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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if someone can help a newbie out and suggest how to proceed. John Deere 830, code 830A, ser# 146545L

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This one came from Germany, I think that puts the year as 74 or 75. The gas tank has never leaked before. After a day of brushhogging the yard (light grass) I pulled it in the barn and it drips one drop about every five or six seconds. See this marked up picture:

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The bottom circle is where the drop is forming getting ready to fall. The top circle is where the fuel for that drop is coming from. Note that it is in front of the tank seam, towards the front of the tractor, not behind it where the fuel shutoff and drain are. If I start at the engine side of the fuel line and follow it towards the front of the tractor, it is completely dry up to where it turns and goes under the tank so I don't think it is the fuel line itself leaking.

Where the fuel line (right side of tractor) turns and goes under the tank, there is a 'cavity' or walled area in the metal beneath. A very small amount of fuel is pooling here, but I don't think it's coming from the fuel line. I think it's rolling down the front wall of the cavity but only a very small amount. There's pictures of this.

There is also a corresponding 'cavity' or walled area in the metal on the left side of the tractor. This is the same cavity that further back the radiator drain hose goes through. This cavity is flooded, standing fuel. It then leaks out the hole with the radiator drain hose and rolls under the tractor forming another drip spot, but this is only dripping cause of the radiator hose hole so this is not a leak per se.

The fuel that gets into this left cavity SEEMS like it's getting there by rolling over the front wall of the cavity, but unlike the right side this is a pretty good amount. This area COULD be what is trickling down to the drip in the picture with the two circles, I don't know.

I've never had to do any work on the 830 so not sure how to proceed. It appears very easy to remove the fuel tank, and that's the only way I can think of to figure out where it's leaking. Is that the next step or are there other things to try?

I did look up the price of a new tank (around $500) and that's pretty steep for me. I'd appreciate any direction the veterans here might give. THANKS!

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Is this a gas or diesel engine? If it's a diesel most of the older ones I've worked on have a small return line for excess fuel running from the injection pump to each injector and then to a fitting on or near the top of the tank. If it cracked or broke at the tank that could cause pooling and drips you see
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's 3-cylinder diesel. There is a fuel return line at the top of the tank, but it's definitely not leaking. I have a good clear view of the top, sides and back of the tank, but very little view of the front or bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tank pulled, leak found. I wouldn't have been able to see the pinhole without removing it. The hole is just down and right from the top right corner of the rectangular tank pad imprint.

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Looked in the tank with a scope and I don't see any rust at all. Any idea what could have caused such a tiny pinhole with no dent?

The hole is kind of close to the seam, but I'm hoping it's an easy job for JBweld.

Thanks for the input!

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whoever put in the current fuel tank, installed it before painting cause it's only painted in the accessible areas. Once I saw that, I decided to strip that half of the clamshell tank. After too much time with carb cleaner and steel wool:

Plant Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Gas


Next step was JBweld. Along the edge close to the seam I found a few other spots that are not leaking but may be in the future, so I covered the whole area with JBweld:

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After it cures I'll sand it a little and then test to make sure it doesn't leak. If it doesn't, I will probably strip the paint on the other side of the clamshell too, see if it needs any JBweld, and then paint the whole tank. Hopefully this gives it more years.....

J
 

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