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Old 03-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Gas tank size issue/fix?

I have a 2000 TJ Sport I6. I believe my build sheet says it's a 19 gal tank. I have heard from several sources 19 gal is standard since 1999.

When the gas gauge reads empty I can only put in 16 gals of gas until the pump nozzle shuts off. This is consistently true.

My questions are:

1. Do I have 3 gals left when the gauge says empty? Or am I not filling the tank completely?
2. How could a manufacturer send out all those TJs with this problem? I'm under the impression all 1999+ TJs suffer from this.
3. How do I fix it?
4. Should I fix it? Is this by design?

Thanks!

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Mine is a 97 but it came with the 19 Gallon as an option on the Sport Model. When my gauge hits empty (when it actually chooses to work) I can only get about 15-16 Gallons in it and that's only if I am willing to set there and do the pump squeeze for 10 minutes. Once drove mine with the fuel light on for another 50 miles before filling. Still only got 17 gallons in it. I never trust the gauge. I always go by the trip odometer.

(and yeah, Jeep fuel system a bad design all the way around)

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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Dont blame the gauge, blame the sending unit. Its been sitting in the tank for 12 years rattling around. And mine is the same way. If your really crazy about it, you could try replacing the sending unit on the pump, bend the sensor arm a little bit to sit lower (both require pulling the gas tank), or you can just learn to live with it like the rest of us.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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I just go by the odometer Like others said
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
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NO! Sending unit is not wrong!

Don't be tempted to drive that last 3 gallons out. It's in there, but don't use it if you can avoid it.

REASON is that the fuel pump must remain submerged in gas to stay cool. Repeatedly running tank down past last 3 gallons will shorten fuel pump life or cause it to fail first time.

Been there, that
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #6
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That's good to know that there really is more usable fuel in the tank when the fuel light comes on. My build sheet says my 2004 has a 19 gallon tank but 16 is tops, 15 the norm, for fill ups.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2002TJ View Post
NO! Sending unit is not wrong!

Don't be tempted to drive that last 3 gallons out. It's in there, but don't use it if you can avoid it.

REASON is that the fuel pump must remain submerged in gas to stay cool. Repeatedly running tank down past last 3 gallons will shorten fuel pump life or cause it to fail first time.

Been there, that
Interesting. I was wondering if there was a gotcha about those remaining 3 gals. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:27 PM   #8
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you ought to have a 15 gal tank...i click off at 11!! cheap trip to the station to fill up ....but I'm back in two days

but mine will fill all the way up with out clicking off...that would drive me nuts
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:37 PM   #9
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Most vehicles do this. My 2000 manual says its designed to read empty with about 2 gallons left in the tank.

Running the tank dry once won't do anything unless you have a lot of crud in the tank. Doing it all the time will cause your fuel pump suffer an early death.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Most vehicles do this. My 2000 manual says its designed to read empty with about 2 gallons left in the tank.

Running the tank dry once won't do anything unless you have a lot of crud in the tank. Doing it all the time will cause your fuel pump suffer an early death.
I guess I missed that in my manual. As long as they are honest and forthcoming with it, I don't see this as a problem. It's a feature.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:40 AM   #11
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I have a 97 Sport with the 4.0. was the larger tank an option or part of the package.

With the gauge at/near empty/light on I can usually put at lease 14 at a refil. Sometimes 15 gallons.

How do you know what size tank you have?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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How do you know what size tank you have?
I have read from multiple sources for my model year (2001).
Also, there isn't a 16 gal tank. Since I put 16 gals in when empty that means it must be the larger, 19 gal tank.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Has anyone actually had (first-hand) a fuel pump fail, who also routinely ran the tank past the fuel light?

I've heard this claim a bunch of times, and while it sounds reasonable, I've never heard evidence of it happening.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #14
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Has anyone actually had (first-hand) a fuel pump fail, who also routinely ran the tank past the fuel light?

I've heard this claim a bunch of times, and while it sounds reasonable, I've never heard evidence of it happening.
Yes, it happens often with ALL fuel injected cars and motorcycles where the fuel pump is located in the tank....EXCEPT those few that have a 'stand pipe' fuel pump suction that loses suction before fuel level drops enuff to expose pump.

Do a little research and you will see Lots of owners discover it the hard way, if they ever learn it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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I've got a GF who drives an old carbed 4X4 Bronco. She is constantly running out of gas in it, LOL....She is always on fumes due to cost of gas. She learned hard way not to do that with her 2005 Explorer....Her first time running it empty cost her 300 bucks to replace fuel pump.

I told her, "It don't cost any more to fill upper half of tank, Babe "
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crallscars View Post
I have a 97 Sport with the 4.0. was the larger tank an option or part of the package.

With the gauge at/near empty/light on I can usually put at lease 14 at a refil. Sometimes 15 gallons.

How do you know what size tank you have?
Ironically the tanks are the same size, the 15 gal tanks just have a lower breather/check valve tube, causing it to click off sooner...

There is a write up on how to drop the tank and cut the tube shorter and make it a 19 gal. Hows that for Chrysler making a buck on upgrades? Same tank, same skid, same pump, different tube installed on the assembly line, and probably part of a package that cost hundreds more.

if you are filling up and seeing 14+ gallons, you have the 19 gallon. I have driven mine through the warning light, to the needle being lower than the E, to the point of weighting my options on how I am going to get to the gas station, who am I gonna call for help etc...and only been able to get 12.5/13 gal in when finally filling.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:21 PM   #17
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Just figure that that last 3 gal is 3 that you got for under $2 a gal and treasure them.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #18
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Chrysler ain't got it ALL wrong in their design....

Remember this, and try to think like a Jeep designer-Your rig is designed to go off road and experience angles and dangles more extreme than their mini van. When off road, they know their fuel pump needs to remain submerged so they design the gage to indicate empty when there is about 3 gallons still there. That allows the pump to remain submerged even when experiencing climbing angles.

If you are traveling level roads, you should be ok driving another 20 miles past E or low fuel light without harming pump.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0QR View Post
Has anyone actually had (first-hand) a fuel pump fail, who also routinely ran the tank past the fuel light?

I've heard this claim a bunch of times, and while it sounds reasonable, I've never heard evidence of it happening.
Never in my experience...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002TJ View Post
NO! Sending unit is not wrong!

Don't be tempted to drive that last 3 gallons out. It's in there, but don't use it if you can avoid it.

REASON is that the fuel pump must remain submerged in gas to stay cool. Repeatedly running tank down past last 3 gallons will shorten fuel pump life or cause it to fail first time.

Been there, that
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002TJ View Post
Yes, it happens often with ALL fuel injected cars and motorcycles where the fuel pump is located in the tank....EXCEPT those few that have a 'stand pipe' fuel pump suction that loses suction before fuel level drops enuff to expose pump.

Do a little research and you will see Lots of owners discover it the hard way, if they ever learn it.
The TJ fuel pump has a pick up at the bottom of the pump module, below the pump itself, it is cooled by the fuel running through it, not by the fuel around it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:42 PM   #20
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OK. So it seems there's 2 possible issues causing me to get only 16 gals in my tank when the gauge reads empty.

1. There are 3 gals of residual gas.
2. The breather tube is only allowing 16 gals total.

Which is it?
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #21
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I recently started a thread and it has some info on how to tell if your tank is 15 or 19 gallons based on the stamp on the tank:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/15ga...ar-143139.html




I got a 19 even though my build sheet said I have a 15:

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/357...9175839907.jpg
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #22
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OK. So it seems there's 2 possible issues causing me to get only 16 gals in my tank when the gauge reads empty.

1. There are 3 gals of residual gas.
2. The breather tube is only allowing 16 gals total.

Which is it?
#1...ask 100 TJ owners if they have ever gotten the max capacity in their tank when it just hits E and I'd bet no one has ever.

the breather tube is a set length, 15 gal are deeper in the tank, 19's are higher in the tank, if you are hitting 16 gal, you have a 19 gal
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:09 PM   #23
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#1...ask 100 TJ owners if they have ever gotten the max capacity in their tank when it just hits E and I'd bet no one has ever.

the breather tube is a set length, 15 gal are deeper in the tank, 19's are higher in the tank, if you are hitting 16 gal, you have a 19 gal
So, with certainty I can say I have 3 gals of residual gas and the breather tube is right where it should be. Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:16 PM   #24
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So, with certainty I can say I have 3 gals of residual gas and the breather tube is right where it should be. Thanks!
i always look at that 3 gal as....worst case scenario, be it keeping me from having to get off the the highway in a bad neighborhood, or no stations around in the country for miles, or even the highway sign that says "next service 12 miles", at 18 mpg average i have another 50 miles to find gas. Not that I am not a nervous wreck during that time frame, but every time i have went that extra past E, begging to see station, I fill up and... BAM, still 2.5 gallons left
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #25
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My 97 (15 gal tank) only reads 3/4 when it's full - so I can easily go another 50 miles once the light comes on. I always just reset the trip OD and fill up between 220-250 miles.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #26
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interesting topic. and nice to know. so on average everyone is getting 220 - 250 on a tank of gas? Just got mine the other day, did seem that this is a little more of a gas hog than I expected, but not going to complain about that!
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:14 PM   #27
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NO! Sending unit is not wrong!

Don't be tempted to drive that last 3 gallons out. It's in there, but don't use it if you can avoid it.

REASON is that the fuel pump must remain submerged in gas to stay cool. Repeatedly running tank down past last 3 gallons will shorten fuel pump life or cause it to fail first time.

Been there, that
I find that to be a bit contrary to my TJ experiences. My wife's rig has never had fuel put in it without the low fuel light having been on for at least 30 miles. That is unless I happen to have been driving it and then I fill it up as soon as possible after the LF light turns on and that is maybe a total of 5 times.

And yes, she has been warned repeatedly that if she runs out of fuel, call someone else.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #28
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Running the tank dry once won't do anything unless you have a lot of crud in the tank..
I see that posted a lot. The question I always ask is if you know where the fuel pick-up is in a TJ fuel tank? I'll give you a hint. The fuel pump module sits in a small sump with a filter sock on the bottom of it. If there is any crud in the tank, it's going to be hard for it to avoid being in that sump.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:22 PM   #29
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The TJ fuel pump has a pick up at the bottom of the pump module, below the pump itself, it is cooled by the fuel running through it, not by the fuel around it.
I'd probably disagree with that pretty strongly. The TJ fuel pump is inside an open top canister that fills with fuel after a certain point during the fill-up. I believe that is the cooling bath it sits in.

Otherwise, it would just hang from a standpipe with no need for the canister and the canister is not for fuel since the pick-up is on the bottom where the filter sock is.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:36 PM   #30
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IIRC, there are a few threads about dropping the tank and removing the check ball so more fuel can go in than what the pump auto shuts off at. Most who do say they actually pump in closer to spec.

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