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Strong Gasoline Smell - 68 442 - 4 Brl QuadJet

Old August 31st, 2018, 11:58 AM
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Unhappy Strong Gasoline Smell - 68 442 - 4 Brl QuadJet

Parking my car in the garage, I continually can smell gasoline. There are NO physical fuel leaks at all. I did the following
1. Replace fuel cap with vented fuel cap
2. Removed blockage from the vent hoses near fuel tank
3. Replaced rubber return and supply hoses in engine compartment
4. Installed glass visual fuel filter
5. I found the supply rubber line into the fuel pump to be incorrectly clamped and mounted
6. Tighten bolts on fuel pump
7. Tighten mounting bolts on carburetor mating to intake manifold

After a drive, i can smell strong gas vapors from the air intake/air filter to the carburetor and also at the carburetor. I had a Quadra Jet in a 72 Cutlass and never got this vapor smell. I realize there is gas there...but i am at a total loss on my next step.

I am covering the barrels of the carb with towels and also the air intake. I have a vacuum exhaust system placed over the carburetor area now to evacuate the gas smell our of the garage.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am desperate.
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Old August 31st, 2018, 12:45 PM
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Why did you install a vented fuel cap? Do you still have the original fuel cap? If so, I would use it. Also, you mentioned that you replaced the fuel hose in the engine compartment. Did you replace the fuel hose under the car at the tank? Just some ideas...
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Old August 31st, 2018, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by umbertoc View Post
Parking my car in the garage, I continually can smell gasoline.
That's how mine has been for 20+ years. Gas smell after driving, but it eventually goes away after some amount of time/the engine cools down.
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Old August 31st, 2018, 02:36 PM
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Same thing with both my '68 and '69 4-4-2 convertibles. My wife complains continually about it! She says the odor gives her headaches. I just kind of got used to it and aired out the shop after I drove either or both of them. The odor is gone by the next morning.

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Old September 1st, 2018, 04:29 AM
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My '68 does the same thing also, the 2 tank vent lines on the rt front corner of the tank just vent to the air. Like Olds64 said I'd put the stock non-vented cap back on. Just make sure the vent lines are in good shape & not kinked.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 05:44 AM
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The float bowl of your 68 vents to atmosphere. That's kind of the way it was done in those pre-EPA days. I've found that the sensitivity to smells like this is very subjective. My wife, for example, would say a gasoline smell was too strong to bear when I could barely sense it. Your 72 had an evap system and a closed vent on the Qjet that went to the charcoal canister, thus the difference.

I'm not sure what a "vacuum exhaust system" is, but it better have an explosion proof motor or you risk a much bigger problem.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 10:10 AM
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Old September 1st, 2018, 01:59 PM
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Thanks guys for the input. Definately not the answer i was hoping for.

So is there something i can "build" to capture the vapors that are being vented to atmosphere from the float bowl or does a product exist on the market?

Can i replace the carburetor with a newer QJet that will fit/work? I know i could put on a Holley or other but i really don't want that s**t on my car.

Would the mechanism on the 72 cutlass or other work?

This is probably not a good idea but based on comments what does anyone think about starving the fuel line to the carburetor with a shut off valve and just before she sputters with a lack of fuel, turn off the ignition.

This is huge for me because if i don't fix this the car will have to be stored (she can't take the smell) and that is a waste of money and i don't wanna call some jack wagon to get my car ready so i can cruise it. I would probably sell the car if it comes to that.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
Why did you install a vented fuel cap? Do you still have the original fuel cap? If so, I would use it. Also, you mentioned that you replaced the fuel hose in the engine compartment. Did you replace the fuel hose under the car at the tank? Just some ideas...
My bad...i put a non-vented fuel cap on. Also, the old one on there was not sealing very well and i eliminated the fuel odor from that area.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Koda View Post
Sometimes I'm glad I'm single.
Excellent idea...I like how you think! So keep the car...get rid of her. After all i do call my 442 "The Other Woman" (that's a service marked phrase so no one else can use it without paying a royalty. Ok...just kidding...use it all ya want!!!). lol!
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Old September 1st, 2018, 02:35 PM
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1. Make sure you don't have a fuel leak problem.
2. When the problem is corrected, proceed to step # 3.
3. Install Glade Plug ins as needed with "Apple Cinnamon" or "Hawaiian Breeze" fragrances.
.......Just my two cents worth
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Old September 1st, 2018, 03:07 PM
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ASSUMING that you don't have a fuel leak somewhere, your only option is to retrofit the evap system from a 1970-72 Cutlass. That means changing the tank, the lines out of the tank, adding the vapor separator under the back seat, adding a vent line from the tank to the front of the car, adding the charcoal canister, and changing to an appropriate carb with a closed vent system.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 09:09 PM
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Make sure there are no obvious leaks, make sure the carb is in good working order, and install an exhuadt fan in the garage. If all else fails, get a big fan, set it in front of the car when you park it. When you drive the car and the park it, run the fan for a few minutes before closing the overhead door.

I dont remember people complaining about the fuel smell when theses cars were new and common, obviously the arenít as odor free as todayís cars. Make sure everything is working as designed and you will probably be fine

Last edited by matt69olds; September 2nd, 2018 at 06:34 PM.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 10:56 PM
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Get rid of the glass filter, make sure choke is fully open, turn the idle mixture screws in 1/2 turn, run name brand premium fuel, mat throttle a couple times right before shut down. Just some suggestions, except fuel filter. Seen those crack and cause an engine fire.
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Old September 2nd, 2018, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by OLDSter Ralph View Post
1. Make sure you don't have a fuel leak problem.
2. When the problem is corrected, proceed to step # 3.
3. Install Glade Plug ins as needed with "Apple Cinnamon" or "Hawaiian Breeze" fragrances.
.......Just my two cents worth
lol...love it.
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Old September 2nd, 2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by matt69olds View Post
Make sure there are no obvious leaks, make sure the carb is in good working order, and install an exhuadt fan in the garage. If all else fails, get a big fan, set it in front of the car when you park it. When you drive the car and the park it, run the fan for a few minutes before closing the overhead door.

I dont remember people complaining about the fuel smell when theses hen theses cars were new and common, obviously the arenít as odor free as todayís cars. Make sure everything is working as designed and you will probably be fine
I have already done what you suggested. Carb is in good working order. Got exhaust fan and it definately helps. I bought 36" industrial fan that puts out over 11,000 cfm and run also throughout the week with the garage door open. Still...it smelsl like gas.
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Old September 2nd, 2018, 06:41 PM
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If you can smell fuel with the car sitting, and hasnít been run for awhile I bet you have a small leak in a fuel line. Look the lines over closely, especially where they run up and over the rear end, and around any clamps. Look for any discoloration or evidence of grime and crud being washed away.

Does the amount of fuel fuel in the car have an effect on the odor? Whatís the condition of the filler neck? I know a guy that had a similar issue, the solder joint that held the filler neck to the tank had cracked (probably from resting or stretching the fill nozzle) you could see faint lines when the fuel had evaporated and left marks on the tank.
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Old September 2nd, 2018, 09:41 PM
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It sounds like you DO have a problem. You may have a leak in more than one place, also. Good luck.
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Old September 3rd, 2018, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by matt69olds View Post
If you can smell fuel with the car sitting, and hasnít been run for awhile I bet you have a small leak in a fuel line. Look the lines over closely, especially where they run up and over the rear end, and around any clamps. Look for any discoloration or evidence of grime and crud being washed away.

Does the amount of fuel fuel in the car have an effect on the odor? Whatís the condition of the filler neck? I know a guy that had a similar issue, the solder joint that held the filler neck to the tank had cracked (probably from resting or stretching the fill nozzle) you could see faint lines when the fuel had evaporated and left marks on the tank.
Per Joe Pavadano..The float bowl of your 68 442 vents to atmosphere
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Old September 3rd, 2018, 09:23 AM
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You might also check your float level, too high and it will dump down the manifold and give an odor. But that odor usually will go away by the next day.
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Old September 4th, 2018, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by matt69olds View Post
I bet you have a small leak in a fuel line.
x3

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Old September 6th, 2018, 05:28 AM
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I am going to have to disagree with some of the other answers. There were a bazillion cars made with carbs that vented to the atmosphere. Growing up we always had two of them parked in the garage at my parents house and I never remember smelling gas. I used to keep my 67 Camaro race car in the garage at my present house and it was most certainly vented to the atmosphere and I never had any type of raw gas smell.

A lot of people say that the ethanol blended fuel evaporates faster and could possibly be part of the problem but I don't really buy that either. When I was working on the Q-jet a few months ago trying to chase a problem I had the fuel bowl sitting on the bench half full of gas for almost a week and really did not get hardly any smell even from the open fuel bowl sitting there. That was at my shop at work but it really is not much different.

My feelings are if you are getting a raw fuel smell then something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

That's my opinion
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Old September 6th, 2018, 06:37 AM
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I would suspect one or MORE fuel leaks. If the garage needs to be ventilated during the week without driving the car, there is definitely leaks. A carb vented to the atmosphere shouldn't cause high concentrations of fumes that are mentioned. Until the OP does some trouble shooting, we are just guessing what the problem is.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by OLDSter Ralph View Post
I would suspect one or MORE fuel leaks. If the garage needs to be ventilated during the week without driving the car, there is definitely leaks. A carb vented to the atmosphere shouldn't cause high concentrations of fumes that are mentioned. Until the OP does some trouble shooting, we are just guessing what the problem is.
I tend to agree but with other comments and all the things i replaced...from original post

1. Replace fuel cap with non vented fuel cap
2. Removed blockage from the vent hoses near fuel tank
3. Replaced rubber return and supply hoses in engine compartment
4. Installed glass visual fuel filter
5. I found the supply rubber line into the fuel pump to be incorrectly clamped and mounted
6. Tighten bolts on fuel pump
7. Tighten mounting bolts on carburetor mating to intake manifold

. The underside of the hood does not have the insulation/? (not sure what to call it). I am wondering if that may help.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 07:49 AM
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Gasoline Odor

Have you checked the oil level? If more than normal on the stick, then diaphram in fuel pump has failed and is pumping the block full of fuel.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 08:04 AM
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[QUOTE=umbertoc;1122813

. The underside of the hood does not have the insulation/? (not sure what to call it). I am wondering if that may help.[/QUOTE]

Having a hood blanket will not help for the smell of gas.
I am agreeing with others that there has to be a leak coming from somewhere. Try pressurizing your tank and see if you can detect where the leak is coming from...this might help out with the search process.

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Old September 6th, 2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by umbertoc View Post
I tend to agree but with other comments and all the things i replaced...from original post

1. Replace fuel cap with non vented fuel cap
2. Removed blockage from the vent hoses near fuel tank
3. Replaced rubber return and supply hoses in engine compartment
4. Installed glass visual fuel filter
5. I found the supply rubber line into the fuel pump to be incorrectly clamped and mounted
6. Tighten bolts on fuel pump
7. Tighten mounting bolts on carburetor mating to intake manifold

. The underside of the hood does not have the insulation/? (not sure what to call it). I am wondering if that may help.
And........# 1 thru # 7 didn't solve the problem. The fuel system, fuel pump and fuel tank and suggestions are most likely what you need to focus on.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 08:39 AM
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The problem is that none of us actually have smelled this car. The "severity" of the fuel smell is EXTREMELY subjective.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BillK View Post
A lot of people say that the ethanol blended fuel evaporates faster and could possibly be part of the problem but I don't really buy that either.
I agree with everything you said. Yes, the strength of a gasoline or any pungent odor is somewhat subjective, but if it's strong enough for someone to complain about, it's not normal.

To the OP, yes, you've replaced lots of parts, but have you actually tried to track down the leak? You probably have a small leak where the fuel oozes out onto an external surface and evaporates before enough accumulates to make a noticeable drip on the ground or even necessarily a noticeable dampness on a hose, fitting, or something. Gasoline is very pungent, and a small amount evaporating can make a strong smell. It could even be a pinhole leak in the fuel tank. I had this on a '64 Jetstar 88 I once owned. Patched it with a gas tank leak-fixing kit.

As far as the ethanol thing, that's a non-issue. If anything is evaporating "faster," it would be the ethanol portion of the fuel as that is the more volatile material. But the evaporating methanol would not drag gasoline molecules along with it when it evaporates. If the ethanol were evaporating, you would smell ethanol, not gasoline. The fact that the smell is of gasoline is because the gasoline portion is evaporating.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 09:02 AM
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thanks...I'm really looking fwd to that. Any idea where i can get all of this? This site for sale?
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Old September 6th, 2018, 12:40 PM
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Change the fuel pump esp if it has any age on it. Replace with one made for ethanol fuel. Seen several that developed almost invisible leaks, big enough to smell up the place but small enough that the fuel evaporated and you couldn't find it unless you noticed the fuel stain on the metal pump body.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:45 AM
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68 442 Gasoline Smell - Major Contributing Factor Solved

I wanted to follow up with my post as i found the Venturi Ports missing a component (think this is an accurate description). This contributed to the evaporation of the fuel. Also, the carburetor is naturally aspirated which means it vents to atmosphere and not through a canister back to the fuel tank. Hope this helps someone it took me quite sometime to find the largest contributing factor.




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Old January 9th, 2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by umbertoc View Post
Also, the carburetor is naturally aspirated which means it vents to atmosphere and not through a canister back to the fuel tank.
As pointed out back in Post #6. I'm trying to figure out what, exactly, you are missing. The items you are pointing to in the photo are air bleeds for the primary main circuit. They are supposed to be open.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 10:23 AM
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Have you replaced the rubber hoses from the tank to the steel supply and return line? I too don't know what your arrows are pointing to?
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Old January 9th, 2019, 11:06 AM
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Sorry...see attached picture with the green arrows pointing out the air bleeds for emulsifiers.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 11:19 AM
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The green arrows are pointing to the idle air bleeds (first diagram below). The orange arrows are pointing to the air bleeds at the tips of the main discharge nozzles (second diagram below). I'm still struggling to understand what you think is missing.



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Old January 9th, 2019, 11:24 AM
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I have a 68 442 with a 72 350 carb. I also have a wife with the same sense of smell. She always complains that it smells like gas after driving, but never after itís sitting in the garage for a couple days. I suspect it isnít gas sheís smelling, Iím pretty sure itís just the normal smell of a 50 year old car after driving a bit.

I dont smell gas at all. All my lines are mostly as the factory used. Steel with return line and vent line out of the tank. The return and supply out of the tank are connected to steel lines running to the front of the car on top of the frame. The supply line couples with a rubber hose to a solid steel filter, then rubber to the fuel pump, then steel to the carb (on the pressure side of the pump). The return line is coupled with a short rubber hose from the fuel pump steel as well.

i have rubber lines from the tank to the vent and the vent Iím using over the rear axle doesnít even have the foam in it.

I hate rubber lines and used them as little as possible and never on the pressure side.

Last edited by allyolds68; January 9th, 2019 at 11:27 AM.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 11:35 AM
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Left side air bleed is open while right side has screw.

Also, this is NOT the original carburetor. It is from a Chevy.
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Old January 9th, 2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by umbertoc View Post
Left side air bleed is open while right side has screw.

Also, this is NOT the original carburetor. It is from a Chevy.
There are no "screws" in the air bleed holes. The first photo is what you see with the air horn off. The awl is pointing at the idle tube. The other tube is the main well restriction. The second photo identifies the holes in the air horn itself.

FYI, I'd rebuild that carb. Also FYI, do you even know if this carb is set up properly for your engine (ie, jetting)?




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Old January 9th, 2019, 12:19 PM
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Thanks Joe and your time is very much appreciated. I stand corrected! I don't mind the gas smell but she does...so what can i do? Can live with them...pass the beer nuts! lol.

We started to disassemble the carb and I decided to buy a replacement. Rebuilds were near $600 online. I got a used Edelbrock "Thunder/Chromed" 700 or 750...don't remember for $250. Thought this was the best way to go.

I kept the original...I don't think it is worth the time and $ to rebuild especially getting a like new $500 carb for $250.
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