1997 Blazer Fuel Leak


louisd11
04-19-2009, 10:06 AM
I just bought a 1997 Blazer 2 door and there seems to be a small leak around the gas tank. It also only appears to happen when you turn the truck off, so I'm guessing that it may be a fuel line. What do you guys think I should take a look at? I'm not familiar with Chevy's I'm more of a Jeep guy.

UPDATE: It appears it is leaking from the fuel line, where the rubber goes/turns into the metal. There is a plastic piece where I believe the leak is coming from. I am unsure if this is the return or sending line. But it is the closet one too you.
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/4143/img0474arp.jpg (http://img9.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0474arp.jpg)

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/6042/daniya.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=daniya.jpg)

mike2004tct
04-19-2009, 11:18 AM
If it's leaking out the right-end of the pinch clamp, it could be as simple as the O-ring inside the fitting.
If there's a hole in the plastic end itself, you'll need to replace it.
Napa (and probably Autozone,Advance Auto parts etc) sells a repair kit for these types of hoses. They're hot water shrinkable types, where you emerse the new fitting in a tub/bucket of very hot water and shrink the fitting
onto the metal tube part. The bad thing about this, is you need to remove the whole metal gas line, not easy with the amount of decay/rust I see in your picture. In your case, I'd probably get some gas-safe pressure rated hose, cut the two ends off the mating hoses, and clamp on the new rubber hose.

On the Blazers, the feed line is 3/8" diameter, the return line is 5/16".
Get the kit or hose according to the size you need, I can't tell by the pic either(looks to be the return line), but you should be able to easily identify the larger from the smaller hose.

Good luck.

b1lk1
04-19-2009, 04:16 PM
If that was my truck it would not leave my driveway ever again with those rusty nasty metal lines even still attached. Time to get some fresh tubing and replace them all. If the gas lines look like that then I would also take a hard look at the metal brake lines and prevent any future broken brake line issues.

PS: DO NOT USE RUBBER HOSE AND CLAMPS!!!!!"""" Sorry Mike2004tct but that is HORRIBLE advice. Rubber lines will not take the high pressure for any length of time. It is not that hard to replace metal lines properly.

duke350
04-20-2009, 03:26 PM
I would also replace the lines if it were mine, but I have seen where people have used the right rubber hose and have had no problems with it, even after 5-6 years.

Rick Norwood
04-21-2009, 09:30 AM
These trucks use a lot of Rubber hose in the fuel system right out of Detroit City. I would not have an issue replacing the lines with Rubber hose as long as it is Rated for high pressure and for Fuel use. Make sure it says "Fuel" or "Fuel Line" right on the hose. There is something to be said for replacing the bad lines with OEM parts, but with times and money being tight, if you do need a makeshift repair, give yourself a fighting chance and use the proper material.

b1lk1
04-21-2009, 09:49 AM
I fail to see how metal fuel line is even going to cost more than rubber. In fact, I bet rubber WILL cost more than metal. Also, there are no rubber fuel lines in these trucks. They use the neoprene plastic in the flexible areas. It is a huge mistake to trust rubber and clamps. That is just bad advice and I cannot be convinced otherwise. It is not a hard job to do it right. It will cost the same or less in the end as well and you have a repair that will outlive the truck.

Rick Norwood
04-21-2009, 12:37 PM
I fail to see how metal fuel line is even going to cost more than rubber. In fact, I bet rubber WILL cost more than metal. Also, there are no rubber fuel lines in these trucks. They use the neoprene plastic in the flexible areas. It is a huge mistake to trust rubber and clamps. That is just bad advice and I cannot be convinced otherwise. It is not a hard job to do it right. It will cost the same or less in the end as well and you have a repair that will outlive the truck.

O.K. I'll clarify my statement. I am not a Chemist nor an expert in all of the molecular structures of all the components on an automobile.

"Rubber" is a generic term here, meaning a non-metallic flexible material. I did however state to use "Fuel line" in my post.

I would use Fuel Line that is designed, manufactured, sold, and approved for use in Fuel systems regardless of what it is actually made of. I would never use Rubber hose such as windshield washer hose etc.

I respect your advice on fixing the fuel system using OEM fuel components, and that you stand firm on your convictions. However, each of us has to make a decision as to exactly what we can afford and how to repair our own vehicle.

b1lk1
04-21-2009, 12:55 PM
It is improper and dangerous to poorly repair a fuel line. Think of it this way. You park your truck/car that you just spliced a rubber line into as has been suggested. The rubber line either ruptures or leaks. This is now a fire hazard. If the fire department is called (which they will if this happens in public) then the vehicle would be impounded and ordered to be repaired. I have seen this happen. Also, by just patching the small area known to be leaking, you would also probably be ignoring the rusted out near failure parts of the line further upstream.

My whole point is that the only logical repair is to remove the metal line atleast to the nearest clean unrusted part and use a proper pressure fitting and repair it with either neoprene tubing designed for fuel lines and the pressure or use steel lines and repair it.

There are 2 systems that I never in my life would I recommend not fixing properly. Brakes and fuel. A quick fix in the brakes can kill you just as fast as a quick fix in a high pressure fuel line is a major fire hazard.

Noone should ever suggest a rubber line fix for fuel injection lines. Ever. Period. I realize that you, Rick Norwood, did not directly suggest this, but you should be absolutely clear as to what you do suggest when this type of repair is made. Steel fuel line is less than 1/2 the cost of any fuel certified rubber tubing. Neoprene plastic fuel tubing is also a lower cost. It just takes a bit more work to get those installed.

I may seem militant in my stance on this, but fixing fuel or brake lines any other way that is not at least to OEM standards is irresponsible and dangerous to not only the operator of the vehicle, but to the general public as well. It scares me to even think of the amount of vehicles on the road that are mickey moused back into service that could have a failure that could potentially kill people.

Rick Norwood
04-21-2009, 01:20 PM
Noone should ever suggest a rubber line fix for fuel injection lines. Ever. Period. I realize that you, Rick Norwood, did not directly suggest this, but you should be absolutely clear as to what you do suggest when this type of repair is made.



Point taken on clarity. I did clarify my post and I think we're singing the same song.

duke350
04-21-2009, 03:13 PM
Just to let you know, I am not sure on the 95/6 and up since I no longer own one, but on the 94 and older they did use rubber line from the factory. Just follow the line from the filter forward to find it.
As I said, I personally would just replace all the bad line, but a repair can be made with rubber line if made properly.

b1lk1
04-21-2009, 04:20 PM
Just to let you know, I am not sure on the 95/6 and up since I no longer own one, but on the 94 and older they did use rubber line from the factory. Just follow the line from the filter forward to find it.
As I said, I personally would just replace all the bad line, but a repair can be made with rubber line if made properly.

They used a rubber line to connect from the fuel line to the engine. It was a special made line that comprised of a crimp on fitting with a special made metal line that can withstand the high pressures. These lines also would need to be replaced with factory proper made lines if they were to break. I'm sorry but it is never OK to repair any fuel injection lines on any year make or model car with rubber lines and hose clamps. Even when using the proper high pressure rubber fuel tubing you'd have to be also using crimp on clamps as you would see on power steering lines and air conditioning lines in conjunction with the metal tubing that would be flared or serrated to allow the rubber to really grab ahold. Sliding a piece of rubber hose on a smooth steel line and using screw clamps is just not gonna do it.

I am not trying to be difficult, but considering it would cost less to use regular steel to repair rotted steel lines and it is 110% safer to use steel I see no reason as to why anyone would want to use such an unsafe repair method. If I was stuck in the middle of the desert and had to do this type of repair to make it to safety that is a completely different story.

I'm glad you guys understand that I am not questioning you personally as I am not and I am certainly not trying to suggest I know it all. I just strongly feel it is not wise to advise anyone coming to a forum like this to repair such a problem any other way.

duke350
04-22-2009, 11:47 AM
It was a special made line that comprised of a crimp on fitting with a special made metal line that can withstand the high pressures.

Exactly what was said, if done properly, rubber hose can be used.

b1lk1
04-22-2009, 07:46 PM
I thought I liked to argue......

You need special tools and access to the special tubing and fittings to create those lines so they would ALSO be more FAR more expensive to buy the tools and create than just using the proper metal lines like the OEM did it when repairing rusty lines. What exactly is your point of stating rubber can be used if the only way to properly and safely use it is gonna cost 10X or more to do it?

duke350
04-23-2009, 10:49 AM
I guess you do like to argue. Any way you look at it, your story changes. You went from never use rubber, to the factory never used rubber, to rubber was only used if it was specially made. You also stated that rubber was never used in any factory application. There are plenty of cars where rubber was used from the factory. Some used compression crimp fittings, some used a barb and clamp. Various cars have different pressures for fuel injection. There are some injection systems which rate the pressure at 9-11Psi and its good. There are some carb applications where you want 40 Psi. It doesn't matter if it is injected or not. Pressure is what matters. If a barb and clamp is good enough for the factory, why would it not be good enough for a repair? Some cars even have the same tank and piping to the engine but a different injector system and regulator, resulting in different fuel pressures. Fact is rubber can be specifically made for just about any application. Use the proper rubber and connector and it will be good. Just look to your brake hoses for an example. How many hundreds, or even thousands of pounds of pressure are they rated for? Point is, as already said, I would have replaced the lines. But, there are alternatives. People on this forum are looking for help and guidance. Different ideas. They do not want a "militant stance" on your opinion, they want multiple opinions. You not only put your opinion up, but you went as far as calling out other members and stating that one offered "Horrible advise". Most people were in agreement with your opinion, but suggested alternatives may be possible, but you want to jump in and say your way is it only possible way. That's not what these forums are about, and this has strayed way off course from the OP's question.
Also, you suggest a leaking line causing a fire? Not sure if you missed this, but his line IS leaking already. With the factory lines. And he is looking for options to stop the leak. Call the FD and have them impound the car? Sounds more like a local ordinance to me then a federal law. But I am sure you took that into consideration when you posted. You know, about him being in New Jersey and you being in Ontario. I am sure the laws are not 100% the same.
Again, NO ONE said anything negative about repairing the line with factory equipment, The idea was even supported. The only thing suggested was another alternative.
And then, the price? In my area it would be about 1/2 price to use rubber. I still wouldn't, but it would be less expensive.

Rick Norwood
04-23-2009, 11:05 AM
I am all for fixing a vehicle properly and have stressed this in other threads. But there are viable alternatives. And in fairness, there are stupid ones too. I would rather inform a guy that has limited funds on a practical way to repair a vehicle than to leave him to his own devices and resort to plain old Juryrigging.

We have seen a lot of out and out stupidity on this forum and the purpose is to help and inform each other. In Mike's original post he did state to use "Gas-Safe pressure rated hose". I think that would certainly be a viable alternative, and a whole lot better than what is in the truck now. Would it be as good as OEM? No. But at least if our friend walks into a parts store, he has a fighting chance of getting something that is at least rated for the application and not walk out with a piece of garden hose and bailing wire.

djd99
04-23-2009, 12:27 PM
This thread had gotten way out of hand here, I agree when your budget allows, fix your gas leak with 100% oem materials but when someone has a very low budget and flat broke this is when we need to put our heads together and come up with a alternative. I have fixed a friends car witch was fuel injected with a mix of brake line and fuel hose and the fix is holding up real well. He is flat broke and laid off and needed help and I fixed it for free. My point is If your budget allows fix it with oem materials but when your down and need a alternative a mix of line and fuel hose will work in a pinch.

blazee
04-26-2009, 07:23 AM
After seeing the condition of those lines, the only repair that I would recommend is complete replacement. This is for the simple fact that once you get in there and start monkeying with them, the movement will most likely cause them to break in other places causing worse leaks than when you started or increase the chance of problems in the future. Judging by the condition of those lines, they'll obviously need to be replaced soon anyway, might as well take care of it now, instead of creating more work for yourself, and paying to repair them twice.

As for the subject of using rubber hose as a fuel line in general, (as long as it is rated for the application and you are within the listed pressure specs) there is no harm in using it. It's convenient and easier to install in situations which require several turns. The only drawback is that you have to spend more time making sure the connections are done properly. While I don't recommend simply using hose clamps (especially in systems with higher pressures such as the Blazer's 60+psi) I have used them when the need arises, but use 2 at each connection and tighten the **** out of them for extra piece of mind. Ideally, when connecting rubber hose to metal line, I will cut the line with a tubing cutter so that I have a nice smooth end to work with. Slide a pipe fitting over it and then flare the end of tube (flare tools are cheap and come in handy around the house) to make up a proper connection.... just like you see on brake lines and tranny lines. Now that you have the metal fuel line prepared, you screw in a fitting so that you can connect it to the rubber hose...preferable one with the ribs/barbs to insure that it seals well and the hose won't come off.

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