas for temporary fix on fuel tank leak


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19 replies to this topic

#1 thook44

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:00 PM

'94 legacy wagon

my neighbor, whom i bought the car from, said the leak is up top of the tank near the filler neck area. he said it's where the tank has been making contact with car body. so, i can't fill the tank completely or it will leak. otherwise, it doesn't.

 

he bought a replacement tank and gave it to me when i bought the car and, as any of you probably already know, the whole rear end has got to come down to replace it. but, until lately i've not been comfortable with doing that big of a job myself. and, at the moment, i have too many other things i need to move on (home renovations, etc) before winter hits.

 

i've considered draining the tank, drilling with a hole saw above the leaky area, and using a durable sealant. since the body has seen better days and i'm not concerned about my pageant show appearance, a hole won't bother me. safety does, but i've used hole saws many times in metal without ever noticing spark. (i don't think it does?) out of necessity, i made an access panel for the fuel pump in my '92 with the tank still in place and the vehicle and i are still here. not saying there isn't a better idea with this subaru, though

 

so, if any of you folks have any ideas that you know of, can think of, or have done that might last until next spring, i'd love to hear about it.

 

btw, i know...swapping the tank out is the best fix, but if there's another way to get me by.....


Edited by thook44, 15 September 2017 - 09:07 PM.


#2 thook44

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:34 PM

duh...sorry. just found on a machining forum. spray/pour water where i'm using the hole saw. little heat and no sparks (if there even would be)

 

still, if you have tips on a durable sealant that you have good experience with, that would be nice

 

thanks



#3 moosens

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:47 PM

Before you do any of that verify the previous owner didn't wrongfully diagnose this.
Just do yourself one favor before going wild.

Check the fuel filler neck itself. Causes the same issue.

I've got a new one for early Legacys. Good luck.
Post back.

Edited by moosens, 15 September 2017 - 10:48 PM.


#4 dominical1

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:50 PM

try Seal All

read down the post half way or so

 

http://www.s10forum....nk-leak-480326/



#5 thook44

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 12:27 AM

Before you do any of that verify the previous owner didn't wrongfully diagnose this.
Just do yourself one favor before going wild.

Check the fuel filler neck itself. Causes the same issue.

I've got a new one for early Legacys. Good luck.
Post back.

 

the prev owner is my neighbor and good friend. he knows exactly where the leak is...which is why he bought the tank. but, his career keeps him on the road a lot and so never had/made the time to swap the tank out himself. there was a point when he had to let the vehicle go due to different circumstances and so sold it to me to cover other expenses of his

 

i did ask him if he was sure it wasn't the filler neck or even the pump and connections. nope. he thoroughly explored those possibilities. in fact, when he was shopping around at yards to find a replacement tank, he discovered many of the tanks he ran across had the same leak issue in the same spot and speculated it was a common problem in this model. really, he had a very hard time finding this good one

 

anyway, now the problem is mine..haha



#6 thook44

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 12:28 AM

try Seal All

read down the post half way or so

 

http://www.s10forum....nk-leak-480326/

 

thanks! i will read on that tomorrow



#7 idosubaru

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:54 AM

Sounds like it was checked out but it is true that filler necks rust and leak all the time. I'd want an eye on it first as well before doing anything else.

I wouldn't want to do what you're doing. there is zero margin between nothing and catastrophe with gas. It's not like you have a second or can back off or run.

That said get all the gas and fumes out of it first.

So if there's a home does that mean debris and then metal fillings are going to get into the tank?

#8 thook44

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:50 AM

well, he's off on a business trip right now, but i did send him a message asking one more time if he was sure it wasn't the filler neck. it was my intention to get him to actually show me the exact location he says it to be last he was home (helping me with my brakes), but due to circumstance we only got so far before he had to jet off to take care of something else. he's suppose to be back monday

 

i know, i know...it's gasoline..fumes...all that fun stuff where next thing you know you're looking down at yourself. or what was once you.

 

it's my understanding the hole is rather small. but, i surmise i ought to be able to use a shop vac to deter any possible debris/water invasion with a shop vac running while hole sawing (from reading that machinist's forum)

 

anyway, i'm looking into the possibilities. you just never know. you could find just the info you need. i figure i'm never the only one that's ever run into whatever kind of situation before, so look on the web (for example), and viola!...."oh yeah, i did this and it worked out great. i lost my arm, but hey...it worked!" (i'm kiddin')



#9 ferp420

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:36 AM

I had a 1963 ford van that was crusty as all could B i used gas tank sealer epoxy on the holes in the gas tank and it lasted longer than i had the van it was just orealys gas tank sealer

#10 thook44

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 12:06 AM

either the seal all or the epoxy at o'reilly sounds like it'll work

 

i did a bunch of reading on repairing it. it really doesn't sound the hole sawing will be a big deal in terms of safety prep. nevertheless, i will of course drain and out gas among a couple of other procedures.

 

heard back from my neighbor. he's 110% positive of where the leak is:

 

"it's where the rubber isolater meets the car body. spent a lot of time determining this before purchasing the replacement tank. it was a common problem on this model"

 

to know the man is to know that's what the problem is

 

now, the real problem is determining where i need to hole saw.......AFTER i manage to get all the dirt off that's accumulated on top of the tank.  whew!! it's a dirt cake up there. if i'm correct, that isolater is located between the pump and where the wheel well is relative to drilling within the cargo area. there's just not a lot of room there much less a flat surface in which to drill

 

phooey

 


Edited by thook44, 17 September 2017 - 12:07 AM.


#11 moosens

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:52 AM

Man , just be careful.

The "common problem" associated with not being able to fill the tank is the filler tube. But if he insists and you insist then please go ahead as planned. But don't end up like Wile E. Coyote.

Good luck

#12 heartless

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 08:24 AM

my 95 Legacy had a similar issue - I did replace the filler neck on it (it needed it) and still had problems with fuel leaking if I filled it too full. So yeah, I can without a doubt say that it does happen.

 

good luck with the repair... not gonna be a fun job no matter what you do



#13 CNY_Dave

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:11 PM

An empty tank is actually more dangerous than a full one.



#14 sirtokesalot

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 04:49 PM

i have had luck using p.o.r. 15 to fix the gas tank on my 1987 bmw of witch a new tank is in the 600 dollar range and im not dumping that kind of money into this car. ive been patching it for years i have to redo the patch work every about year and a half. i just paint it on many coats of it and it seals up the tank that i can fill it up without leaks. if the hole is big you might want to put some kind of fine mesh there before you start coating it in p.o.r. 15



#15 thook44

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:16 PM

my neighbor's well aware of the filler neck issue. like me, he was hoping that was the problem when he learned of the leak. but, it's not

yes, yes...i'll be careful...haha. thanks for the concern. i mean, i'm not ready to go just yet. nor get maimed. pain sucks

 

$600??!! whoa! yay beamer..haha. (they are pretty cool cars, though)

i've known about por15 for a long time from the toyota 4x4 world. i'd seriously considered trying to save the frame on my old 4runner, but it was expensive for me at the time and i would have needed a lot. so, weighing in everything it would've been a costly attempt at saving it unless i could actually get inside the frame, too. it would have been like putting a band aid on a chain saw wound. i did not realize it was fuel resistant. but, whatever material i use to patch it i won't need much since the hole is rather small. and, it's not like you can just buy a little por15. i may consider it later down the road for some rusty areas on the body if this converter stuff i have doesn't work as intended. having said that, i'm not sure how much more money i want to put into this car, either. i just need to keep it going, as it were

 

as for safety, it occurred to me yesterday that my brother in law is an industrial welder. apparently he'd welded the fuel tank on my other sister's car, as she has told me. so, he could likely guide me on safety ideas and relatively easy course of action. i have read on atleast one other forum wherein guys needing to repair/weld their auxiliary fuel tank empty the fuel, air it out, and then fill with water. some even using exhaust funneled from the tailpipe of another vehicle into the tank. even getting all that sorted, still...i have to work out the drilling area logistics. just haven't made the time to take the necessary measurements. but, filling it with water sounds like a real pita considering there's not a drain plug on these tanks. (or is there? i read there isn't, and i haven't seen one)

 

anyhow, thank you for all the input



#16 sirtokesalot

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 09:30 PM

it can be bought by the quart online around 30 bucks. it does work but after around a year and a half you can see bubbles forming and if u poke at them and pop them there's gas behind them. if my bmw was not so rusty and high miles i might have put a tank in it or repaired the tank properly but the car has an estimated 340,000 miles on it and at this point im just driving it into the ground. the rust has taken over and every summer i keep saying its gonna die this year but it just keeps on going. ive owned it since 121,000 miles and paid 550 for it. only changed the timing belt and water pump.



#17 thook44

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:01 PM

340K....nice!! i've a friend who loved "older" beamers. it just got to where he couldn't afford to keep them. the little things here and there that needed repair....and i don't remember what they were. he had a white one i was smitten with...don't know what model/year. i was sad for him when had to let it go...haha. yeah, cool cars, but i couldn't have one where i live, anyway. my old peugeot did okay with the lsd rear end...just not near enough clearance

 

i imagine that'll pretty much be the fate of this wagon; drive it until it dies or not worth repairing. i love it, but like with dropping the tank i'm afraid what'll break in the process because of rust. so, i'll just spend what money i absolutely have to to make sufficient repairs until i can get an early forester or maybe an early RAV4...without rust!!



#18 ThosL

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 04:21 PM

Fairly common to the fill spout or top end to leak at some point, I think I may have that, I just don't fill it up; the last had that problem.



#19 keith3267

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 06:37 PM

Rub a bar of bath soap over the hole.



#20 thook44

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:22 AM

lol...no man. i've read about the soap trick, but i really don't think that'll work very well

 

it's moot now, anyway. the sun hath quite unexpectedly shown upon me today with great fortune. without offering too many details, my wife and i now have a well cared for '98 red CR-V with an easy 135k soon to be in our possession. needs a couple of minor repairs, but it's cleaner than your teeth after a visit to the dentist. i'm blown away

 

so, the suby will get some very uncomplicated rust treatment and will be stored as a back up vehicle until we feel it's time to do something else with it. perhaps a swap of the motor and tranny into something or sell it off as a parts vehicle.

 

i thank you all for the generous time and input you've shared on this, but now the problem is no longer something for me to deal with

 

cheers






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