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Old 09-01-2022, 12:59 AM
Jim Frisbie Jim Frisbie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Canby
Posts: 64
Default Leak

The most likely suspect is the access panel in the inboard end of the wing
It is tight, but you can remove and reseal it without pulling the tank
I have done so twice in my 9A.
If there is either a cork or rubber gasket involved, that is the problem.
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:57 AM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,114

Overall, I agree with the suggestions above.
I have had to repair several leaks similar to what you have and having said that, it is mostly leaking around the access plate or at one or more of the screws.
It doesn't look like you have a gasket under the plate, so that's promising.
I will also say that sometimes the leak isn't where you expect it to be and the fuel is traveling.
If you touch the proseal with your finger and it is sticky, it is definitely leaking through the proseal somewhere.
Based on your pictures, there isn't an obvious spot to zero in on.
Check all the fuel line B-nut connections to make sure that isn't it.
The soap bubble test is worth doing but you won't be able to see the back baffles, which could be the source.
I would go for the simple solution first.
Clean it off as good as you can.
Spray some developer, from a dye penetrant test kit, on the area. It will leave a whitish powdery look. Let it set over night or go flying and any fuel seepage or leak will show right up.
If that doesn't work, I'd just take the tank off and test it with soapy water. VAN's sells a kit for this, but I usually just tie wrap a balloon to the vent outlet, close off everything else with a plug or tape and use some air pressure to blow air into the fuel outlet and blow up the balloon. (The balloon will keep you from over pressurizing the tank.) Use a piece of nylon tubing or something to blow the air in and then fold it over and clamp it to keep the air pressure in.
It's not that difficult, just a little time consuming.
Good luck
Steve Formhals
A&P, Tech Counselor & Flight Advisor
Multiple RV builder currently flying
RV3B & Legend Cub
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:28 AM
Steve Steve is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Roy, Utah
Posts: 1,283

It is a pain to remove and replace a wing tank, but you'll have much better access to that inside bottom corner, after you remove the rib access panel, for inspection/cleaning/re-sealing.
You'll need every 1/4" universal adapter in your tool box plus another one between your wrist and elbow.
Five Sierra Fox
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Old 09-01-2022, 04:38 PM
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SeanB SeanB is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 688
Default Weep No More repairs

This option would take longer, but he did a great job for me and others on this forum.
Colorado Springs, CO
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:15 PM
Dono Dono is offline
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Desert
Posts: 6
Default Fuel tanks removal

Anyone have advice for how to get to the bolts between tank and wing? My hands and arms seem to be too big. I can access the bolts but Iím having trouble getting my tools (Iíve tried many). To work. Iím using 3/8. Tried ratchet and ratcheting boxed end wrench.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:05 PM
D Weisgerber's Avatar
D Weisgerber D Weisgerber is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Ionia Michigan
Posts: 386

I used an electric 3/8 inch drive ratchet made by Milwaukee. Just put the ratchet on the bolt head and a activate it.
Dave Weisgerber
RV8 N848DW. Ser#83830 done.
James Cowl
DAR inspection on 7-23-2021
First flight on 7-25-2021
Phase 2 on 9-3-2021
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:06 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 6,022

You'll also need an open end wrench to break some loose. Once you've broken the torque, you should be able to spin them with fingertips or with a small socket held in your fingers.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2022 dues paid
N16GN flying 1,200 hrs and counting on 91E10; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440, G5
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
Repeat Offender - 10 empennage in process.
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:57 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is online now
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,429

I also used the Milwaukee ratchet - in fact I bought it specifically for this purpose.

To make access easier, I disconnected the fat aileron control tube on both ends and just slid it through rib openings to the outboard part of the wing so it wasnít in the way. I think it took about 45 minutes to remove the wing tank all totaled. That ratchet made a big difference, and Iíve used it many times since for numerous other things. Iíve never regretted buying a tool after doing some research.
RV6/2001 built 2000/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019/sold2021
RV6/August 2022 build - Flying
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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Old 09-17-2022, 09:17 AM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL KCLW
Posts: 1,375

Originally Posted by Dono View Post
Anyone have advice for how to get to the bolts between tank and wing? My hands and arms seem to be too big. I can access the bolts but Iím having trouble getting my tools (Iíve tried many). To work. Iím using 3/8. Tried ratchet and ratcheting boxed end wrench.
Just had to do this a few days ago. My leak is at the outboard rib. I too disconnected the aileron pushrod. I loosened each bolt by hand with a deep-socket wrench, and then used an air ratchet to speed up the removal process. A few of the lower bolts were a pain due to not being able to see them, but overall the process took about an hour and I'm sure would be quicker next time.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16
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Old 09-26-2022, 12:08 PM
Dono Dono is offline
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Desert
Posts: 6

I pulled these fuel tanks. I knew they leaked when I purchased the aircraft. I didnít expect the leaks to be so prolific. However, this is a lot of patching on both tanks. Iím wondering if you would advise patching again or building new? Iíve never seen these outer tape like patches and as you can see the previous owner opened almost every section. I wanted to remove the outside patches and do it right. But Iím worried that these tanks will just continue to be a problem. (The patches match the wing color and are a bit hard to see).

Donald Kajans
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