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Discussion Starter #1
So, what should I do?

1) Just try and start the car... don't do anything to the fuel
2) Add a fuel stabilizer, and crank the car hoping it will start?
3) drain tank, add new fuel, and start engine?
4) drain tank, remove tank, install new tank, gas and then start engine?
5) drain tank, remove tank and fuel lines, replace everything and then start?

I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but I have heard some horror stories of people trying to start an engine that has been sitting for a long time with old gas in the tank (old gas = older than one year with no stabilizers). I have never seen anything personally with any of my friends, and I have not had any personal experience either.

Some folks say that trying to start the car can muck up the engine and cause an amazing amount of problems for me. Others say to crank it up and see what happens.

What is the correct answer here? Any personal experiences out there you can share?


As an FYI, the last time the car was started was 2 summers ago, and it cranked right up. I've had cars in storage before, and have always used a fuel stabilizer with great success. Because I'm a bonehead, I completely forgot to add stabilizer to this car's tank and I don't want to screw up my engine or carb if I just try to start it. Car has been stored inside.

Thanks!
 

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1. Drain tank, replace fuel sending unit, replace metal lines, replace rubber lines, possibly replace fuel pump and rebuild carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1. Drain tank, replace fuel sending unit, replace metal lines, replace rubber lines, possibly replace fuel pump and rebuild carb.
Sounds like in your opinion, even attempting to start the car is a bad idea. Is that accurate? If so, why? Does the old gas turn gummy and/or corrupt everything that it passes through on the way through the system? Could it ruin the carb and/or engine if I attempt to start the car?

Thanks for your reply.

If you are correct, I would just buy a fuel tank kit, and replace everything associated with the fueling system. (and clean the carb)
 

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Old gas turns into shellac. Trying to start the car can send that goo where you don't want it.

Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ah...

That is not good. I think removing everything is the answer. I certainly don't want the aftermath of that.
 

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fuels today don't have much longevity. It depends on how clean your system was in the first place.... I'd drain it all down, Buy a few new fuel filters, and try and flush it out as much as possible with fresh gas. Clean your carb by taking it appart and ensuring it hasn't gunked up with varnish and the needles and seats are clean/working. Put it back together with new filters and hoses. (you can get rid of the old stuff by slowly adding it a gallon at a time to your daily driver since it will be heavily diluted it won't hurt anything - or have lots of bon-fires and use it tht way!)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bad69cat

When you say, "flush it out as much as possible with fresh gas", are you talking about pouring new gas into the tank, and starting it up? won't there be varnish and other things in the lines that I don't want pushed forward, or will all that be caught with the filters? If the filters get saturated, can something that I don't want to slip by actually slip by? And if so, what happens if it reaches the engine? Am I looking at a total rebuild?

One other question I wondered about. There are a number of products that, when added to gas, permit its storage in a tank long term. Would it make sense to add this to the new gas you are talking about to help minimize any problems the old gas would cause if run through the system, or will it not matter once the old gas transforms into whatever after turns into after 2 years of sitting?

Thanks
 

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You definately want to evaluate the condition of you tank/lines. If it's never been replaced it's likely that the tank may be very rusted internally anyaway - just replace it and get it over with. If it's been replaced - I'd look at trying to flush out as much and clean it up as best you can. The varnish can cause issues with clogging up stuff which is why you want to keep refresshing the filters for awhile (assuming you don't replace everything). Kind of depends on what you had to start with....it won't "hurt" anything, but it can cause you a bunch of grief if you have to constantly clean your carb because stuff gets there. I never hurts to add sta-bil or seafoam, but once it's turned you need to drain it. You can tell by the smell!
 

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Bah! Wife's Mach sits in the garage and only comes out once or twice a year. In fact, it hasn't seen the street since June of last year. Same gas. I have to pump it a few times, but it starts and runs just fine (it gets started once every three months or so.) Never had a problem with it. Of course, it does have a mix of 93 octane unleaded a couple of gallons of 110 octane leaded racing fuel. That means I can't just drain it and put it in another car since all of our other 'driving' cars have catalysts...
 

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Blow some air in the fuel lines, change filter and drain the tank. I would pull the carb off as well and drain it. Put fresh gas in and fire it up... Done this with cars that have sat for 5+ years and never had a problem. Worst problem that i see comming up is the carb would be shot.
 

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I agree with "68Dustin" Sure, the suggestions given are for the most part GOOD, but TWO years, that's nothing. I have been around cars along time and seen many started with more time sitting than that. Maybe change the plugs first too. Don't be surprised if a mouse or two has been living in the tail pipe.

I would do it in the drive, fire extinguisher handy. After it fired, I would shut her down, and look for leaks. Needless to say examine it good before you do this.

Dale in Indy
 

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I go 3-years on gas with no problems on cars kept indoors. I don't like this situation, I prefer 1 year turn over on gas. But my time is limited. First give the gas the sniff test. If it smells like varnish and is getting yellowish brown--you have a big problem. But that usually takes from my experience over 3 years, but this time is shorter if the car is in a hot place and/or the gas cap is not tight. I know: vented cap. I'm just saying my extensive experience with old gas--not a problem up to 3 years on indoor cars. Give it the sniff test...good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the alternate opinions, folks! The car is in my garage, and was driven to its current spot two years ago now. There are no mice or anything living in it (if they are, they've just moved in). I started the car periodically until the end of 2008, when I began to tear apart the car to redo the dash and engine bay. Life got in the way, and the car unfortunately sat. I'm now getting ramped up again to get my project rolling, but I didn't want to gum up the engine.

One question. What does varnish smell like? Or should I just assume that if it doesn't smell like gas, it's varnish? In any event, I'll probably drain it to me sure, and replace it with fresh gas before firing it up.
 

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What does varnish smell like? Or should I just assume that if it doesn't smell like gas, it's varnish? In any event, I'll probably drain it to me sure, and replace it with fresh gas before firing it up.

Never had wood shop huh? Smells more like lamp oil than gas - pretty obvious. Freshen it up is a good plan. Get new filters and see what you have. Try running some seafoam in it for the first few tanks.

BTW - when you pull the old filter off - dump the tank side of it into a clean cup and see if it has any rust particles in it - that helps tell you whats going on it the tank.
 

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If draining the tank is not feasible, go with the smell. Sniff the tank and if there is no paint shellac, or other funky smell, put in fresh gas and crank it up. No need to pull the fuel sender and all that hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Never had wood shop huh? Smells more like lamp oil than gas - pretty obvious. Freshen it up is a good plan. Get new filters and see what you have. Try running some seafoam in it for the first few tanks.

BTW - when you pull the old filter off - dump the tank side of it into a clean cup and see if it has any rust particles in it - that helps tell you whats going on it the tank.
No... no wood shop. I hope it smells like gas, but if it's as obvious as you say, I'm guessing even I will be able to pick up on it.

I'll have a chance to get to it this week. I'll post the progress in this thread for anyone that's interested
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If draining the tank is not feasible, go with the smell. Sniff the tank and if there is no paint shellac, or other funky smell, put in fresh gas and crank it up. No need to pull the fuel sender and all that hassle.
Are you saying I should fill the tank without draiining it first? Assuming the gas smells like gas, that is.
 

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If it smells funky at all - I'd drain it. Better safe than sorry. If it smells OK I'd just add the seafoam and some fresh gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
All, thanks for the replies so far. One question I forgot to ask... is SeaFoam the only product I should use, or can other products like Sta-bul be used as well?

Thanks
 

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Nothing PERSONAL, but come on now, it's been a week, and lots of good info flowed. JUST DO IT........ Read the label on the Sta-bul and if you don't have a can/bottle, google such and go from there.

I wish you well, and again NOTHING PERSONAL.

Dale in Indy
 
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