1988 Jeep Cherokee Fuel leak

Tiny
ONEGUMSHOE
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 17,400 MILES
I have recently had a CA emissions test and the engine passed w/no problem, but the guy said it 'poured raw fuel' out from the rear (by the tank) when he 'pressurized the system'. He would not tell me which fitting or hose was leaking. I could not see any leak, but I had the fuel llines from the tank to the steel lines replaced along with the in-line fuel filter and returned for the re-check. Failed again. He says it's just pouring out with a 1/2 lb. Pressure, but I have run the can at idle and around the block for 30 minutes and there is no leaking that I can seel, nor is there any gas on the frame or the underside of the tank. Does the tank need this 'pressurization' in order to see such a 'pouring' leak? If so, how can I pressurize it? Thank you.
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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 AT 4:48 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The fuel pump will pressurize the fuel line, so if there is a leak there, you should see it. I believe the fuel line goes from steel to rubber then to the fuel filter, then to rubber then steel again. That would be the first place I would check, the rubber hoses on the filter. As far as him pressurizing the tank, is he saying there is raw fuel leaking or just fumes?
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Thursday, June 25th, 2009 AT 12:02 AM
Tiny
ONEGUMSHOE
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Hi.

Thank you for replying to my question. Yes, his comment was that w'when the system is pressurized, raw fuel is pouring out of the rear of the car'. But he would not, or could not, tell me exactly where it was coming from. His comment was that 'it was from one of the lines in the rear that go into the tank. After I got home, I had a look under the car but saw no evidence of a gas leak. The rubber tubing from the tank to the filter looked bad, so I replaced the rubber hoses to each side of the fuel filter, as well as the filter itself and when running the car afterward could not see any leakage. Yet it still failed the re-test on the same leakage problem. I have been thinking of trying to pressurize the tank with a small air pump I have to see if that forces the 'leak'. I am on a limited income and cannot afford a lot of repairs. But do need the car, which has given us good duty over the years.

Thank you again for your help!
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Thursday, June 25th, 2009 AT 10:18 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I hate to say it, but it has to be a return line, filler tube, or breather. The only way to access them is to remove the tank. It is held in by two steel straps that bolt to the body. If you decide to remove it, spray penetrating fluid on the bolts a couple times prior to starting. Also, make sure to run the tank as low on fuel as possible so it isn't as heavy when you remove it.

LEt me know what you decide and I'll try to assist you through it.

Joe
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Thursday, June 25th, 2009 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
ONEGUMSHOE
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Hello Joe. Good to meet you.

Thanks for the information! I will try it when, as you say, the tank is near empty. How come there is no leaking when normal running if the fuel pump pressurizes the system? How high do they pressurize it for the smog test? Can I use a rolling jack to lower the tank? That would help me out as I'm not supposed to work with both arms above my head for too long a time.

Anyway, it's nice to 'meet' you and find there ARE good people left. Lately it seems all we hear is 'gloom and doom'. I'll try and pass your kindness along whenever I can. When I'm ready for the work (probably next week) do I just come back here and hit reply again?

Best regards.

Al Michaels
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Thursday, June 25th, 2009 AT 11:21 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Al:
First, thanks. Second, yes you can use a jack to help lower the tank. There are rubber hoses that may not be pressurized by the pump which are leaking when he pressurizes the system. As far as how he does it, I'm not sure. It's not a requirement in Pennylvania.

When you get to it, just hit submit again and I'll get your msg. And I agree, all we hear anymore is doom and gloom. But, there are still a lot of good people in this world.

Take care, and I'm glad to help.
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Friday, June 26th, 2009 AT 1:04 PM
Tiny
ONEGUMSHOE
  • MEMBER
Joe.

Used your great advice and my neighbor helped with the tank removal. Pump replaced and found a clogged vent valve too. Took a while because of his work schedule, but alll is now well. A million thanks and whenever I have an opportunity, I'll 'pass it on' to someone else.

Thanks again,

Al
'Onegumshoe'
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 3:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Al:

I'm glad it worked for you. It's great when I can actually say I helped someone. Take care, and if you have questions in the future, let me know.

Joe
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 6:31 PM

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