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Old 03-26-2014, 12:00 PM   #1
warlik50
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

So I have a gasoline leak that is only noticeable when the car is on and running, and only noticeable on level ground or if the car is tipped front up (like as if going up a hill)

I looked under the car the under day and located the filler pipe where you pour gasoline into and it fills up your tank and although a little rusty its in good shape and not leaking.

I think the leak is somewhere near the top of the tank towards the backside but I am unable to see if its there because there is just too much stuff in the way, so what I would like to do is drop the tank when its almost empty and inspect it. Is this something that a DIYer like myself is capable of? What are the steps that are involved in dropping a gas tank and what should I look out for and be aware of.

If necessary, I could probably take a video of this issue and show you guys

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Old 03-26-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Quote:
Originally Posted by warlik50 View Post
So I have a gasoline leak that is only noticeable when the car is on and running, and only noticeable on level ground or if the car is tipped front up (like as if going up a hill)

I looked under the car the under day and located the filler pipe where you pour gasoline into and it fills up your tank and although a little rusty its in good shape and not leaking.

I think the leak is somewhere near the top of the tank towards the backside but I am unable to see if its there because there is just too much stuff in the way, so what I would like to do is drop the tank when its almost empty and inspect it. Is this something that a DIYer like myself is capable of? What are the steps that are involved in dropping a gas tank and what should I look out for and be aware of.

If necessary, I could probably take a video of this issue and show you guys
First off you will need something to support the tank when you remove it from the two hangers holding it up and before that remove all the connections fuel and electrical so when you drop the tank you will not damage those connections. But before doing all this get a Haynes/Chilton book on your Saturn and read on how to repair your gas tank they have steps in there and instructions on what to do.

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Old 03-31-2014, 08:31 PM   #3
cmac212
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Common problem on these vehicles...I had this same issue. I found many others on here had this same problem, as well. The in/out fittings on the top of the fuel pump crack over time and leak. Mine was leaking across the top of the tank over towards the passenger side and spilling to the ground just inboard of the fuel filter. A change of the fuel pump is necessary here, and GM (in all their infinite wisdom) made no effort to make it easy on us with backseat access, so the tank has to be dropped. And like Russet said, the Haynes manual lays it out pretty easy peasy, so if you don't have one, GET ONE! Me and a buddy did it in a few hours (with pizza and beer breaks), no big deal. RockAuto.com had much better pricing for the OEM pump than the auto part stores were charging for the cheapo trash. I saved about $200 by going that route. Hope this helps, and good luck!

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Also, I think this goes without saying, but try to get that gas tank as close to EMPTY as possible. Then it isn't difficult to lower and get out from under it. Gas is heavy!

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
dondono63
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

I recently dropped and removed the fuel tank on my 03 L300 to replace a rotted out brake line. Of course you need to lower the exhaust. All I did was remove the rubber hangers, lower the exhaust on a jack, and swing it out of the way. Piece of cake. Now make sure you get as much fuel out of the tank as possible. I did this by jumping the pump relay and, using a 1/4 inch hose on the fuel filter outlet side, pumped all but about a gallon into another car. I disconnented the hoses and connectors at the back of the tank. To lower the tank I used a jack and a piece of wood to hold it in place before removing the straps. Be really careful not to damage the hoses on the fuel filter side of the tank as they will kink as you lower the tank and could break. These hoses go to the fuel pump and purge canister I think. I lowered the tank just enough to disconnect these hoses and then lowered the tank the rest of the way down. Here's were i broke off one of the fuel pump connectors and ended up having to replace my fuel pump.
Before you go to all this trouble, make sure the leak isn't the filler neck hose clamp where it goes into the tank. There is enough room to get access to the clamp underneith. You may need to move some connectors and wires out of the way.

It's a good size job for a backyard mech like me. Take a look at what the top of an L300 fuel tank looks like to see the routing of the hoses that can get damaged. I looked at one on Ebay before starting the job.

Good luck. Take your time with this project. Disconnect the battery and safety first especially when underneith the car and messing with the fuel system.

Don

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Old 04-01-2014, 01:39 AM   #6
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Aim for About a quarter or less in the tank if you decide to drop it yourself
Along with a floor jack to support the strap threshold.

A fuel pump repair for most neighborhood shops I've been to are almost always considering entire module for "guaranteed" repair. Entire unit costs peaks around 300$ such as ACdelco.

Other forum members on here have mentioned about creating an accessory hole for the pump. If it seems manageable to work with I think ill be going that route.

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Old 04-08-2014, 09:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

I just had to do the same thing a month or two ago. Fuel pump began leaking from a place I've never seen a fuel pump leak before. The inlet nozzle on the pump. In all my years...

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Old 04-11-2014, 05:17 AM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

I had the same leak and used the following thread as a guide to cut a hole under the back seat for access. I added additional notes from my experience further down in the thread:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=183276

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Old 07-26-2016, 11:28 AM   #9
Terry Fogg
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russet View Post
First off you will need something to support the tank when you remove it from the two hangers holding it up and before that remove all the connections fuel and electrical so when you drop the tank you will not damage those connections. But before doing all this get a Haynes/Chilton book on your Saturn and read on how to repair your gas tank they have steps in there and instructions on what to do.
My question is more or less related, but goes in the direction of folly.
"Can anyone provide advice or relate your experience in repairing holes in gas tanks?"

Without getting into the sorry tale of how I managed such a stupid mistake, let me state that I have a drilled a 3/16th inch hole in the top surface of the gas tank of my 2001 LW300 Saturn.
(Specifically the hole is 13 inches from the fuel pump ring, in the 5:00 o'clock position if the front of the car is the 12:00 o'clock position. The hole seems to be on the very highest point of the upper surface of the tank.)

I would still like to avoid the trouble and experience of dropping this tank and installing a used one.

I obtained this information from AllDataDIY.com:
"The fuel tank is high-density polyethylene plastic, multi-layer in construction, generally 4.0 to 5.0 mm in thickness."

Yes, I know my possible plan is foolhardy, but I am wondering if a proper adhesive (adheres to polyethylene, resistant to solvent) could plug the hole.
I don't think the hole is big enough to rate a screw-tightening plug like they once(?) used to repair hot water tanks.

I do not drive much at all and do not have much money for auto repair.

I am prepared to never fill my tank more than 3/4 full.

Can members provide me with suggestions? Of course, I am interested in the suggestions for how to proceed, but I will also consider authoritative information that my plan is ultimately unworkable.

Thank you.

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Old 07-26-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

My 5 cents worth would be to replace the tank and always err on the side of caution and safety (to you and others). Given the nature of gasoline, I don't know of an adhesive that would stand up to it. Whilst Epoxy is a really strong glue, I have no idea if if would stand up to gasoline

If you don't have the tank sealed you will have gasoline vapors escaping, which are explosive/inflammable by nature, and if they seep into the passenger compartment are not conducive to passenger health.

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Old 07-27-2016, 05:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Gas leak near the tank - 01 L300

Terry Fogg, doing it right and with safety in mind even if you never fill the tank up still allows someone else to find out the hard way that a leak never repaired correctly will lead to fuel leaks and an explosion hazard. Your choice to either replace the tank altogether or risk any repairs made with success or failure. Failure meaning any youtube video may not reveal the dangerous repairs made with a tank still containing fuel even when using a non flammable heat source like a soldering iron. No matter what's shown on youtube, risks are yours alone. If you choose to try repairs, its your risk about leaving fuel in the tank and attempting repairs. The correct repair is to empty the tank with soapy water to rid the tank of all flammable gasoline to prepare for welding polyethylene. This is just a flexible plastic that's been around for years and used in many places.

To eliminate all risks of explosion, an empty tank is safer to work on than containing fuel and attempting heat welding. If you are dropping the tank then its a matter of deciding to replace the tank altogether or attempt correct repairs without using the cements or flexible sealers recommended. The secret to PE? Personally, I know from prior experience with this plastic. Its on every pair of snow skis used as the sliding part on snow. Wax applied to skis allows better sliding. When skis are damaged from sliding over rocks and gouged by bare ground or damage from the steel rails used in trick maneuvers, repairs are easy - melting plastic rods made of the same PE.

PE on skis are repaired by scraping off all wax then cleaning any gouges with solvent to prepare for plastic welding. Welding is simply taking replacement PE rods and setting it on fire like lighting a candle. Once a rod is lit, black smoke and fire begins as PE melts. The melting PE is simply allowed to drip onto the damaged ski base wherever gouges are to fill in. Usually more melted plastic is used to form a slight cap over gouges. If done correctly the plastic ski base melts from the molten PE rod and welds together clean. As soon as this molten plastic cools off (in about 15-30 seconds) the repair is ready for scraping with a stainless scraper to level the repaired surface to the same level as the ski base. I used to do these repairs years ago. Ski bases are only about 1/8th to 3/16ths inch thick, probably not as thick as vehicle fuel tanks. The key to repairs is plastic welding, melting the damage to a molten state without creating cooked plastic to allow sealing. More plastic of the same material can be used similar to PE rods sold to repair ski bases so the same plastic is used for repairs.

A fuel tank removed, drained and cleaned of all fuel so flammable fuel vapors aren't evaporating will make plastic welding a lot safer and easier to repair. Removing all traces of fuel on the damaged portion removes any contamination preventing permanent (proper) repairs. This may be the only true way to repair PE whether used in ski bases or fuel tanks. Any other repairs using other cements, glues or combinations of these different plastics isn't as permanent as youtube videos would have you believe. Its your car and your risk but this risk to repairs affects anyone in the vicinity of a crash that ruptures a half hearted repair allowing fuel to leak out.

BTW, there's probably an error code related to the evap system with a punctured fuel tank. This error won't go away until the tank is repaired or replaced.

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