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Ever find a puddle of gas under your van?
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BitterBeerFace
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Ever find a puddle of gas under your van? Reply with quote

So I left the van in my garage for most of this week--temps were going to be 90+ and I prefer to not be sweating all the time... The full tank had less than 1 mile on it when I parked. (and was filled around 70F)

Anyway, I go out to try and track down a little oil leak, and notice this...
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Mad

I've had the 'over fill at the station' problem occasionally (which I prevent by just using the middle 'auto-fill' setting... slower, but never overflows), but never puddles or fumes in normal situations.

By getting all close and personal with the van, I suspect a bad seal on one of the vent lines. Looks like it dripped/sprayed on the filler pipe, and then dripped off at the 'bottom' of the filler route. Not a whole lot came out, as the guage still goes to 'full' with the key in the ignition. (didn't start it)

Some questions:

Is it normal for hot temps to lead to this sort of thing? Or is it just a 31 year old seal finally gave up and quit?

Any real danger of driving it as long as the tank isn't totally topped off?

Anyone got a leak tester? Laughing

Is there any way to check the pressure there with a simple 'soapy water' trick? Would it bubble if the van's running?
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hot temps cause fuel expansion - esp. if your emissions system is plugged up
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thummmper
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all vans leaked from the filler grommet when new, which reinforced the reasons for the dealer to not fill them up. it will leak after you reseal it too[van cafe kit]
nobody else in the auto industry relied on buna grommets to seal fuel in this manner. they all had a nipped pipe protruding that a hose could be positively clamped to. still do. you will probably find a design change on late model vw's due to emissions. [vacuum test]-- well, mine will pass that test now. I have an early steel filler tube that I modified for 1.5" fuel hose.
this was a lousy design that I got revenge for.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing that it was leaking from the expansion tanks(under each front wheel well) if you only noiticed it after it was parked for a bit. It is amazing how much gas you can get in those with a full tank and changes in temp/pressure.

For starters take those down, clean them inside and out, reseal the top grommets with Black sealent and replace...this is the short and simple version but don't fool yourself the next to go will be all the other seals in the tank, order them up drop the tank and replace, if you're really smart spend the $ on the VC aluminum tees at the top of the tank.

Take your time and do it right, note the position of the crossover tube carefully so you get it right the first time, plumb all new hosing too. It is a real pain to to this but better to do it all at once and do it right.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
all vans leaked from the filler grommet when new, which reinforced the reasons for the dealer to not fill them up. it will leak after you reseal it too[van cafe kit]

None of my vans leak even with a full tank at angles off road. My truck recently even passed the vacuum test at a smog station with OG seals. Think
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kaeferman
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's Van Cafe's kit on my tank before the install, so you get the idea what tschroeder0 is talking about:
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all those lines were originally the braided rubber type and several of the ones that go to the expansion tanks in the wheel wells were dried and cracked off on my 83 when I pulled down the tank. One of the plastic vent fittings was broken too so there were several places for the gas to come out. and fumes in the cabin were horrendous as well going down the road. Mine leaked so bad I couldn't put more than 9 gallons in it, otherwise it poured out a pint at every stop sign! I was able to stuff some rubber in the broken vent which really helped the fumes til I got to the repair. Good Luck. I used the write up on tank removal by Jack Reed is at :
http://gerry.vanagon.com/files/technical/how-to/vanagon-gastank-removal.txt
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not leaking, it's just marking it's spot.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thummmper wrote:
all vans leaked from the filler grommet when new, which reinforced the reasons for the dealer to not fill them up. it will leak after you reseal it too[van cafe kit]


Only the Sith deal in absolutes.

While the leaky fuel tank is a common issue, I'd be very reluctant to say 'ALL' leak. I didn't own one new, but have not had any difficulty in getting them to seal properly long-term. I do use a smear of aviation sealer on the sealing surfaces, but that has allowed leak free operation. I have one vanagon that I have owned for approx. 10 years and it didn't leak any when I got it and hasn't leaked at any time that I've owned it. It's a diesel, though, which is easier on the grommets. I've owned several gas vans which I was able to seal successfully in the same manner and did not leak for the time I used them (several years). The comment that 'all leak' probably indicates operator/installer error.
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Bassyaks
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a good one, I had just picked up a 86 Westy and was running it on Temp plates, when it was time to get my real plates I went to the MVD, but stopped to fill it first, so I'm inside of the MVD and finished up with the paper work and left the building, when I get to the parking lot the place reeked of fuel and my van was sitting inside of a 40' circle of fuel along with maybe 6 other cars, I looked back to the building to see one of the workers on the phone calling it in. I hopped in and closed my eyes and turned the key and sped off, I changed the seals on the day, I thought I was all set until my tank imploded because my Charcoal canister was clogged, now I was down to a 11 gallon tank and had to do it all over again.

You can always tell a vanagon driver because he's the one with wet sneakers.
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