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Old 01-28-2018, 04:37 PM   #1
Jsubie18
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Default 2003 WRX fuel tank leak

Hi Guys,

I wasn't able to find any posts with the same issue I'm having, please feel free to move this post if necessary.

First off, this is a project car, not my DD. I've had it for almost a year now, and finally finished my JDM ej205 swap. Ecu came in last weekend, I was stoked to finally take the car out for a drive . All was well, I put around 100 miles on the car throughout the weekend. At the end of the day, I filled it up at the local gas station and drove home.

At this point, I was starting to smell raw gas in the cabin. Fortunately I only live 1 mile from the gas station. When I pulled into the driveway, I got out to inspect why it was smelling like raw fuel, and gas was (heavily) dripping from the drivers side rear tire well. I threw a catcher underneath to see how much was actually being lost. I then took the rear seat out, and the driver side was soaked in gas.

This happened a week ago, and I was finally able to do some testing this weekend. My fuel gauge was now reading 3/4 full, so I put 3 gallons in a canister, and then proceeded to pour that into the wrx. Sure enough, going anywhere over 3/4 mark and the tank starts leaking again. I checked the three lines which come up under the rear seat, but they don't seem to be leaking. Also, fuel is seeping up through two rubber grommets on the body under the seat (see pictures). It literally melted the rubber insulation which was on the body. The gas looks like it's coming somewhere on top of the tank, dripping over the seam (see pictures below)







I'm not sure if the leak is caused by lines on top of the tank, or the tank itself. I checked the sending unit and fuel pump gaskets, and nothing is leaking from them. Any advice is appreciated. I'm probably going to schedule a time to get it looked at in the near future.

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:29 PM   #2
Valarius Starchaser
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Default 2003 WRX fuel tank leak

Photo links are dead use something other then photobucket
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:14 PM   #3
Jsubie18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valarius Starchaser View Post
Photo links are dead use something other then photobucket
Sorry, try these:

https://i.imgur.com/pj2tv16.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/VS98jv2.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/pHF5ATU.jpg
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:50 AM   #4
Samurai Jack
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Where is the fuel pump located in your car, Driver or Passenger side?
Maybe fuel is leaking from the fuel pump gasket?
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
Jsubie18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
Where is the fuel pump located in your car, Driver or Passenger side?
Maybe fuel is leaking from the fuel pump gasket?
Hey Jack,

Fuel pump is on the passenger side, sending unit on driver side. Both appear to be fine, no fuel leaking. I'm leaning towards a hole in the tank...
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:15 PM   #6
wtdash
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Yeah...that's a rusty NE car, based on 1st pic. Check your 'fuel filler neck' too.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:46 PM   #7
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtdash View Post
Yeah...that's a rusty NE car, based on 1st pic. Check your 'fuel filler neck' too.
Except the fuel filler neck is on the passenger side.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:47 PM   #8
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsubie18 View Post
Hey Jack,

Fuel pump is on the passenger side, sending unit on driver side. Both appear to be fine, no fuel leaking. I'm leaning towards a hole in the tank...
That's what is really starting to sound like
I just couldn't remember which side the fuel pump was on.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:55 PM   #9
wtdash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
Except the fuel filler neck is on the passenger side.
Yep...just like a Forester that has the 'infamous' fuel filler neck' rot.

Just another thing for the OP to check when they're dropping "shudder" the tank.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:37 PM   #10
Jsubie18
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I've decided to attempt removing the tank within the next few weeks with a few friends. What a waste of $40 worth of 93 octane.

I'll post what I find.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:22 AM   #11
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsubie18 View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've decided to attempt removing the tank within the next few weeks with a few friends. What a waste of $40 worth of 93 octane.

I'll post what I find.
Just collect it in a gas container and put it back when the repair is complete.
Oh wait, that's like 13 gallons so you'll need several 5 gal cans
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:49 AM   #12
Valarius Starchaser
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Yeah there’s two drain bolt on either side. I got a new oil drain pan and then went from that to the gas cans to make it a nearly no loss operation granted I spent 15 on the drain pan but I needed another anyways
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:24 PM   #13
Jsubie18
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I might attempt dropping the tank this weekend if weather isn't too bad. I'll check the filler neck just to be certain first. I'll reply back with what I find on the tank regardless.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:44 PM   #14
monkeyposeur
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Some have reported that their gas tanks didn't have any drain bolts. I couldn't find any on my 03 WRX wagon, but that's not to say that they aren't there.

The easiest way (for me) to drain the gas tank is to pull the ignition fuse and crank the engine to relieve fuel pressure. Connect the two green test mode connectors under the dash. Attach a long clear hose to the output fuel line post fuel filter. Stick the other end of the hose in a gas can and turn the key on. The fuel pump will cycle on and off and pump the gas into the containter.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:24 AM   #15
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyposeur View Post
Some have reported that their gas tanks didn't have any drain bolts. I couldn't find any on my 03 WRX wagon, but that's not to say that they aren't there.
I don't think I've ever seen any drain bolts on my 2002 wagon either.

How about just taking a big ass nail and drive it into the bottom of the gas tank? I mean, you're not going to re-use it anyway
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:35 AM   #16
Jsubie18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyposeur View Post
Some have reported that their gas tanks didn't have any drain bolts. I couldn't find any on my 03 WRX wagon, but that's not to say that they aren't there.

The easiest way (for me) to drain the gas tank is to pull the ignition fuse and crank the engine to relieve fuel pressure. Connect the two green test mode connectors under the dash. Attach a long clear hose to the output fuel line post fuel filter. Stick the other end of the hose in a gas can and turn the key on. The fuel pump will cycle on and off and pump the gas into the containter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
I don't think I've ever seen any drain bolts on my 2002 wagon either.

How about just taking a big ass nail and drive it into the bottom of the gas tank? I mean, you're not going to re-use it anyway
Those are both good ideas! I'll probably use monkeyposeur's method and store the gas. I also didn't see any drain bolts when looking around last night.
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Old 02-01-2018, 01:17 PM   #17
Samurai Jack
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Well, I meant to use a big ass nail and drain into a storage container.

Fuel is too expensive to just throw it away like that.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:24 PM   #18
FL4TOUTWRX
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My 03 is doing this exact same thing, what did you find??
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:19 AM   #19
Boosdsubie
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Find anything? I have same exact problem
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:43 AM   #20
Shik
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My son's 2002 did the same thing only it leaked in the passenger side. It was NOT the fuel filler neck, but rather where the neck goes into the tank where it rotted. Would only drip for a little after filling it up, but I wasn't having any fuel leaks with my kid driving, soooo...

I replaced the tank with a brand new oem tank, plus the white valves on top of the tank, as you can't get the gaskets for them separately, plus some rubber fuel lines, plus new nuts for the fuel pump hanger. Not the most fun i had replacing something on a Subaru, but at least it's done and I shouldn't have to worry about it for a while.
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