How long can gas sit in a gas tank until it's advisable not to use it? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm currently doing a restoration and the gas has been sitting in my tank for 4 months. The fuel pump is off, but the gas has been sitting in the tank and line for all this time. I estimate I'll have the project done is another 2 months--so the gas would have been sitting for a total of 6 months. The engine bay is torn down to only the block & heads remaining; carb is off. I know I should have used Sta-bil but I wasn't planning on taking this long--so should I just drain the gas and dispose of it--or am I OK to use it?

Thank you to all in advance,

Neil
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gas in the tank is only part of the problem...its the gas in the carb; especially around the needle seats, jets, etc. that gums up. Best to put a stabilizer in, run the car some and then shut it down for extended storage.
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention, engine bay is torn down to only the block & heads; carb is off. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You should have no problem in that amount of time. I would add some sta-bil to the tank. I left a truck I have sit for over a year with sta-bil in the tank and it was fine.
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fuel tends to go stale faster in small amounts, thats why the carb bowls and jets, seats and such gum up quicker. I concur that you should not have a problem in the time span you talk about..
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It will take probably a year or 2 before you'd have any problem. Each winter we put our boat away with whatever gas is still in there, and it sits from September through May with the gas in it, then fires right back up each May.

I filled up the tank in my sportsroof about 4 months ago. It's driven a total of 2 miles since then.
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Old 09-27-2003, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As someone else already mentioned, small amounts can go bad sooner than if the tank is full. I think it is partially due to the air in the tank, and the moisture in the air, so it's always advisable to keep the tank full. Stabilizer is no doubt a good thing to add to some of these vehicles that aren't driven a lot.

I have to believe that warm weather probably makes it go bad sooner too. I once had a boat (89 gallon fuel tank) sit for 2 years in Wyoming (read: cooold weather). I had the tank full, with NO stabilizer in it. I routinely let it set for 8 months like that, but circumstances beyond my control stretched it out to 2 years that time. When I went to get the boat, it was fine, and the Rochester 4 bbl on it didn't even have any problems. I figured I would be looking for a place to put a bunch of bad gas, but lucked out. Bottom line, don't worry about it. If it runs crappy when you get it running, take the carb apart and clean it out, as the gas will most certainly have evaporated out of it and will leave some residue. Old leaded gas was much worse about that than unleaded.
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your fine.Keep going.SCOTT 936-756-2535.
P.S. I've run 10 year old gas out and still been ok. It's just when it turn to suryp and in your carb thats bad. May have to run a few gal. of good gas to be at it's best performance.
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Old 09-27-2003, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well since your from sugar land. I'd advise changing it because the sugar in the air may get into your tank.


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I've dumped gas at 8 months and it still smelled ok. For general running purpose it should be ok. I'm trying to keep my cars running with 100% clean gas (I put super in them). I think at worse you car may smoke for a little while and may not give you it's best performance, but will clear up as you add new gas.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's my conclusion: I've got a 1/4 tank of the old stuff--so I guess the answer is easy thanks to everyone's help:: add 3/4's new gas plus Stabil and I'll be off to the races.
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