Truck Trend Garage: 2004 Chevrolet SSR Leaky Fuel Tank

Alex Steele
Sep 1, 2009
Question: My 2004 Chevrolet SSR has the LS-1 (5.3-liter) V-8. The truck runs great and has no performance problems, but there is a big issue I'd like to solve without having to get a loan from the bank. This vehicle has a plastic fuel tank, but the filler hose is rubber, going into a metal sleeve at the tank. This sleeve is supposed to be tight, but it's loose, and I'm trying to find a sealant I can apply around the sleeve to fix the seal. Almost all the sealants in the automotive stores will not work when exposed to gasoline. A new fuel tank will cost well over $525, not including removal of the old tank and installation of the new one. Do you know of any sealant or any work that can solve this leaking problem? When I fill the tank, the fuel doesn't just leak out, it pours out. This isn't something small.
Photo 2/2   |   truck Trend Garage 2004 Chevrolet SSR front View
Answer: Without having your specific fuel tank in front of me to inspect, I can only guess on its exact structure, but I would imagine it's cracked where the filler hose fitting is mounted to the shell. You might want to stop by a Chevy dealer and look at the parts diagram to be sure there isn't a seal that can be replaced and/or secured. You may also get a better look by dropping the tank. If you or the guys in the service department can confirm the tank is cracked, get it replaced. While an epoxy like J-B Weld, if applied correctly on completely clean and dry surfaces, can be resistant to gasoline and other petroleum-based products, the body flex applied to the fix by the attached filler hose will probably crack the epoxy. So because this is such a safety-critical component, I can only recommend spending the money and replacing the fuel tank.
How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sourceinterlink.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage--visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.
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