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Old 07-03-2014
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I am: Jim Mcdaniels
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorad
Vehicle: 1993 Ford Ranger 4.0L
Posts: 5
Total Props: 0
Bad Smell problem - gas tank vapor recovery system


Hoping for some input on this problem.

For several years now, there is a hint of a sweet sickly chemical smell at times inside and outside the truck.

Thought it was the AC freon oil leaking but I haven't had to recharge it.

Thought it was the radiator or heater core or other part of the cooling system leaking but I don't think it smells quite like coolant and I've pressure tested the system and cap several times and no leakage found.

The smell was strong the other day with half a tank of gas, and I believe my nose may have found the source. It seems the smell is coming from the two square canisters that are like the charcoal fuel tank system vapor recovery system that are under the hood to the driver's side of the radiator.
Why would such a strong chemical smell be coming from there and what is the remedy?

I replaced the gas tank rubber hose filler neck about 4 years ago which stopped the gasoline smell leaking in that area and the gas cap is pressurized when I remove it for refilling.
Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 08-16-2014
Thread Starter

I am: Jim Mcdaniels
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorad
Vehicle: 1993 Ford Ranger 4.0L
Posts: 5
Total Props: 0
fuel vapor recovery - purge valve bad - bypassed

Discovered the problem and repaired!

The ac is still working fine and no coolant leaks!

It was the fuel vapor recovery system!

I discovered the hard to find smell origin was coming from the vapor canister.
Gasoline additive chemicals they put in our gas can smell weird bad.
Sure seemed to smell like freon or some new chemical in the coolant.

I discovered the purge valve that allows engine vacuum to get to the canister was no longer working whether 12v was applied or not.

E-bay wanted $35 min for a new valve so I decided to simply install about a 5" long piece of 1/4" poly pipe in place of the purge valve.

I read in a vehicle the computer activates the purge valve typically while not at idle but my ranger seems to run fine with it activated all the time.
I may decide to buy the replacement valve down the road if the lean running seems to effect it..

The smell is gone and it seems I no longer get the occasional brief rough idle-hot day slight vapor lock.

Hope this post helps anyone with the same problem.
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Old 08-19-2014
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I am: Kevin
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lake Mary, Florida
Vehicle: 2000 Ford Ranger
Drive Type: 4x4
Engine: 3.0
Posts: 348
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As a side note (not to do with your faulty valve), folks should also know not to over fill their gas tanks. Stop filling when the nossle shuts off the first time! Continuing to "top off" the tank can cause the gasoline sloshing in the gas tank to get into the overflow tube, meant to route the fumes only to the vapor (charcoal) canister. This eventually will throw a code, and some of those canisters are costly to replace.
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