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Fuel tank leak

tdd5024

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1997
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Ford Ranger 4.0
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Haven’t posted for a while, and I couldn’t find anything similar to the problem that I’m having, so I figured I would see if anyone has any recommendations. I have a 97 4.0 that I bought early last year. I’ve fixed a few things on it to get it running and went to fill up the tank with fuel only to find out that the tank is leaking. Not only is it leaking - it’s at the bottom of the tank! Just my luck.

I attempted to seal it with some JB weld and thought that it looked pretty well taken care of after I put it back on the truck. Went to the gas station and about gave up when it started to leak again from the same spot.

I can’t seem to find an oem tank so that I can replace it. Checked all of the big name sites and stores that I know of, called around to the junk yards within a 50 mile radius, and even called ford to see if they happen to carry it.

The way I see it I have a few options:

1) Try a different epoxy that’s specifically made for plastic tanks.
2) Find a tank that has the same hookups and will fit into the same space under the bed as the original.
3) Buy a completely different tank and relocate it to the bed of the truck.

Any thoughts? I’m willing to spend some money, but obviously not a ton.

Thank you in advance for your assistance!
 


franklin2

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I am not sure what is so different on a 1997 ranger tank, but you are right no one seems to carry them.

If you can empty the tank out and peel the jb weld off, maybe you can try some of this stuff. It has worked very well for me against fuel leaks. Most hardware stores carry it.

 

rhekman

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If you know where the leak is, have you considered plastic welding? I'm pretty sure Ford tanks are HDPE (high density poly-ethylene) which is a thermoplastic, and therefore can be welded.

There are plastic welder kits available from Amazon or Harbor Freight fairly cheap. If you're brave enough, you can even do it with a soldering iron or a screwdriver and a heat gun (I've literally fixed plastic oil catch cans with this method).

Obviously I would do this with the tank completely empty and dry. Preferably out of the vehicle and with the filler neck or fuel pump removed. On the plus side, the weld should be as strong as the original material. You'll elminate the crack that would allow gas (solvent) in behind any adhesive based patch.

If you're paranoid about plastic embrittlement, you could always add some epoxy over top of the repair. I'd recommend a plastic complatible two-part product like JB Weld PlasticWeld https://www.jbweld.com/product/plasticweld-syringe

Finally, tank removal might be a good idea just for a thorough inspection. If the leak was the result of obvious impact damage that's one thing. But you might be fighting a losing battle if the truck has spent significant time outdoors in a plastic hostile part of the country (e.g. desert southwest)
 

Shran

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I'd try plastic welding it too. I've used a soldering iron but there are plenty of other ways. Curious where the leak is and why it is leaking... cracked or a hole worn into it...?
 

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