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Series Land Rover Fuel Leaks: Tanks & Pipes

The black diesel spill pipe can harden and crack with age.

Gaskets at the fuel sender unit opening can become brittle and leak.

Fuel leaks, whether diesel or petrol, can influence engine performance, your safety and your finances. Most fuel leaks are associated with either tanks or piping.

Standard Series Land Rover fuel tanks have some plating underneath to protect whilst driving offroad. As the tanks age though, the seams can weaken and offroad driving may cause sufficient twisting to crack a seam. The tell-tale damp patch of fuel may then be spotted, though with petrol this is difficult to see when air temperatures are high. There is no easy fix for a leaking tank seam. A short term emergency fix may be to force ordinary tablet soap into the crack if possible as it is insoluble in both petrol and diesel. A longer term solution may be to drain the tank and use a commercial tank sealant. The only really effective solution is to replace the tank.
A tank seam leak may often be prevented by ensuring that the tank mounting rubbers are replaced when they become perished and hardened.

Most fuel leaks, when they occur, are associated with joints and junctions along the fuel line. Often such leaks can be due to loose joints that can be cured simply by tightening a little. However, it is sometimes necessary to open up the joint and clean the mating surfaces, where foreign articles may be preventing a perfect seal. Care should be taken not to overtighten fuel line fixings. This is particularly true in old copper piping they may have become brittle and with steel piping they may have become corroded.

In an emergency, a leaking fuel pipe may be temporarily repaired by cutting out the damaged section and joining the cut ends together with flexible rubber FUEL GRADE tubing. Use suitable clips to secure the tubing to the pipe. In a diesel system it will be necessary to bleed air out of the fuel system before attempting to re-start the engine.

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