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  1. #1

    Default Gas Accumulating on Bottom of Tank - '99 Tahoe

    After letting my truck sit on an incline with less than a 1/4 tank of fuel a few weeks back, I couldn't get her to start. I managed to level the truck off and/ or get the fuel pump to kick on and the truck started back up and has started fine ever since.

    Since I live in the hilly area just outside of Wash DC, I don't want to leave the tank less than half full so yesterday, I topped her off and shortly afterward, I began to smell gas in the area of the left side rear passenger door. I didn't see anything yesterday when I topped her off but today there's enough gas on the bottom side of the tank to worry me.

    I didn't smell anything prior to topping off the tank but I know there's no "overflow" feature on cars and trucks that will let excess fuel drain out.

    As alluded to, when I first couldn't get the truck to start, I thought I may have a bad fuel pump. It's hard to see up on the side of the tank to see where a possible leak may be coming from but I'm going to try and jack her up in the apartment lot and take a look.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    OK...Got out there and, of course, I can't see any signs of a leak. I checked the rail on the left (drivers) side of the tank and there appears to be no sign of leaks from the lines that run down from the top of the tank, along the rail to the engine.

    I wiped the tank of and drove it a few miles under some pressure to see if I could see signs of the leak but nothing showed up.

    At this point I'm wondering if the first problem (no fuel to engine a few weeks ago) is related. I'm not sure if small drips/ leak from the top of the tank where the fuel pump is could or would make it down to the bottom of the tank. The sides seemed dry when I first checked it this morning.

    ---------- Post added at 12:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:15 AM ----------

    Back to square one. Truck won't start. Pump is probably shot. I'm still smelling gas, however. No drips or accumulation at bottom of tank. I'm not sure how the pump is sealed at the top of the tank. Could this be part pf problem?

    ---------- Post added at 01:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 PM ----------

    Final question (I think): How do you guys save the fuel in your tank when you need to drop the tank?

    I'm not giving up a full tank of [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]Shell[/COLOR][/COLOR]
    93 octane!!!!!

  3. #3
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    The fuel leak(s) right after being filled could mean it was overfilled & that is why the gas was running down the side of the tank for a day or two & has now dissappeared. I know you can still smell the fuel, but the smell remains for several days sometimes. This of course is the easy answer.

    It could also be a leaking hose at the top of the tank & could also be the seal at the fuel pump install. You ask if the first problem (where it was parked on a hill) could be related to this problam, & I don't think they are. I think that was responsible for it not starting then because of the angle & being low on fuel it was not near the pump pickup that is all, but you fixed that by leveling it out.
    If there is a leak anywhere in the fuel system it could cause difficult starting because it is suppose to be a closed system & relies on pressure in the tank to operate correctly. At this point after you have run the engine for 20 minutes, & you take the gas cap off, what happens?? Do you hear a giant sucking sound? You should! If you don't then there is a leak somewhere but it is hard to tell you exactly what it is. You are just going to have to R&I the tank & find it.
    How to save the fuel in the tank?? That can be difficult if you have the 30 gallon tank & don't have enough 5 gallon cans. A lot of people prefer to R&I the bed & eliminate dropping the tank altogether. In a lot of cases they find it easier than wrestleing around under the truck with a half full tank of fuel.
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  4. #4

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    Thanks. If I can get her started, I'll check for the "whoosh" sound when I remove the cap. Makes sense.

    When you mention R&I the bed, are you referring to the guys that remove the seats and then cut a hole in the floor so they can remove the pump from the top?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cqlink View Post
    Thanks. If I can get her started, I'll check for the "whoosh" sound when I remove the cap. Makes sense.

    When you mention R&I the bed, are you referring to the guys that remove the seats and then cut a hole in the floor so they can remove the pump from the top?
    Ummm? I didn't see a vehicle description in the lower signature portion of your post so when you said truck I was assuming it had a bed. lol If this is a Surburban, then yes you could r&i the seat & go at it from the top by cutting a hole in the floor. There is a good write up in the "how to section" of this site complete with measuring instructions. That will be the only way you can do it if you have too much fuel to store as the tank will just be too heavy to drop otherwise.

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