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Old 11-08-2016, 06:00   #1
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Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Was out on my new to me oceanis 40 today an noticed a small amount of fuel in a small corner of the bilge in which the fuel tank sits. After pumping out the fuel and ensuring no new fuel was flowing in i started to find the culprit. From what i can tell there are some small leaks coming from the full sender as well as the pump line going to the heater (picture attached). Hard to tell in the picture but the areas around them are a bit wet with fuel smell. (and have been when i checked a few weeks ago, just did not cross my mind out big of problem it could be).

First question, is there anything i could use to provide a quick fix (just for the next week or two) Not sure the best sealant, or anything else to use.

Second question: If i wanted to remove the sender and fuel line to the heater to replace the gaskets how do i go about this? (it might sound dumb) but if I remove the screws to i need to worry about anything on the inside of the tank falling in to the tank? Anyone know where i can find these gaskets

Is there some sealant i could put around the outside of the holes as a temporary fix.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:47   #2
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Is that a plastic fuel tank? The nuts for the sender will not fall inside. Any fuel proof sealant you smear all over the outside could be a pain to clean up.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:53   #3
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

I had this problem on my most recent cruise. My temporary fix was to remove all of the diesel fuel, remove the tank, clean it out, and coat it with West System epoxy. West System epoxy is actually rated as an acceptable material for building diesel tanks out of.

That was six months ago and it's still holding, and we're back home, so it's time to order a new fuel tank.

If you can't get your tank out easily, there may be a way to coat it from the inside, but I have no knowledge on that.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:58   #4
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

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Is that a plastic fuel tank? The nuts for the sender will not fall inside. Any fuel proof sealant you smear all over the outside could be a pain to clean up.
yep, plastic and its modeled to the space. I could get the tank out but its going to be a massive pain (boats, right). I really dont believe its a crack in the tank but a break in the seals from the sender and the smaller fuel line going to the heater. Thus i'm really just looking for a solution for those seals.

Cheers
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:24   #5
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

First thing to try is to just tighten all the screws and fittings and see I that helps...
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:49   #6
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

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First thing to try is to just tighten all the screws and fittings and see I that helps...
Funny you say that, as it really should be logical but i skipped that step while at the boat and was just thinking about it when you posted this. The eberspacher fuel pickup pipe any idea how this works tightening, or removing? Is there anything on the underside that might fall in or is it just simply tightening the bolt on the top?
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:41   #7
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Firstly try to tighten everything up. If that does not work, remove everything and refit everything back with a gasket goo.
If that fails you can always make a permanent seal with a product called 'leakfix' which I assume is just a 2 part epoxy sealant . It is available in most car accessory places and should always be part of your spares kit. Once applied it will last for ever as I have found out from previous use on heat exchangers and a diesel tank which I fixed whilst it was leaking!
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:50   #8
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Easy to fix; remove the fuel level sender and gasket, use the old gasket as a template to make a new gasket from gasket material you can purchase at most hardware stores, reassemble.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:15   #9
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

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Originally Posted by rubberduck View Post
...there are some small leaks coming from the full sender as well as the pump line going to the heater...

Is there some sealant i could put around the outside of the holes as a temporary fix...
Come on!
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:01   #10
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

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Originally Posted by Cliff Meima View Post
Easy to fix; remove the fuel level sender and gasket, use the old gasket as a template to make a new gasket from gasket material you can purchase at most hardware stores, reassemble.
This, try to avoid the goo if you can, that stuff can cause more problems that it fixes sometimes and a new gasket isn't hard to cut at all
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:10   #11
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

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This, try to avoid the goo if you can, that stuff can cause more problems that it fixes sometimes and a new gasket isn't hard to cut at all
I think cork is the prefered material for sending unit gaskets.
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:42   #12
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Thanks for all the great replays, gives me a place to start. based on all your good information I think i have the fuel sender figured out. Try to tighten the screws, then new gasket (cork, possibly).

The Eberspacher fuel pickup Im still a bit confused on. Has anyone taken one of these out or tightened one? Do i just need to try to tighten the bolt on top, opposite if i want to remove?

Cheers
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Old 11-08-2016, 15:04   #13
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

I'd just jump into replacing the gasket as I have never had good luck just tightening things, be careful not to over tighten as sometimes that can distort a flange and then you have to tap the flange flat again.
I have never done anything with that model heater, but that looks like what is often called a B nut, using a back up wrench to make sure the whole thing doesn't turn try tightening it, that type usually has an O ring under it if I'm not mistaken, do not over tighten, you can tell if it's loose, if it's not then disassemble and fix.

Often times people trying to tighten something to stop a seep, end up either breaking something or making the leak worse, if you were ever a car mechanic the older cars with sheet metal valve covers are the perfect example.


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Old 11-08-2016, 17:34   #14
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Are all those fittings on the top of the tank?They are usually designed to only be more for splash seals like on a car or truck fuel tank.
Are you over filling it?
The sender unit are tricky little blighters.
Usually one of the screws is MUCH longer than the others.
When removing the screws, take notice if one takes longer to remove .... do NOT take this one right out or the inner ring will fall in the tank. Remove all the others and rotate until the inner fits through the 'slotted' hole.
Keep the tank below 3/4 full & you may solve your problems.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:58   #15
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Re: Diesel tank leak - a bit unsure what to do

Fixed this one earlier this summer.. replace the gasket, replace the Phillips heads with Button Head Socket Screws from McMaster Carr. Chances are the screws heads are stripped from a bad screwdriver & did not get fully seated.
My poly tank had captive nuts, not threaded inserts, & I was able to tap the one or two that been bunged up.
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