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New Fuel Sending Unit Leaking Under Screw Heads

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  • New Fuel Sending Unit Leaking Under Screw Heads

    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
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

  • #2
    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
    '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
    Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
    I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

    Comment


    • #3
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        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
        Frank van Doorn
        Omaha, Ne.
        1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
        1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
        1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

        Comment


        • #5
          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]
          1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
          1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
          1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
          1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

          Comment


          • #6
            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
            Frank van Doorn
            Omaha, Ne.
            1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
            1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
            1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

            Comment


            • #7
              I found suitable brass washers at the hardware store in the Jandorf boxes.

              Tim K.
              '64 R2 GT Hawk
              Tim K.
              \'64 R2 GT Hawk

              Comment


              • #8
                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
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  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
                  Bill Pressler
                  Kent, OH
                  (formerly Greenville, PA)
                  Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                  Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                  1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                  1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                  All are in Australia now

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.


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

                    Steve Hudson
                    The Dalles, Oregon
                    1949 \"GMOBaker\" 1-T Dually (workhorse)
                    1953 Commander Convertible (show & go)
                    1953 "Studacudallac" (project)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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
                      Tim K.
                      \'64 R2 GT Hawk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't the washers have a white sealant in them? I seem to remember a
                        funky look to them. They crush easily. No?

                        Tom
                        '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                        Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
                        http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
                        I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight
                          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                          sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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