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View Full Version : New Fuel Sending Unit Leaking Under Screw Heads



Bill Pressler
07-02-2007, 07:18 PM
Pardon the dumb question, but I just bought a new fuel tank sending unit from the catalog of one of the major Stude vendors, and gas is seeping out around the heads of the screws (I had a local garage install it while they were doing a few other things with the car).

I have heard mention of folks using copper washers under the screws to stop this.

Maybe it's me, but if this is "the fix", why wouldn't everybody supply them with the unit?! Maybe it's kind of like "batteries not included"!

Anybody knows if any vendor(s) has the copper washers, and what size? The car is a '63 Lark Daytona R1.

Also, since I'm such a novice, any "tips" to putting these washers under the screws? Any ease-of-job or safety tips (other than, say, 'don't smoke when you're doing the job'?! Safer to wait 'til the tank's low, or not really? Disconnect the battery (it has a battery disconnect switch so that's a no-brainer I guess). Any and all tips are appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill Pressler
Kent, OH

sbca96
07-02-2007, 07:36 PM
We had this happen with our '63 Lark Wagonaire just out of the blue.
The gasket on the sender much have dried to the point that it let go.
A new gasket and Permatex No2 form-a-gasket light even coat on each
side of the gasket fixed it. Now if its leaking from the screw heads
only, then seal washers would be required (though you COULD goop some
form-a-gasket on the screw threads - not easy to disassemble though!).

A parts house like Napa should have an old-timer you can ask about the
seal washers .. other brands use them too. Just say "Ford" and they
wont look at you funny.;)

Tom

'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

vegas paul
07-02-2007, 07:41 PM
Bill - I have another dumb question, so you won't feel all alone. My sending unit screws in from the top of the tank (51 Champion) - do I understand that yours is on the side or bottom? I'm trying to figure out how leakage could occur from the top of the tank... unless you are referring to some sloshing that causes leaks. I admit I know nothing of 63 Daytonas, except they look cool.

Las Vegas, NV
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/1462673_2_350.jpg?t=1180041622 http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude.jpg?t=1180041703

41 Frank
07-02-2007, 07:43 PM
The old sending unit screws would have had the copper washers on them or they remained on the old unit, mine did have the washers when I changed the sender. My experience is that fuel will sometimes wick out throught the screw threads. I fixed this by putting aviation Permatex on the threads, no more leaks with a full tank.
Frank van Doorn
1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
1963 Daytona Conv
1941 Champion R-2 Rod

PlainBrownR2
07-02-2007, 07:53 PM
I had to replace the sending unit in my 64 Commander recently. The copper washers are the seals to stop the fuel from leaking past the threads on the screws. When I pulled the old sending unit they were a factory install under the screwheads. I believe most of the major vendors should have this little washer. I would buy a number of these washers and a few extra washers, just in case. The washer should be a pretty standard washer between the sending units. Now, the unit I had was an aftermarket Stewart Warner unit, as well as I assumed that they assumed that the install would have the copper washers already. Yeah, its kind of like batteries not included with the unit.
A little thing about the screws. They should be threaded for the gas tank threads. There should not be any aftermarket sheet metal, wood screws, etc, except for a fine thread screws that hold the fuel tank unit in. This also prevents the fuel from leaking past the threads. Be extraordinarily careful to tighten the screws back in with the copper washers installed. And then theres the simple stuff. Dont drop the screws into the gas tank, dont drop the washers into the gas tank. This is the reason I stated keep some extra washers on hand. Keep any rust, sealant, etc, out of the gas tank, as anything can plug the outlet. When working with the fuel in the tank, either wait until the tank is completely empty and dry, or(and I state this with extreme caution) have a full tank of gas. I state with extreme caution as gas detonates best when it is in vapor form. Dont generate any sparks, dont smoke, keep any sources of heat, sparks, etc away from the area, and there shouldnt be any problem. Also make sure the sending unit is aligned. I believe the one in my Commander had the float aligned with the float pointing at the back of the tank. I dont know about the sending unit float being able to work with the float being pointed at the right or left side of the tank, but I could not get the mounting holes on the sending unit aligned in a fashion that corresponded with the mounting holes in the tank.


1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
1950 Studebaker 2R5 with 170 turbocharged
[img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00003.jpg?t=1171152673[/img=left]
[img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00009.jpg?t=1171153019[/img=right]
[img=left]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00002.jpg?t=1171153180[/img=left]
[img=right]http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t102/PlainBrownR2/DSC00005.jpg?t=1171153370[/img=right]

41 Frank
07-02-2007, 08:37 PM
The mounting holes in the tank and on the sender are spaced in such a way that the unit will only line up with the holes in one position, so you cannot get it in wrong.

Frank van Doorn
1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
1963 Daytona Conv
1941 Champion R-2 Rod

GTtim
07-02-2007, 09:59 PM
I found suitable brass washers at the hardware store in the Jandorf boxes.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

StudeRich
07-02-2007, 11:23 PM
Tim; what is Jandorf? Some hardware manufacturer in your part of the country?


quote:Originally posted by GTtim

I found suitable brass washers at the hardware store in the Jandorf boxes.

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

Bill Pressler
07-03-2007, 06:51 AM
Vegas Paul,

The screws are in the top of my sending unit. I filled the tank for the first time since the new sending unit, two days ago, and have driven maybe 30 miles since. I have to assume it's due to the tank still being quite full and sloshing around.

When I filled the tank, no fuel came dripping down, but in the garage I can small a bit of gas and thought to check. Little pools of gas around the screw heads.

Bill Pressler
Kent, OH
'63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1

S2DSteve
07-03-2007, 12:42 PM
I've had two separate incidents, 10 years apart, in which the rubber/neoprene? type sending unit gaskets swelled up and distorted after exposure to gas in a full tank. In the last incident gas just poured out the top of the tank. I then took a brand new gasket and dipped it in a cup of gas and it too swelled up to twice the original size. It seems odd they would make gas tank gaskets out of material that turns to cheese on exposure to gas, but that seems the case. Maybe it's the alcohol in modern gas. In any event, I switched to cork type gaskets (with a little permatex on the screws), and have had no problems.
http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u57/S2DSteve/Convert010-1.jpg

Steve Hudson
The Dalles, Oregon
1949 "GMOBaker" 1-T Dually
1953 Commander Convertible
1954 Champion Coupe
1960 Hawk

GTtim
07-03-2007, 06:34 PM
quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

Tim; what is Jandorf? Some hardware manufacturer in your part of the country?[

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA


Sorry I didn't explain, I thought it was a national thing. In our area the hardware stores all have rows of little drawers above the nut and bolt section. In the drawers are all manner of odd things, from fiber washers to metric stainless bolts. Some also have brass washers in various sizes. Hope this helps.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

sbca96
07-03-2007, 08:24 PM
Don't the washers have a white sealant in them? I seem to remember a
funky look to them. They crush easily. No?

Tom

rockne10
07-03-2007, 08:41 PM
Tom Karkiewicz has a jar full off them in his bus.

I got mine at a local store that advertises "Everything to build, furnish and maintain your home." It's the only place I know where you can buy 18" steel I-beam, terra-cotta roof tiles, #10 brass washers, seven sizes of mortar and pestle, a cherry dining room suite, crystal bells, dickies and carhartts, swedish pancake mix and a jar of lingonberries; and from the butcher shop: snake, moose, emu, alligator, etc.

Someone wants the property and soon the whole place will probably be a memory.

Brad Johnson
Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
http://www.4wheelz.net/virtual/images/rockne/1928_rockne03_f820_th.jpg'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight