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Gas Tank Pinhole, Choices?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by freebird4446, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. Mar 28, 2019 at 8:44 PM
    #1
    freebird4446

    freebird4446 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My check engine light came on a year ago in my 2003 Tacoma and according to the check engine reading, the fuel system wasn't holding a vacuum (Tried a new fuel cap and o-ring is fine). I had it smoke tested and there was a tiny pin prick hole in the top of the tank, they said it was probably from some sand that got up there and crated a tiny hole over time. The shop that smoke tested it (in a different state) said it's not a big deal, don't worry about it.

    I have my inspection coming up next week and not sure what my options are. I'm guessing replacing my tank would be pretty expensive and I was wondering if I have any other options? Disconnecting the battery makes the check engine light go out but it comes back pretty quickly,as in within an hour of driving so not long enough to get the cycles in to pass a test...not that I'm advocating for that option. I'm not sure I have another choice but to replace the tank, any suggestions out there?

    A bit nervous about trying to replace the tank myself, maybe that's worth a shot, a new tank costs about ~$300 and I could do that, but would appreciate some input. 240k miles so might be some parts rusted on...
     
  2. Mar 28, 2019 at 9:17 PM
    #2
    penadam

    penadam Well-Known Member

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    Can you drop the tank, use some fuel tank repair epoxy and then put it back? If it's really just a pinhole, that should get you by.
     
    Wyoming09 likes this.
  3. Mar 28, 2019 at 9:46 PM
    #3
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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    What he said^^^^
     
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  4. Mar 28, 2019 at 9:57 PM
    #4
    BartMaster1234

    BartMaster1234 American Auto Horns

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    If you’re not a double cab, the easiest way is removing the bed. If you are a double cab you have to drop the tank.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2019 at 2:01 AM
    #5
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Epoxies Have really improved over the last 20 years for a pin hole that would be my go to
     
  6. Mar 29, 2019 at 9:58 PM
    #6
    freebird4446

    freebird4446 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok awesome, thanks for the advice everyone! I'm willing to give the epoxy a shot. It is a double cab. I'm guessing I would want to use most of the gas, lower the tank, fog it to find the leak, then patch it up with fuel tank repair epoxy. They said it was a pinhole a year ago so I'm assuming it's still small. Worst case is I waste some time but not a big deal. In terms of epoxy I assume this is what everyone is talking about?

    https://www.amazon.com/Versachem-90180-Heavy-Duty-Fuel-Repair/dp/B002N5JAO2

    Lastly, the protective plate protecting the fuel tank has rusted through in a few places. I think it's called the fuel tank skid plate and looks to be about $250 which seems like a pretty steep price for a piece of stamped metal. Is it worth getting another one while I'm at it or just keep riding as is?
     
  7. Mar 29, 2019 at 10:06 PM
    #7
    black coffee

    black coffee A is A.

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  8. Mar 29, 2019 at 10:51 PM
    #8
    otis24

    otis24 Hard Shell Taco

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    Stuff
    You should put an auxiliary fuel tank where your spare tire was and set it up as a transfer tank.
    Put the fill hose for the stock tank where the pin hole is.
     
    cruiserguy and freebird4446 [OP] like this.
  9. Mar 30, 2019 at 2:31 AM
    #9
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Replacing the fuel tank protection it would depend how you use your truck.

    I took mine off to paint years ago never got around to putting it back on.

    About the only rough terrain my truck sees is fresh job sites and my driveway.

    If yours is rusted I bet you see Winter Chemicals ??
     
    freebird4446 [OP] likes this.
  10. Mar 30, 2019 at 7:23 AM
    #10
    freebird4446

    freebird4446 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yep I'm in NH so lots of salt, snow, ice, and dirt.
     
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  11. Mar 30, 2019 at 1:02 PM
    #11
    mechanicjon

    mechanicjon They call me "Jonny Stubs"

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  12. Mar 30, 2019 at 4:13 PM
    #12
    pulldo

    pulldo Well-Known Member

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    I soldered my old blazer's fuel tank, had a few pin holes in the top,, just used a iron and cleaned it up good, worked good.
     
  13. Mar 31, 2019 at 4:14 AM
    #13
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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  14. Mar 31, 2019 at 6:03 AM
    #14
    Wsidr1

    Wsidr1 Well-Known Member

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    I had a mid 80's Celica fastback once. Really sharp car, black with black interior. Somebody stole gasoline and apparently threw the cap somewhere else. I picked up a cap at the salvage yard... oops... apparently it had a vented cap and I picked up an unvented cap. First really hot day, it overpressurized and blew out arount 25-30 pinholes.
    I had no money at that time. I went the soldering route. Took me several attempts: solder; add water and check for leaks; solder again; ...
    Luckily, it was August and I could dump the water, let the tank sit in the yard while I was at work, and it would be dry by the time I got home.
    However, once I got them all found/soldered, no leaks. Worst part was cleaning off all of the factory asphalt corrosion prevention material. I think it was trapping water and causing the rust.

    I sold the car to a friend who drover it for years after, with no leaks.
     
    freebird4446 [OP] likes this.

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