Another guess: My 92 wagon would leak if we filled it. It turned out the large diameter fuel hose from the metal filler neck to the neck of the tank had a split in its side. I probably could have fixed that without dropping the tank, but I dropped the tank to see if the other small diameter hoses (for fuel vapors, etc.) were in good shape. They were.
If yours is leaking while you fill it - it could be that large hose. 'Large' being about 1-1/4" maybe. If it continues to leak with only about 10 gallons on it - that could be a crack somewhere on the tank itself. The tank in my Escort was made of ABS plastic.
I got a new fuel filler hose from a Ford dealer, and now less than 2 years later I can see its beginning to split along its side. So soon I will get a regular chunk of the rubber hose made just for running from filler necks to tanks; Gates makes it I know. It comes in various diameters, and sometimes they only sell it in 3 ft lengths. I have also had to replace such a hose on my 72 Winnebago.
I replaced the large fill hose. IMHO, if it was that, you would see a leak sooner than 1/2 tank. It's either a cracked tank or the rubber gasket on the access panel. Do you notice it leaking when parked or driving?
If the leak isn't obvious you may have to drop the tank. I think there was a recall on some plastic tanks. I wouldn't drive it like that, gas fumes and a hot exhaust pipe could be dangerous.
I dropped my tank, replaced the file hose with a new one from Ford, cleaned the pump screen while I was at it, and replaced the lock ring and gasket. Also scraped and treated rust above the tank area.
In the jy's I go into, they often punch holes in the fuel tanks to make sure they are empty. Its a state safety regulation in some places. The only cars with intact fuel tanks are ones that have come into the yard very recently.
If you want to find a jy fuel tank, you should probably go in and talk to them, maybe leave a card with your name, ph # & what you want and are willing to pay for it. Even then, many places choose not to be bothered.
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