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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past few years I've had a gas vapor leak in my 82 Spider. It's not very noticable when driving, but I keep the car in an small enclosed garage, and everytime I open the garage door, the odor is so strong that I need to let the garage air out for 10 minutes before I enter.

The guys at Ferrari & Maserati of Seattle (who have serviced the car for many years) have spent hours trying to diagnose and repair this. They've replaced the fuel lines and hooked up a pressurized smoke-injection system to detect further leaks. They've found nothing, but the odors persist.

Any ideas what to try next? I don't want to replace the entire fuel tank on spec, but I'm not sure what options are left. Thanks.
-Larry
 

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1966-2013
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Welcome.

If there's absolutely for certain no actual leaks anywhere, you might wanna investigate some of the modifications that can be done to the fuel vapor recovery system to make it more effective.

See the FAQ at the top of this subsection and look for 'gas smell in trunk'.


Oh, and we'll be requiring pictures at some point. Even those of your car are acceptable.
 

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I could be mistaken, but I do recall another alfisti with a gas smell problem... it's been a year or two so can't be certain about details. Anyway, have you ever noitced when you go to fuel up and your tank is pressurized. ie when you remove the cap a rush of air & gas Vapour rush out. I believe this is caused by a faulty check valve which is located in trunk. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

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I don't believe that filling the tank through an open filler pipe results in a pressurized tank although the prob may certainly be that check valve.
 

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I don't believe that filling the tank through an open filler pipe results in a pressurized tank although the prob may certainly be that check valve.
Filling the tank does not pressurize the tank, but by removing the cap one would notice pressure leaving the tank via the filler opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Check valve was one of the obvious first things my mechanic looked for. As I said, all fuel line components have been replaced (afaik), except for the tank itself and the filler tube leading into it.

The smell is independent of tank fullness or pressure caused by heat or driving. It's there after leaving the car untouched for months during the winter.

OTOH - it's been a beautiful last few weeks to drive it here in Seattle!
-Larry
 

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Any ideas what to try next? I don't want to replace the entire fuel tank on spec, but I'm not sure what options are left. Thanks.
-Larry
Mine only does this when the fuel cap isn't sealing properly. It seems to work loose if not tightened well at fill up. Maybe yours is not there or isnt sealing. It would be a quick free check anyway.

Otherwise there are several posts on the seeping of fuel around the opening in the top of the tank. This would concentrate the smell in the trunk. Mine was never concentrated there. Just stinks up the garage. Is yours worse in the trunk? If so, look there.

There is a canister behind a removable panel accessed from the passenger fender well that would be worth a check as well to see if all the vacuum hoses are connected properly.

Good luck finding it.
 

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You didn't say 'untouched for months' in your 1st post.

Does it or does it not make stinkies under normal regular use conditions, or just after a storage period?

If the latter, are you sure it's even the car? (old 1/2 full gas can in the corner, engine powered lawn equiptment with fuel in the tank, etc. stored in same garage for example)

Realizing it might not be something that was noted, does the fuel level change between the day it rolled in and the months later when it gets brought out?

Do you use fuel stabilizer as part of the lay up for storage routine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Phil - Fuel cap is tight, and gasket on the cap looks good - but this might be a worth a replacement as a cheap thing to try. The smell is more concentrated in the trunk, but I don't see any seepage around the filler opening. I trust that my mechanic checked the vacuum hoses, but I'll take a look too.

Darren - the smell is always present, but doesn't become intolerable unless the car sits in an enclosed space. I've removed the only other gas vapor sources from the garage (i.e. mower, gas can), air out the garage, close the garage door, and the odor returns. Conversely, air out garage, remove Afla, close garage door, and no smell. Fuel level doesn't drop on its own over the winters; there's the usual old-age related seepage of transmission fluid, etc, but no evidence of gas leaks on the garage floor. No fuel stabilizers used -- my point about storage was to rule out that the odors are due to vapor pressures or heat generated by driving. My symptoms are not correlated to driving or parking extended periods, hot or cold, etc.
 

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So you're kinda like this right now:

Lines all new, clamps on all feed lines all correct type (wormscrews would be wrong) and tight, smoke test reveals nothing, filter and pump not seeping, vapor recovery system apparently functional, no seepage around fill neck or sending unit, no cracks in filler neck.

Hmm.

Might be time to drain the tank and take it someplace for a pressure check (a good radiator shop should be able to accomplish it easily and inexpensively) to see if it's got something weepy going on that's not actually visible to the naked eye.

If nothing else it would confirm or eliminate that from the suspect list without having to go through the expense of replacement just to find out.
 

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Have you checked the "in-tank" pump Gasket. Pull the carpet back and get your nose in there for a sniff. If the seal has failed it will leak small amount of fuel when tank is 3/4 or more full. Worth a look.
 

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I've been battling the same sort of problem.Mine stinks up the garage after I take her out for a ride. After the garage airs out, its ok-there seems to be no leaks,and the smell is of exhaust-not fresh gas.If I leave it parked -the smell goes away,until I drive it again.I have wormscew clamps for most of the fuel system. I also have no fuel recov system only a vented cap-there is very little to- no smell when I drive-only after I park it.
 
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