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Fuel Condenser Modification

Fuel Condensor Modification

Matt Wehrle

I recently took an 8 hour trip over the holiday and had the unpleasant experience of smelling strong fuel odors in the cabin of my 87 SIII XJ6. It was so unbearable that I spent the rest of my holiday tearing out the entire fuel system in the rear to find and end my problem once and for all. I removed both tanks and replaced every fuel hose in the luggage compartment. I never could find the source of a gas leak, no signs of fuel dripping anywhere. I took the car for another drive and could still smell strong fuel odors. I then started taking apart the rear interior of the cabin to find the elusive vapor condensers. I found them in the rear panels that separate the rear windows from the side windows.

The fuel smell was so strong that I knew I had my source of frustration (also because I had already replaced everything else!). I didn't cherish the idea of putting new condensers back into the cabin so I stole some technology from whiskey making (I live in the bourbon capital of the world..). I used a three foot piece of rubber hose and coiled it tight (but not tight enough to kink the hose) and secured it with plastic tie wraps to the highest point in the trunk right underneath the speaker mounts. This effectively condenses fuel vapor similar to the way alcohol is condensed in a whiskey still.

I left the old vapor condensers disconnected. I took the car on a two hour test drive and never smell so much as a whiff of gas. I was ecstatic my eight dollar remedy seemed to work great. I have owned the car for seven months and have never driven it more than 50 miles at a given time so I never realized how bad the problem was until I took my kitty on a long trip. I hope that if someone has a similar problem they can try this first without taking the entire fuel system apart like I did.

You can disconnect the vapor condensers in the luggage compartment in minutes and just hook a bypass hose on to do a temporary test to see if it clears the problem. I was conscientious of just bypassing the vapor collection system and letting the vapor escape into the air. The condensing coils make me sleep good at night and are a very low tech solution to an aggravating problem. I hope that this will help someone in the future. It seems to work well for me. If anyone sees a problem with this I would sure appreciate feedback. Thanks.


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