After not hearing from Donnie yesterday about locating a new tank, I took Meatcoma’s suggestion and picked up some JB WaterWeld on the way home to see if it would work.
I dropped the WaterWeld off last night, and Donnie told me that the dealership wanted $2,000 to put a new tank in. I probably would have called the dealership too to see how much it would be. There are some repairs I would rather not do in the driveway in December - especially if it was my daily driver that I needed. Dropping a fuel tank is one of them.
I’m not sure what his “fuckit, just go ahead and do it” price is, but it’s not $2K.
He also said he called his insurance to see if he could file a claim. They said there’s a chance a repair that expensive could total a 2003 2WD Explorer.
I’m hoping he gives the WaterWeld a shot, and it works until he can get a tank ordered.
He asked me how much he owed me for the WaterWeld, and I told him all he needs to do is refill his Sam Addams row in my drink case, ‘cause he’s empty.
Original Post - My neighbor said to me as we stood in my driveway yesterday afternoon, enjoying the unusual 60 degree weather in the DC area.
“Yes, I do. I think it..... it might .. might be Donnie.” (as I point down the street...)
Just a minute earlier Donnie had driven by and pulled into his driveway. The only difference was that this time, he didn’t wave like he always does, and the neighborhood smelled like fuel. He was also running back and forth between his garage and his car with assorted containers in a panic.
I grabbed a catch pan and hurried on down to lend a hand.
OMG the fuel was everywhere. It was pouring out the car, draining down the driveway into the street towards the storm drain.
When got down there, the only container he had that was small enough to get under the Explorer was a litter box. When the litter box was full, he would slide it out, spill half of it while trying to pour it into the cooler while the tank continued to purge. Fuel had saturated his sleeves up to his elbows.
Things got a little neater when he started alternating between the two pans. He was able to relax a little.
After a few minutes, I asked him how much fuel he thought he had. “3/4 of a tank (~15 gallons) when I turned the car off,” was his answer. I took a look at the assorted containers strewn across the driveway, and said to the other neighbor, “We’re going to need more cans....”
She ran home to get a can, then ran to a neighbor’s house whom was out of town and grabbed his. We eventually had enough containers, and the tank was finally empty.
We asked him what happened, and he said he hit something in the road and smelled gas a few seconds later. He pulled over, saw the leak, jumped back in the car and hauled ass the last few miles to his home to his driveway.
I was hoping it was a puncture on a flat surface of the tank, so we might have been able to get some sort of patch on it until he could order a new one, but that hole isn’t going to be friendly to the flat patch I had in mind.
We ended up capturing almost nine gallons of it. I still smell like gas.