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torrey 06-28-2008 05:13 PM

fuel line leak
My car has seemed to develop a serious gas line leak. I had gone to the store my wife works at to pick up a few items, and when I came out, there was a huge puddle of gasoline under it. I was afraid to drive it home like that with the baby, so I took my wife's car. I will pick it up tonight when she gets off, so the baby does not have to ride in it. The leak is close to the exhaust, I'm somewhat concerned about a fire.

I looked under it in the parking lot, and it seems to be leaking from somewhere above the differential. I have to borrow a jack and jack stands, so I won't be able to get under it and really see what's going on until the morning. My question is, what are the possible causes of this? Could it just be a line leaking, or maybe the tank? How does the line connect to the tank? How hard of a fix would it be? I assume it's a metal line, so if it's leaking, will I have to replace the line all the way from the tank to the fuel pump?

I'm sorry about not knowing more about the problem, I'm just trying to get some ides right now. The car is a '73 Chevelle, 350/350. The tank and lines up to the pump are all original, as far as I know. Thanks in advance for any help.

ScoTFrenzel 06-28-2008 05:20 PM

These G body cars run the metal fuel line from the tank and into the inside of the frame at the crossmember. Often the line rubs a hole or rusts through in that area. Mine did.
You probably can't get to it to put a hose splice over the hole or install a union,
so what I did was run a new steel brake line from the tank to meet the line farther forward and connected them together with a brass union.
Replace the rubber lines on the top of the tank while you are there. They have a lot of years on them.

j.d.brown.042964 06-28-2008 10:56 PM

I agree as well, that with the age of the line(s) you simply replace them all. If time permits,drop the tank and inspect/replace seal where sending unit + pickup assembly mounts to the top, as well as filler neck, because all rubber seals are likely suspects for failure after so many years.-Be safe.

torrey 06-29-2008 08:14 AM

I just got the car up on jackstands. I got under it, only to find nothing. I can't find any leak. I even ran the car for several minutes, with similar results. I would have thought that I just parked over a puddle that was already there, but I saw it dripping off the diff yesterday. There are two rubber hoses coming from the tank and going to two metal lines that go towards the front of the car. I'm assuming one goes to the fuel pump, the other to where the charcoal canister emissions device used to be. Awhile back I yanked all that stuff and blocked off the line to the gas tank. I think it would be a wise investment to go ahead and replace those two rubber lines.

j.d.brown.042964 06-29-2008 09:40 AM

Question for you; How full was the tank at the time it began leaking? Had you just filled it up?. Could be many different things that caused it to leak, but if you intend on keeping this car for awhile, and believe in being safe, I'm sure you could replace all lines + reseal sending unit and fillerneck/tube all for less than $100 in parts. It would be wise to restore the evaporative emissions (charcoal canister) sytem as well. I'm sure you could find the canister at a boneyard, and replacement filters are still available for them thru most parts stores. Just my 2 cents, but why wait for a further fire hazard to develop? Either way, be safe and ENJOY that older Chevelle.

torrey 06-29-2008 10:34 AM

The tank was almost empty, and I had just put $10 in, about 2.5 gallons, about ten minutes before I noticed the leak. I'm replacing the two rubber lines coming out of the tank today.

Is the evaporative emissions equipment that important? My car is emissions exempt here in Texas, only safety inspection for vehicles 25 years and older.

j.d.brown.042964 06-29-2008 10:43 AM

With gas at $4/gallon it helps to keep as much of it for burning in the engine as possible. Basically takes vapors from carb bowl and reroutes them back to tank to be used again in liquid form. Thus the name "EVAPORATIVE". On older systems they would have been allowed to be exhausted or evaporated to the atmosphere, same with tank, so also coincides with proper cap on fillerneck as well.

torrey 06-29-2008 11:38 AM

Oh... I always thought it was for any gasoline vapors that might have built up inside the tank to be vented. I have a vented gas cap, so I thought I didn't need the cannister. That's what I get for assuming! You're right about keeping all the gas for burning... 12mpg and $4.00/gallon really hurts, especially with a 66 mile round trip commute to work every day!

BogiesAnnex1 06-29-2008 04:06 PM

Is the evaporative emissions equipment that important? My car is emissions exempt here in Texas, only safety inspection for vehicles 25 years and older.[/QUOTE]

Yeah what the heck the rest of us don't mind breathing your gas vapors.

Emisson systms get a lot of blame for all sorts of problems they largley don't create nor even contribute to, like if it ain't broke don't fix it. by not fixing things that aren't broke you;ll find things that aren't broke don;t suddenly become problems.

For the most part emissions systems do their thing off in the back ground and do it well.


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