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HELP!! Fuel Leak and I cannot find it!!

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  • HELP!! Fuel Leak and I cannot find it!!

    I have a 1979 Mako 21 almost completely original condition including the original baby poop floor, well minus a few additions I have added (electronics, trim tabs, 2002 Yamaha bolted to a 6" Bobs jack plate which hangs off the 28" Armstrong bracket and a few other things). I am presently leaking fuel from sources unknown but I can see it running at a slow pace on the outside of the port stringer. So far I have taken the speaker(in the place of the inspection cover for the fuel) out and cannot locate or smell fuel there. I have cut a hole in the storage compartment below that, no fuel there either. I have taken the coffin cover off of the deck after removing the console and not even a slight hint of fuel there. I did however find a bunch of water and some crazy moldy fungusy substance on top of the foam that encases the fuel tank. The rubber lines that connect the hard lines to the tank and fuel fill is definitely needing to be replaced but the leak isn't coming from there. Now I am planning on removing the tank tomorrow and possibly saturday depending on the weather so either way it is coming out for inspection recoating and re-foaming as well so if it is the tank which I'm not thinking it is I can address before completing the other things but I don't think it is. I don't see how the fuel would be getting to the outside of the stringer from its location, unless the stringer isn't built how I am thinking it is. I am wondering if maybe one of the hardlines that connects the fuel fill to the tank has a hole in it and is leaking. I don't know what it looks like under the deck so any help is appreciated and valuable to me! thanks in advance!!!

  • #2
    It could be leaking along a seam that you can't see. Once it's out the leak or leaks will be visible. Frankly, a 79 like mine means a new tank. I'd replace the fill er lines as well as they are aluminum and probably have holes in them. A good pressure washer will get the foam out,it's messy,but easier than cutting it out. IMO.I'm in CLEARWATER ,GOOD LUCK WITH THE REMOVAL.

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    • #3
      My guess is the hose is leaking on the way from the rail to the tank causing the leak.
      \'07 Mako 19 bay, sold[br]\'76 Mako 21, sold[br]\'77 Mako 21, dump[br]\'77 Mako 22, sold[br]\'80 Mako 23 WA, sold[br]\'82 Mako 21, sold[br]\'85 Mako 254 currently[br]\'78 J24 USA 292 (sold)[br]\'05 Melges 32 racing sailboat

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      • #4
        Scroll thru this post. It has pixs of my 1984 tank. 5 years newer than yours. One pix I'm holding the vent line. Completely clogged

        Sorry to say - but I see a new tank with all new lines in your future.

        http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=51116
        1984 Mako 228 w/ 175hp E-Tec [br]1983 SeaRay 26\' Sundancer w/ 454 Big Block spinning Volvo DuoProps (Sold)[br]1989 Wahoo 17\' CC w/ 88hp Evinrude (vacationing in Key West)[br]

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        • #5
          You don't ever put back in a tank that old. It may test ok, but it also has hundreds of pinprick corrosion spots one micron away from failing.

          Forget about testing, and spend the money on a whole new fuel system--tank, fill, vent, and motor lines. You're due for a replacement on all, and the last thing you want to do is go to the trouble of opening it up for one thing, put back together, then have another piece fail next year.

          Good luck!
          NYC & L.I. - 1974 \"Classic\" Mako 20\' - Suzuki 2006 DF150 - Fly & Light Tackle, C&R[br]My boat: http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23444#159594[br]Personal website: http://www.georgemcauliffe.com/

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          • #6
            quote:


            Originally posted by Dogman18


            It could be leaking along a seam that you can't see. Once it's out the leak or leaks will be visible. Frankly, a 79 like mine means a new tank. I'd replace the fill er lines as well as they are aluminum and probably have holes in them. A good pressure washer will get the foam out,it's messy,but easier than cutting it out. IMO.I'm in CLEARWATER ,GOOD LUCK WITH THE REMOVAL.



            I have gotten almost every little bit of foam out from the sides and top of the tank yet I cannot get it to release from the bottom. I have 2 2x6's screwed together sitting from gunnel to gunnel with a 10 ton bottle jack on top with a chain around the two stern tabs of the tank over the jack and I have applied constant pressure and hit it with a dead blow several times and am having no success. I have no idea on how to remover the bottom foam so I can get the tank out, any suggestions? I live about 15 min from you btw off Starkey and Bryan Dairy.

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            • #7
              Also does anyone have any idea if they foamed the entire hull under the floor on these 79's? If so its going to be impossible to replace the hardline without cutting the floor up which I refuse to do at this point in the season. Maybe after september but not right now since I am about to head to Homosassa for 3 months

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              • #8
                most people have success with a pry bar and a wooden block. use it to rock the tank side to side while you have tension on it with the jack.

                put the wood block against the tank at the corners and pry on it.

                the hulls were foamed in after the fill piping was installed so most of them are stuck to the foam. your leak is most likely the fill tubes so its worth the effort to replace them with new hose.

                if you drive a piece of pipe slightly larger than the fill tube int the opening with the tube inside it you can drive the pipe in and release the tube from the foam.drive it in a little ways and then wiggle it out then repeat. this will also create a larger opening for the new hose to pass through. just be careful when you get out near the bend as you will be against the hull.

                then you will need to cut the elbow where the fill tube makes its turn.

                this can be done carefully with a recip saw that has a couple blades screwed together inserted through the fuel fill opening
                76 25 \"Aenigma\"[br]73 17[br]Richland/Long Beach, MS[br]http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14182[br][br]17 project[br]http://www.classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=56176

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                • #9
                  Ok tank is out, appears to not be my issue at all. Looks like either the vent tube or the fill line is my issue. And because it looks like the entire hull is foam filled so at this present moment I will be leaving the hardlines right where they are. I am debating on putting a temporary fill and vent in the console(unless anyone can suggest a good reason why and where else to put it) until I get the motivation and the time off the water to cut the floor out and modify the boat the way I would like it to be.

                  So for now I am going to clean up the tank, which honestly looks fantastic for being almost 40 years old. Minimal corrosion spots, almost looks like maybe a 5 year old tank or less. Until the last 4 years the boat spent its life in a high and dry in New Jersey.

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                  • #10
                    You might want to reconsider installing the fill and vent lines in the console. USCG regulations do not allow such an installation due to fire hazard. Others would agree since you have the tank out just replace it. It has done it's duty even if it may good.
                    Keyman[br]Paoli, PA

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                    • #11
                      I replaced my lines without cutting out the floor.

                      Look about 1/2 way down the first page of my project thread and youll see the 4x6 access hole I cut into the base of the front step/seat. Thru that hole I cut the elbow in the aluminum line and was able to get it out. Mine is a 1975 20. That method might work for you if your 21 is layed out the same way.

                      http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=52102

                      Like your situation, my tank wasnt leaking either, but the fill line was. After going thru the removal process there is absolutely no freaking way I was going to re-install a 40 year old aluminum tank and set myself up for the same fun in a couple of years.
                      M20 project-Finally Splashed!
                      https://forum.classicmako.com/forum/...r-bottom-paint
                      Gallery
                      https://forum.classicmako.com/member...kgfisher/media


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                      • #12
                        quote:


                        Originally posted by kgfisher


                        I replaced my lines without cutting out the floor.


                        Look about 1/2 way down the first page of my project thread and youll see the 4x6 access hole I cut into the base of the front step/seat. Thru that hole I cut the elbow in the aluminum line and was able to get it out. Mine is a 1975 20. That method might work for you if your 21 is layed out the same way.

                        http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=52102

                        Like your situation, my tank wasnt leaking either, but the fill line was. After going thru the removal process there is absolutely no freaking way I was going to re-install a 40 year old aluminum tank and set myself up for the same fun in a couple of years.


                        My layout is completely different than yours in the front and it is also completely filled with foam from what I can see. Its not a project I am willing to tackle at the present moment with a three month boating trip coming up in less than a month.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:


                          Originally posted by keyman


                          You might want to reconsider installing the fill and vent lines in the console. USCG regulations do not allow such an installation due to fire hazard. Others would agree since you have the tank out just replace it. It has done it's duty even if it may good.



                          I don't see why one would just toss a tank that pressure tests out good, looks good, perfectly clean inside and doesn't have any flaws. I'm going to get a price on a new one so Im not completely ruling the idea out but I had planned on blasting this tank, coal tar epoxying the outside and refoaming it in.

                          And the tank fill and vent line in the console is just a temporary thing until around october when I can have more time to tear it down and do it properly. I just can't do it right now since I am less than a month away from being in Homosassa for 3 months to scallop and dive for ARS season

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                          • #14
                            quote:


                            Originally posted by poundpuppy727


                            quote:


                            Originally posted by kgfisher


                            I replaced my lines without cutting out the floor.


                            Look about 1/2 way down the first page of my project thread and youll see the 4x6 access hole I cut into the base of the front step/seat. Thru that hole I cut the elbow in the aluminum line and was able to get it out. Mine is a 1975 20. That method might work for you if your 21 is layed out the same way.

                            http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=52102

                            Like your situation, my tank wasnt leaking either, but the fill line was. After going thru the removal process there is absolutely no freaking way I was going to re-install a 40 year old aluminum tank and set myself up for the same fun in a couple of years.


                            My layout is completely different than yours in the front and it is also completely filled with foam from what I can see. Its not a project I am willing to tackle at the present moment with a three month boating trip coming up in less than a month.



                            I was really hoping your layout would be similar. I'm glad you found the leak in time to make repairs before the trip.
                            M20 project-Finally Splashed!
                            https://forum.classicmako.com/forum/...r-bottom-paint
                            Gallery
                            https://forum.classicmako.com/member...kgfisher/media


                            Comment

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