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Unread 09-11-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
Obi-Wan
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Tracking down gas fumes

My '77 Wagoneer has, for as long as I can remember (I've owned it 14 years), had bad gas fumes inside the cabin. They're worse when the windows are all rolled up. They're worse when the defroster or heater fan is turned up. They're worse when I've just filled the gas tank. Sometimes they smell more like pure gasoline, and other times it smells more like exhaust.

I don't see any evidence of leaking fuel lines, either in the engine bay or back by the fuel filler hose. The fill hose is a custom replacement made of bent exhaust tubing and straight, rubber fuel hose.

The exhaust is newer and solid, and exits to the side just behind the rear wheel. I've got a fair bit of rust on the lower body. You can see it here:
http://www.jedi.com/obiwan/jeep/wago..._6428_1200.jpg

How do I go about tracking down the source of these fumes? Is there anything more scientific than just sticking my nose in various spots and trying not to get high?

If I pop the hood and stick my head in there, I don't smell significant fumes, but why else would turning up the heater fan make things worse? If the fumes also get worse when I fill the tank, could that mean I'm dealing with two separate problems?

I'm at a loss, and I'd really like to get this cleared up before the weather turns cold and I have to roll up my windows. Any pointers would be appreciated.

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Unread 09-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
pleontks
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If you've checked all your lines and they're all good, how is your fuel tank venting system (with the charcoal canister, etc..)?

I removed my venting system, and installed a vented cap. Always smells like gas now, because it's venting directly past my door.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
Dr. Marneaus
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Check the canister under the hood. they will become saturated and will stink like gas forever.

Also, have you checked all the components of the venting system? A large portion of that is behind the driver side interior body panel in the cargo area. My gas tank setup when I bought the truck was a hack job. It was set up to just plain vent inside the body panel. I eventually replaced everything to stock configuration, but I still run a vented cap. In the summe rheat (110+) i have issues with pressure building in the tank and fumes venting from the gas cap, but they stay outside the truck now.

My charcoal canister does become saturated from time to time and will actually drip gas....which is not a good thing i'm sure.
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Unread 09-15-2013, 05:21 PM   #4
Jeepguzzi
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If you still have a steel tank, it may have pinholes on the frame side. Leaks may not make a puddle, but you will get a lot of fumes.
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Unread 10-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
Obi-Wan
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My 49-state 1977 Wag never had a charcoal canister. Only the CJ's and California FSJ's had them in '77. My factory vent lines all look good, as far as I can tell.

My gas cap was replaced a dozen or so years ago, but the writing has worn off the label, so I can't tell if it is a venting cap or not. I would think it would have to be. Do these vented caps ever go bad, forcing the pressure buildup to find another release that could lead into the cabin?
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Unread 10-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
carnuck
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look at the top of the tank where the sender is right after a fill up.
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Unread 10-22-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
Obi-Wan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnuck View Post
look at the top of the tank where the sender is right after a fill up.
Thanks, Jim. What am I looking for? Overflow? The rubber lines at the top of the tank look & feel fine, as best I can tell peering in through the wheel well. I probably replaced them when I dropped the tank a dozen years ago.

I noticed this last weekend that several of my exhaust manifold bolts were loose. The manifolds themselves appeared to be tight against the heads, but a couple bolts on each side were finger loose. I tightened them all up, hoping that this would help reduce my exhaust fumes. If anything it was worse. I'll keep looking, I guess...
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Unread 11-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
Obi-Wan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi-Wan View Post
I noticed this last weekend that several of my exhaust manifold bolts were loose. The manifolds themselves appeared to be tight against the heads, but a couple bolts on each side were finger loose. I tightened them all up, hoping that this would help reduce my exhaust fumes. If anything it was worse. I'll keep looking, I guess...
Actually, the fumes have seemed to dissipate now that I tightened up the manifold bolts. A couple days ago, the #7 exhaust manifold gasket blew out, causing a ticking noise that I initially mistook for valve noise. I imagine that once the new gaskets are on and all the bolts are tight, the exhaust woes will finally be fixed.

Alas, I'll never know for sure. After years of passively trying to sell my dear old FSJ, I've finally found a buyer. He'll be driving in from Chicago (500 miles) on Saturday to pick her up. It's going to be kinda sad for me to watch her drive away for the last time. I've poured a lot of myself into fixing her up, but there's still a lot of non-drivetrain fixing yet to be done, and I really ought to have a pickup instead of a Wagoneer. <sigh>

I was wrenching on it a little bit last night, and I actually shed a tear as I put away my tools and shut the hood for the last time.
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