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ZackN920 01-25-2019 01:03 PM

Fuel Tank looks bulged... Leaking if "topped off"
I noticed at the beginning of last summer that the fuel tank looked bulged (front most section) and always leaked(actually would drip) if I tried to "top off" the gas when at the pump. So for the whole time I drove it last year, I quit rounding up to the nearest dollar so I wouldn't drip gas. I looked into it and noticed that its not the fuel filler hose or vent and that it was wet coming from the top of the tank. (Just like the bulge section, the wetness always stays near the front)

What's the most common cause for this type of leak? Tank cracked, or maybe at a hose orifice, or a hose going bad??? It's always towards the front of the tank(closest to the cab), in front of the strap.

I don't know if 1987 is a bastard year for the gas tank (only year for carb w/ fuel pump on the engine) or if any 1987-1996 22 gallon tank will work. If it needs replacing, can I just grab one from the junkyard I frequent or is it best to go with new?

Oh, an to be honest, I'm not sure if its actually bulged or if this is how they look. I can't remember how it looked before I put the truck back on the road 2 years ago. I'll get a picture posted later and hopefully some of you here can confirm (compared to your own truck) if my tank is bulged or if that's just how they look.

RalphP 01-25-2019 06:12 PM

The tank itself is the same for the 2.2 in 1987; 88-89 2.2 used the same tank, but the one for the 3.9 was different.

(I didn't check the 90+ parts list from the FAQ for part numbers).

So you can use a 2.2 fuel tank at least through 1989; OTOH, you could adapt a 1988 and up some 3.9 tank to work (bypass the in tank pump; or use the DRAIN outlet and cap off the FUEL and RETURN lines for a 1988, and possibly a 1989).

Since it's plastic, you might be able to plastic weld the parts together. Or maybe not; I'm not an expert in that.


ZackN920 02-02-2019 05:34 PM

Thanks for the information, good to know.
Yea, I don't know either about using plasti-weld. I guess I should really just drop the tank to see what's up, if it's a line or cracked. Don't really want to do that now, as the truck is "in storage" and has a nearly full tank of gas.

Taking pictures of the tank proved to be hard. Flash doesn't seem to work well under there! Here's what I got.

So, does that gas tank look bulged? Or did I just forget what it looked like?

RalphP 02-02-2019 05:40 PM

Doesn't look any more bulged than mine.

This is a case I'd recommend pulling the bed instead of dropping the tank.


ZackN920 02-02-2019 05:56 PM

Would that actually be all that much easier? I really don't know.

LCF04 02-02-2019 06:40 PM

the clamp holding the sending unit in the tank probably came loose. my 89 chassis that i put a 1952 dodge on (rat rod project) did this, it was easy for me to see as i haven't got a box floor in yet.

crazyjerry 02-13-2019 10:53 PM

removing bed is easy. drop spare tire. remove pin holding tube of spare tire winch, undo brake light wires. take out bed bolts. seems like 8 bolts but maybe it was 6, undo fuel neck. 20min job

ZackN920 05-15-2019 05:11 PM

Ha, 20 minute job. For me, that would equal 4 Kinda hard to do if it's just one person as well...

Finally getting to this. Got the tank all disconnected, got the straps just hanging and tank is sitting on a jack. Does the metal filler tube come out of the tank? I could spin it, but cant get it to move otherwise... I can't get the tank out with it in there. It keeps hanging up on the frame rail and I don't have enough space to roll the tank to it's side with the drive shaft there.

Mean while, even though I can't get it out I figured out why it's leaking... and it sucks. All 3 lines on the fuel sender are rotted out. I pulled the rubber hoses off and the metal lines came with on each hose. The breather (that went to the cap) was actually a little loose on the sender before I even touched it. What sucks is that from my little bit of research just now, is that I cant find an available replacement sender for ANY 1987 Dodge trucks! What are my options? Could I put new metal lines on it? Does anyone know of a part # I cant look up for a new one? Not sure what I should do.

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