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Discussion Starter #1
On my '96 3.8L Grand Caravan, there's a smell of gasoline when I first turn on the heater in the morning. If I open the hood I can't smell it around the engine. At first I thought it was some solvent (smells like Toulene), then just exhaust wafting around to the front and being sucked in to the air intakes, but now I think it's gasoline smell.

If I don't turn on the heater, with the engine idling, there's no smell inside.

The smell goes away after driving a few miles and doesn't come back all day.

What could there be in the air flow that would give that kind of smell?
 

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Does it start hard in the morning? Could have a fuel leak at the manifold area. Fumes get sucked in the climate system intake in front of the wipers.
 

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Also check the flexible fuel hose going to the fuel rail. I replaced mine this summer, and the old one had a lot of deterioration.

Are you familiar with the odor of r134a? Another possibility is that you have an A/C refrigerant leak at your evaporator core, something that these 3rd gens are famous for. That's not a gasoline smell, but it could be suspect in this case.

- G
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's exactly where it is. Top of the engine, passenger side, where the flexible hose connects to the fuel rail. I'm thinking I'll cut off the end of the hose if it's long enough and put on a new clamp.

Questions: Is this a special clamp for fuel lines? And does the connection need any kind of gasket sealer?
 

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That's exactly where it is. Top of the engine, passenger side, where the flexible hose connects to the fuel rail. I'm thinking I'll cut off the end of the hose if it's long enough and put on a new clamp.

Questions: Is this a special clamp for fuel lines? And does the connection need any kind of gasket sealer?
Use new fuel hose.

My approach was to get another rail from a salvage yard vehicle, cut the crimps and remove the old hose, get some bulk hose from the parts store, and take it over to a shop that crimps hoses so they could crimp the new hose on for me. Then I installed it when I got around to pulling the plenum. Yes, you can use standard hose clamps instead of crimps, but if so be sure to use ones designed for fuel lines, as you really really don't want a leak there.

I did have a tough time finding someone willing to crimp a new fuel hose for me.

- G
 

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I should add -- be sure whatever hose/crimp/clamp combination you go with can handle over 100psi of pressure safely. The rail normally runs at about 50 psi (at least on my FFV engine), but if you were to have a pressure regulator failure, the pump could deadhead something like 100 psi into the rail.

- G
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Fixed. I just cut off the end of the hose and re-installed the clamp. But I discovered a whole box of clamps in my toolbox marked "for fuel-injection hoses", which are different from water hose clamps, and is what I had on there before.

WARNING: I thought that the pressure would relieve itself gradually as I pulled off the hose, but the crimps on the fuel rail prevent that. It suddenly released a whole cloud of gasoline vapor all over me. Luckily, I had on glasses and the engine wasn't hot. BE CAREFUL.

I plan to cover that end of the fuel line with more flexible plastic tubing to give it more hi temp resistance, though actually I suppose that might reduce cooling air circulation around the line (though the fuel line was originally encased in this, so maybe not a problem).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
P.S. I wouldn't advise using water hose clamps on the high pressure fuel line. The "fuel injector hose clamps" have better screws and a different clamp design that doesn't abrade the hose and clamps more evenly all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFO on pressure in the fuel line: if you don't don't have time to take out the fuel pump fuse and run the engine until the line is dry, you can take off the gas tank cap. Fuel will still run out of the line onto the engine when you pull the line off the fuel rail (so don't do this with a hot engine or with the ignition turned to on), but at least it won't spew a cloud of fuel vapor all over you and the engine compartment. My mechanic told me about this, tried it today, and it works.
 
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