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Thread: Gas tank won't fill to full.

  1. #1
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    Default Gas tank won't fill to full.

    Im trying to figure out why the tank in my Thunderbird wont fill up to full. It has started the last two times Ive added gas to the tank and it has occurred at two separate stations. What happens is that the gas nozzle clicks off before the tank is full, at least according to the gas gauge, which says the car has 18 gallons of gas instead of F (full digital cluster). If I try to add any more gas the pump keeps shutting off and a little bit of gas will come out the filler neck (perhaps even around the O ring where it joins the tank). I figure its either one of two problems:

    1.The gas gauge is off and the tank really is full.

    2.The filler neck to inlet pipe to gas tank O ring needs to be changed.

    3.There is a problem with the filler neck.

    Thoughts? Im leaning more towards problem 1 or 2 myself.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  2. #2
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    Seems like the gas pumps are more sensitive and shutting off sooner. It sounds like when you add extra gas, it is already actually full.

    I would guess the sender isnt reading all the way full. I wouldnt drop the tank for it, if it were me.
    Mike

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    I had another thought: perhaps the vent line is plugged or bent? I'll have to take a look and see. I'm hoping it's that vs. dropping the tank to get at the sender. That's no fun. I've done it before with a quarter tank of gas to change the fuel pump. It's got at least three quarters of a tank in it right now....
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    try a diff gas station before you go hunting for blockages, or drop the tank
    ***** Project "EVOLUTION" 1987 Cougar LS & 1985 Cougar Convertible *****

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    Quote Originally Posted by daminc View Post
    try a diff gas station before you go hunting for blockages, or drop the tank
    X2. I had that issue. It was the pumps at that particular station.
    '88 Sport--T-5,HURST shifter,TMoss GT-40 intake,Ed Curtis cam,Trick Flow heads,Scorpion rockers,70mm t-body,3G,mini starter,Taurus fan,BBK headers,O/R H-Pipe, Flowamaster 40's, deep and deeper Cobra R wheels,Mass Air, Mass Air and 24's,8.8 with 3.73's,140 mph speedo,Mach 1 chin spoiler,SN-95 springs,CHE control arms,aluminum drive shaft and a lot more..

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    Quote Originally Posted by daminc View Post
    try a diff gas station before you go hunting for blockages, or drop the tank
    It can't be the pumps. It's done it at three different gas stations.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #7
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    My 88 TC is very sensitive to angle of car when filling the tank. If it is pointed slightly down hill, I can get 2-3 gallons more in it than if it is level or pointing up hill. I figured it was just the shape of the tank and perhaps an air bubble trapped in the top of the tank that doesn't "burp" out unless the car is aimed down hill.

    Another tip... when you top off, pull the nozzle out some so the air vent (the air vent part way up the nozzle holds a suction tube, which is what triggers the shut-off when it starts pulling fuel rather than air) doesn't keep sucking up the fuel you just added. While leaving the nozzle in the filler neck, but above the gas level, reach over to push the gas pump shutoff (usually the little flap that is pushed up when you return the gas nozzle to the pump). Squeeze the nozzle handle to release the gas pressure in the nozzle head and you may get a half cup or so more of fuel. This will minimize drips and will give you some fuel you paid for (or the person ahead of you paid for) but never collected. This may also have been the fuel that was sucked up into the suction tube to trigger the shut off. Over time, this can add up. $3.20 / gallon = 20 cents per cup.

  8. #8
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    since you have s full digi dash, im betting you have exceptional highway gas mileage.

    im betting the sender or wiring to sender has some additional resistance.,, sender or wiring kina messed up somewhere.

    jumper your tan/light green wire at the self test connector to ground then turn the key forward.... then disconnect the fuel supply line and prep it to dump fuel into a couple gas cans.

    turn your key forward to empty the tank.... thats what we did on my sons bird to get the fuel pump changed.

  9. #9
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    I'll be damned if you just didnt jinkx me. Mine just did the exact same thing.

    That is the first time its happened. The gauge said 3 gallons left. I filled it up and it shuts off at 15 gallons. I figured it just clicked early and tried to add more, NO DICE, tank was full.

    Started the car and it reads 18 gallons. I instantly thought of you and this thread. WTF!!!!!
    Mike

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    So yours reads 18 gallons and if you try to add any gas it overflows? Sounds like mine . I haven't looked into it yet as I haven't had a chance to see what's up. I may not be looking at it till the spring. Being that the car is getting put away for the winter in about 5 weeks I may just drive it as is and figure it out in the spring. I'm betting it has something to do with the float/sender in the tank. I don't think the part is available, which could make fixing the issue fun.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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