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Mr. Wizard

gas tank leak

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I have a hole about the size of a toothpick in the side of my tank. I picked up a epoxy product at NAPA and have applied it. Anyone have any idea if I can trust this type of repair? I would rather find a product that I could "melt" onto/into the plastic. Any ideas?

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you sure the tank is plastic and it is not a cover that surrounds the tank? i know some are plastic and the fact that it is gas, i would not recommend melting anything into the tank for risk of fire. other than a plastic adhesve that works with fuel or oil then it should work.

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It's plastic. I found where the gas was running out. I agree with the safety concerns. Just want the fix to be dependable as we travel deep into the Ontario wilderness on some of our ice fishing trips. Seems overboard to put in a new tank if I can fix the leak.

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I have used the epoxy on a pickup tank without a problem, never tried a plastic one. Buddy did it on a plastic boat tank and it's held up fine.

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if you make that the perm repair, i would make sure i had an extra tube or two in my truck if it were to let go on a trip. good luck

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Depending on the location of the leak, you could make a temporary/permanent repair by installing a self-tapping screw with a rubber washer on it directly into the hole. It wont work on a seam leak or a curved area but on flat surfaces it works very well. I've done this on several occasions for emergency repairs on vehicles.

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I was waiting to see your post Mac 55. I thought of that idea too. Should I make my own rubber washer out of an old inner tube? What do you think about laying a soldering iron on the hole and let it melt together?

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You could make a washer or use a rubber o-ring, I think either would work fine.

I have repaired plastic tanks with a soldering iron but I wouldnt do it with fuel in it. If you want it to last, it would be best to remove the tank, drain it and fill it with water. Repair it using a similar color plastic as filler. Then check it with water again after the repair to make sure it doesnt leak. Make sure its totally dry, or at the very least rinse it with some gas a couple times before reinstalling.

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Just spoke to a friend to night that had contacted me last week to see if I had a tank for his 2000 XC700 because his had a hole in it.

He ended up taking a hunk of plastic from a tab or some extra area of the tank (same plastic) and using a wood burning(er) iron and plastic welded the area shut. He put some good miles on today and no leaks have occurred. Using the iron, you have no open flame to ignite an explosion.

Here is something close to what he had done:

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I have never been a huge fan of epoxy and fuel leaks. My experience has been less than favorable. The fuel reacted/eat the epoxy over time and the leak occurred again. I have had success plugging plastic Ford fuel tank in the past like Mac. said.

Good luck!

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Thats pretty much how I've done it in the past. I just dont want to be the guy to recommend doing it with gas in the tank in case something were to happen.

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Thanks everyone, I've taken all your advice. The epoxy has held with fuel in the tank all day, we put 50 miles on the sleds today too. I have the screws and rubber washers in the trunk for emergency repair. And if it leaks will either try epoxy once more or else go to the plastic weld. Have a good week all. I'm working day and night for another week then off to Lake of the Woods Fri.

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