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Old 02-25-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
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Leaking diesel fuel tank hose

I have a 2015 Ford F-250 diesel, in which I installed a supplemental fuel tank in the truck bed. The supplemental tank gravity feeds into a fitting mounted in the fuel filler hose that feeds the main tank. The idea is that you leave the valve on the supplemental tank open and the fuel gauge in the truck reads full until the supplemental tank is drained. When the fuel gauge in the truck begins to go down, you know the supplemental tank is empty.

I now have diesel fuel drips on my garage floor. The area around the fitting on the filler hose is dry, but I can feel diesel on top of the main tank. I think what's happening is that there is a leak where the filler hose connects to the main tank, which would ordinarily go unnoticed, since the main tank doesn't stay full for very long, and as soon as the fuel level drops below the top of the tank, it stops leaking. But since the gravity feed keeps the main tank full for a long time, there is time for the diesel fuel to leak out.

The problem is, I can't see the top of the main tank, or inspect the hose connection there, so this is still sort of speculation on my part. Ford says the main tank will have to be dropped to inspect the connection. They are equivocal about whether it would be covered by warranty, as I have done the non-approved installation of the supplemental tank, and it would only be covered by warranty if the leak wasn't caused by anything I did. Which is reasonable, as long as they apply that standard fairly, which remains to be seen.

I'm sure if I could get to the fitting, I could fix it myself, but I'm not at all sure I should be trying to drop the fuel tank myself so I can take a look. If I have to pay for it, it will be about $300. I think it should be a warranty item, but I'm not sure Ford will agree once they drop the tank. I could just keep the valve in the supplemental tank shut until the regular tank is almost empty, but that sort of defeats the convenience of the continuous gravity feed, and if there is a leak in the main tank fill hose connection, it should probably be fixed anyway.

What would you do?


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Old 02-25-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
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I would close the valve, run the lower tank almost empty (NOT EMPTY), and drop the tank and inspect it yourself. Probably something simple.

Unless, of course, you just like wasting time hanging around the dealership.

How handy are you?


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Old 02-25-2016, 05:44 PM   #3
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I'm handy enough to have installed the supplemental tank from the instructions provided, but I've never dropped a main fuel tank before, and don't have any instructions. I would certainly like to fix it myself, and it is frustrating that what hopefully will be a simple job of maybe tightening a hose clamp has to be complicated by the lack of access.


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Old 02-25-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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I bet you could do it. If the tank is almost empty, it's easier to handle. In the past, I have fashioned a cradle out of some spare 2x4's I had laying around. That, along with a floor jack made it manageable. I can't speak for your truck, but the tanks I've messed with were held in place in with a couple of straps. One end of each strap was captive and acted like a hinge. The other end was bolted to the body and came free when I removed the bolts. It's kind of a balancing act.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:37 PM   #5
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I'll see what it looks like under there. Is the hose from the tank to the engine also a flexible rubber hose? I guess what I'm asking is whether there is anything connected to the tank that would be damaged by dropping the tank down low enough so I can get access to the intake nose and fittings?


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Old 02-25-2016, 10:52 PM   #6
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I don't know the specifics for your truck, but I doubt anything would be damaged by lowering the tank.

If I was in your shoes, I would scour the internet for information specific to your truck. YouTube is a good source. I would also look for a Haynes or a Chilton manual that covers your specific truck.

Also, I would recommend calling Bill Hewitt, the PowerstrokeHelp.com guy. He has been a lot of help to me. http://powerstrokehelp.com/company/facility.asp
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice!


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Old 02-26-2016, 07:48 AM   #8
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This is another good forum for PowerStrokes: http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post
The supplemental tank gravity feeds into a fitting mounted in the fuel filler hose that feeds the main tank. The idea is that you leave the valve on the supplemental tank open and the fuel gauge in the truck reads full until the supplemental tank is drained. When the fuel gauge in the truck begins to go down, you know the supplemental tank is empty.
It seems to me that this simplistic setup is keeping the main tank continually over-filled until the supplemental is well past empty. This means the expansion chamber in the main tank is full of fuel and the only place for the fuel to expand is out. The path of least resistance is likely the filler hose connection, which isn't designed to handle the pressure.

Before going to the trouble of dropping the tank, and especially before going to the dealer, I'd research the vehicle service and parts manuals to find out what this connection actually looks like.
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:21 PM   #10
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For info there is a site called Alldatadiy.com. it is the site all dealers service depts use. You have to join for your vehicle. It is the online service manual from the manufacturer like we used to be able to buy a Chilton's. It not only will break down repairs step by step it also gives you access to all tech bulletins and advisories the dealers get. It tells about recalls and also potential problems and unpublished recalls.It cost around 24 dollars for 3 years. It saved me about 700 dollars on my mirrors. Dealer wanted to sell me complete mirror and said parts were not available. I went home and printed the tech bulletin off Alldatadiy that directed them to sell individual parts and 20 dollars later I was on my way home.
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:35 PM   #11
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Diesels have a fuel return line from the engine. All fuel not used in combustion is returned to the main tank, you are adding fuel to the tank and the extra is going to an overflow valve on top of the tank. So sorry, but your set up will not work. DO NOT plug the over flow valve as you then will possible have an explosion .
Good luck
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:44 PM   #12
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McDave I see you are from California. If your extra tank is not certified by the State of California you could be in for a hefty fine if the Air Resource Board was to inspect your truck. I have an extra tank on my truck that they inspect every 5 years at the same time as my smog check. Good Luck
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
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Interesting. The tank was bought from Camping World here in Rocklin, CA, so hopefully is certified for use here, although I don't know that for a fact. Leaving the valve open until the supplemental tank runs dry is from the instructions that came with the tank. In researching this on the internet before deciding which tank to buy, people were writing good reviews of this tank and one of the reasons for the good reviews was the convenience of leaving the valve open. However, if there is an overflow valve on the main fuel tank, then that might be the source of the leak rather than a loose fill hose fitting. If that is the case, everything may be operating as it's supposed to, and I would be wasting either my time or my money trying to find a leak that doesn't exist. I guess the best advice is to find a diagram of the tank before I start digging into things. It would be possible, of course, to just leave the valve on the supplemental tank closed until the main tank is mostly empty, fill it up, and then close the valve again.

I did have a discussion with one of the Service Writers at the Ford dealer, who thought my idea about a loose fuel hose fitting was possible, and advised me to run the fuel in the main tank down to almost empty and then bring it in for them to check out, which I am in the process of doing. However, I'm sure that if they find out the cause of the leak was a properly functioning overflow valve, they won't cover it under warranty. The service writer didn't mention anything about an overflow valve, but I'm sure that wouldn't stop them from charging me if there is one.


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Old 02-26-2016, 06:25 PM   #14
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My truck runs off the main tank until half then transfers from the extra tank into the main tank. I have a sticker on the door jam that says its Calif. approved and working correctly. Sticker came with the tank and paper work to sent to C.A.R.B.
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