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Old 02-03-2008, 01:57   #1
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3 year old diesel fuel ?

We have been given two 44 gal drums of diesel fuel that have been stored for 3-4 years. Is it possible to use this fuel or is there significant riks in doing so ?
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:09   #2
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Here is a link on diesel fuel storage.

http://www.catalina36.org/articles/r...uelstorage.pdf
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:03   #3
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burn it up
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:42   #4
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Sorry to say but it looks like you've been given some toxic waste.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:18   #5
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Put it in your oil heater after filtering? Just a suggestion.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:21   #6
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88 gallons times 4 bucks a gallon is $352. The cost of fixing a diesel contaminated by bad fuel would be far more than that. Its not worth the cost/benefit risk.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:24   #7
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There is a good reason it was given to you. Now you have the expense of disposing of it.
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:56   #8
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Hold folks. Don't just throw it all away just yet Ribbony. A couple of questions. Were the drums filled right up? Have the drums been well sealed for this time?
If yes to both questions, then the fuel will be OK. For the fuel to break down, it has to be in constant contact with oxygen. If the Drums were fill, there would not be enough Oxy to cause the fuel to decay.
I would suggest you pour the fuel into the tanks using a good 2micron filter between drum and tank. Oxidised fuel will not filter. So you will soon know if the fuel is no good, as the filters will easily block. If they block, then it will be OK to mix the old fuel with new fuel as long as the old fuel has been well filtered. The components that settle out of old fuel during oxidation, are not burnable and as long as they are filtered out, the old fuel will burn. It won't burn as hot as new fuel, so mixing with new will ensure the engine will start and run cleanly and easily.
Or you can burn it in central heating as others have suggested.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:07   #9
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agree with Alan

If the fuel has been stored well and you do as Alan suggests you will have no problem, in fact, you will be unlikey to discern any measurable difference when you run on it.

I have burned years old deisel and 3 year old gasolene (obviously not in the same engine) that was stored dry and well with no problem.

This seems to me to fly in the face of the fearful warnings from all the experts that the fuel degrades to the point of uselessness. Regardless, as a result of the "fear factor" I have begun to use fuel stabilizer at least in my gasolene that I store for the outboard, etc. which might not get used for some time.

For many decades it has been normal for boaters to store diesel in 5 gal containers or jerry jugs as backup for long trips. Often these don't get cycled into the tank for 2 years or more (my how time flies when you're having fun and you don't realize that those jerry jugs haven't been used). I've never heard of anyone having a problem with the old diesel. To be sure, it has to be well filtered but you do that anyway, right?
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:37   #10
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I understand the effort to help with a lot of issues but too many if factors, if it was stored right, if it was treated, but the fact is those giving the advice won't have to deal with the consequences concerning the if factor. Not saying don't do it, just saying proceed with caution. Too many times I have watched an owner try to save a nickel and wind up paying a dollar.
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Old 02-03-2008, 13:52   #11
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Baha filters are used to filter out water, gunk and trash from fuel and they work very well.

my tip for today:
West Marine sells a plastic fuel filter funnel which is much - much less expensive (around $25.00) than the aluminum Baha filter. Practical sailor says it works much better than the Baha filer. I've bought the West Marine model and have been very happy with it.

my second tip for today:
West Marine's plastic fuel filter funnel is private labeled by a company called Mr. Funnel. Under the Mr. Funnel brand the same funnel filter is available at Harbor freight, amazon.com and many other stores for about 20% to 30% less than the West Marine model.
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Old 02-03-2008, 16:13   #12
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Hi,

I would like to chime in here on an issue that I have not heard mentioned very often, but that I think is a huge factor in getting your engine gunked up. That is leaving the diesel out in a jerry can on deck. In my experience, a can that was exposed to the sun got slimed bigtime, but the ones buried in the depths of the locker (filled at the same time with brand new cans) were clear as a bell. Another can left near a slit in the "garage" door on our boat that let inh light had less but still some growth. This is after a fairly long time in storage. I really think that peple should avoid using the deck to store diesel for any length of time, if possible. A friend of mine did it, but his wife sewed sunbrella covers for the jerry cans. Also, I think stabilizer in your tanks goes a long way. So, if the drum is a plastic one that might let light in you may be worse off than if it was a steel drum.

Others may disagree, I ahve absolutely no science to back it up, but this is not a secondhand thing I read in a book, seen it with me own eyes.

Cheers

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Old 02-03-2008, 17:10   #13
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There are too many naysayers to quote everyone.

Pour the fuel through a Baja filter or pump it through a Racor and run it.

I pumped out fuel from a boat tank that the owner swore was 9 years old. It went into 5 gal jugs. Then it went up the dock and was poured into my VW TDI. Sure was nice to get 15G of fuel for free.
The fuel was down on power, but there were no other side effects from it.
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Old 02-03-2008, 17:49   #14
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cut through the crap

You can throw dirt in it you can pee in it and you can still run old diesel. The worse that will happen is that your filters will get fouled. There are many decades of long storage and use of diesel with no problems.

I met a gent on the coast who had purchased a Hans crhistian 38 that had been left stored for 8 years at which time he bought her. He brought her down from canada and complained in Newport Or that he was fouling his fuel filters. We borrowed a 55 gal drum, jurry rigged a fuel pump and filter and ran all his fuel out of the tank into the drum and back (after cleaning the tank). Ran fine after that with no more filter probs.

Come on, in this thread one cannot close one's eyes to the many decades of crappy care of diesel fuel long out of the refinery in all areas of application from construction to tug boat use with the one proviso in the treatment of diesel: filter the heck out of it and keep going.

If you don't have a proper fuel filter system you shouldn't even run new fuel. Filters save the engine.
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Old 02-03-2008, 17:59   #15
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My 2 cents:

We bought our boat 4 years ago. It had been on the hard for 3 years when we bought it. The tank is 40 gallons +/- and we burn about 7.5 gallons a year. Tank has always been full for layups.

We had problems stalling, then we installed a second filter/strainer and the engine starts and runs fine on a fuel mix that includes diesel that's 7+ years old. The first filter inline does look clogged up by the end of the season. We replace all filters yearly and have had no problems.

So, in my experience I would suggest that old fuel isn't necessarily bad if well-filtered. Of course this is coming from someone who has burned less than 40 gallons of diesel in his life. <g>
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