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Discussion Starter #1
There's not much on this subject so I am starting a new topic.
Here's the issue: Warmer weather is a must, the hotter the worse the condition is.
Full gas tank, no smell. No gurgeling sounds.
1/2 full tank, gasoline fumes and occasional gurgeling sounds from fuel tank area.
1/3 or less, gasoline fumes, inside/outside, gurgeling sounds from tank area, slight performance loss.

Shut down engine and let it cool for an hour the issue improves. Go fill the gas tank full, problems usually go away. Engine cooling is normal during the above situations. Loosen the fuel cap, interior smell goes away but the exterior stinks too much to be in public.

Seems like the fuel tank is a pressurized system but it is being over pressured some way. There must be some type of over pressure valve which is either failing or is working properly and something else is causing too much pressure in the tank. Also, why is it that the fuel inside the fuel tank is sloshing around. I don't notice that with other cars when the tank is 1/2 full or less, it's embarassing.

Hope this is understandable.
 

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I've had the same sloshing sound on my 94 3.8L & Ford replaced the fuel tank uner warranty way back in 97.

My neighbor had a 93 3.8L & his was recalled, to have the fuel tank replaced, because of bad welds, so he told me.

In my case it was a anti-slosh baffel that had come loose, so they told me, anyway it was replaced with a modified tank, under warranty.

On the gas smells, my problem turned out to be a dryrotted vacuum vapor recovery line at a "T" connection drivers side, down under the radiators cross beam. This rubber line runs up to the drivers side of the engine & connects to a vacuum port on the intake manafold, it's easy to trace down to the "T"

Kinda sounds like maybe your vapor recovery system may be acting out, as the tank should have a slight negative presure I believe.

Do you have a check engine light lit, or have you had the computer scanned for pending trouble codes, that haven't matured yet to turn on the CEL, they might offer up some good clues?????
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you pawpaw. The fuel tank baffel makes sense but I'm original owner and no notice came about that, just the fuel pump TSB which Ford fixed.

I don't think my vapor issue is up front since the stench seems to be around the left rear wheel well/dog leg area. The mechanics I went to over the years that this has been occuring say the fuel system is checking out fine. I went to a reliable performance mechanic and they confirmed all codes are default. I am familiar with the vacuum line you reference, I'll check it for defects but as you mention, I agree it's likely a fuel return/vapor recovery cluster. No check engine light comes on since 1993.

Ford owes me a fuel tank...I know it's too much to ask in 2007 and likely they'd respond with "by a new Ford" as they did with an F-250 vibration defect they couldn't fix on the transfer case.

Hard to believe this issue is occuring year after year and is triggered by outside temps. My 3.8 does not do well in the summer heat anyway. The cooling system is too small as at freeway speeds and a/c with an incline, I've got to watch the temp guage like it were a speedo. Around town in 120 degree heat, no trouble unless going uphill for long periods. In 1999 I had it, I replaced the radiator, a/c condensor, all hoses, thermostat, water pump and of course, the head gaskets which instigated this parts list. All I have to do in heat is turn off the a/c and the heating problem transfers to the occupants. I'm lucky at 130,000 being on the original tranmission although it's about ready for a rebuild as the 1-2 shifts are getting sloppy. It's had 6 trans fluid changes so far. Love the car otherwise I'd have put it on the curb years ago.
 

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You'll need to replace your fuel vapor purge solenoid. Common problem on the Gen 1 and 2.
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That makes sense to me, as he has reported lots of postive pressure when removing the gas cap.

If the evap system isn't working properly, the tank wouldn't be purged of fumes when the engine is started & it would allow the tank to build positive pressure & want to burp.

If you've been having more difficult than normal cold weather starts, might be a clue also, as these easily combustible fuel tank fumes are put to use to help a cold engine start more easily.

I'd check that vacuum line at the "T" also, mine was dry rotted bad, at the "T" fitting @ about 50K miles & it's the vapor recovery canisters vacuum purge route to the engine.

If you find the purge solenoid is bad, you may find that the charcoal filled vapor recovery canister is saturated with fuel, so it'll likely need to be replaced. You can follow the vacuum lines from the "T" over to it. On mine it's sorta under the battery, on the drivers side inner fender well.

I'd also consider checking the gas caps condition & it's seal, as it's had a hard time having to deal with the fuel tanks overpressure condition, over time.

Let us know what you find & how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A few questions before I re-visit this hands on:
1. The fuel tank's proper operation is a vacuum or slight pressure when the fuel cap is removed?
2. The location of the vapor purge solenoid?
3. The "burp" condition; where does it vent from?
4. The vapor solenoid operates from a vacuum source from where?

These ideas make more sense than what I've been told in the past. Ford wants $87, would the vapor solenoid functional failure show up on the diagnostic readouts? Also, is there anything I can check on the existing solenoid to confirm it is dis-functional?
 

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Well the vapor recovery purge solenoid is operated electrically by the computer & you'd think if it were acting out electrically, a computer trouble code would be set & you'd have a CEL lit, but maybe not, if the problem is a mechanical one!!!! So I'm not sure about testing it.

The vapor recovery canister is on the drivers side of the engine compartment, close to the wheel well & the purge solenoid should be attached to one of it's vacuum lines.

If you change it, first disconnect the B- battery cable.
Don't use a hot trouble light nearby, electric motor tool, or let anyone smoke while mesing with this system.
Also keep yourself grounded to the vehicle, to minimize the chance of a static spark at the wrong time.
I wouldn't do this job inside a closed gararge, where the gas fumes could get to the open flames of a furnice or gas water heater.

Who knows where the system may be burping from, but the gas cap may be a good suspect.

Yes to #1 is my understanding.

Let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks pawpaw

Yes to #1? Vacuum or pressure?

I read some and found there MIGHT be a check valve located within the fuel cap or in the canister. If it's in the fuel cap (you noted fuel cap above) could that cause my stench and burp issue all on it's own?

Also, does it really require genuine Ford parts? Ford is $87, my local private owned parts house is $23 for the solenoid.
 

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Well seeing as how there is a 4:1 cost differential, between the after market purge solenoid part & the Dealers OEM part, you could change the aftermarket purge valve 4 times & still be even money!!!!

I did find a test for the purge valve in my Haynes manual on page 189 under charcoal canister. So check your repair manual there.

It also says the charcoal canister is located on the drivers side front fender well, between the fender well & front bumper. mine is more like under the battery tray.

Not sure about the gas cap question, as we don't know what kind of gas cap you have on the vehicle.

I've read that the OEM gas cap is supposed to vent/suck in air, to equalize tank pressure as fuel is consumed & I've heard of engine stalls from caps that didn't vent.
These were stalls that happened after say 20 miles or so of driving & the engine would begin to loose power & eventually stop. Immediately loosening the cap, would allow a restart & another 20 miles or so & another stall. Replacing the cap fixed the stall problem.

As to whether the OEM cap is supposed to burp outward, if tank positive presure exceeds some value, I don't know, but it seems to me there must be some kind of emergency relief built into the system somewhere.

Maybe if the Forum has a Ford fuel system guru, they could chime in & answer that question.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again. I'll do an inspection and see what defect might appear most obvious.
The vehicle is all virgin. It's never had anything but one owner and few repairs other than the above which I performed myself. Everything is all stock and all previous parts came from FoMoCo as my air conditioning expert had an account with a Ford part supplier so he extended his cost's over so he'd get my A/C rebuild work. I normally prefer factory parts but this Taurus is getting almost too old to be a nerd on parts.
If I knew a less expensive part was going to fail in a few months, I'd rather pay twice for one that won't. I can work on cars but would rather not if I can avoid it via quality repair task's.
I'll update the forum soon.
 

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Thanks again. I'll do an inspection and see what defect might appear most obvious.
The vehicle is all virgin. It's never had anything but one owner and few repairs other than the above which I performed myself. Everything is all stock and all previous parts came from FoMoCo as my air conditioning expert had an account with a Ford part supplier so he extended his cost's over so he'd get my A/C rebuild work. I normally prefer factory parts but this Taurus is getting almost too old to be a nerd on parts.
If I knew a less expensive part was going to fail in a few months, I'd rather pay twice for one that won't. I can work on cars but would rather not if I can avoid it via quality repair task's.
I'll update the forum soon.
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FWIW, I'm running an aftermarket Canister Purge Valve on my 92 SHO 2 years later with no ill effects.
 
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