Topic: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

I have a '77 VW Super Beetler convertible that I'm having some problems with. If it's been sitting for a long time without being started (a few weeks) when you first start it up there is a fuel leak somewhere just forward of the engine compartment. Interestingly enough, if you shut it off and lit it sit for 24 hours, then crank it up again, the leak is gone. I have looked closely at all of the lines in the engine compartment and am sure the leak is not located in that area.

I've tried putting the bug on jacks and crawling underneat to see where the leak might be coming from but have had no luck. My understanding of the fuel lines is that there is a metal line that runs from the gas tank to just forward of the engine, where it connects to a braided/rubber fuel hose that goes into the engine compartment. I am thinking there is a crack in the braided fuel hose where it connects to the metal line, but I can't see that from underneath, or maybe I just don't know what I'm supposed to be seeing.

Can anyone point me to a diagram or photos of where the fuel lines run and connect, or give me some specific instructions on how to check this more thoroughly?

And in case anyone is wondering, no, I have not been driving this bug, except to start it up while investigating this fuel leak. I do want to get this fixed ASAP, though.

Thanks,

J.R.

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

Not to be a smartass but how do you know you have a leak?

If you actually see gas dripped on the floor then you should be able to feel wetness somewhere on the fuel line.

There is a metal fuel line comeing out of the bottom of the fuel tank.  It is connected to a rubber line which in turn is connected to a metal line that comes out of the top of the center frame tube above where the master cylinder is.

That line runs through the length of the center frame and then into the left side frame horn at the rear ehere it exits up.  This can be seen in the first picture below.

The metal line then connects to a rubber line which runs forward to the rear of the fan shroud where it connects to a metal line that goes around the bottom of the fan shroud and into the engine compartment.  This can be seen in the second picture below.

http://www.geocities.com/dyouse2000/VWphotos/028.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/dyouse2000/VWphotos/059.jpg

David H
'66 VW Beetle w/sunroof
http://tinyurl.com/qhw59
"Where am I going ... and why am I in this handbasket?"

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

Thanks for the reply, Dave. Those photos have cleared things up for me a lot.

To answer your question, I know there's a fuel leak because when it does leak it pretty much pours gas out on the floor, just forward of the rear axle. I just never could figure out exactly where to look. Guess I was expecting the fuel line to be more apparent when looking up from the bottom.

Thanks,

J.R.

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

Hey, David: Great explanation and great pictures! I have an unrelated question if I might: In the top picture, what is your "hard start" solenoid fastened to? (bad grammar...) Or is it just sitting on the axle boot until the engine is installed in the car?

Clancy

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

J.R. - It's likely the rubber line between the frame and the hard line behind the fan shroud.  A bit hard to get to from underneath but that's the only way to get to it without pulling the body off.

Clancy - The relay is mounted to the bottom through bolt on the starter motor.  That's the long bolt that holds the motor together.  I really couldn't see another place to mount it and keep the wiring as short as possible.

In case anyone is wondering, the yellow wire is part of the system I used to start and run the engine as it sat in the frame.

David H
'66 VW Beetle w/sunroof
http://tinyurl.com/qhw59
"Where am I going ... and why am I in this handbasket?"

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

David,

Thanks so much for the advice and info. Definitely not up to pulling the body off, so we'll see how this goes.

J.R.

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

J.R.
     I would plan on replacing all of the fuel lines with new German. As you don't know when if ever they have been changed and if one is leaking another will soon. Be sure to use the proper hose clamps, Don't depend on friction to keep them in place. This would also be a good time to clean the gas tank and to install a filter under the gas tank. Not in the engine compartment!
Good luck, David

David
'69 Bug & '71 Ghia
No matter where you go, there you are.
Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day

Re: Fuel (gas line) leak on '77 VW Super Beetle

Sounds like the above responses assume it has a carb instead of fuel injection.
If this 77 is still fuel injected remember it will have dual lines and an electric pump at the front right, so the supply line going to the engine will have 35 psig. There is also a return line from the fuel pressure regulator. If the fuel pressure regulator sometimes sticks shut (if left sitting for a long time?) the supply lines could be subject to very high pressure that could cause your leak, which might stop if the regulator unstuck and pressure dropped to normal. (Sounds unlikely, but trying to figure what could cause your behavior.)
Use ONLY german high-pressure fuel line - not the normal braided low pressure type.