Fuel Leak on 97 Tbird near tank

70

Asked by Apr 13, 2010 at 09:25 PM about the 1997 Ford Thunderbird LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi,

I have a 1997 Thunderbird LX 4.6 V8.

Today it developed a fuel leak.   I parked up at work and when I came out later I could smell fuel in the
car.  I had a look around and under the car and I saw a small patch of fuel on the passenger side, just
forwards of the rear wheel.  When I tried to start the car it needed to be cranked over for about seconds
before it would fire, usually it fires after 1 second of cranking.

I jacked the car up tonight and had a look at where its leaking.  The leak is coming from around the area
where the metal fuel lines that run along the floor connect to the rubber lines and disappear into the dark
on their way to the top of the tank.  I can see some fuel on the rubber lines, and some fuel on the tank.  
When the engine is running there is no noticeable leak.

My theory, is that the leak must be in the rubber hose between the outlet on the top of the tank that
comes from the pump, to the metal pipe that runs along the floor to the engine.  I think this because given
the cars trouble to start, the pressure in the line must have been lost.  If I drive the car and stop the engine
for a couple of minutes it starts fine.  Its only if left for a while, during which time the fuel drops appear on
the road, that it has trouble starting so I assume the pressurised fuel in the line has been lost.

Does this sound like a plausable theory?  If so I need to know how to fix it....

My first thought is to replace the rubber hose section that goes from the pump to the metal pipes.  If so, I
assume I need to partially drop the tank so I can access where it connect to the pump outlet on top of the
tank?
Can this be done without removing the exhaust?
When replacing the hose can I just get some generic rubber hose and use a couple of jubilee clips or do I
need to buy a special hose from Ford?
How will the hose be attached at the top of the tank?  Do I need a special tool to remove it?

Many Thanks
-Chris

1 Answer

70

I have now repaired this problem. This is how I did it. Disconnected the fuel line from the back of the fuel filter and inserted it into an empty petrol container. Ran a wire from the positive battery terminal to one of the pins on the inertia switch in the boot so the power got power and pumped all the petrol out. Reconnected the fuel filter line. Undid the 4 tank strap bolts. Reached above the tank to where the supply and return lines connect and disconnected them noting which was which. Cut the return and supply lines away from the metal pipes which run the length of the car. Got some 5/16 fuel injection hose and fuel injection clamps (need to be small enough so they can clamp the hose really tight). Connect the hose and between outlets on top of tank and metal rails, making sure the clamps were very tight and making sure I didn't mix up the connections. Started up, checked for leaks. All is good now. No smell of petrol and car starts right up. I checked if I could get genuine Ford hose to replace the hoses with, but it seems they are an integral part of the metal lines so had to use generic hose and clamps.

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