Old Fuel

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c107

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I've noticed that fuel seems to be more and more sensitive about its age.
Recently I had a few issues on my Citroen DS I was waiting to have repaired. This meant that by the time I had that done, the fuel in the tank was from March.

Now I have it back I have been using it for errands around the suburb as allowed. It wasn't running badly, but not that great either. I just put in a new tank of 98 yesterday, and what a difference. It's like a different car.

The DS motor is not a high performance unit by any means. Its an iron block pushrod four cylinder that doesn't particularly like to rev (more about torque). Dual throat weber carby on top.

I've noticed this on my E-Type as well. That motor also hates fuel that is older than this sort of age. But that motor being DOHC hemi head, 9:1 compression and the series 1 E-Types run with fairly advanced timing. Misfires horribly if the fuel is too old.

I haven't noticed the issue as much on the Mercedes, but will keep an eye on it.
 

BenzBoy

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This is an interesting situation. One technician I spoke to from Shell maintains that petrol does go off and a tecnician from Benz insisted it does not. I have also heard the view that an electric fuel pump that remixes petrol before it is fed to the carburettor or injectors minimises the problem of petrol seperation for a car left standing for a long time.
Suncorp insurances maintain it does go off - https://www.suncorp.com.au/learn-about/my-car/how-long-does-petrol-last-in-your-car.html
I wonder if there is a difference between seperation of fuel and stale fule or if they are the same thing. I'm sure Patrick can tell us.
BP seems to indicate that as petrol evaporates it changes the chemicla composition - https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/c...ices/fuels/opal-factsheet-storagehandling.pdf
As a precaution, I always keep the bare minimum of fuel in a car that gets little use so I can top it up when needed. However, in lockdown this could become a further problem. Just when do we get to use our cars?
Regards,
Brian
 
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c107

c107

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Interesting Brian.
The DS is a mechanical pump, with no return line.
The Jag on the other hand uses an electric pump with a return line so much more fuel is circulated around.

I never noticed this on my traction avant, but being a pre-war design ran very low compression. Off the top of my head 6.5:1 so it would have run on pretty much anything flammable.

Obviously all the injected cars run an electric fuel pump and return line.

when I was living in the USA and would put the better cars away for the winter I would always put stabilizer in the tank. Probably even more important because in Michigan even higher grade fuels had ethanol in them.
 

Michel

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when I was living in the USA and would put the better cars away for the winter I would always put stabilizer in the tank. Probably even more important because in Michigan even higher grade fuels had ethanol in them.
What sort of stabiliser?
I think I need to use some
 

Patrick_R

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Gents,
I’m not that familiar with petrol, as I am more in the diesel world.
However, I have not heard of fuel going off this quick.
I have not heard of petrol separating, however this is common in diesel, as there is wax in diesel, and different types of wax based on the season it is sold however diesel in tucks turn over every day.
I’m used to 1800 litre capacity tanks that are emptied every couple of days.
So diesel sold in winter, is not good for cars if it is still in the tank in summer, but this is rare.

Brian is right about this.
One thing a Volvo powertrain engineer told me was.
Petrol evaporates like seawater.
Whatever is suspended in it, becomes unhealthy as all of its other suspended chemicals disappear.
Like sweater, all you are left with is salt, same happens with petrol.
But this typically is over years.

Bryce,
It sounds to me maybe you may have got some dirty or bad fuel to begin with, and you lived with it, until you got some good fuel then whammy??
 

Patrick_R

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Maybe mate.
Just unusual as I haven’t heard of fuel going off that quick.

Must be a sign of the times.
I guess fuel isn’t meant to sit around long in a modern car.
 

Patrick_R

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Regarding old fuel.

I fear it won’t be to long before we can’t run our classic cars.

Already in Europe, the life span of any internal combustion engine, has already been defined.

Volvo truck has already said “no Diesel engines in anything after 2050”
They will also have all production plants across the world being 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
Other companies are already on this band wagon with the same type of commitment.

In fact Volvo Group who I work for has just teamed up with Daimler trucks, to start a massive roll out of infrastructure of high capacity charging stations to charge trucks right across Europe.
They say this is something like a €900 billion cost.
A massive undertaking for sure.
This will ensure by 2050, delivery of goods across Europe will all be electric.

So I am sure ( like currently in Japan) it will be illegal to even start a classic car without government approval, let alone get fuel for one.

Ps.
It has started here already.
We have given our first full size electric truck to Linfox in Victoria, to start beverage deliveries across Melbourne.
This will start work at the end of this month.
 
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c107

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I'm interested in the work Porsche are doing with synthetic fuels.
Not only might it provide a good source of fuel for our classics, but they might not go off or be polluted with ethanol!
 

Patrick_R

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Bryce,
I remember us discussing this some time ago.

Porsche invented synthetic fuel for the Nazi’s and was successful back then.
I’m sure they only had to open an old filing cabinet to find the formula.

If it burns without pollutants, we may be ok, however if it doesn’t, we may be in trouble.

A mate of mine overseas has actually converted his 1950’s Morgan to electric.
He is just sorting out the last few issues with it, but it has worked out very well.
He even uses solar to charge it.

So he can still enjoy his classic Morgan, but in a more environmentally friendly way.
 
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c107

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I don't think classics will be outlawed. The amount of pollution they generate is negligible as they are just not used very much. There was quite a good video on Harry's garage that basically said the CO2 from running a classic for a year was about the same as single plane ticket from London to Los Angeles. I think he assumed 2,000 miles or thereabouts as the annual distance.

The issue will be for people who buy some of the last ICE cars new, I could see them having a problem when they are say 10 years old - not old enough to quality for classic rego and with no historic value.

Personally I would have no interest in a classic with modern electric drivetrain, but obviously its an option for some.
 

Patrick_R

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I’m the same Bryce.
Only 100% original for me.
However, I do like to see what others are up to in this field.

I really don’t think there are to many cars of late, that will ever be a classic, where people will want to keep them for the long haul. Most cars these days are considered as disposable, and not worth keeping.

For me,
I can’t see me getting excited about a barn find VF HSV R8 in 40 years time.

In regards to starting, running and driving classic cars, some idiot politician (probably in the not to distant future) who is being advised by greenies will make some dumb across the board decision to simply black ban all cars before some year they decide on, and then it will be illegal to start or drive our cars.

Be in no way feel safe that we will always be allowed to drive classic cars, the green movement and governments who want to be seen on the world stage as being environmentally conscious are just chasing votes by the younger people who have no interest in anything except the environment.

In Japan,
I have been to many car museums, which the Honda museum is by far the best. ( really worth a visit)

The vehicles here are all 100% roadworthy and are better than the day they were made.
However to simply start them, they have to be put in what looks like a paint booth, with full on filtration, as it is illegal to even start a car or truck in Japan that is pre EuroV rated.

I can see this happening here by vote seeking governments.
 
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Styria

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I hope you're right Bryce, because you'd be the only one that would be affected by Government's intention to strangle and perhaps crucify the Classic Car movement. I tend to think that one should worry about this type of wanton destruction if, and when, it is about to happen. Maybe too late then, but anything we worry about today is not going to influence the powers that be. I remember twenty years ago we would just about "poo our pants" with the affect that unleaded petrol would have on our cars and just look at situation today - hardly anyone raises the subject matter.
 

Styria

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Regarding the issue of old fuel - at one stage, say ten years ago, Gleaming Beauty was off the road for about eight months - it was fifteen years ago. On completion of my work, I checked to make sure there was enough fuel showing on the gauge and, hey presto, this little beauty of mine started immediately and the engine ran faultlessly. I've run platinum plugs for years (not recommended by Bosch - don't know why), I make sure that my high tension leads do not drop any voltage from specifications (I use after market leads), and that just about covers it and with the Fuel Distributor I free up the fuel pipe fittings occasionally to expel slight traces of rusty fuel in the distributor. Regards Styria
 
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c107

c107

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I’m the same Bryce.
Only 100% original for me.
However, I do like to see what others are up to in this field.

I really don’t think there are to many cars of late, that will ever be a classic, where people will want to keep them for the long haul. Most cars these days are considered as disposable, and not worth keeping.

For me,
I can’t see me getting excited about a barn find VF HSV R8 in 40 years time.

In regards to starting, running and driving classic cars, some idiot politician (probably in the not to distant future) who is being advised by greenies will make some dumb across the board decision to simply black ban all cars before some year they decide on, and then it will be illegal to start or drive our cars.

Be in no way feel safe that we will always be allowed to drive classic cars, the green movement and governments who want to be seen on the world stage as being environmentally conscious are just chasing votes by the younger people who have no interest in anything except the environment.

In Japan,
I have been to many car museums, which the Honda museum is by far the best. ( really worth a visit)

The vehicles here are all 100% roadworthy and are better than the day they were made.
However to simply start them, they have to be put in what looks like a paint booth, with full on filtration, as it is illegal to even start a car or truck in Japan that is pre EuroV rated.

I can see this happening here by vote seeking governments.
I think it will be much harder for the government to take this right away in countries like Australia, UK, USA with a thriving classic car movement and industry.
Having said that, I think you're right and we as owners and enthusiasts will have to fight for it.
 

sean sherry

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I think it will be much harder for the government to take this right away in countries like Australia, UK, USA with a thriving classic car movement and industry.
Having said that, I think you're right and we as owners and enthusiasts will have to fight for it.
Is it not still the case that Fuel is blended for Volatility as the Seasons change ?
low volatility Petrol bought in high Summer and still there in the dead of Winter
in its self, would add to this problem.
 

Patrick_R

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Bryce,
You are totally correct about the classic cars, and all of it supporting businesses etc.
can’t agree more.

I just worry about it all being good on a Monday, then stupid uninformed politicians putting a line through everything, and by Friday it will be all over.
Fight for it?
Yes we would IF we were at least given the chance to do so.

Let’s hope I’m 100% wrong, but as I mentioned, never underestimate vote seeking politicians.
 

abl567

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There have always been, in the past, and will be in the future, politician’s with an interest and indeed a passion for classic cars. Our representative democracy ensures so.
 
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c107

c107

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Bryce,
You are totally correct about the classic cars, and all of it supporting businesses etc.
can’t agree more.

I just worry about it all being good on a Monday, then stupid uninformed politicians putting a line through everything, and by Friday it will be all over.
Fight for it?
Yes we would IF we were at least given the chance to do so.

Let’s hope I’m 100% wrong, but as I mentioned, never underestimate vote seeking politicians.
Might take a few days of 5,000 classics driving into the CBD and clogging things up before they realize there are quite a lot of us and we all vote!
 
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