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Author Topic: To fill tank or empty it. That is the question.  (Read 2342 times)
Tony LEE
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« on: November 27, 2010, 07:47:51 PM »

Due to the need to share my attention around between four travelling vehicles, I have decided to put #1 - an MC8 - up on blocks for at least two years. It has been de-registered and un-insured and the last thing to do is decide whether to fill the fuel tank right up and have close to AUD1000 sitting there for a long time - OR empty it right out (and use that to fill the OKA right up before that too is left idle for about 8 months)

Tank is roughly 1/4 full at the moment and I know conventional wisdom says to store it with a totally full tank.

If I leave it empty, then of course I would need to flush any condensation out before I put it back into service.
It also prevents me from running the engine - although the oil has been changed and the starting batteries are kept charged by solar so I could get a neighbour to turn it over for a minute or so with the fuel shut off lever operated just to keep things lubricated.
Climate here is mild all year. Very occasional frost an a couple of days in winter. Fuel deterioration isn't regarded as much of a problem.

Any thoughts please.
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 08:36:35 PM »

Tony;

Most store them with full tanks and put in Fuel Conditioner also. IF you do run it, it will keep it all lubed up if you bring it up to temp. But if you just run it a little every so often it will still get condensation in any areas or components that have any empty space in them. They also can get rust from that condition also in the same places. You will also want to replace your fue filters and strainer if t sits a long awhile before you suck all the crude through them that has gathered there. Make sure your air filters if still oil filled are up to the line. If you are not going to run it at all you might put a screen over your exhaust pipe end so the critters don't make a new dig for themselves.

Good Luck Mate,

Dave
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 02:52:54 AM »

It is a problem, but one I don't mind dealing with normally. Just the MCI is definitely going to be off the road for quite a while whereas the other three (also diesels) are going to get a run every 8 months for 4 months straight. Obviously not ideal but it just isn't feasible to get someone to turn them over once a month. They each have new oil and the fuel tanks are filled to the brim and all the batteries are getting a maintenance charge. So far so good.

One in CA does have a wad of rags stuffed up the exhaust pipe - and heaps of baits all around because I figure the real risk is going to be animals chewing the wiring.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 05:23:27 AM »

Fill it in 2 years with the price of diesel going up that 140 gals may be worth 3 times what you pay for it now


good luck
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 06:15:06 AM »

Fill it in 2 years with the price of diesel going up that 140 gals may be worth 3 times what you pay for it now


good luck

Now here is a guy seeing the big picture!!
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gmpd4104
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 02:35:39 PM »

my bus was static for a few months and had a mouse make it's home in it......

Mothballs around and under the bus will keep them away
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gus
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 04:46:25 PM »

Clothes dryer sheets work well for some strange reason.

I live in the sticks and have numerous rodent problems.
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PD4107-152
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2010, 04:55:15 PM »

my bus was static for a few months and had a mouse make it's home in it......

Mothballs around and under the bus will keep them away
Yes, the airstream in CA has mothballs in appropriate places underneath AND a heap of poison as well for those mice with bad head colds and blocked noses.
When we took possession of the MH there were dryer sheets scattered everywhere inside so I can appreciate why they are supposed to keep mice out. Would keep me out too. Betty can't stand them either. Must be a cultural thing.

Read on another forum where owner regularly trapped mice inside despite dryer sheets.

My preference is to provide enough poison bait to clear out a big area around the neighbourhood.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2010, 08:13:23 PM »

I have used dryer sheets for years in cars, trucks, and storage units with great results. Don't like using poisons and don't like the smell of moth balls.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 05:30:35 AM »

Fill it in 2 years with the price of diesel going up that 140 gals may be worth 3 times what you pay for it now


good luck

Now here is a guy seeing the big picture!!

Assuming you don't get a leak or a thief!
2 years is a long time & plans may change - something better may come along . . . . I'd prep the motor for long term storage & drain the tanks. Then have no worries while it waits its turn in the project rotation.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 08:45:22 AM »

Fill it up, put anti fungal treatment in so you can run it periodically.  Then as you use up the Diesel, get a 5gal carry tank to re top off the fuel.  When you empty the tank, the fuel lines can empty also making for the possibility of drying out and creating all sorts of problems.
When I converted my bus, it was parked inside my warehouse for over 4 years.  But ran it several times a year.  When I finally got it out again, it was like it had never been parked.

I have a 6kw Onan 2 cylinder air cooled Diesel generator at my mother's house-installed for Y2K possible problems that never surfaced.  Before that, the generator had been in storage for 7 years.  When I took it out, hooked up the fuel and electrical and it started like it had been run the day before.  Diesels are not like gasoline engines.  Diesels can sit for months and years without much happening to them-as compared to gasoline engines that the gasoline turns to turpentine and mucks up everything.  When you do run the engine, bring it up to full operating temperature-typically running it on fast idle for an hour usually does the trick.  If you can't run it that long, it is better not to run it at all. Good Luck, TomC
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kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2010, 09:16:31 AM »

Thanks to the additives added to the 'new' diesel per EPA requirements, it doesn't have as long a shelf life as the old stuff did.

Not too long ago there was a discussion concerning biodiesel reacting with moisture to make something that wasn't suitable for fuel . . . .
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2010, 06:10:50 PM »

...with the stipulation that he use and drive it for a couple of hours per month. No matter what we do, our coaches don't like sitting for any long periods of time.  The many reasons have already been well given.  Just a thought.  HB of CJ (old coot) SW Oregon USA
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2010, 06:20:31 PM »

...with the stipulation that he use and drive it for a couple of hours per month. No matter what we do, our coaches don't like sitting for any long periods of time.  The many reasons have already been well given.  Just a thought.  HB of CJ (old coot) SW Oregon USA
Not too many neighbours could (or would want to anyway) drive the thing - and there would be a major risk of losing the front corner of the house if they were off-line.

Being an electrical engineer it occurred to me that large oil-filled transformers are a bit similar to fuel tanks as far as condensation goes, and all that protects them is a relatively small canister of silica gel in the breather line.  I could easily hook up a similar system using a large softdrink bottle and a bit of tubing to replace the existing breather tube.

Another reason for leaving some fuel in the tank is apart from running the main engine, the webasto heater needs a run every month or so.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2010, 06:27:30 PM »

a fungus will grow in diesel when set for a long time..make sure to put additive in it to prevent growth..you wouldn't think anything would grow there but it does.
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2010, 02:16:44 AM »

I often hear of diesels that haven't been run in years, and as long as fresh batteries are supplied they start right up. I had this same experience with mine. It had set for 5 years and when I went to look at it we had to go buy batteries just to start it. It started right up the first time and hasn't let me down since (the engine that is, not talkin about the batteries here.... that is another story). Of course when it was parked it had a full tank and it was in a year around mild climate...
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kyle4501
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2010, 08:36:55 AM »

I often hear of diesels that haven't been run in years, and as long as fresh batteries are supplied they start right up. I had this same experience with mine. It had set for 5 years and when I went to look at it we had to go buy batteries just to start it. It started right up the first time and hasn't let me down since (the engine that is, not talkin about the batteries here.... that is another story). Of course when it was parked it had a full tank and it was in a year around mild climate...

Yep, diesel fuel used to be simple, almost a by product of the gasoline refinement process - now it is a highly refined product itself.

Was it filled before the 'new & improved' fuels were mandated? The additives they are now using to make it 'cleaner burning' often have an adverse effect on shelf life.
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2010, 08:50:23 AM »

It was filled in 2003....... I dont know if it was "new and improved" fuel or not. It was filled in cally though, so chances are we were using this crappy fuel before the other states.....
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2010, 09:54:30 AM »

Fill it in 2 years with the price of diesel going up that 140 gals may be worth 3 times what you pay for it now
good luck

That's a pretty safe bet.....don't expect them to go any lower....

Other than theft and since you have other uses for diesel, I would store it full.

Algae and other glump can be filtered out when used.

Cliff
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 12:16:20 PM »

Filler up! One point you might consider is the worth of your coach verses dropping the insurance. Wouldnt take alot of a storm to cause enough damage that you consider scraping it then over tring to say several hundred dollars. My insurance policy has has a storage rider where you just drop the liability for for a mere $87.00 a year prorated you have the protection. Yhey also allow you to bring it out of storage 4 times a year for 30 days.

Just my nickels worth but look out for the splinters.

Cade
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