In this video, we are
going to address most all the problems that can cause a VW Beetle to smell like
fuel inside the car. Whether it be because of the ethanol in today's fuel, or
simple age and deterioration. The fuel filler hoses, breather & vent lines,
sending unit seal, fuel lines, and even the gas cap can allow the fuel vapors
and even worse the fuel itself to escape.
In one case you may
simply be annoyed with the smell and the worst case the leaks can cause a fire.
Because we are working with gasoline, it is important to do this job in a well
ventilated area. We shouldn't have to remind you that gasoline is flammable so
please no open flames and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
We will start at the top
of the fuel system by simply replacing the gas cap and work our way back to the
carburetor. With the old gas cap off we can see some cracks in the seal, so it
wasn't exactly a bad idea.
With the hood open,
pull off the fuel tank breather and vent line. Our hose is well worn and not
held in tightly so we can pull it off by hand despite the original clamps being
intact. With the hose pulled off the assembly, twist the original crimp clamps
with a pair of pliers to break them. With all the clamps removed, save the
breather T and toss the rest.
Next the fuel filler
hoses and steel sleeve can be removed, by loosening the hose clamps and
twisting the hoses off the tank, the body filler, and the sleeve. Now with a
small section of breather hose at the top of the breather and a longer section
at the bottom, mock up the hose and ensure that the hose will not be kinked
when running from the vent port on the filler to the port in the tank. Mark
both ends of the hoses and cut them to length.
Install on the new
hose clamps, and press the hose ends in place at the body and the tank. Make
sure that the breather T points up and tighten all the hose clamps.
Now install all the fuel
filler hoses. Note that the new hose section comes in one long piece and will
need to be cut in half. Slide the hose clamps in place over the two filler hoses.
Push one section onto the filler port on the fuel tank and slide the steel
sleeve onto that hose. Slide the other section of hose onto the sleeve and
position it inline onto the filler port then slide the hose into place at the
body. Make sure that the steel sleeve is positioned correctly in place between
the two hoses and then tighten all the hose clamps.
Next, the vent hose can
be attached to the T, routed up in a loop, and routed around the back side
of the fuel tank and cut to length, then slid in place on the vent port on the
side of the tank.
The last item on the top
side of the tank to address is the fuel tank sending unit seal. Make sure that
the top of the tank is clean as you don't want the dirt or debris to drop into
the tank. Disconnect the sending unit wire, unscrew the 5 screws and remove
them along with their washers and set them aside. Remove the sending unit
noting that the lever on the sending unit points towards the driver's side of
the car. Discard the old gasket from the sending unit and set the new gasket in
place noting the orientation of the screw holes. The holes are not symmetrical
so the gasket will not line up with the holes from the tank unless it's turned
to the proper position. Re-install the sending unit and thread the 5 screws,
with the washers in place, and tighten them. Re-connect the sending unit wire
and all the work in the trunk is complete.
The next step is
underneath the fuel tank. It's going to be easiest to jack up the front or
right side of the car so you can pull off the right side front wheel. Make sure
you use wheel chalks and jack stands whenever you jack up your VW. An old rag
or a fuel safe drain pan is also helpful to catch any leaking fuel. With the
wheel off we can see that the existing hose is seeping at the tank outlet. Since
our tank is currently full, we will have to be as quick as possible when
changing this hose.
First we have a new
replacement hose about 12 inches long ready to install with clamps slid in
place. With an appropriate sized bolt, or in our case a nut driver bit ready, we
loosen the clamp from the old hose at the chassis and remove the hose. Stick
the bolt or bit in place to keep the hose from leaking too much.
After seeing that the
fuel line to chassis grommet is in place and in good shape, the new hose is
slid on to the steel line at the chassis, and the clamp can be tightened.
Next comes the tricky
part. Loosen the clamp at the fuel tank; pull off the old fuel hose as quickly
as possible. Slide the new fuel hose into place and tighten that clamp. You
can see here that there will be fuel spilt afterwards so keep an old rag or two handy for cleaning up.
Re-install the wheel and
lower the car back down. Move around to the rear of the car, and after
chalking the appropriate wheels, jack up the left side or the rear of the car
and set it on jack stands so we can access the fuel line at the rear left of
the chassis next to the transmission.
At this point, every
fuel hose you pull off will probably have fuel in it so have some rags or drain
pan ready. Remove the stock fuel hose at the chassis and use a small section of
hose, with a bolt or a nut driver bit used to plug it, to cap off the steel
line to prevent it from leaking at the chassis. We also see at this point that
the fuel line chassis grommet at the rear is in good shape, so it does not need
to be replaced.
Either under the
car or in the back left side of the engine compartment, disconnect the hose from
the steel line that passes through the engine tin at the firewall. In the
engine compartment disconnect the hose and steel line from the fuel pump. Pull
that assembly out, and use those old hoses as a guide to cut the new hoses to
length. Slide them onto the
steel line and clamp the hoses to the steel line. Feed the line back into
the engine compartment through the firewall tin at the back. Connect the short
end of the hose to the fuel pump and tighten the hose clamp.
Back underneath the car,
slide a hose clamp in place on the new hose. Pull the plug off of the fuel
line at the chassis and push the new hose on and tighten the hose clamp. Now
the car can be pulled off jack stands or after the job is complete in the engine
compartment, as nothing else needs to be done underneath the car.
In the engine
compartment disconnect the fuel hose leading to the carburetor from the fuel
pump. In our case we just installed a new carburetor a few weeks ago, so we
know the hose from the filter to the carb is in good shape. Otherwise we would
disconnect the hose from the carburetor at this point. With the new fuel
filter clamp in place on the feed line to the carburetor, the new fuel hose is
clamped to the fuel pump.
Clean up any excess fuel
that may have spilt and double check at any leaks at all of the fuel lines. Start the engine, and check again for any leaks. Make it a point to check and
replace the fuel lines under the car and in the engine compartment once a year.
The hose is inexpensive enough and well worth not having to deal with the smell
or risk of leaking fuel.
Thanks for watching and
be sure to stop by JBugs.com for other tech tips, videos and of course all of
your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.