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Old 02-10-2021, 11:51 AM   #1
Will N
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Default Gas seepage at steering column

Anyone have any suggestions for a quick fix for some slight seepage of gas where the steering column fastens to the gas tank? I know, I shouldn't mess with a gas leak, and I should pull the tank and have it braised. But I don't want to
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

I don't really have any suggestion other than removing the tank and have it repaired or replaced. I'm very scary when it comes to gasoline leaks. Too much could go wrong. Maybe someone on here with a little more knowledge than me could give you better advice. I'm just really careful with gasoline, too much could go bad quickly
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

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Originally Posted by twilder View Post
I don't really have any suggestion other than removing the tank and have it repaired or replaced. I'm very scary when it comes to gasoline leaks. Too much could go wrong. Maybe someone on here with a little more knowledge than me could give you better advice. I'm just really careful with gasoline, too much could go bad quickly
I would second these comments. It is not going to get better. Brazing in the car is another real problem.

I would assume the car is a 28 or 29. Gas tank is not hard to remove. It can than be sloshed with a quality sealer. Problem solved.

We have a 29 that was done this way over 30 years ago. Still no issues.

This is one area that should be done right.

Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

I understand why you feel the way you do. It's a real hassle and can be a serious problem. And then maybe not. Extremely minor seepage is not a mandate to start tearing things apart. Or for that matter, living in fear.
Just how much leakage do you have. Is it dripping, or running visibly down the tank? If not don't panic, you can deal with it. If it's running or dripping, you must remove the tank. If not, add the later column support that mounts to the upper rail, and disconnect the tank mount bracket. Drain the tank, let it dry out, and make an epoxy repair. It can be a long term solution if done correctly. So how bad is it? I had the exact same problem. Mine only had a slight weep that just barely kept the area damp. It evaporated before it could run or drip.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Repairing a gas tank should be done by someone that knows what they are doing or the person doing it should do some research first. Even gas tanks that have not had gas in them for many years can blow up, ESP if open flame or welding is involved. There are ways to do it if those are your choices. Other way would be a really big soldering iron and clean surface. Mounting the brace on the tank was not one of the better ideas. The later cars had the brace mounted behind the trim panel. Every time someone gets in the car, they pull on the steering wheel and flexes that gas tank bracket and tank.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

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Don't let anyone smoke in your car till it gets fixed! A leak in that area is usually caused by using the steering wheel as a lever to enter the driver's seat. I always try to remember not to touch the wheel when getting in.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Will, this doesn't sound something to ignore or a place to take shortcuts. Remember you're dealing with a 90-year old car, the solution may just have to be complicated.

I disagree that sealing the tank from the interior or epoxy at the exterior is the way to go. That's putting a bandaid that can fail at any time. Leakage at the steering column bracket indicates that something structural has failed. It won't get better, only worse. Really, the only solution, painful as it might be, is to pull the tank, have it carefully rebrazed by someone who knows what they're doing (it's possible and feasible with proper inerting of the tank), and then consider sealing the interior to add assurance.

My $0.02, and likely worth at least half of that.

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Old 02-10-2021, 02:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

I agree it should be repaired correctly. But in the mean time I would suggest installing a late model steering support that mounts behind the dash rail and eliminate the original support that mounts to the tank to prevent it from getting worse.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Here's Tom Endy's article on adapting the '30-'31 support to the '28-'29 dash rail.

http://www.santaanitaas.org/wp-conte...lumn-Mount.pdf
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:09 PM   #10
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Talking Re: Gas seepage at steering column

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Originally Posted by Y-Blockhead View Post
I agree it should be repaired correctly. But in the mean time I would suggest installing a late model steering support that mounts behind the dash rail and eliminate the original support the mounts to the tank to prevent it from getting worse.
For a while, I was making and selling those supports for RHD cars because they are not available from the vendors. Sometimes, I heard back from a customer that once they put my bracket on, the leak stopped with nothing more than that done.
I support the idea of a support!!!
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Good afternoon...I'm with Russ/40...I used to live in Fletcher Hills...not too far from Santee...If you use the modern hanger for the steering wheel, and disconnect the old one, and clean and sand the area around where the old hanger connected to the tank, where it normally leaks...let the tank dry for a week or so...then epoxy will hold for a long, long time...several Model 'A's that I know of have had this fix...once epoxy has set up...give it a few extra days to cure before putting gas back into the tank...Ernie in Arizona
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Old 02-10-2021, 03:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

I was a firefighter for nearly 40 yrs. One of the worst injuries I ever saw was someone working on a (removed) gas tank from a '67 Corvette. It's not the liquid that ignites but the fumes. I'm like an earlier poster, I wouldn't even let anyone smoke near it! You never know, you could have an electrical arc somewhere that could cause ignition. Be safe, remove it and repair it correctly!
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Old 02-10-2021, 03:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

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Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I heard back from a customer that once they put my bracket on, the leak stopped with nothing more than that done.
Yes, that's what happened to me too. Still a very slight dampness there, but nothing more, now that the new bracket is installed. This leak is one of the most common problems with Model A's and many people do not even know they have it, until they feel down there and see a blob of petrol on their finger.
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Wasn't there a video a short time back of an A involved in an accident and bursting into flames. Wouldn't want to drive it myself until fixed.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

My car had signs of seeping there when I got it, saw that the bracket was sweat soldered around the edges , re did the solder job some 50 years ago , still good, didn't use flame, have a large soldering iron,600 watt
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Sweat soldering is what plumbers use to do except they used a flame from a torch, Today they now use a crimp with an o-ring for sealing....... wonder how long that will last? A good sweat fitted joint will last for almost ever.
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Gas vapor is heavier than air so by the time you smell it some has already passed the largest spark (other than spark plugs) in the car, that being the starter switch. Every time you step on the starter with gas fumes present luck is with you that day.

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Old 02-11-2021, 09:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Originally gas tank brackets were Riveted and Soldered.

1. Gas tank brackets were never Brazed OR welded.

Brazing and welding destroys Anti-corrosion coating inside the tank called "Terne coating".

Once Terne Coating is gone the exposed area inside of the tank can rapidly rust.

Ethanol in today's gasoline attracts water from the air which rusts the tank even at the bottom of the tank near the bracket in the area where the terne coating has been burned off..

2. Not all tanks leak from under the bracket or loose rivets.

3. My tank had a 1 inch long crack in the steel of the tank about 1 inch from the edge of the bracket.

4. Solder and a brass patch fixed the problem 15 years ago.

5. I also installed the 31 support bracket which removes stress on the bracket.

Last edited by Benson; 02-11-2021 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ/40 View Post
I understand why you feel the way you do. It's a real hassle and can be a serious problem. And then maybe not. Extremely minor seepage is not a mandate to start tearing things apart. Or for that matter, living in fear.
Just how much leakage do you have. Is it dripping, or running visibly down the tank? If not don't panic, you can deal with it. If it's running or dripping, you must remove the tank. If not, add the later column support that mounts to the upper rail, and disconnect the tank mount bracket. Drain the tank, let it dry out, and make an epoxy repair. It can be a long term solution if done correctly. So how bad is it? I had the exact same problem. Mine only had a slight weep that just barely kept the area damp. It evaporated before it could run or drip.
My '30 Coupe had the same problem with minor fuel seepage and associated gas smell. I used Marine Tex GRAY epoxy around the tank bracket and switched to the dash rail bracket as above. That was 15+ years ago and no seepage or smell.

https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Might-.../dp/B001446LKO
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:07 AM   #20
Will N
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Default Re: Gas seepage at steering column

Thanks to all for your suggestions!
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