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Fuel tank draining/cleaning

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  • Fuel tank draining/cleaning

    Hi everyone, I’m new to engine drives, but I bought a 302D that had been sitting for 4-5 years with fuel stabilizer. I drained the tank and the bottom is pretty nasty. Should I clean it out or just refuel and run?

  • #2
    Clean it now or clean it later. I would clean it now...Bob
    Bob Wright


    • #3
      Thank you, Sir. Any suggestions on on how to go about cleaning?


      • #4
        Fresh gas is an excellent solvent. Then dump it out, rinse it with brake cleaner and check it again.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
          Fresh gas ....


          • #6
            I would probably use gasoline to clean it out. I’ve never used diesel as a solvent. I’m not saying run gas through the engine, I figured he just wanted to clean the tank.


            • #7
              If your gas and carb cleaner does not get clean enough try a radiator shop. The ones I know of can steam out the tank.


              • #8
                I also have a diesel (Big Blue 251D) that had sat for years before I bought it, and the fuel looked brown when I got it. I just siphoned out all the old fuel (I ended up burning the brown stuff in my Ford 7.3 PSD), put in fresh fuel, changed the fuel filters (and motor oil and oil filter) and called it good.

                So long as the filters are good, a diesel will drink a lot worse stuff and run fine than a gas engine ever would...I don't think you need to go to any heroic measures here. It's not like diesel fuel has ethanol that attracts water and drops out of solution and rusts things and clogs stuff up, like modern-day gasohol does...

                ETA: To restore the lubricity lost in ULSD and thus protect my injectors, I add castor oil at a rate of 200 ppm (1 ounce of castor oil per 39 gallons of ULSD) to the fuel for my diesel welder and the 7.3 liter PSD in my F-250. See:


                If you don't want to use castor oil, you can also buy additives from Stanadyne or Lucas that will also restore the lubricity to ULSD (I believe they also use castor oil.) I like the castor oil, because I can store a quart of it behind the seat of my truck and it will last me for years (or 32 fill-ups of 39 gallons each).

                Does your machine have a Deutz? Great engines...but watch for leaks and/or clogs in the rubber return lines that go from each injector back to the fuel tank, and if you have to replace them, be sure to use the diesel-approved hose, not the garbage you get from Auto Zone or whatever...I bought them from a diesel truck place, but you can also find the stuff on ebay if you know what you're looking for...DAMHIKT.

                Also be on the lookout for f$cking starlings building nests on top of the oil radiator on the top of the engine. Not noticing them, and leaving them there, is a good way to overheat or burn up an engine. (This applies for air-cooled Deutz diesels, I don't know how other diesels are set up.)

                You may also find (as I did) that your battery drains for no apparent reason when the welder sits. To remedy that, I just keep the positive terminal disconnected all the time, and connect it when I want to use the welder.

                Best of luck with your machine. Mine welds like a dream once you get it dialled in.

                If you ever run into problems, DuaneB over at weldingweb (I think he also posts here) is a great resource, he's helped me out a number of times. Great guy.
                Last edited by Helios; 01-04-2020, 10:15 AM.


                • #9
                  Great info Helios
                  Bob Wright


                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge!