View Full Version : Fuel leak, please help!

03-19-2014, 12:11 PM
Hey guys, new to the forum, and I just got my 63 from my dad, who had done very little to it for a good while. It was my mom's first car.

I've got a fuel leak that's coming from the rubber hose that's behind the front left wheel-well liner. Problem is, I can't seem to figure out how to pull that liner off without taking the entire fender off. The lines on the car are pretty good, so I don't really want to go screwing the alignment up if I can keep from it. I've searched as best I could through the threads for solutions, but to no avail. Any recommendations for getting that liner out without pulling the fender would be very much appreciated. Thanks much.

03-19-2014, 01:13 PM
You don't need to remove the fender. The splash shield is bolted to the inner firewall, outer fender and underneath. The bolts are usually covered with undercoating so they may be tough to see.


03-19-2014, 02:23 PM
You don't need to remove the fender. The splash shield is bolted to the inner firewall, outer fender and underneath. The bolts are usually covered with undercoating so they may be tough to see.

John, Thanks so much for the quick reply. I didn't expect such a fast response. I've been looking at the shop manuals both on CD and paperback. If you went with the CD, does it allow you to save the files as a PDF, so I'd be able to put it on a tablet? Thanks so much for the reply.


03-19-2014, 02:38 PM
The one shop manual I have on CD is in PDF format. However it's protected so I can't copy pages or convert it to another format. I can print out pages but that's about it.


03-19-2014, 11:16 PM
John! I really like your personal avatar that Dave did for you! That is really cool!

03-20-2014, 12:31 AM

I like it too. I thought Dave was making a special one for you also.


03-20-2014, 01:26 AM
If he is, he has not said anything to me! He put that comment on about me several weeks ago though!

03-20-2014, 01:51 AM
Here is your fuel run. Click on the picture for a printable copy:
http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=9059&stc=1&d=1395294423 (http://squarebirds.org/Fuel/1963/1960-64_PartsAndAccessories_Illistrations-1963Fuel-303.jpg)

03-20-2014, 09:37 AM
Thanks Simplyconnected. This helps a lot. I got the wheelwell liner off last night and that short bit of fuel hose was badly dry rotted.

My dad just put a new fuel pump in and replaced the supply line to the pump a couple of weeks before I got the car. So next I'm gonna drop the tank and replace the fuel hose coming out of the top of the tank.

I haven't done much searching on this, but what's the best way to clean out the fuel tank? I figure I might as well clean it up since I'll have it down anyway.

Thanks for all the help gents.

03-20-2014, 09:53 AM
Hi Jason, if you are gonna drop the gas tank, and try to clean it out, you just might consider buying a new one instead and saving yourself some future problems. The coating inside that tank is probably long gone by now, if that is the original tank. To try to save money, I did drop my tank and had it cleaned out professionally. It lasted for maybe a year and then developed a leak. So I ended up buying a new one anyway. Here is one (of several offers) on eBay that is made by the Canadian company that makes all the Tbird tanks. A new tank should last you for many years. One that you try to clean out, probably not to long, like mine. If you buy a new tank, drill a hole in one of the flanges and run a ground wire to the body. Make sure you don't drill into the tank!


You might as well buy a new gas sending unit also, especially if that is the original one in the tank. Here is one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-1963-Thunderbird-Stainless-Steel-gas-tank-Sending-unit-3-8-fuel-line-/350982703699?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessorie s&fits=Make%3AFord%7CModel%3AThunderbird&hash=item51b8330a53&vxp=mtr

Also check Rock Auto and see what their prices are for these two items. To do some price comparison, check the Advertisements Forum and visit the websites of some of our Tbird parts houses who also sell these items. In fact, call or email them and ask for their free catalogs. You are gonna need them, and also a shop manual for your car if you do not have one. The electrical wiring diagrams for it are in the Technical Resource Library, the link to which is at the bottom of my signature element.

03-20-2014, 10:49 AM
I agree with Ray on getting a new tank and sender. Completely cleaning out a fifty year old gas tank is nearly impossible. All you will be doing is knocking yourself out wondering why your car is constantly running rough and stalling out. This is one area where it pays to buy new.


03-20-2014, 11:06 AM
SPECTRA PREMIUM / COOLING DEPOT Part # F36 {#C2SZ9002A} Lock Ring Kit Included
33-7/8" x 23-5/8" x 8-3/4"
$158.79 + shipping (call them for an exact price at 608-661-1376)
Spectra is Canadian and good quality. I have two.

09-04-2015, 09:13 PM
It looks like I have a leak at the fitting that feeds the fuel line to the fuel filter. Before I start trying to turn, is the fitting into the fuel filter fitting a reverse-thread fitting? I am unsure which fitting is the leak source, so I want to undo each and see if I can get a little teflon tape on them (very carefully of course) or would I be better off with lock-tight (blue)?

http://s28.postimg.org/bks2yybu1/fuelpump.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/bks2yybu1/)

09-04-2015, 10:03 PM
No, it's not a reverse thread. I would try teflon tape first. Also check the flare on your fuel line and see if it is burred.


09-05-2015, 01:43 PM
This is the compression fitting the fuel line plugs in to. I cleaned out a whole lot of crud, put teflon tape on the threads and reattached to fuel pump. I then put the fuel line back on into this fitting. Good news is the leak at the pump was stopped, but the leak at the compression fitting (fuel line into fitting) still leaks. I checked the flare, and it looks/feels ok. No burrs, but I cannot get a seal.

So, my question is: Is there supposed to be in o-ring in the fitting? If I cannot get a seal, I then suspect either a new fitting (easiest) or a new fuel line is in order because the flare just won't seat (harder). I am going first for a new fitting.

I guess another question is do I need that fitting or can the fuel line go directly into the fuel pump? I cannot find a picture or drawing that indicates.

http://s4.postimg.org/riuqdva15/Fuel_Line_Compression_Fitting_cleaned.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/riuqdva15/)

http://s8.postimg.org/yd4qbu64x/Fuel_Line_Compression_Fitting_Teflon.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/yd4qbu64x/)

09-05-2015, 02:11 PM
You need to have that fitting. It is two different threads. Normally a flare fitting doesn't need an o ring. It looks like you have one so I would either take it out and try it or replace the o ring.


09-05-2015, 02:49 PM
Here's the flare of the fuel line. Should there be an o-ring around this? Nope, it was just a lot of sludge/gunk that looked like a failed o-ring. But I just can't get a good seat in the female fitting. Maybe a little emery cloth around the edge. I did feel a little burr.

http://s8.postimg.org/3tr49oj6p/Fuel_Line_Fitting_Flare.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/3tr49oj6p/)

09-05-2015, 02:51 PM
Hi Joe:

Actually, there is NO O-Ring, just very dirty. I tried cleaning it with acetone and brake cleaner, but perhaps that's the real issue on not getting a seat. I am going to replace the fitting.

09-05-2015, 02:57 PM
The female fitting needs to be perfectly clean and smooth to get a good seal. If you feel a burr on the flare use some fine sand paper or emery cloth. As I mentioned that type of fitting doesn't need an o ring.


09-05-2015, 03:59 PM
Flare nuts are easily cross threaded. They need to be started by hand with NO tools, for the first couple threads.

It happened to my wife's brother... In winter, with snow on the ground, I noticed red dots going up his driveway. I went inside and asked, 'who is leaking trans fluid?' His face turned pale as he explained, he just came back from the oil change place where they changed his trans fluid.

The 'mechanic' cross threaded one of the radiator fittings then wrenched it tight.

Now you know why I do my own work. - Dave

09-05-2015, 05:47 PM
Ok, folks. I soaked the fuel pump fitting in brake cleaner fluid for 10 minutes. Using Q-Tips, Pipe Cleaners and 2000 grit sand paper, I was able to clean out a lot of the stuff that did not allow a good seat from the flare on the steel fuel line.

I also used Teflon tape on both sets of male threads, tightened down 1/2 turn from tight fit. I didn't see torque settings so I wanted to be careful.

WARNING: Make sure that you then check your fuel line connections at your fuel filter ends and carb. All the jiggling around of the steel fuel line loosened those connections so when I first turned her over, no leak at the fuel pump, but it sure was flowing out of my fuel filter connection!

I replaced the cheap crimp clamp that was on there with an appropriate hose clamp. I also checked/tightened the hose clamps on the fuel line. On a '61, there's the steel line, to a rubber hose, to fuel filter, back to rubber hose and into the carb. Check them all!

Let me know if anyone wants pictures other than those that I have already posted, but this is pretty basic stuff.

Next projects:

Front Seat Belts
PCV Tests
Transmission Leak at the Linkage from the steering column to the tranny (or so I'm told)!