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Fuel breather knackered?


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Have recently got Rangie back from garage and amongst other things (many,many,many other things) they attributed my fuel leak to a knackered fuel breather (I believe in the wing?) It is letting fuel evaporate off. They said it's better to live with it as once the wing is removed in their experience stuff crumbles and the wing never goes back right and the amount of labour is high etc, etc....

Are they right? Is it a pig of a job? I'm losing a fairly decent amount of fuel (lines and tank are ok) and would rather not 'live with it'! What exactly is in the wing? A tube/pipe connecting the filler to the tank or something more complicated?

Any help and advice greatly appreciated. It is an '89 3.5EFI Vogue SE (tank filler cap low on right wing).

Cheers guys,


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on my 1988 efi taking the wing off takes about half an hour, putting it back on about the same. and nothing crumbled :P

well worth the effort, if can find the fault. but if you loose susbtancial amounts of fuel, i don't think iz ist the breather or expansion tank if yours has one. does it loose fuel only when driving or also when standing? only when tank is full?

so could be a number of things, the fuel tank itself, thebreather hoses that connetc to the top of the tank (easy to check when wing mounted), the filler hose (jubilee clip knackered)

may also be simply the filler cap, thats were mine is loosing fuel, but only when full and driving :o

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Hi OrangeRover,

Many thanks for the reply. It is most noticeable when left standing, although even for a Range Rover the fuel does drop quite fast on a run. The tank is only a couple of years old and the fuel lines weren't too bad apparently. Once (a while back when the problem was barely noticable) the Rangie was up on a ramp and I noticed a bit of a petrol stain down the side of the tank coming from the top? Most noticable (stronger smell and faster loss) when tank is full. Any ideas or clues? Help!

Is it possible to check most of the clips/hoses etc without removing the floor?

Many thanks,


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  • 3 weeks later...

yes you can check most of the hoses without removing the tank/floor. look underside the wing under the filler neck, you will see the filling hose, the large breather hose, three small breather hoses (only if you have a expansion tank) as well as the fuel return. check all of these for leaks. maybe the jubilee clips are rusted, may be well worth replacing them.

since the fuel is coming from the top of the tank, i suspect that it is the fuel pump seal, or the hose / pipe from the fuel pump. that you can only get to when you remove the tank. not too difficult, four bolts as well as disconnecting the hoses.

job is easier when tank is empty btw :rolleyes:

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Most likely is the stub pipes going into the pump flange on the top of the tank, because it sits slightly lower than the top of the tank it collects all the moisture & crud and they rot away being steel.

You should be able to get access through the round cover plate in the middle of the boot floor. Careful not to disturb the solid pipes as they are a pig to replace.

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