Fuel filler neck rusted out


#1

I have a 96 Dodge Intrepid and the fuel filler neck is severly rusted and needs replacing. It is connected to the tank with a rubber hose which appears to be in good condition. The hose clamp screws are also rusted to the point that I can’t get a tool on the screw head to turn them. It is also in tight quarters. making it tought to get a small hack saw or the like in there. Any ideas on how to get them off with out damaging the hose, which I want to reuse?


#2

Don’t spend hours messing with junk. Cut the clamps any way you can and if the hose is damaged, so be it. Replace the whole mess, pipe, hose and clamps…A Dremel Tool or die grinder will get in there and quickly cut the clamps.


#3

A Dremel tool or die grinder used on metal near/at the fuel tank? ?? Sparks will fly. KABOOM! Don’t do that. It isn’t liquid gas that explodes—it’s the fumes that explode. Try tin snips. It might be a [female dog], because those clamps sometimes are stainless steel, but the way that you describe the condition of the clamps and clamp screws leads me to believe that the clamps are probably just regular steel. Another way might be to slowly work a fairly sharp screwdriver along with a utility knife to work your way around the rubber on both sides/edges of the clamps, carefully chip that rubber away from under the clamps, pull the rest of the rubber away, then remove the clamps. A twisting of the hose at both ends helps loosen the rubber from the steel tubes. Or the small sharp screwdriver worked around the rubber and steel gets 'er done. Put a new hose on. Make sure that it’s a fuel filler hose–not regular radiator hose. Most of the time, that rubber filler tube hose is a straight shot between the fuel filler door and the fuel tank. Either bring in the old hose or measure for length and go to your favorite parts store for an exact length of new hose. Of course, new hose clamps need to be purchased, also. And buy the type of clamps that have a slot-head screwdriver set-up/hex-head tightening nut. Then you can use a hex-head nut driver or a 1/4" or 3/8" drive socket set up to tighten the screws. Just don’t crank down real hard when tightening the new clamps. You only need about 10-15 inch/pounds to keep those clamp nuts nice and snug for life. One little trick that I’ve used successfully is to lightly coat the steel tubes with a daub of lithium grease just to where the rubber hose ends end up on the steel tube. It helps if you ever need to get to those rubber/steel connections in thre future. Less twisting will be required on the rubber hose if you need to drop the fuel tank for any reason, like to work on the in-tank fuel pump, fuel gauge, etc. Don’t use regular moly grease. It might melt the rubber. White lithium or even petroleum jelly will work just fine. Lithium is sold in little plastic squeeze tubes so you don’t need to purchase a big “tub” of it.


#4

I concur…I’m not a big fan of using any power equipment near a gas tank. NOT a good idea.


#5

Thanks for the advice. I want to salvage the hose because it has a molded bend in it and it is a dealer item at around $70. I am not confident I can get a way with a stright fuel hose and try to bend it. It is about 2.5" diameter and has about a 45+ degree bend in it. It is not very long to boot. I like the ideas. I was thinking I could try something like an electrician’s end cutter or nipper and try to cut away at the clamp after chipping away some rubber. It appears the clamps are a combination of carbon steel and stainless steel. The screw being carbon steel.

Thanks!


#6

Check with Auto Parts stores. I know that Car Quest has every hose I have ever needed and not at Dealer prices. Other parts stores are probably a good bet to check with, also. Call around for pricing. Don’t forget new clamps!


#7

Don’t trash the rubber hose unless you have to. Those screws will come out and it will be a pain in the arss to replace the hose - might have to drop the tank. Go to where ever you would by tools at and tell the clerk about the screws. There are special tools built to remove rusted, rounded out screws. And make sure those screws don’t have a special head on them that would require a special Chrysler tool or an allen wrench. Chrysler used to have a claus in their warranties in the early 80s which I don’t know if they still honor. One specific warranty is lifetime emissions related unconditional replacement. the filler tube may be covered under this claus.


#8

Beefy Norm,

You make a good point. The car has about 180k miles on it but if it is unconditional then it might work. It is a long shot but I will call tomorrow. There is a smaller vapor hose attached to the filler neck as well. That clamp looks like I can get it off with out too much trouble. The filler hose is the problematic one. To your comment on special wrenches, it may be the case on the larger hose clamps. They are so rusted that some parts of the screw head appears to have fallen off. But I might me mistaken, it could be some crazy tamper proof thing i’m not familiar with. I will have to get a better look under good lighting. I may try a small vice grip on them but I suspect the head may break away and it will be a task. Thanks for your ideas.


#9

The only way to do this job is to disconnect the filler tube from the body and remove the tank. Otherwise, even if you manage to cut the clamps, you won’t have room to remove the filler tube.


#10

I went to a salvage yard to see if I could find a decent part as a new one is $146 at the dealer. I did not have any luck finding one worth taking a chance on (everything was very corroded) but I got some experience taking one out. It seems the best approach is to use a small flat blade screw driver and pry under the clamp screw. Working it back and forth and up and down. The clamp will open up enough so that the screw will free up and turn. I could turn the screw with a vise grip as the heads were in tough shape as is on my car. The screw unthreaded from the slotted theeth in the clamp and fell out freeing up everything. It takes some patience but it will work and I can reuse the hoses. I just ordered a new part on the internet, Sill expensive but a much better price than the dealer. Thanks to all who responded as experience and ideas sharing is what this board is all about.