So, I went back to look at the truck today that I'm thinking of buying (1990 F250). I crawled underneath it again, but spend more time looking around this time. I now noticed that there is a small leak in the front tank. It's coming from the back strap. That strap is rusty and the liquid dripping from it is definitely gas.
It doesn't see too safe to me, being that I was planning on driving it from Iowa to Pennsylvania. How big of a fix might this be? Am I wise to be cautious about it being that I was planning on driving it on a long trip right now? I'm worried a bit about breaking down (like a water pump) or something during the 1000 mile trip.
The tanks are easy enough to change. Both the tanks on my '92 F350 were leaking when I purchased it. You could try and screw around with some of the stop leak tricks, but only a replacement tank is a sure fire method, IMHO. With the front one leaking I suggest you only fill the rear tank on your trip. You might think about draining the front tank too.
Leaking gas tanks on these trucks is pretty common. Replacement tanks run approximately $100 and are available at many places. I would think its probably ok for a drive if the leak a slow one.
Replacing the tank is fairly straight forward if you're comfortable working on vehicles. The only special tool you will want is the fuel line disconnect tool and you can get that at any parts store $10ish. Will only take a couple of hours (maybe less) depending on how much trouble you have disconnecting the fuel lines. Some people here feel that the job is alot easier if you take the bed off instead of dropping the tank from underneath. If it was me, I'd replace the fuel pump while you have the tank down just because they're a common fail and you will have done all the work anyway, but to each their own.
a fellow iowan??? welcome to FTE! Like the other guys said changing the fuel tanks is easy enough to do and a common problem. If you are thinking about taking it on a longer trip and it's slow you probably don't have much to worry about but i would change it and be cautious if it were me. If you are just thinking about buying this truck I would try and barter the seller down a bit to cover the cost of repair and if you are looking at fuel pump and tank you are already at $200+ for parts. whether or not to "run away" depends on the truck and what you are paying for it. If you add the specs for the truck, condition its in, and the price... We can probably advise on to buy or not...
I just did the front tank on my truck a few months ago... like mentioned above its not to bad to do. Just wear gloves when handling the new tank, i wasnt when i pulled the new tank out of the box (pulled it out by the sending unit hole) and ended up slicing up my fingers... stupid stamped steel