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fuel filler pipe leak - 97 OBW


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20 replies to this topic

#1 JohnVT

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 07:25 PM

How common is this leak? I discovered a little puddle of gas this morning near the right rear wheel, and noticed the pipe appears to have rusted under the "PROTECTIVE" shield, which was full of dirt and probably salt - 6+ winters in Vermont! Didn't notice this spot that should have been cleaned regularly!
This is a really bad design, especially for the "salt belt".

Is this usually just the filler tube replacement? or do I probably need more parts? How much do they cost? Appears to be available at the dealer only?

thanks for help and advice!

John

#2 Commuter

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:01 PM

Drat...

Now you've got me wondering how my 97 OBW is after 6 years in S. Ontario.

Hopefully the annual Rust Check is doing it's job.

Commuter

#3 JohnVT

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 08:35 PM

It looks pretty easy to keep clean once you know that it needs to be cleaned -
just a water hose into the top of the shield in the right rear wheel well. Of course, if the damage is already done...

#4 nipper

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 10:49 PM

Get a car in enough slat and the right weather conditions, gas tanks will rot out. They have many places for salt to sit and eat thru things.


nipper

#5 JohnVT

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 11:29 PM

Get a car in enough slat and the right weather conditions, gas tanks will rot out. They have many places for salt to sit and eat thru things.


nipper


right - so why build an obvious (to the designer) place for salt to sit in such a critical spot (fuel) that isn't so obvious to the user until it's too late?

just wondering

but back to my question, should I buy just the pipe? will I need to replace more than that? how much will the parts cost?

thanks!!

#6 nipper

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 11:38 PM

Well speaking from the design end, it is very hard to say what worked in 97 wouldnt work in 2005. There are many trade offs, and if it makes you feel better, other cars do it too. The fuel tank is in a forgotten spot, that people tend not to wash.

Unfortunitly, I would suggest that the tank be inspected to make sure it doesnt have any other issues. Fuel tanks can be repaired.

nipper

#7 Setright

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 12:21 AM

At least once a year, maybe end of fall/autumn or perhaps end of winter, get under the car with an inch wide paint brush and scrub off all the dirt/sand/salt and stuff that's caked on. Use goggles (maybe a mask too) and a good light. The amount of crud in the top of the suspension towers is astounding!

Then, rinse with water, let dry, and apply underbody sealant.

#8 JohnVT

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:53 AM

now - the worst part is that I can't get a new one in Vermont, or perhaps anywhere in the US right now. I'm told this part is on NATIONAL BACKORDER!!

I think I read in another thread that somebody patched theirs for a while - guess I'll go look for that and try it.
or maybe find a used one - but my favorite salvage yard is closed on Mondays.

#9 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:08 AM

EEEk

next time my car gets on lift ill have to inspect mine too

nipper

#10 BigMattyD

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:24 AM

I had to get mine replaced last year, it was leaking, but I had a shop do it, only because I am not familiar with those types of repairs, I think I paid around 100 bucks to have it replaced.


matt

#11 JohnVT

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:32 AM

now - the worst part is that I can't get a new one in Vermont, or perhaps anywhere in the US right now. I'm told this part is on NATIONAL BACKORDER!!

I think I read in another thread that somebody patched theirs for a while - guess I'll go look for that and try it.
or maybe find a used one - but my favorite salvage yard is closed on Mondays.


another question - does anybody know the difference between the different versions available? according to one dealer (not close to me), although the one he has costs more, the only difference is the brackets for the shield are in a different place, and I'd have to use a zip-tie to secure the shield.
Has anybody done this - know what these parts look like?

thx

#12 95Leg

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:33 AM

My 95 Legacy fuel filler pipe rusted in the same manor last year. It really is easy to clean out if you know it is there.

I ordered the fuel filler pipe from one of the online subaru sites. I think it was just under $100. I was afraid that the hose connecting between the pipe and the tank would be in bad condition, but when I actually replaced the pipe, it seemed ok, so you should only need the fuel filler pipe. It took a lot of twisting and hard pulling to get the pipe disconnected from the hose, and then a lot of twisting and pushing to get the hose on the new pipe.

That is the only real hard part about changing the pipe, but if anything bad happens to that hose during the process, it's going to turn into a major project.

Also, I don't think the new fuel filler pipe came with the plastic valve that you'll see in your old one. Make sure you take the old one off and put it in the new pipe. Preferably before you install the new pipe on the car, or else you'll do the job twice like I did!

#13 JohnVT

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:07 PM

My 95 Legacy fuel filler pipe rusted in the same manor last year. It really is easy to clean out if you know it is there.

I ordered the fuel filler pipe from one of the online subaru sites. I think it was just under $100. I was afraid that the hose connecting between the pipe and the tank would be in bad condition, but when I actually replaced the pipe, it seemed ok, so you should only need the fuel filler pipe. It took a lot of twisting and hard pulling to get the pipe disconnected from the hose, and then a lot of twisting and pushing to get the hose on the new pipe.

That is the only real hard part about changing the pipe, but if anything bad happens to that hose during the process, it's going to turn into a major project.

Also, I don't think the new fuel filler pipe came with the plastic valve that you'll see in your old one. Make sure you take the old one off and put it in the new pipe. Preferably before you install the new pipe on the car, or else you'll do the job twice like I did!


thanks -
I found one at a dealer in New Hampshire, so my family had a field trip today! just a 3 hour round trip... and a chance to see if the leaves are changing in the mountains. It was about $120 (the pipe, that is!!)

One more question - since I haven't looked closely, does the hose go in the top of the fuel tank, or do I need to empty the tank to do this? I think it's about 3/4 full right now.

#14 nipper

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:21 PM

A subaru tank does not fill drian in the normal method. It is divided in two sections, a left section and a right section, and drains it as such. There is a pipe that joins the two sections. The driver side drains first, then the passenger said drains (passenger side has the fuel pump and fill neck).
From what i can see it looks ok as long as the car is below 1/2 tank, you can do this easily, you may be able to do it at 3/4, but i dont want to say that and have you get soaked with fuel.

nipper

#15 cookie

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:31 PM

First remove any clamp, insert a screwdriver in the rubber and spray the gap with silicone. It will help it break loose for you. If I can get to it I like to twist the hose with water pump pliars to break it all the way around. This also works well with radiator hoses.

#16 95Leg

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 03:14 PM

Sorry, I don't remember how full my gas tank was. I did not drain the tank, and there was no fuel spilling out when I removed the pipe from the hose. Most of the fuel that was in the pipe had already leaked out through the hole.

#17 JohnVT

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:21 PM

thanks - I'll let you know when I do it, probably not until the weekend now...

#18 subie94

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 03:10 PM

i had same prob with my 94.that protective shield is what caused the prob.water and dirt from driving gets in there an sits an if you don't wash under there when you wash the rest of the car.it'll just sit an rust out the pipe.

i think as long as the tanks about half full,it'll not leak anything when you go an remover the pipe from the tank.


oh yah an NO SMOKING WHILE DOING IT !! :brow:

#19 JohnVT

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:16 PM

oh yah an NO SMOKING WHILE DOING IT !! :brow:


3/4 tank of gas, nothing came out when I removed the pipe. Ok, I didn't do it completely blind, but looking at drawings of this tank, it looked like the tube goes into an opening that is actually higher than the tank. Must be.

Now I will be sure to clean this out regularly so it doesn't rust again, but all in all not too hard to change - but the part is expensive!
Wasn't too easy to get to all the clamps, just took some patience (which I'm not good at, but I got through it!)
And I try not to smoke under the car with the fuel tank open!! (ok, I try not to smoke at all)

thanks to ALL for the advice.

#20 TheBrian

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 02:18 PM

'96 Legacy wagon. Mine's leaking, too. As far as I can tell, the filler neck attaches to the bottom of the tank. I must have a different filler neck than you, because it looks like I'm going to have to completely drain at least the passenger's side of the tank.

If I'm reading Haynes correctly, the fuel pump sits on the passenger's side, and there's a "jet pump" which presumably pumps gas from the driver's side of the tank to the passenger's, when the fuel level drops below the axle. Right?

Is it easy / possible to siphon from my tank?

#21 nipper

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 02:36 PM

The jet pump is a fancy way of saying siphoning . The tank is divded in two halves with a pipe connnecting them. There is only one fuel pump. The tank drains the drivers side first then the passenger side second, hence the need for two fuel senders.
If you siphon the tank from the traditional method, you will only get whats on the fill side of the tank, which should be fine. If you really want to be sure you have siphoned all the fule out, you can always do it from the fule pump access cover.

nipper




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