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HELP! GAS leak! no start! I'm stranded at school!
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: HELP! GAS leak! no start! I'm stranded at school! Reply with quote

This morning the syncro started up well enough, it did need a bit of gas to get going. Then i drove it up to school and parked it. I was going to run home before my Thermo 3 class but the van wasn't starting, sounded like the battery could be dead. So I pulled the battery and charged it in our shop for a while. Threw the battery in and tried to start up the van again. The engine just kept cranking but not turning over. After a few tries at that i went back to pop the hatch and I noticed that there is a gas that is leaking out of the fuel pressure regulator. Shocked What should I do? Will replacing the FI clamps (I've got some of those) fix it? Or is this some thing else? Of course this happens right at the beginning of another Salt Lake storm Evil or Very Mad
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TheBlueTurtle
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

replace the fuel lines?

regardless of your problem
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously, you've got a fuel leak. Stand at the back of the van, while someone turns the key to the on position (or whatever that position is called), this will engage the fuel pump, and you will be able to tell where the fuel leak is coming from (more than likely). No need to crank and needlessly drain the battery again. This will tell you where the leak is coming from, and you replace the offending line/clamp. Then, make sure that all of your fuel lines are in tip top shape. That's what I would do.

A few meters of fuel line, some good SS clamps, and a Saturday afternoon are cheap. Imagine if you were driving, the engine was at full operating temp, and you had a big fuel leak like the one you described? Not fun.

Just say NO to crispy vanagons.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is where I call AAA and use one of my three free tows to get me home where I can fix it.
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know that the leak is coming from the fuel pressure regulator. Would the leak cause the van not to start? I'll see if I can't get a clamp on it tonight to try and fix it and get it running. Gonna be real fun in the dark and snow! Rolling Eyes
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wavanagon
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goskiracer wrote:
I do know that the leak is coming from the fuel pressure regulator. Would the leak cause the van not to start? I'll see if I can't get a clamp on it tonight to try and fix it and get it running. Gonna be real fun in the dark and snow! Rolling Eyes


Well, if your van is not getting the necessary fuel to fire, then yes it would not start. You need to track down the source of the leak, more exact than the regulator. Either a specific hose or a clamp, I would start with the supply line. There is a chance that the regulator has failed or cracked, but I've never heard of it.
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, after class I'll get a better look at it. I should be more clear, the fuel is leaking from the hose connection so I think some new clamps will fix it. The fpr itself isn't leaking.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Ben (or somebody) posted recently that the regulators do go bad and leak pretty regularly...
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thermo 3! Are you doing Mechanical Engineering? I hated Thermo. I was the only course that I had to write a supplemental exam in in over 7 years of Post Secondary.

Good luck with the van and Thermo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dude, from the class you are taking you sound like a smart guy. just cut that hose back where it is leaking, then reconnect it to the pressure reg (there should be enough line to do this) reclamp it, go home, then replace all your fuel lines.
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, yeah I'm a Mechanical engineer. This is actually the first car I've worked on Embarassed . I'm more of an aero propulsion and strengths guy. These actual engines are a tad bit more complicated than theeretical models on paper Very Happy . I just made it home, I'll grab my spare fuel line kit and bike back to campus to get some new lines and clamps on. Conviently I decided to take that stuff out of the van last week. Hopefully it's just the clamps and lines leaking not the fpr or some thing worse.
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I got the clamps the fpr re-clamped and cycled the fuel pump a few times then turned on the ignition, then ... nada Mad It sounds like the engine just isn't getting fuel,air, sparks or all of the above? i was searching around on other threads with similar issues and some folks have talked about being hydrolocked. Could my van be hydrolocked somehow? The starter cranks but the engine won't start.
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VanagOnly
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would seem the fuel pump is OK and if the injectors are getting current,I would consider that the fuel pressure regulater has failed.When they go they do so often with little warning.Which line was it leaking from?The regulator may be locked up squirting fuel out from a weak point.Anyone else agree?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean about the complexity of these engines in comparison to theory. You have to remember that it was designed by Germans.

I am used to diesel engines the size of small houses or boiler plants the size of large house or a gas turbine the size of a bus and yet my little 1.9L VW engine perplexes me more than all of them combined. Brick wall

Once you master your VW (If that is at all possible) it will make you a much better engineer. Plus most Aero engines have never been drive over 20 year left out side to rust and still be expected to perform like the day they were built.

As for your fuel issue, I proposed the injector lock up question to Ben a couple of months ago. This is a common issue on diesels generators and requires fuel line bleeding. Ben indicated that bleeding the fuel lines was not required.
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goskiracer
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you Westynova about the size being inverse to complexity. Personally I'm a huge fan of gas turbines, would make a great conversion Twisted Evil less moving parts and runs on anything! It looks like the storm is passing and the weather will let up a bit, so for now I'll pull out the commuter bike, besides my gf rides to school all winter, she is starting to think I'm getting to be a softy Very Happy I bled the fuel lines and still couldn't get a response. Today i'll check the injectors for current, and see how they are spraying. If you didn't love it you'd hate it!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: HELP! GAS leak! no start! I'm stranded at school! Reply with quote

goskiracer wrote:
This morning the syncro started up well enough, it did need a bit of gas to get going. Then i drove it up to school and parked it. I was going to run home before my Thermo 3 class but the van wasn't starting, sounded like the battery could be dead. So I pulled the battery and charged it in our shop for a while. Threw the battery in and tried to start up the van again. The engine just kept cranking but not turning over. After a few tries at that i went back to pop the hatch and I noticed that there is a gas that is leaking out of the fuel pressure regulator. Shocked What should I do? Will replacing the FI clamps (I've got some of those) fix it? Or is this some thing else? Of course this happens right at the beginning of another Salt Lake storm Evil or Very Mad


Your not clear as to where the leak was ON the regulator!

Are you sure it was a hose? Which hose?

No way out now, do a fuel pressure test. Imagine that the reg is blocked, you are putting over 60psi in there. In general they don't break in the close position. But you never know.

Cheap guys test: Remove the 7mm screw slowly (see bellow), put a rag around it.... is fuel poring out before you even have the screw out?
This will tell you to thing, that you have fuel pressure or not.

Fuel pressure tester are cheap, you don't need a good one.

Here is where to plug the tester:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Green arrow.

Remove the small 7mm screw, put gage in, secure with clamp, if the gauge as a T junction, block one end. Don't start the van, just prime the pump (IGN key at ON position), go see in the back what the gauge read.

Ben
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goskiracer wrote:
Personally I'm a huge fan of gas turbines, would make a great conversion Twisted Evil less moving parts and runs on anything!


GM or Chrysler tried that in the 50's or 60's. I think they didn't go to production with it because the turbines were expensive and the EGT at the tailpipe was high enough that a person wearing nylons walking past the exhaust would have said nylons melted to their leg. Which I can only imagine would be uncomfortable.

I'm sure there were other reasons as well though, like who outside of aviation and industrial facilities would know how to work on the things!

And good luck with Thermo! I had a choice between that and statics. I chose statics because I knew I'd made a mistake if I didn't get zero!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

goskiracer wrote:
Today i'll check the injectors for current, and see how they are spraying. If you didn't love it you'd hate it!


Don't forget the ground strap. Clean the connections...

I had a similar issue - Spark, fuel and air but no start.

Added another thick gauge wire grounding the LHS of the engine to the body and haven't had an issue since.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are at the U? I graduated in ME from there!

Up until about 3 years ago I lived just below campus. Too bad I moved, I could have tried to help you out. Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I had to give in and pull the trigger on having the van towed to my mechanic Sad . There is another front moving through today and I have a senior design project and 5K level classes to do. I did have fuel pressure per Ben's advice (thanks Ben, I've got a copy of your fuel line replacement instructions to do after I get the van back to my apartment.). I will update for sure when I find out what the cause was, from my searches it sounds like this mysterious no start has many forms and is common.
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