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Disposal of stale fuel


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I will (time permitting) hopefully soon be trying to resurrect and start one of my Series 1 Landrovers, which has stood in storage for about ten years. Unfortunately it had about six gallons of unleaded it the tank when it was last put away.

 

So I fully expect there to be some 'issues', mostly fuel related, when I come to resurrect it.

 

However, one issue on which I would welcome some advice is the legally correct way to dispose of any old, probably very stale, fuel which remains in the tank. I can drain it out into a suitable container, but how on earth do I then dispose of it properly?

 

Any ideas, folks, please?

 

(Please, not the old school "hole in the ground" method, etiher)!

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I will (time permitting) hopefully soon be trying to resurrect and start one of my Series 1 Landrovers, which has stood in storage for about ten years. Unfortunately it had about six gallons of unleaded it the tank when it was last put away.

 

So I fully expect there to be some 'issues', mostly fuel related, when I come to resurrect it.

 

However, one issue on which I would welcome some advice is the legally correct way to dispose of any old, probably very stale, fuel which remains in the tank. I can drain it out into a suitable container, but how on earth do I then dispose of it properly?

 

Any ideas, folks, please?

 

(Please, not the old school "hole in the ground" method, etiher)!

 

Maybe alright for someone running a TVO tractor?

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We have been dealing with this issue at work over the last year.

 

We have tried legal disposal (expensive + time consuming) and burning (think plumes of black smoke and fire brigade response) and in the end our mechanic has recommended we fill our shop runabout truck (Dodge Ram 1500 ) with 3/4 of a tank of fuel from the petrol station and then add an amount of the stale fuel to that. He says that because the shop truck is not carburated but fuel injected it can deal with variations in quality much better and so over a period of time we have rid ourselves of the junk fuel.

 

We did strain he fuel through a very fine filter to ensure no sediments were present.

 

We have had no ill effects and our problem has evaporated at no cost.

 

Robin

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Most local garages can now dispose of waste/contaminated fuel but you would have to check out the cost for that services as some charge some don't. I know when I was in the trade we had a 45 gallon drum which we used for contaminated fuel and a recycling contractor emptied on a regular basis, you'd be surprised how many people put petrol in there diesel cars and vice versa.

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Some years ago I bought an MG Midget which had sat for 12 years with a full tank of 4 star. Said Midget would only do 45 mph on it, rather unhappily. Tipped it all into my 86" S1 and it ran just as well as always. So, just run it through your S1 it won't mind.

 

Gordon

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Thanks for the advice.

 

It seems that the easiest plan might be to drain out, fill with fresh fuel, and then add a little of the stale stuff each tankful till it's gone. Simple plan, good idea!

 

On the subject of contaminated fuel, I have often felt that it would be a good plan to buy an ex-mil vehicle with a true multifuel engine, since I am told (a) that these run quite happily on 'contam' (diesel/petrol mix, such as comes out of a mis-fueled car), and (b) since the tax has already been paid on the fuel drained out after a misfuel and there is a significant cost to dispose of the resultant contam through regular processes, very often garages and similar services will be delighted to let you have as much as you want entirely free of charge. Whether the latter is true or not I don't know, but free fuel would be a considerable attraction.

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We had an FV432 mk2 with the K60 multi fuel engine about 10 years ago. I was able to get around 600 litres of free fuel from a garage who were being charged to get rid of it, it was mostly petrol but the 432 was quite happy.

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Absolutely! any or 432/chieftain or REO owner will gladly take it off your hands, or part use it, or it makes the best degreaser! (even seen it used as paint thinner in the days when squaddies were allowed near paint brushes)

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I have run my cars in the past on contaminated fuel both petrol and diesel models by adding a gallon of the contaminated fuel when I used to fill the tank, being a Scotsman I hated waste especially at my expense. It may not be political correct to do it nowadays. Both vehicles clocked in excess of a 100k with no damage to either engines, but I would not do it with a modern car with all there electronic sensors, it could make a right mess of your modern engine.

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Absolutely! any or 432/chieftain or REO owner will gladly take it off your hands, or part use it, or it makes the best degreaser! (even seen it used as paint thinner in the days when squaddies were allowed near paint brushes)

and we never mixed it with oil to put a shine on the paintwork before a P.R.E:blush:

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I have run my cars in the past on contaminated fuel both petrol and diesel models by adding a gallon of the contaminated fuel when I used to fill the tank, being a Scotsman I hated waste especially at my expense. It may not be political correct to do it nowadays. Both vehicles clocked in excess of a 100k with no damage to either engines, but I would not do it with a modern car with all their electronic sensors, it could make a right mess of your modern engine.

 

I remember there was a problem some years ago (2007??) with Petrol contaminated with a little diesel sold by a Supermarket chain. It damaged the catalytic converters on the modern cars, and they had to be changed.

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As has been said, I've used old petrol as a degreaser. I then put it in old 5 litre tins and keep it for a few months to allow the crap to settle out and then I use it again and again. You'd be amazed at how many times it can be reused.

 

I also use old engine oil in with creosote on my fence. The neighbours wonder why my panels are so black and after 15 years are still standing when their panels have been replaced!

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As has been said, I've used old petrol as a degreaser. I then put it in old 5 litre tins and keep it for a few months to allow the crap to settle out and then I use it again and again. You'd be amazed at how many times it can be reused.

 

I also use old engine oil in with creosote on my fence. The neighbours wonder why my panels are so black and after 15 years are still standing when their panels have been replaced!

 

Chris

 

I built a fence using the same idea as you but I made the fence from wooden pallets and soaked all the wood in hydraullic oil which i thought would penetrate the wood better and like your was still in use after a long period of time in fact the persun who bought the house also kept the same fence only to replace it with old raiway sleeper which no doubt will last another long period however environmentally incorrect.

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I remember there was a problem some years ago (2007??) with Petrol contaminated with a little diesel sold by a Supermarket chain. It damaged the catalytic converters on the modern cars, and they had to be changed.

 

In or around the cat are a couple of lambada sensors which is part of what i was referring to if memory serves me correctly here is a copy and paste of what it does

 

[h=2]What does the Lambda sensor do?[/h] The most popular method used by vehicle manufacturers to reduce engine emissions is the three-way catalyst (catalytic converter). This device has the ability to take the three main toxic gases produced by an engine which are carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC) and convert them to considerably less harmful, non-poisonous gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and nitrogen (N2).

 

To carry out this conversion of gases efficiently the catalyst must operate within a specified temperature range but also be provided with exhaust gases that are within certain very tight tolerances dependant predominantly on air/fuel ratio. The precise control required to operate this system is provided by the use of an exhaust gas oxygen (Lambda) sensor installed upstream of the catalyst. A Lambda sensor has the ability to precisely measure the air/fuel ratio present in exhaust gases. By sending a signal to the control unit it can initiate a change to keep the fuelling system operating within the very tight tolerances required. This is known as a closed-loop control system.

To further improve control of exhaust emissions most vehicles produced after 2000 have an additional Lambda sensor fitted down-stream of the catalyst that monitors the performance of the catalyst itself.

 

 

 

Lambda-new-chart.jpg

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It's a brave man who puts petrol in a Chieftain.

 

As I understand, the L60 could be converted to run on petrol but this took a number of hours and to be honest I wouldn't even try it.

 

The L60 was a fragile engine at best.

 

FV432's would happily accept petrol and I suppose dropping a couple of gallons in the Chieftain fuel tanks would be okay but in my fuel tanks - no!

 

As a matter of interest:

 

I think multi-fuel engines designed for use in UK military spec were only intended as an "emergency" measure in case the crews found themselves in the middle of nowhere and running short of fuel.

 

I don't think the K60's were designed to run on petrol only.

 

Could be wrong - I often am.

 

Markheliops

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The reason that petrol is only for emergency use is that it lacks the lubricating properties required by the injection pump and if the waste fuel contains too high a percentage of petrol it will result in damage. Their used to be a link on Steel Soldiers to a chart which a guy had got a chemist friend to produce by which it was possible to work out the proportions of petrol and diesel in any quantity of fuel. ISTR it was based on Specific Gravity but my memory isn't what it once was so I could be wrong. The Americans use old lube oil rather than waste fuel but this requires a great deal of filtering and in cold weather needs to be preheated.

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Once upon a time, the only problem with stale petrol was that its more volatile constituents would evaporate over a long period of time, possibly making the vehicle reluctant to start.

More recently, ethanol has become an almost universal constituent of petrol and, aside from the effects on older fuel systems, that brings two problems: for a start, it is hygroscopic, i.e. it absorbs water from the atmosphere. Not a great problem as long as it stays absorbed but with variations in temperature the water can separate out and settle to the bottom of the tank; not good. The other problem is that the ethanol itself can also separate out, which not only affects the octane rating of the fuel but also gives rise to the possibility that the fuel system may, under certain circumstances, pick up pure ethanol, which would not burn well in mixtures appropriate to petrol. I suspect that this might explain why the previously mentioned MG Midget would only do 45mph on stale fuel but a Land Rover ran fine on the same fuel: this probably had more to do with the ethanol being mixed back into the petrol during the process of draining and transferring, than different engine characteristics, although an engine in a low state of tune will tend to be more tolerant of low quality fuel.

I run a 1959 BMW bike with a 7.5:1 compression ratio, which runs fine on any old rubbish and will start first or second kick after being left standing for a year with half a gallon in the tank.

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