90 Ford Econoline E-150 Fuel leak/stalls on front tank, runs fine on rear


Old 09-15-06, 11:51 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
90 Ford Econoline E-150 Fuel leak/stalls on front tank, runs fine on rear


I bought my 1990 E-150 5.8L this year with about 132K on it; it's a conversion , and I'll start by saying I'm no mechanic but I can read a manual and follow most directions.

There are a couple of issues - I'll start with the most important - the fuel leak. Right now when I switch from rear to front it takes about 5-10 seconds and the engine starts sputtering - it will eventually die (whether on the highway at 60mph or sitting in the driveway). Before it dies, switching back to rear clears it up almost immediately. My mechanic (the one I won't go to anymore) replaced the oxy sensor (said it was bad) and sent me home saying the problem was not happening when it is. I know a gas leak will cause this condition - any tricks on easily finding the leak (without using matches)?

I took some pics while underneath and would also like some help identifying these three parts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/


Other than a transmission leak, it ran well for about 500 miles on the way home from the place of purchase and had decent mileage - 15/16 mpg with 2 people, 3 kayaks and gear. My mechanic fixed the transmission problem and a few other issues but I noticed after picking it up the exhaust was very rich and the mileage decreased considerably - 12mpg. (I mentioned it but of course he didn't notice it or do anything wrong)

Drove it for about another 500 miles - no problems. Next trip: after using both tanks on a trip (350 miles) we filled up and I smelled a lot of gas in the driver's seat area but didn't think anything of it as we were at the filling station. The next day, it still smelled considerably of gas (as though I spilled some near the driver's seat) but I didn't see anything leaking underneath, and with 8 people and kayaks on the way to a river, it died. Switched to the rear tank and it ran fine; the gas smell didn't completely disappear but diminished a lot. Have been running on the rear tank with a minor gas smell.


* Front & rear transmission seal, front bushing, oil sending unit, air tubes replaced 4/06
* A/C recharged 4/06
* Rotors turned, rear pads replaced 4/06
* Thermostat replaced with racing thermostat 5/06
* Alternator, oxygen sensor replaced 7/06

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Old 09-15-06, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere in the US
Posts: 66
I would check the fuel pressure alternating between tanks. I would switch to the front tank and check the electrical. Sounds like pump failure to me. If each tank has its own filter one may be clogged. I'm too tired to research it for you but its prob your fuel pump. As for the gas smell, Check your entire fuel system for leaks. Follow the procedure in your Hanes or Chilton's

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