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Author Topic: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
MGJoe
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Post GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 5, 2015, 13:00

I was driving the Europa the other day while it bucked and snorted at me a bit and thought I'd ask how long do you let gas sit around in a car that does not get much driving? I keep adding fresh fuel once a year or so but do not drive it enough to get a fresh tank. I've heard, one year at the max but I know with my blend some is older than that. Would it be better to drain the tank and refill with fresh gas or am I doing more damage to the engine than I gain with old gas? Pouring stuff in the tank to overcome a problem has never been my first choice but am willing to do so. Thanks, MGJoe

momsauto
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 6, 2015, 21:57

When in doubt - pour it out. Never seen a rule of thumb on fuel life. Color and odor could provide a clue, but the fact is that fuel does loose its pop and draws moisture over time. Additives can help but a fresh tankful is way better. Europa have a tank plug?

MGJoe
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 7, 2015, 07:55

Thanks, I have to honestly say I do not remember from when I installed the tanks 15 years ago and not sure I can get down low enough to look anymore. Need someone with a thin head who's eyeball is close to their ear, haw, or do like I did when I was young and just feel around for it in the dark. I'd noticed gas tanks seems to be an issue on Europa's and figured it was from rusting out while sitting around. Mine were steam cleaned and sealed before installation. Is detonation from using old fuel damaging the engine? Not sure how to know if it's a misfire from old gas or detonation taking place or if that's the same thing. Always wondered about the T bone frame and jacking it up on one corner, good, bad and how far up is safe. MGJoe

momsauto
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 7, 2015, 12:53

Detonation always causes some damage - more detonation=more damage. Fresh fuel is a good place to start with any driveability issue. I have a cheap electric fuel pump I use when tanks are inaccessible. Sometimes the fuel line is the only way to empty the tank.Dan

MGJoe
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 8, 2015, 07:49

Sounds like the best thing for the car would be to refresh the fuel and go on. May wait till I'm done burning wood in the shop stove. When I changed the fuel pump in the bugeye I got in it and started it up and it ran fine. I was so pleased I sat there a bit and enjoyed the moment. When I got out to check it for leaks I went around the front of the car only to find it pumping gas out all over the floor about 10 feet from the stove. That nice feeling went away quickly but we survived a near miss. I shut the stove down but was not sure about opening the doors up worried it would cause the stove to pull the fumes in quicker. I pushed the car way back. opened a side door and turned a fan on blowing the fumes away from the stove then sopped the fuel up. Then after I quit shaking, tightened up the leaking fuel line. War stories, just war stories. MGJoe

Curtis-
Wood
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 8, 2015, 19:26

I don't like additives in general but a can of Heet will allow the water to mix with the fuel and burn out. I use it on cars with steel tanks just to keep the water and related corrosion out of the bottom of the tank.

walt
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 11, 2015, 11:15

Let me add to the additive talk; I have used a product for many years after being highly recomended by my boat repair guy. Back then it was called Evinrude Johnson 2 + 4 Fuel conditioner. Now goes by OMC Fuel stabilizer. I really works on ANY 2 or 4 stroke motor. I have used it for many years in my old boats and old cars during operation and storage. Uses 1 oz for 5 gal for operation or 1 oz for 2.5 gal for storage. When used in my cars and boat, they always fire right up after storage.
As to Joe's Europa situation; I would drain and start over. So like Dan says and pump it out. Joe, I get the stuff at Central Boat Repair, just up the hill from the college on the right (past the nursing home). Tell Jack I sent you.

RodgerGran-
tham
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Post Re: GAS? HOW OLD IS TOO OLD?
on: January 15, 2015, 20:16

The biggest problem with old fuel is that gasoline is made up of a blend of many different components, and the light ends, the ones that evaporate easiest, will, well, evaporate over time. The old fuel is not likely to cause any detonation problems, but it will lose its ability to vaporize properly on its way to the combustion chamber, meaning the engine may not run very well, and probably could get hard to start. About the only thing you can do is drain out the old stuff and put in new. This can be less of an issue on new cars which have sealed fuel systems, but most of our old cars just have a vent to atmosphere from for the gas tank. If your gas cap makes a good seal it helps, and if you have, or still have, a carbon canister evaporative emission control system on your car, this will help also as this vent is almost sealed.

As far as jacking up one corner of the Europa, that should not be an issue. The Chapman backbone frame may look different than a "normal" frame, but it still has as good or better torsional rigidity as the more conventional design. This is why Chapman used it so much. You should be able to jack up one corner without any problems.

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