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Ford Tractors Discussion Forum

water in the gas tank

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jim in ny

08-29-2018 12:21:03

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anyone know a reliable method to removing water in my '63 2000 w/172 engine. the tractor set for about 18 months and last winter I covered it up with a tarp and I believe that this caused an excessive amount of water in the form of condensation to accumulate in the tank and hence a good amount of rusty water crap in the carb bowl too, but nature will have its way with Murphys law as well ! The carb was rebuilt 2 years ago but as I have said , nature and Murphy, etc. I am staying totally away from ethinol gas from now on and going stricklt with non ethinol fuel in the future...too many horror stories regarding it, per se' ! Would like to get the possible remaining h2o out of the nooks and crannies if I can without removing the tank if I can, and then, after I rebuild the carb again use good fuel and an additive of sorts... all comments are respected and welcomed, please be kind , THx

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Sean in PA

08-30-2018 20:58:38

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
As for removing small amounts of water in a gas tank, the product called "Dry Gas" does a great job. What is its main component? Ethanol.

There are some studies that claim that ethanol gas can actually draw water out of the air into the gasoline, but the same thing happens when you get condensation in the tank, and once the water is mixed with the ethanol and gasoline mixture, the ethanol allows the water to stay in suspension so it is dispersed evenly throughout the fuel, and in that form it will pass through the engine with the rest of the fuel/ethanol/water mixture. With pure non-ethanol gasoline the water sits at the bottom of the tank and will rust the bottom of the tank, and if it does get drawn into the fuel line it will end up in the carburetor as pure water, not as fuel with a small amount of water mixed in, and that will not allow the engine to run.

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08-30-2018 18:30:52

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Yes, I doubt. I've used and sold Sta-bil for years in numerous power sports, marine, and small engine applications and it has proven itself time and again. I'm not saying Sta-bil is a fix for ethanol. The only fix for ethanol is ethanol free gasoline. I'm speaking to Sta-bil's ability to keep gasoline from turning to a gummy "varnish" substance that stops up carburetor jets and other small orifices in your fuel system. There's a good read on it here:


And yes, I compared several "Mineral Spirits" MSDS sheets to the Stabil sheet. They have different boiling points, specific gravity, vapor density, and flash points.

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08-30-2018 05:54:58

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
I had a little problem with moisture in my 960 that also has a 172 in it. tried different things then I thought maybe its my supplier. changed to a different gas station. problem solved. as far as getting it dry due what jmor said. drain the tank and carb. leave the gas cap and fuel line off for two/three days. it will dry out. add a bottle of heat the first time you put gas into it. personally I don't think ethonal is a problem. good luck.

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Tim PloughNman Daley

08-30-2018 05:49:31

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
How much water got in there? Normal condensation shouldn't cause excessive water accumulation. I suggest the best way is to drain the gas tank, clean well, and fill with two gallons of fresh gas then run it for a few hours. I have an old fuel line I use to drain gas tanks with. First, get an adequate container like a 5 gallon gas can or two depending on how full the tank is. Also use a large funnel so when the flow slows, it doesn't drip over and onto the floor. With Sediment Bulb Valve closed, loosen the fuel line out to carb with a 7/16" flare nut wrench and move it off to the side. Install the drain line and point the free end down into the funnel. Open Sediment Valve FULLY all the way. This will allow most of the gas in the tank to drain. You can get the little remaining gas out with a suction pump device or what I use is an old wet vac delegated just for sucking out gas and oil. Use caution with a wet vac as if it gets too hot, it could ignite the gas. Only run it for 5 minutes or less at a time. Then you can remove the tank to fully clean, recoat if needed, and reinstall. Drain the carb and/or remove and fully clean and rebuild if desired. Be aware too that every 'snake-oil' fuel stabilizer product like STABIL and such ALL contain like 95% mineral spirits, listed as a 'petroleum distillate'. Mineral Spirits, also sold as basic charcoal lighter fluid, will clean your engine. Of course it will. Mineral Spirits is an excellent cleaning compound, cutting grease and oil with ease. It won't harm anything internally in an engine or oil pump. Their claims that it keeps your fuel 'fresh' is only a selling point with no data to back it up with. I opt to spend my money on a container of the real stuff as it has multiple cleaning uses, but I've never put any in my gas tank. If you want to spend more money per ounce on a product that is basically the same, that's up to you. If you doubt, just research the product before buying by looking up the MSDS fact sheet on its contents.

Tim "PloughNman* Daley(MI)

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Ultradog MN

08-30-2018 05:30:57

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
Lots of advice below to get the water out so I won't go there.
One thing you might consider is using a house wrap like Tyvek to cover your tractor instead of a plastic tarp. Tyvek reflects UV and sheds water but also breathes so it doesnt collect moisture underneath.
The stuff is very strong and tear resistant.
I hear of old car enthusiasts using it to cover their cars. You can get the tape that goes with it and fashion a "custom" cover for your tractor. A big roll is pricy but maybe look on craigslist for a remnant. There are other brands too but I just know and remember Tyvek brand.

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08-30-2018 04:45:10

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
I think you can buy water remover at the autopartstore. Someone also makes a remover that looks like a sock stuffed with something that soaks up the water while you are running the tractor.

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08-30-2018 04:40:37

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
I have had success removing crud from tanks using a siphon. One of the $2.99 siphon units from the hardware store.

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08-30-2018 04:05:39

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
every morning after the tractor has sat overnight, use a siphon hose, (firm hose is best so it doesn't bend too much) to siphon out a gallon or so. Probe all the low spots you can reach with it. The water will be at the bottom of the recesses.

After a few days doing this, then drain it as Jmor says, if needed.

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Dollar Bill

08-29-2018 22:28:27

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
Add a quart of ATF to your gas tank. It will mix with both oil and gasoline and eventually de-water your tank.

I always mix 1 cup of ATF to 5 gallons of gas in my gas cans and have never had a moisture problem. My stump grinder is stored annually with a full tank of gas and starts first pull every time.
It's also a good idea to run the gas out of the carb prior to end- of-day shut down.

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08-29-2018 20:17:35

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeI'm your proof, JWA......come over an take a look at some of my equipment tanks. And months, not a year.

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08-29-2018 18:35:14

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
I believe you will find that most of the fuel additives are actually alcohol. So, what are you trying to accomplish. I too have heard the horror stories of ethanol gas, I have used it since it came on the market, 12 years in the lawn maintenance and tree service, left fuel in mowers, trimmers, blowers etc. year around with none of the adverse affects that I hear about. Moved to the country 7 years ago, maintain my 47 acres, cut and split firewood,"our primary heat source". Raise and sell vegetables at the local farmers market, still using ethanol gas in my 8N, 9N, and 841 as well as ztr mower and all 2 cycle equipment. Leave fuel in idle equipment year round and still no adverse affects. Maybe I'm just lucky, But I have yet to see definitive proof of all supposed problems associated with ethanol gas.
Not wanting to open a can of worms, just my 2 cents worth.

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Tim PloughNman Daley

08-30-2018 05:20:35

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jwa, 08-29-2018 18:35:14  
No, all 'fuel additives' contain mainly mineral spirits. Look up the product MSDS info if you doubt...

Tim *PloughNman* Daley(MI)

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08-29-2018 13:08:02

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to jim in ny, 08-29-2018 12:21:03  
disconnect the outlet , drain, set in hot sun and maybe a fan or leaf blower.

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jim in ny

09-02-2018 11:05:21

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 Re: water in the gas tank in reply to JMOR, 08-29-2018 13:08:02  
Thanks to all for very informative info...I inspected the tank further yesterday and found it to be very bad and unservicable in my opinion as I do not want to have the rust and gunk flaking off in the future and do not believe I can save the tank as it is .... hard for me to believe that it happened so quickly "for what ever reason(s) but it did nonetheless, some of the problem I now think I caused, schoulda , coulda, woulda, ... I will use and do appreciate "all" of the suggestions forwarded to this query and say thanks to all for your help !!!! The next thing on my mind is : do any of you folks know where I can purchase a "good" used tanks for my tractor ?????

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