2004 AZTEK FWD FUEL TANK LEAK
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Author Topic: 2004 AZTEK FWD FUEL TANK LEAK  (Read 2222 times)
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Arnjtek
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« on: July 12, 2016, 10:40:04 AM »

Howdy all,
New here with a new-to-me 2004 Aztek.
With just a tick over 160K miles it has the nefarious fuel fill pipe to fuel tank weld leak.
I called GM and it seems I missed the recall by about 2 years and 10,000 miles, so no free tank for me.
I have priced a new fuel tank (ouch) but I am wary of a used unit.
 I am planning on an attempt to repair the leak with JBWeld or some other suitable epoxy-type fuel tank repair goo.
If anyone has tried this approach and could offer some tips or pointers or report success or failure  I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks-
J aka Arnjtek
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Arnjtek
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 05:47:39 AM »

So,
I went with the QUICK STEEL "Plastic Tank Repair Kit".
The fuel tank had just been filled (how I discovered the leak) , so it was dripping continuously.
I pointed the vehicle facing downhill then backed it up onto a single lift ramp under the driver's side rear.

The leak stopped immediately.

I cleaned the area around the "weld" at the base of the stub where the filler tube attaches: first, with Simple Green, then with carb cleaner.

Then I sanded both the flange and the face of the tank well. This will, hopefully, provide the epoxy better adhesion.
Next,  I  cleaned the area again.

After the area was dry and VERY CLEAN I prepared half of the Quick Steel and rolled it into a long, pencil-thick strand. I wrapped the strand completely around the base of the flange where the leak appeared to be emanating. (There was not any evident crack, just a perpetual weeping of fuel from the seam of said "weld".)

Then, using my fingers, I pressed the putty-like epoxy into the 90 angle formed by the flange and the tank face while shaping and smoothing it to approximate a fillet weld. I made sure to smooth down the edge of the putty really well.

I have left the rear end elevated and will test it this evening.
I figure the epoxy should be well cured after 24 hours.
I will report the results-
J.


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Arnjtek
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 05:32:01 AM »

Allright-
Roughly 24 hours after applying the Quick Steel I took my Aztek off the ramp.
NO leakage.
Since then, I've clocked about 100 miles, on rural backroads and the interstate, and the repair is still dry as a bone.
I poked at the repaired area and the epoxy is hard and feels well bonded to the tank and flange.
I plan to keep it monitored.
Even if it isn't a permanent repair I feel very comfortable with it and hopefully it will buy me some time, if not save me the $ of purchasing a new tank.

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Dave
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2003 in Electric Blue


« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 08:47:20 AM »

Allright-
Roughly 24 hours after applying the Quick Steel I took my Aztek off the ramp.
NO leakage.
Since then, I've clocked about 100 miles, on rural backroads and the interstate, and the repair is still dry as a bone.
I poked at the repaired area and the epoxy is hard and feels well bonded to the tank and flange.
I plan to keep it monitored.
Even if it isn't a permanent repair I feel very comfortable with it and hopefully it will buy me some time, if not save me the $ of purchasing a new tank.



Sorry, a belated welcome to the AFC Arnjtek, and congrats on the ride! Thanks for posting the repair and the follow-up, that'll be really helpful info, and glad to hear that it's holding well. Hope to see you around the site - this is a really excellent resource, not as busy as it used to be, there's still some really friendly, helpful people here. Post a pic when you get a chance, and happy Tekking!
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Former owner of a 2003 Electric Blue beauty who met her end at 271,000 Kms.
Arnjtek
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 05:17:35 AM »

Thanks for the welcome, Dave.
I've been poring over the forums for insight and tips and found it most helpful.
I will post a picture soon...

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Arnjtek
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 05:32:58 AM »

The repaired tank flange:
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Arnjtek
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 08:35:28 AM »

Well.
After 1500+ miles on all sorts of roads my repair began weeping fuel.
So I am making another run at it...
I removed all the QUICK STEEL, re-sanded and cleaned the area.
I applied a base layer of JB WELD fuel-resistant "MARINE" epoxy.
Once it is cured I will sand that and then apply the QUICK STEEL as before.
Depending on how I feel about that I may add a layer of 3M 5200 over the entire area once it has cured.

Meanwhile I will be tracking down a salvage fuel tank.

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Arnjtek
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 05:26:01 AM »

Well-
I did add the layer of 3M 5200 over the entire area and after a few weeks driving it is NOT LEAKING... yet.
However, I have taken the additional precaution of not totally filling the tank- I try to keep in at or under 10 gallons (the leaking first became apparent when I topped of the tank and may have returned when I did the same...)

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Bill Salina
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2003 Gold FWD Aztek - aka "The Warthog"


« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 11:31:39 PM »

arnjtek

Wow, I wasn't aware that there was a time limit on recalls, but I see you have to have it done within 8 years of the announcement of the recall (not the manufacturing date of the vehicle). 

My tank failed about a month before the recall came out.  I found the recall notice on the internet, but it hadn't been released by GM to the dealers yet (which seemed crazy to me!)  I was still under warranty (GM's best bumper to bumper extended warranty) and when I took it in to the dealer I told them to bill it whichever way gave them the most money (since it was free either way to me).  They ended up replacing it under warranty, so, of course, I received recall notices for years after that!  LOL

At the time, a new tank was over $900.  Not long after that my warranty expired and my fuel level sensor started going bad.  I just replaced it this past weekend - I now have a working gas gauge for the first time in over 9 years.

I don't know if you took the tank out to repair the flange, but it's not that hard (I posted a very verbose writeup on it earlier this week).   I had no problem getting my tank out once I had the rear wheels up on ramps.  That gave me plenty of ground clearance.  The hardest part was getting it back in!  I hadn't fully drained the tank, and the gas sloshing around kept knocking it off the jack as I tried to jack it back up into place.  Having an extra person there (to help guide it into place) would have made it a lot easier. 

Junkyard tank - I think that's the way to go. 

Bird Dog



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Bill (aka Bird Dog)
2003 Gold FWD Aztek "The Warthog"
Arnjtek
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2016, 06:13:34 AM »

Bird Dog-
I contacted GM and they informed me I was just over the mileage for a free replacement tank- so it was going to be about $900.
My repair is still holding up, though, so I'm not in a huge hurry to replace it.
I will definitely go with a junkyard tank when/if the time comes.
Now, if only I could locate a shop manual for a not insane price.
J.
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Bill Salina
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2003 Gold FWD Aztek - aka "The Warthog"


« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 05:04:56 PM »

Arnjtek - I know what you mean about the insane price for the shop manuals - they cost me $189 + shipping when I bought mine !!!

They're HUGE - 2 big volumes, each as thick as a phone book !

I'd sell you my set for $75 but they are for a 2003. 

That reminds me, I need to put them up on ebay...






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Bill (aka Bird Dog)
2003 Gold FWD Aztek "The Warthog"
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