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2002 fuel tank issue

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  • Carolina Tee Bird
    • Jul 9 2015
    • 124

    2002 fuel tank issue

    My wife has a 2002 retro bird and there has been a reoccurring check engine light every couple of months. Though the engine runs beautifully, the code indicates a problem with emissions and my mechanic has found stains below the gas tank but no signs of actual wet fuel. He assumes that there is a micro leak near the top of the tank and when conditions are right there is fuel that drips down causing the stains and tripping the check engine light. Are there any common issues with these molded tanks or other problem relating to leaks or tank failure? Should I have to replace the tank (as it seems it is not repairable) where is a good and reasonable source? A glance at ebay.....really expensive! Thanks Retro guys for responding.
  • jopizz

    • Nov 23 2009
    • 8147

    First off the error code should be more specific than just an emissions problem. It should tell you exactly what part of the emissions system is faulty. Your mechanic may not have a sophisticated enough code reader. I doubt a small leak like you describe would trip an error code. If it's leaking from the top of the tank it may be coming from the fuel pump areas. Some cars have an access panel in the trunk that you can remove and look at the pump. It may just be a fitting that's leaking or a hose. There are a lot of potential leak areas on that system so it may not be the tank. If there's no access panel then have your mechanic drop the tank. If it's just a pin hole or small crack I would repair it with some epoxy rather than spend a few hundred dollars on a used tank. I don't see any new tanks available.

    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • simplyconnected
      • May 26 2009
      • 8723

      Before spending a lot of money, try replacing your fuel cap:
      2002 FORD THUNDERBIRD 3.9L V8 Fuel Tank Cap | RockAuto
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan