Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok. The PO(s) of my vehicle mounted a stereo amplifer to the metal plate between the fuel tank and the trunk. I never thought anything of it, or bothered to remove it. I did, however, scope out the screws that secured it by looking down through the first aid kit hole when I was repairing the fuel sender some time ago. The screws were not close to touching the tank, so I didnt give it a second thought.

A couple weeks ago, I had something heavy in the trunk (vintage Fender twin amp for any guitar guys out there- around 80 lbs) and had to make a panic stop when some guy in a large F350 pickup truck pulled out in front of me and didnt see my fire engine red car with four forward lights on. The guitar amp still worked fine.....

Last week I opened the trunk and smelled fuel, more than usual. I just assumed that it was from me hauling 5 gallon cans of diesel home to heat my garage. This afternoon I filled up, and when I got home and opened the trunk, the smell just about knocked me out.

Apparently when the guitar amp whacked it, it caused the metal barrier to bend, and one of the self tapping screws securing the stereo amp decided to puncture the fuel tank. FANTASTIC. Now it's leaking pretty good.

I'm wondering what I might do to repair it, rather than replace it, but maybe I have no choice but to replace it? I'm thinking of letting the fuel run down and popping a rivet in there with a small O ring on it, I wonder if that would cure it, or at least slow it down to minor seepage? Has anyone run into this before and had to repair it? It's a tiny hole in an otherwise perfectly fine tank. Now I'm scared to remove the screw, because it'll probably pour out, since the tank is full.

Aaron-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,639 Posts
JB Weld?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Huh. Why didn't I think of that! I think that's probably a good way to go. Maybe I'll rivet and JB weld it. I think JB weld would work better if I could easily get at it from both sides. Which I may be able to do if I take out the sending unit.

Aaron-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
I saw a used one on Ebay for like $40 If the JB weld does not work. I have also heard of people using Bondo. But I think JB weld is better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,118 Posts
Yeah, I would use JB weld, it will hold better than bondo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ok, JB weld it is. I'll just have to drive around and get the fuel level down far enough. It leaks slowly enough that I didnt even notice any problems with my fuel economy when I calculated it recently.

Then I'll give the JB weld a shot. Should I throw a rivet in the hole then JB weld over it, or just JB weld on and around the hole..

... and do I need to scrape away any of the paint on the tank? or will it just stick right to it. I've seen the stuff, but honestly never used it myself.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Aaron-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Scrap the paint from the area after the fuel level is lower than the hole and sand it good before you goop it up with jb weld. A good mechanical bond and no fuel under the repair will net you not fixing it again. At 4.00 a gal, every drop counts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Two suggestions. One, get a sheetmetal screw and a rubber washer and screw the screw into the tank using the washer as a seal. Or two, take the tank out, drain the fuel, and solder it shut with a small torch. Since it is a diesel, a fire is not near as big a concern as with gasoline (explosion not possible), especially when just fixing a tiny hole. Would give you a chance to clean the tank and screen too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
They also make a fuel tank repair epoxy as well, if you do not feel like doing as KCM suggests.

A replacement tank would be best

Soldering or welding the hole shut would be 2nd best.

Third would be the epoxy repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It's fixed.

Hi guys... lots of good suggestions, but the leak got so severe today, that there was a puddle forming beneath my car at work.

So I told the boss at 1:30 that I was taking the rest of the day off, and stayed at the shop and fixed it. I removed the plastic mouldings from the inside of the trunk, the carpets and the mat. I got my stuff ready to fix it, and pulled the barrier out, knowing that it was going to really start running out as soon as I did, so I had help and worked fast.

I took a fairly large rivet with a very large flange on it, put two rubber O rings on it (one inside the other, not stacked, so a large one and a smaller one). Quickly reamed the hole, and popped the rivet in. After I cleaned the diesel off the side of the tank, I pressurized the tank with air, and made sure it did not leak, which it didnt.. then I slathered on a liberal dose of RTV gasket silicone. I dont think it'll leak again. If it does, I'll just hit the junkyard.


Then began cleanup.. OH lord.

The rubber mat was history. The carpet was salvageable, I took it over to our detailing guy and he made it smell good again.

There were some other things in the trunk I didnt care about, and all sorts of parts that I didnt know I had in the spare tire well (!). So that was cool. I emptied everything out, sopped up as much fuel as I could with rags, and hosed it down with brake clean, and ragged it out some more. Dried it out with the air hose, and it cleaned up well. A lot of the paint came off with the diesel and brake clean, so I decided to paint the inside of the trunk.

I work at a bus dealership, and one of the guys who does body work suggested truck bed-liner which they use in stepwells for busses. IT IS AWESOME. Tough as nails, looks brand new, and it dries quickly. Sure does stink while applying it, though.

Another guy cut a new rubber mat out for me, out of bus floor material, which is an anti-slip, very heavy grade rubber. After it dried up I put it all back together, and wished the interior of the car was as nice, lol.

Overall, I did not lose that much fuel, either.. but a little bit of diesel smells like a lot. I'd be surprised if it was an entire gallon, but every bit counts, anymore

:thumbsup:


Aaron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
What's your detailing guy's secret to eliminating diesel odors?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Honestly, I think he just uses some dish soap solution for all oil based disasters, and then steam cleans things, as far as I know. I just brought the carpet over to the wash bay and then retreived it at the end of the day.

I'll find out for certain what was used on Monday.


Aaron-
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top