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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #1
it all started yesterday when it started smelling like gas inside my car. now i finaly know why. there is a leak somewhere, probably the top of the tank or a line somewhere. its in the tank top if it is leaking on the tank since its leaking along the side of the tank, but it could also be the sending unit or some lines that go to it...anyone have any comments on what it could be or has it ever happened to anyone? (could it be related at all that it started when i threw some injector cleaner in the tank???)
 

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Refrigerator Raider Hater
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unrealaed, injector cleaner doesn't do anything anything anyway.

Only way to know for sure is to drop the tank.
 

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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #3
how hard is the tank to drop...its leaking a lot...kinda scared to start the car...and i have to get home from school...:(
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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Does the leak "stop" after a while (when the car is off)? Try this, also: run the car, then turn it off. Observe how slow or fast the fuel dripping is. Start the car, and check it again. I was told that if the dripping speeds up while the car is running, that the fuel feed line is where the leak is.

My car's experiencing that right now, but a lack of time forces me to wait until tomorrow to do a full-blown check. Hopefully, with the 30 minutes of free time I have this afternoon, I can ascertain where the leak is at, and form a plan of attack, as it were.

Dropping the fuel tank, according to the service manual, involves removing the exhaust system, draining the tank, and undoing the straps and connectors to the tank and pump....
 

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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #5
yep it does that , its when there is pressure on the lines..not when its off...there is no whole
 

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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #6
just got off the phone with the shop and the ford dealer. this guy i talk to the dealer told me that about 90 of the newer 96-7 birds have that problem, and they always come in for the fuel lines coming to the top of the tank. they rub on the frame and it causes leaks...it was a recall on the earlier models but not my 97...grrr.. shop told me that its a job around $700....F THAT>>>i need to get that tank down myself...:(
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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My best guess is that the leak if from the feed line. It took way too long to drop the tank (seized bolts on the straps and exhaust). Disconnecting the fuel filler pipe line and vapor lines are a struggle on mine, also. The rubbing that you described is what I've discovered happened on mine....makes me wonder if there's a fuel-resistant rubber hose of the correct size that can be used instead...maybe a braided one, perhaps, but that raises the question of clearance when the tank is reinstalled.

The tank removal procedure seems moderately easy, but with rusted bolts, the time spent on it has been a lot...3 hours, so far (including prep and clean-up time). Next up is line replacement...an almost-empty tank is relatively light, but it is a wee bit awkward to handle. Since I have a helper, it's been easier. We've used a shelf-like board and hydraulic jack to assist in lowering or supporting the tank. I don't have a digital camera, so I can't post shots of the various stages of work.
 

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something similar happened on my 94. fuel line rubbed against the frame of the car untill it got tiny little holes in it (you couldn't even see the holes untill they were misting gasoline into your eyes).

i just went to autozone and asked the dude for some fuel line, but make sure you get some that has a high enough pressure rating. remember that fuel hose for carburated applications is only rated to like 20 psi, not gonna work on naything fuel injected.

anyways, fixed mine with a couple feet of hose and some hose clamps. probably not the "right" way to do it, but it hasn't leaked for over a year now.
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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ThunderChicken1 said:
...anyways, fixed mine with a couple feet of hose and some hose clamps. probably not the "right" way to do it, but it hasn't leaked for over a year now.
That's what I was thinking of doing, rather than splicing in the plastic lines. I've noticed they fold very easily (yup, my first experience in dropping the gas tank) - the high-pressure rubber fuel hose I looked at today has a good 'bend radius' - which will definitely cover the area the leaks are at - and a lot higher burst pressure than regular hoses.

While searching here yesterday about the fuel leak, I read a post where someone mentioned that there was a recall/TSB on this (but it didn't include the 1997MY); however, I was unable to locate anything else about that. I was interested in reading about what Ford replaced the lines with (same or different materials) in the event I could've located the TSB.
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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smokymance said:
how hard is the tank to drop...its leaking a lot...kinda scared to start the car...and i have to get home from school...:(
Smoky,

Here's a follow-up to my repair. Apologies for it being lengthy, but you may find some useful info here:

We spent Thursday evening and a good part of Saturday doing this. The longest amount of time was spent removing rusted or seized bolts. Since I was borrowing a friend's garage, he was more concerned about something happening than I was, so our progress for the complete repair was slower than I expected. Nonetheless, it was very successful. As one would expect when attempting a repair for the first time, there were a few trips to auto parts stores included in our total repair time.

I'd say that if the bolts for the exhaust system and fuel tank straps are not seized, you can get the fuel tank dropped in under 90 minutes (I can check the Ford Labor standards on Monday, but it'd be for the 1996 MY). Use a jack with a good sized board (such as an old shelf-like board) to lower the tank gradually. There's a few hose clamps Ford says to undo as well, before lowering. Please note that it's easy to bend of pinch the nylon plastic fuel lines when lowering. In my case, I didn't mind, because the two that were pinched were getting replaced with high=pressure fuel resistant rubber hoses anyway, with high-pressure hose clamps.

Disconnecting the fuel lines from the pump is very easy - it's as if you were changing a fuel filter. I measured how much plastic line to cut off off both lines, installed barbs, installed the rubber lines, and installed two hose clamps on the barbed splice. Removing the damaged nylon plastic from the steel part of the line was tricky - I don't advocate doing it this way, but it worked - we used a trigger-controlled soldering gun (instant on/off)) and lightly scored the plastic until it split open. The damaged part came off easily. After that, a single, high-pressure hose clamp was used to secure the rubber hose to the steel line.

Fuel tank was raised, hose lines were checked for pinches; all was clear, so we installed the straps with new bolts, and tightened the other hose clamps Ford stated to loosen.

Installation of the exhaust was supposed to go smoothly (I bought new rubber hangers to use, also). After a struggle, I realized that the the DynoMax system that was installed 15 months ago have the left and right mufflers reversed!!! That system is a five-piece system, so I was easy to reverse the mufflers if one wasn't paying attention....

Lots of WD-40 and twisting and light hammering later, we corrected the muffler placement , and popped the system in place easily, with new bolts to replace the rusted ones.

4½ gallons of gas went in, the fuel system was pressurized, and, after a couple of coughs, the car was running smoothly. No leaks were observed, and, 100 miles later, still no leaks. The car's running smoothly, and I expect it continue doing so.

Oh, about that muffler correction: it solved the loud vibration noise I was hearing at 58-62mph which started 6 weeks ago....

Was all this worth not spending $225-300+ at a shop? You bet!

Like ThunderChicken1 said, rubber high-pressure fuel hose may not be the 'right way' - but it sure beat trying to mold and shape a replacement nylon plastic line.

Good luck to you.

--Pete
 

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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #11
thanks a lot for the reply...this for sure should be a tech article...


i already took my car to a shop thursday...some place i trust and they were suppost to do my exhaust...and since im doing the fuel lines and exhaust...they are doing everything sice they were down there:fuel lines, exhaust, marauder TC, and my lowering springs...hope to get the car back soon.
 

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IronChopz said:
...I realized that the the DynoMax system that was installed 15 months ago have the left and right mufflers reversed!!! That system is a five-piece system, so I was easy to reverse the mufflers if one wasn't paying attention....

i did the same thing when i got my dynomax kit!! i couldn't believe it fit that way when i put it on, then after drriving it for a total of 2 minutes i knew something was wrong. oh well, just one of those mistakes you make when working on stuff for the first time.
 

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Trumpeter Extraordinaire
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ThunderChicken1 said:
...oh well, just one of those mistakes you make when working on stuff for the first time....
I hear ya! One thing's for certain, based on this experience: I expect that when I install an aluminum driveshaft, getting aruond the exhaust and gas tank will be a cinch. That's been one thing I've enjoyed about all this work I've done - learning about how it all goes together, or just how to do it. The money I've "not spent" on shop fees and repairs in the last two years is huge. :thumbsup:
 
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