1971 Chevy Suburban Redux

A chronicle of the rebuilding and rebirth of an American classic &mdash the
1971 3/4 ton Chevy Suburban.

February 11 2010

Well looky here… a leaking gas tank.

Walked out to the Suburban after work last night, and to my surprise, I find a big stinking wet spot on the pavement under the right rear corner of the truck.

It was around 7PM, so it was already dark, and there is no light on that side of the parking lot. The camera on my Blackberry is pretty much awful, but I gotta say, the flash is pretty decent. In the photo above you can see the fuel spot on the pavement (the corner of the bumper just peeking through on top of the picture.

It’s not a puddle, so the leak can’t be that fast. I crouch down to take a better look (even after lowering the Suburban by 5 or 6 inches, it’s still tall enough that “crouching down” to look underneath doesn’t take too much).

Two nights ago I put about 10 gallons in the rear tank, thinking I had been misjudging just how many miles a given gallon of gas will take me. I hadn’t noticed any leaks from the tank before, but now I’ve seen it in the act. The drip is reasonably consistent, maybe one drip per second. That adds up to a lot of fuel.

Long story on the dual-gas tank situation on this Chevy. I’m not even really sure myself, but there are two tanks, and the primary (factory) tank isn’t being used. This one in the rear is an auxiliary tank, and it looks like maybe it’s even home made. I guess I’ve got no reason to trust it. Perhaps this weekend I pull the factory gas tank out and see if there are any problems with it. Probably should get it switched over asap, and ditch the home-brewed tank.

On a positive note, I found two Dynomax SuperTurbo mufflers with an H-pipe for $50. Not brand new, but pretty close, and *way* cheaper than retail. Some quieter mufflers will probably make my neighbors really happy.


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