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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 02-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
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Gas smell from outside car

After I drive the car for a long period of time, I smell gas from outside the car. It does not leak into the cabin when all of the windows are closed, however if they are open I can get a good whiff of it in.

I have replaced the gas cap already, and it didn't seem to help much.

I also have a surging idle problem, which I am guessing is a vacuum leak somewhere, does anyone know where to start looking? And/or how to detect a vacuum leak?

Also, how do you adjust the idle? I know there's an idle adjustment screw on there but I am not sure how it works. Do you turn it clockwise while the car is on to decrease the idle or do you tinker with it while the car is off?

Thanks
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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year and motor? sounds like you have a 22r carbed motor. clockwise increases the idle. usually have the truck on while doing that to see how its acts. the gas smell is probably ur gas tank drain plug. thats where my gas smell was from. get some gas tank patch compound and pull the skid plate off the tank drain the gas put the compound on the screw and wait for it to dry.

all of this is assuming u have a 22r
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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89' 22RE sorry.


I just got it a few weeks ago, been working out the issues with it one by one but it's running good now except for the high idle and the gas smell.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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The fuel pump bracket on top of the tank rusts out on these trucks. That could be causing the fuel smell.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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You probably have a rotted out fuel line or the bracket on the top of the tank, as previously mentioned. The loss of power also indicated a loss of fuel pressure. If you're dropping the tank, I would plan on a new fuel pump, sending unit, fuel lines, and, if the fuel line is rotted you can bet the brake lines are on their way too, so I'd plan on them! I had to do all that work last summer on mine and now it runs like a champ! Probably about $500.00 for all that and a days hard work (make it a weekend if you want to sandblast and paint the frame as I did on mine). Try not to break the screws for any of the tank components or you're looking at a few hundred extra for a new tank!

Q
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #6
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Is the fuel pump bracket hard to replace? How about the fuel lines?

Do you think it would make it worthwhile to take it to a mechanic and have them diagnose it to eliminate all of the guess work or no?
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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Okay well for starters, did the idle issue and the fuel smell both appear at the same time? And, does the idle change at all if you are out of the vehicle and it is running? (As in when you are doing nothing with the truck and it is running on its own). And is it a "surge" as you said, or is it a drop? My problem was a loss of power/idle because I was sucking air through a rotted fuel line. ('94 4runner 22re). Eventually I couldn't even get it to stay running because there just wasn't fuel pressure.
Next I would try to establish where the fuel smell is strongest. By the engine, on the passenger's side, or on the drivers side? Get right down in there and sniff. Then I'd visually inspect the lines to see how they look (The main feed goes along the inside of the frame, the return is mounted to the bottom of the body). Next easy step would be to remove the skid plate off the bottom of the tank and see if it is a leaking drain plug as mentioned earlier. Also look carefully for any signs of gas which has dripped down from the top of the tank, or anywhere on the frame; it'll usually leave a mark. Could even be just the filler neck which if rubber has dry rotted.
All that should only take about ten minutes and you'll have a better idea of where your problem is specifically located, and whether the idle "surge" is related to the fuel leak or not.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyomo View Post
Is the fuel pump bracket hard to replace? How about the fuel lines?

Do you think it would make it worthwhile to take it to a mechanic and have them diagnose it to eliminate all of the guess work or no?
I would try to diagnose myself. I just went through this process and my tip would be it would be cheaper to buy a new gas tank then to pay a mechanic time to tap and die the screws that broke off the old fuel pump bracket. A new tank comes with the proper screws and gaskets so it becomes a matter of finding another bracket to put in. I broke the heads off my fuel gauge sender with a pair of pliers in about 5 minutes.

When they did my pump bracket the screws they put in were 2mm longer then the originals. So it leaked after the bracket was replaced.

Check out my fuel gauge sender in the top left corner.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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Okay well for starters, did the idle issue and the fuel smell both appear at the same time? And, does the idle change at all if you are out of the vehicle and it is running? (As in when you are doing nothing with the truck and it is running on its own). And is it a "surge" as you said, or is it a drop? My problem was a loss of power/idle because I was sucking air through a rotted fuel line. ('94 4runner 22re). Eventually I couldn't even get it to stay running because there just wasn't fuel pressure.
Next I would try to establish where the fuel smell is strongest. By the engine, on the passenger's side, or on the drivers side? Get right down in there and sniff. Then I'd visually inspect the lines to see how they look (The main feed goes along the inside of the frame, the return is mounted to the bottom of the body). Next easy step would be to remove the skid plate off the bottom of the tank and see if it is a leaking drain plug as mentioned earlier. Also look carefully for any signs of gas which has dripped down from the top of the tank, or anywhere on the frame; it'll usually leave a mark. Could even be just the filler neck which if rubber has dry rotted.
All that should only take about ten minutes and you'll have a better idea of where your problem is specifically located, and whether the idle "surge" is related to the fuel leak or not.

Well, the car was not running for about a week after I got it. When I finally got it fixed, the idle surging problem surfaced. It did not do this before the battery cable/terminal and ECM fuse were replaced so it is a new problem. It begins to happen after you drive it for a long period of time. I also adjusted the idle on the car so it is not as high now, but in doing so I definitely noticed a slight loss in power. It still surges but it will not stall, the gas smell however is present still.

If I was to take a wild guess, I would say that it is coming from the engine bay but I sniffed around there yesterday while the car was off and I could not trace the fuel smell in the engine bay.

I do believe the fuel issue and idle surge appeared at around the same time.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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Unplug the battery for 5 minutes and let the ecm reset see if that helps the idle? Other than that I've offered about as much as my knowledge allows.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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UPDATE: Okay, I have tried to the best of my ability to trace the smell of the gasoline and I have only been able to pinpoint it into two directions. First place I smelled it was right by the back wheel well passenger side (same side the gasoline tank is on). I had the car idling but I only caught a whiff of it as i moved my head around that area, so I don't know if it's exclusive to that area but it would make sense.

The next area I caught smell of it was by the engine bay also on the passenger side. I don't know what could go wrong over there, but the smell there was not as apparent as the one by the wheel well.

I hope this helps. I am not going to drive it anymore until I find out where it's coming from, but please if anyone else can chime in as this is a safety hazard for me and my family.

Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:37 PM   #12
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The fuel runs along the entire passenger side. From the tank, to the fuel line, to the intake manifold.

I would just take a flashlight and an inspection mirror and trace the fuel lines, and look at the tank filler hose, fuel pump bracket, and the metal lines comming off of the bracket.

Here are some pictures of the fuel pump bracket from when I did mine a couple years ago. I am not saying that is where your leak is, but it will help you see where the fuel lines go. There are a lot of variations on the fuel pump brackets, so yours may not have the same length and shape metal lines comming out from it.

Old rusty bracket:
http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/e.../rustyfuel.jpg

New bracket:
http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/e...styfuel002.jpg

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Old 02-16-2010, 05:32 PM   #13
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I did some more investigation and noticed that around the fuel door, that little round rubber piece is sort of lopsided, it smelled like the gas smell was coming from there. I am hoping that is the case because then it would save me so much money and I wouldn't have to do anything else.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:04 PM   #14
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not so sure if that would be the problem since the rubber is not part of the gas tank, if I'm picturing it right. Maybe your cap is not on properly? lol
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:40 PM   #15
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not so sure if that would be the problem since the rubber is not part of the gas tank, if I'm picturing it right. Maybe your cap is not on properly? lol

It turned out to be that the piece I was talking about was infact not on right so therefore it inhibited the gas cap from locking onto the neck. I popped it back into place and now i can hear the gas cap lock into place.

Simple fix, glad I noticed it lol.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:32 PM   #16
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lol grats!!
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:32 PM
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22re, 4runner, diagnose, engine, fuel, gas, gasoline, idle, odor, runner, running, sender, smell, surges, toyota, unit

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