Fuel Leak

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Feb 27, 2006
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Ocean Pines MD
I have a slight leak around my sending unit on top of my fuel tank. It mostly just leaks when I totally fill the tank. What's the easiest way to fix this problem? I think the cause is a stripped screw hole in the tank, where the sending unit is mounted.

I don't mind just removing the sending unit. Can I just seal up the top of the tank, maybe with some fiberglass? I could use my trip meter instead of the gas gauge.

Thanks for the help-
If indeed due to a stripped screw and if it were my tank, I'd first try a fuel-rated Permatex that hardens. Watch it when buying P-tex though ... as they make 20 different types, so go to a good auto parts place and not a marine dealer.
If you really do have a stripped thread on one of the screws, I'd recommend getting a self-tapping SS screw of the next size up. You might have to drill a larger hole in the sending unit which corresponds to the stripped hole in the tank. This will allow the self-tapping screw to not hang up in the sending unit plate.

The best of course is to drill and re-tap the hole in the tank...BUT...Not sure if I'd want to be drilling and tapping over an open tank with gas fumes. I'm not aware of an "ignition sealed" drill for home use that keeps the sparks coming off of the brushes from coming into contact with the gas funes. They make ignition sealed (and brushless) drills for mining purposes, but I don't think one would be easy to find/borrow/rent, and would cost a fortune if you did.

A hand drill would work, but I haven't seen one of those for years. Maybe you could find one in a specialty hardware store/on-line catelog.
I second the Permatex. I'd be tempted to remove the whole unit and re-gasket first, but if you do decide to drill, you might consider a hand crank (below) or a pneumatic job, and bleed CO2 in the fuel fill from a fire extinguisher while you're working.


Porkchunker":1d9z4k7j said:
A hand drill would work, but I haven't seen one of those for years. Maybe you could find one in a specialty hardware store/on-line catelog.

My dad had one of those hand drills when I was a kid. he always called it a " bit and brace" or something like that. He never would call it a hand drill, I don't know why. I can't remember what he used it for.
By all means do not use any sort of electrical equipment when working with fuel.
This is a lethal combination that will kill.
Use an air powered drill or a brace and bit. A brace and bit, a cheap one, will cost about $10 bucks and save a great deal of headache and potential damage both to body and boat.
You are dealing with a Class 1 Division 1 atmosphere when working on fuel tanks. Also all others that use garages for repairs thru the winter months bewae of the fumes that you generate with your heaters.

In my line of work all the projects are explosive atmospheres and this is why I stress the issues.

lets all wake up tomorrow healthy wealthy and wise. :lol: :lol: :lol: