View Full Version : Gas leak in '63 Lark R1

Bill Pressler
06-16-2006, 09:29 PM
I have noticed the last two times I have filled up in my '63 Lark R1,
I've made sure I didn't overfill it at the station, drove it several
miles, park it awhile, no leaks, then...I'll let the car sit outside in
the driveway for several hours, come back, and there'll be a round
stain of gasoline leak behind the rear bumper. I'll open the gas cap
and gas will come pouring out. Our driveway is on an incline, but I
don't fill the car any different than I always have, and have always
parked in our driveway.

I'll take the cap off for a minute, the flow of gas appears to stop,
I'll put the cap back on for a minute, then take it off again, and
again gas will pour out onto the ground.

What the hell's going on? Any ideas? It's like a reverse vacuum of
sorts is pushing it out of the tank after the car sits and cools down
for awhile.

Any suggestions are appreciated, as my kids like to ride in the car but
obviously this is a dangerous situation (it's gonna sit outside for the
entire night tonight).

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH

06-16-2006, 09:42 PM
It almost sounds as if the gas may be expanding with the heat of summer. I have never looked under a '63, but most modern cars have a vent system to relieve pressure to prevent overflows when filling the tank. Have you checked for one?

In the interim, only fill it 3/4 full to allow for expansion. Looks like you may need to take a drive to expunge the extra fuel!

Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

1946 M-16 fire truck
1948 M-16 grain truck
1949 2R16A grain truck
1949 2R17A fire truck
1955 E-38 grain truck
1957 3E-40 flatbed
1961 6E-28 grain truck
1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck
1962 Champ pickup
1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
1964 Avanti R2 4 speed
1964 Cruiser
And various other "treasures"

06-16-2006, 09:44 PM
Same answer we gave him on the Studebaker news group amoung others.

Studebaker On The Net http://stude.com
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64 Daytona HT
64 R2 4 speed Challenger
63 R2 4 speed GT Black
63 GT Hawk
62 Daytona HT

06-17-2006, 03:13 AM
Well .. there are other opinions then those on the newsgroup.....;)

We had this happen with my dads 64 Hawk, out of the blue it was
building up enormous pressure in the gas tank, and also to the
carburator. It would continue to pour fuel down the carb, after
the engine was off, and when opening the gas tank, the air would
rush out like it was a balloon. Its been so long, that I am not
too sure what was causing it. If memory serves, it was a combo
of the gas cap vent clogged, and the fuel pump was pumping fuel
both ways from a broken diaphram. I think it also filled the
engine crankcase with fuel ... its been so long though. I would
check to make sure the cap is venting, and check the condition
of the fuel pump. Thats why I changed my Hawk over to an electric
pump years ago ... the fear of those diaphrams going bad and the
gas going where it shouldnt, is scary.


Bill Pressler
06-17-2006, 06:38 AM
Thanks to all for the advice. I'm gonna check the vent tube and also try and look at the fuel pump this morning. I see no new gas stains on the driveway overnight.

I'm one of those guys that handy, mechanical Stude folks make fun of...except that I'm not rich! Love the cars, driving them, trying to maintain them in good condition and keep them out of inclement weather and/or bad storage, knowing the history, but...sadly am at a loss with a wrench! Never had a Dad/older sibling/cousin/neighbor that ever taught me the stuff, and am more impatient/crankier/busier now than ever, to try and learn the stuff at this stage of my life!

I'll post whatever I might find today.

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona R1 Skytop

06-17-2006, 09:45 AM
On the 63'lark body cars there is a gas tank vent tube that leaves the fill pipe. It is located inside the trunk against the rear body panel. It comes up from the fill tube, then goes across to the drivers side rear quarter panel, then goes down through the trunk floor pan. Where it sticks out under the car, can be plugged with what we call down here,(Georgia) "dirt dobbers". If your car ia an original R-1, it should have a "return line" from the fuel pump back to the tank...1/4 in. in diameter. I'm not 100% sure, but I think your car should also have a vented gas cap. The parts book should tell you. Hope this helps:)

06-17-2006, 12:22 PM
I HATE those danged dirt dobbers... :(

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut.
South Georgia Chapter Newsletter Editor
63 Daytona HT (project)
51 2R16 dump truck (yes, I won the raffle)
52 Commander Starliner (basket case)(will trade for another Stude <g>)
MANY more Studes in the family and a few parts cars.
Click my name and check out "Links".

06-17-2006, 12:34 PM

When it comes to engines, drive trains, and such, I'm not handy either. You may have noticed in other posts from me that I have an all Chevy drive train in my 53 Starliner. My car was'nt stock when I got it, had an old wornout and cracked block 289 from a 59 Hawk in it.

My son, however, is a expert mechanic that specializes in Chevys of all types and years. When I chose my running gear, that had a distinct bearing on my choice. I don't have his help all the time, as he is always working on Chevys, but he did help me find, rebuild and install the 350/350 combo that is in my Stude, and is available any time I need mechanical expertise.

I do what I can, ask questions here when I need to and get help for the rest[:I], like many of our Stude friends do.

Good luck with finding your gas leak problem,

Bob (stude53)[8D]

06-17-2006, 01:05 PM
I'm with Dan (ROADRACELARK) on this one. Venting problems. Vent line or gas cap at fault. Plus - parking on an incline insures the gas is up against the filler neck/vent line. A little expansion and....

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Bill Pressler
06-17-2006, 04:07 PM
Well, I bought about three feet of thin wire at the hardware store, and
ran it though the steel vent tube from the filler all the way to under
the LR quarter so I could see the wire coming down below the trunk
floor on the left side. Didn't see any "junk" coming down out of the
hole, nor any "junk" on the wire when I pulled it out. Like JP says,
maybe it is just gas expanding and my parking on an incline...but I
swear I never noticed this before this year.

Maybe this is part of it, but for years it has smelled of gas pretty
strongly up front after running it for awhile. I've always left it
outside for a good hour or so before pulling it back into the garage
after giving it a good run since the gas smell I figured wasn't a good
thing. Some have told me, "ah, that's today's gas in an old car" but
others have suggested a crapped-out fuel pump. I haven't looked to see
if it's pouring gas into the carb even after shutdown, but will
probably attempt that later today or tomorrow a.m.

Thanks, everybody!

Bill Pressler

06-17-2006, 05:49 PM
quote:Originally posted by Bill Pressler
Maybe this is part of it, but for years it has smelled of gas pretty
strongly up front after running it for awhile.

Pull out that dipstick and take a whiff. Also check to see if you
have more "oil" in the engine then before. You can use a gauge to
check fuel pressure, it should be pretty low, less then 5 psi. If
it is an R1 car, like mentioned earlier, there would be a return line
back to the tank, if the pump is pumping excessively, then it will
be forcing more fuel then normal back to the tank (and not into the
carb like my Dad's 64 Hawk, I dont remember it having a return line.

Its been about 12 years since I last saw that car.