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MG TD TF 1500 - draining the fuel tank

My TD sat in the garage most of last year. Probably around 16 months since it was driven. Just about to bring her out for this year and remembered that I used alcohol mixed gas in her during our last trip. I did add Stablitz to the tank, but I am pretty sure it was not the one to keep alcohol from separating.

Figure draining the tank is the safest thing to do. After draining, I would think the just flowing air from my compressor (with an oil/water separator on it) to dry the tank would be appropriate. Will also blow out the fuel lines and pull the floats to make sure all is well

Fuel tank was coated a number of years back with a product that was supposed to hold up to alcohol, so I am thinking that should be all that is needed.

Am I missing anything?
Bruce Cunha

bruce, before you do all my just want to drive your car. i have had two extended storage experiences with sta-bil in ethanol gas. the first was 30 gallons in a boat for 6 years..yes, 6 years..i was going to siphon out and dispose of the gas..but as i started to siphon it out i noticed it looked normal..i took a careful sniff, it smelled a precaution i made up a parallel filter fuel manifold..but as it turned out..nothing showed up in the filter and the fuel burned out normally..i could not believe it..the second event was 15 gallons of 3 year old ethanol treated with sta-bil in my '35 terraplane..i did drain that tank at the 3 year point as i wanted to swap out the fuel level transmitter..that fuel also looked normal and smelled normal so what did not fit in my 2008 ford fusion tank i burned in the snow blower this winter and i am just finishing the rest in my issues. normal sta-bil in ethanol. both tanks of gas treated with the bottle recommended amount of sta-bil for the ethanol gas in the tank. regards, tom
tom peterson


I agree with Tom, try it first. I used to use stabil in my boats and seasonal equipment, now I don't bother. I have found that my seasonal equipment runs just fine on the old gas without Stabil. I think yours with Stabil should be OK even with the 16 month storage.

In order to have phase separation, where the alcohol/water mix settles out, you'd have to add a lot of water. It's true that the tank is open to the atmosphere but there's probably little movement of air due to atmospheric changes. There's just not that much condensate to add water to the gas.

The only good thing about the 10% ethanol gas is that the bottom of our tanks won't be rotting out anymore. The bottom of my tank clearly showed the waterline when I cut it open to repair it.

J E Carroll

You may want to drain the very bottom before turning on the fuel pump, as you could have a layer of water on the very bottom of the tank. I think when the ethanol/gas mixture reaches a certain percentage of water, it will separate and leave a water layer in the bottom. Of course do this in a well ventilated area, etc. Or remove the fuel line at the front and pump some out first. Jim- as I have had gas in small engines go rancid in about 6 months. I have always blamed that on removing the benzene and other good stuff. I read recently of an explosion due to someone using a shop vac to clean up a gasoline spill, of course that may be Darwin at work... George
George Butz

"I read recently of an explosion due to someone using a shop vac to clean up a gasoline spill"...
IMHO, That invokes a few questions:
1: Who was the "first" person to hold a bic lighter in front of can of hairspray?
2: What the hell were they pointing it at?
3: Was this action preceded by the phrase:
"Hey this".
David Sheward

I think the Mythbusters tried to duplicate the vacuum cleaner explosion and were unsuccessful. I leave those experiments to the professionals!

George, Perhaps in FL the lighter elements may gas off leaving your lawnmower hard to start. I just started both a log splitter and chainsaw that had been sitting since last summer with no problem; second pull on both.

To get phase separation of alcohol/water from fuel it takes a LOT of water. The little that results from condensation just has never been enough to kill any of my stuff. In my opinion the snake oil guys have created a solution for a limited problem. I'm not condemning Stabil for storage but I found that, for me, it isn't necessary. The boat guys were all using the blue-bottle stuff because of the dreaded phase separation but I say that if it happens, you've got another problem. In a boat it's likely the fill caps are leaking to get that much water or the fuel dock just pumped in a bad batch.

The syrup I drained out of a motorcycle that had been sitting for 10 years, well, I don't think anything could have helped it. Smelled bad too:-)

J E Carroll

Bruce, I am with most of the above, just drive it. that crap they call gas now does not hurt larger motors as much as weed whips and such. When I blew the motor, my car sat with gas in it for about 1 year and I had not even added stabil. Just started it and ran it. Now a weed whip or lawn mower would have had to go to the repair guy to clean the carb and such...Motor ON.
Tom Maine

Thanks all.

Pulled the bubble protection system off the TD today and used my wooden stick fuel level indicator to check the fuel. I have 6 gallons in the tank. It did smell pretty normal and I did not notice anything on the wood that looked like water.

I did turn on the key and only got a very fast clicking of the fuel pump. Floats are moving up and down (yea, I still have float pins). So I may have some junk either on the tank screen or the screen in the inlet of the pump.

Did not get a chance to pull the fuel line off the pump. That will be the first thing to do on Saturday.

I did shine a light into the fuel tank ( no, I didn;t use a lighter). Tank looks very good. The white coating still shows well.
Bruce Cunha

"no, I didn;t use a lighter" ...good call Bubba!
David Sheward

bruce, i don't understand the connection between the gas in the tank and the floats moving up and down...only two things i can think of cause irregular float movement..fuel being pumped in and quickly leaking out (either past a bad needle/seat or a hole/crack in the float bowl) or a float with a hole in it..but even that would not be a repeated up and down movement..only up then down once as the float takes on gas and will be interesting to hear what you find. regards, tom
tom peterson

Hi tom

I have had issues in the past of the needles sticking open and fuel going out the overflow pipes. I could have looked under the car for fuel, but the tickler pin normally will free up a stuck float

The pump is running very fast. So I don't think any fuel is getting into the carbs.

Should have it sorted out and running on Saturday.

PS. I took the Dunlops in to the shop to be changed. Wow, if I did not know the tires are 20+ years old, I would have said they were near new.

One thing the shop asked. They said the tires will balance better without tubes. I know many of you run without tubes, so I told him to see how they go.
Bruce Cunha

bruce, in my experience the fast running pump is either no fuel to the pump for the pump to move or no back pressure on the out feed side...did you remove the pump to carb line place the line end in a suitable fuel container and run the pump to check for flow? i do not see how the floats could be moving without fuel delivery to the float bowls...which would indicate good pumps and no restrictions in the tank/fuel lines. regards, tom
tom peterson

Bruce - Clogged filters in the tank of the fuel pump will cause the pump to stall, not run on. The situation you describe is caused by an air leak on the inlet side of the pump, or by check valves in the pump not sealing. Try removing the outlet line from the pump and squirt some light machine oil into the top of the pump and try running it again. If this cures your problem, your pump may be ready for an overhaul.

As for the floats not coming up and shutting off the fuel flow through the float bowls is probably the float levers having an excessive drop, trapping the needle and locking everything together, keeping the floats from rising with the level of the fuel. See the article, Float Lever Drop Adjustment in the Other Tech Articles section of my Homepage at: Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

OK. Dave I think it is time for your expertise magic. Pulled the hose off from the pump to the carb. Pump still clicks away and no fuel. Pulled the tank line off the pump and applied suction. Got fuel.

So, it appears the pump is not creating a suction. Car was running when it was put away. Is there any part in the diaphragm that could be stuck?

Think I have a spare pump. I will check tomorrow. If not, what's your pump workload look like.

PS. That makes correct sense on the clogged filter. It would prevent the pump from running at all.
Bruce Cunha

Dave. Did not fully read your post. Will try the oil test and let you know the results.
Bruce Cunha

Thought I would post an update. With the most appreciated assistance of Dave Dubois, I pulled the outlet valve out of the fuel pump. It actually looked pretty good. No noticeable corrosion or gunk.

Polished the valve disks and the valve body, put it together and the pump is ticking and pumping just fine.

As I did not have a lot of fuel in the tank, I added some high octane and fired it up. Started up with minimal cranking and sounds great.

New tires are done and will be put on tomorrow in preparation for a trip to Iola WI for the annual car show and swap meet. One of the largest in the State.
Bruce Cunha

bruce, very good. enjoy the show! regards, tom
tom peterson

Bruce - Post pics from the car show - especially of yours.


J K Chapin

On top of the stuck exit valve on the Fuel Pump I found I had a stuck needle valve. Guess that goes along with the issues of not running it while in storage.

Got all that fixed and it is running and on the road. In taking it out, it was sputtering. Filled it up with fresh gas and it smoothed right out.

Just goes to show what junk we can run and still have these engines go.

Of note. The breaks worked perfectly. Silicon dot 5 really has proven its worth for me.
Bruce Cunha

This thread was discussed between 04/07/2013 and 22/07/2013

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