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1986 Westy - Gas Smell after Fillup?
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type2sam
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: 1986 Westy - Gas Smell after Fillup? Reply with quote

Greetings all,

My father recently purchased a 1986 Vanagon Westfalia and drove it back to the East Coast from Colorado. I'm familiar with the Bay Window generation of VWs, but Vanagons are new to me.

One thing he discovered is that, when filling it up with gasoline, as the tank gets full, it has a tendency to forcible eject gasoline all over him and anyone else nearby.

He has altered his fillup technique such that once he puts in 7 gallons or so, he slows down the fill rate and can usually avoid this problem.

Is this to be expected with Vanagons? Also, after filling up, there was a lingering perceptible gas smell. Is there a drain that allows excess gas to get back into the tank? Or some sort of charcoal/vapor recovery system? Given the age, his might be rotted away.

Lastly, this is a Westfalia without a stove and with a full width z-bed and a poptop. Is this a Westfalia Weekender? Or does it go by some other name?

Thanks,

Scott
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brooklynvan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott-
this is a well documented problem and he will need to replace the seals in the top of the gas tank. van-cafe and busdepot both sell kits.
it can be done in the driveway if you're careful.
the gaskets are probably shot.
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jkeller
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are talking about gas coming back out of the fill tube? That happens to me occasionally if I fill too fast. Just like everything else with a Vanagon, you gotta slow down Wink . If you get a gas smell after you fill it, then it is the gas tank seals.

As to your other question, it sounds like a weekender to me. Although by "full width", you mean you don't have a cabinet all the way in the back on the drivers side?
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type2sam
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has a cabinet above the engine compartment on the drivers side, but this cabinet does not extend forward to the rear of the drivers seat.

Directly behind the drivers seat is a jump seat, then space for a table that folds up out of the side panel, then the full width z-bed/seat.

I had previously thought that Weekenders had the jumpseats and table, but no popup.

Regarding the gas smell - I'll ask my father to try and determine if this is only after fillup, or a persistent thing.

Thanks,

Scott
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a Weekender. They have the cabinet on the driver's side, a pop top, and a flip up table, but full size (side to side) rear bench.

Lovely!

The other guys are right. If gas comes out of the fill pipe, slow down on the fill up. If a little spills out under the van, not from the fill pipe, it is likely spilling out from the expansion tube which goes from one side of the tank to the other (it's U-shaped) at the top. The grommets and tubes on the top of the tank would need replacement. The tank has to be dropped for that, in my experience. If that's the case, go the extra step and clean out the tank. Undoubtedly, there's crud in the bottom of the tank that should be clean out if possible. I had someone do it, the full repair was less than $200.
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify...the Tank is U-shaped, not the pipe. Also, if the gas comes out from under the van, not the fill pipe, and it's the expansion tube, it will be only about a few cups of gas, and only when the tank is full, as the expansion tube and grommets are at the top. When the level in the tank drops, the leak stops at some point.
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type2sam
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent. Thanks to all for the replies...
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type2sam
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent. Thanks to all for the replies...
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Perales
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also had the splash out issue when filling up. I have found that if I tilt up the gas pump hose handle so that the nozzle is is pointing slightly towards the bottom of the filler tube, that will leave an air space above the flowing fuel and it will no longer splash out when it is full. The problem seems to be related to displaced air wanting to leave the tank. Give it a try, it works for me. This is a separate issue from the gas tank seals problem as far as I can tell.
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CF
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when it comes to gas smell have it fixed right away
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