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24Vdodge

Steel Return line problem/leak

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The other day I smelled a strong smell of diesel fuel and I pulled the truck over.  When I looked underneath the truck there were over a dozen driplets dripping off the driver's side frame rail.  The frame rail was completely wet.  Diesel was also dripping off the transfer case skid plate.  I recently installed a Fuel Boss fuel system on my truck.  My first thought was maybe one of the new rubber hoses chafed on something, even though I was extremely careful on installation.  I determined the leak was between the tank and the frame rail.  After several drips of diesel fuel on my face, trying to peek in the gap between the frame and the tank.  Since I was on a road trip and several hundred miles from home I found a mechanic's shop.  He was kind enough to let me help him work on the truck with him. 

 

We loosened the front strap of the tank and took the back strap off the tank completely.  We were able to slide the tank far enough away from the frame to get our hands up in there.  The stock steel return line has a small pin hole in it.  We called the local Dodge dealer and they said it would be over a week before they could get one out of the warehouse.  I had places to be and didn't have the time to wait so we put a band aid on it.  We took a piece of 5/16" rubber hose, slit it on one side. slid it over the hole and put three hose clamps on it.  It lasted for the remaining 1600 miles of the road trip without a leak so it worked but it is only a temporary fix. 

 

I dont' really want to buy the stock part from the local Dodge dealer.  I'm contemplating a few different ideas.  1 - cutting out the section of steel line with the pin hole and flaring in a new section of steel line.  2 - just running a parker rubber fuel hose in its place if I can find the fitting for a push lock hose connector to connect to the quick coupling style at the rear of the engine. What are your thoughts and ideas?  Anyone else had this problem and replaced a leaky stock steel line?  Thanks.

Edited by 24Vdodge

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I would recommend going to your local hose shop and seeing if they can make you a rubber line with stock fittings. Then you can get something a little more flexible that any hose shop can make.I would also recommend getting hose that can handle Bio-diesel as it will hold up to all other diesel and additives.

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Been a while since I tried something like this, but can you get stainless tubing and bend your own ?

With SS tubing, you'll never worry about it again.

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My inclination would be to look for High Pressure SS hydraulic braided lines with the correct fittings.  My second choice would be to go back to a hot rod shop who does stainless solid lines.   

Edited by flagmanruss

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Some good suggestions..... 24Vdogde, do you know what caused the pinhole? Anything we need to watch for?

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I noticed when I had my tank removed that there is corrosion on all the lines between the tank and the frame rail. I have been looking at the copper/nickle brake line to replace the brake line that is corroded. Maybe this could be used in place of the line that is there for the fuel return. The copper nickel line is supposed to be bendable without tools or kinking. I would think it is fuel friendly, but do not know this for sure. If it is you should be able to remove the bad and replace it with something new and just clamp it in place. Years ago I installed a booster pump on my fuel system, cut it into the fuel line on the frame rail and clamped rubber fuel line onto the cut ends of the steel fuel line with hose clamps and it did not leak for 5+ years. that line was under about 17# psi and I believe the return line is under less pressure than that.

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I'll have to check that out and see if mines going rusty.

 

Easie for me with my in bed tank access door. 

 

I still need to get up some pics for you guys

Edited by JAG1

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