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Drain old fuel


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Hey guys its been ages since Ive been on this site and just want to say hi to everybody. Ventured into a different hobby and also bought a 2015 Nissan xTerra PRO 4X for my daily driver but I miss my pathy so this summer Ive decided to bring her back to life

 

I have 92 Pathy that was stolen and was recovered after a few weeks. Completely restored it from outside in. Changed all the oils plugs timing belt computer , you name it. Shes been modified already before it got stolen and if I wouldve moved the ECU behind the glove box it probably would have never stalled when we recovered it in maybe buried 3 feet in mud at the local orv park.

 

Its been 10 years or so after restoring and it fired right up and drove it around and runs strong with no issues, everything worked as it should then decided to just store her in the garage. About 6 years ago I started her again and fired right up but theres white smoke so I was hoping it was condensation, checked oil and no milkshake there.

 

If you guys can please tell me how to properly drain the old fuel without taking the gas tank out or letting it run through my injectors by letting it run out. I spoke to another member here and he told me how to drain the old fuel by disconnecting the fuel line going to the injectors unfortunately thats all I can remember.

 

Your help and expertise is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and yall stay safe

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If you disconnect the fuel line at the fuel filter (in the engine bay), you could connect up a hose to a jerry can, jumper the fuel pump relay, and let it pump most of the fuel out that way. To get the last of it, you'll need to remove the fuel pump (under the cargo area carpet, guessing you know that given how much you've done with it already) and pull out the last of it with a siphon or a lawnmower-style electric fuel pump. Might be better to drain it all that way, actually, so you're not running not-gas-anymore through the fuel pump. I would take a look at the inside of the tank before deciding for sure that you're not going to drop it. I've seen some awful schmoo in tanks that have sat. Hopefully yours isn't too bad. Welcome back, and good luck!

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Thats a beter idea. I have a syphon I use on my mowers. Thanks bud I sure appreciate it

 

On another note, If I do have some gunk built up on there or what should I be looking for and need to do to clean it?

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Hopefully all you'll find is orange gas that smells like wood stain and a little sediment in the low spots. It doesn't need to be perfect, but the less loose stuff you've got waiting to clog the fuel pickup, the better.

 

The tank for my dad's F150 had a layer of white crap at the bottom, which I removed with a wire wheel for a drill, extended by welding a few feet of steel rod to it so I could work the end around inside the tank. This worked pretty well. If it's bad enough to warrant this, I would go ahead and drop the tank. I've heard of people cleaning rusty tanks by sticking a chain or something inside and just shaking the hell out of it so the chain bangs around and loosens up whatever's in there, so that's another trick to consider if it's right proper crusty inside. Obviously make sure the tank is empty and the vapors are gone before getting anywhere near it with anything that makes sparks.

The worst I've seen was a Jeep tank that sat full of gas for something like fifteen years. The substance formerly known as fuel had eaten through the sides of the tank and congealed into a thick black schmoo that moved like silly putty and looked like bear crap. There was no saving that tank.
 

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Thanks again bud. I hope theres not too much gunk on there but worst comes to worst Ill do the chain trick or try the wire wheel brush fist. I think I tried something like the wire wheel brush attached to a dremel with a flex shaft on our old water heater to get the build up calcium in the bottom and sides lol. It worked too

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/8/2021 at 7:06 PM, Slartibartfast said:

The worst I've seen was a Jeep tank that sat full of gas for something like fifteen years. The substance formerly known as fuel had eaten through the sides of the tank and congealed into a thick black schmoo that moved like silly putty and looked like bear crap. There was no saving that tank.
 


When I bought my M38A1, it had a tank coated on the inside with black goo like that. I took it to a local radiator shop, and had them dip it and dissolve all of the goo out. Unfortunately it caused several holes to be exposed. Advice from there was to get the holes welded up. 
No commercial welder would touch the thing. 
Eventually, I found a friend with a welder, who agreed to weld it up, but his demands to "GET ALL OF THE FUEL OUT OF THE TANK!" turned into a shouting match and was only finally stopped when he took his garden hose and filled the gas tank with water and let it run for an hour in his driveway. Yes, this was AFTER coming from the radiator shop that had already dunked the entire tank. And after sitting for 30+ years before that. In hindsight, for a "smart guy", Jim was one of the dumbest guys that I know. 

After getting welded up, I used 2 motorcycle gas tank restoration kits, that put a white bladder type coating on the inside of the tank to help prevent leaks.

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Welding tanks is sketchy, that's why none of the pros would do it (that and not wanting to spend all afternoon chasing pin holes). If it smelled like gas, used-to-be-gas, or whatever the rad shop boiled it with, I'd purge it too.

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On 5/1/2021 at 5:37 PM, AaronHorrocks said:


When I bought my M38A1, it had a tank coated on the inside with black goo like that. I took it to a local radiator shop, and had them dip it and dissolve all of the goo out. Unfortunately it caused several holes to be exposed. Advice from there was to get the holes welded up. 
No commercial welder would touch the thing. 
Eventually, I found a friend with a welder, who agreed to weld it up, but his demands to "GET ALL OF THE FUEL OUT OF THE TANK!" turned into a shouting match and was only finally stopped when he took his garden hose and filled the gas tank with water and let it run for an hour in his driveway. Yes, this was AFTER coming from the radiator shop that had already dunked the entire tank. And after sitting for 30+ years before that. In hindsight, for a "smart guy", Jim was one of the dumbest guys that I know. 

After getting welded up, I used 2 motorcycle gas tank restoration kits, that put a white bladder type coating on the inside of the tank to help prevent leaks.

Lol if you google "weld gas tank" most of the results suggest to fill it with water to avoid any problems... 

 

Although for a wd21 the tanks are cheap, just buy a new one. I could see how what you were working on would be harder to find.

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When it comes to classics, it's best to fix rather than try to find a replacement. 

But yeah, when my 1994 PF developed a crack and was leaking from the bottom of the tank, cheap fixes didn't hold. Luckily the dealership could still get a replacement tank, and I got a brand new one.

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Funny enough, at least where I live, the pathfinder is a classic now. I even have it insured with Hagerty's...

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By definition of auto insurance and DMV purposes, anything over 25 years old is called a "classic" 
This is probably based on the idea that most automobiles are intended to have a "life" of 10 or 15 years. 
So if someone is still pumping money into a car that's over 15 years old, it's cost of ownership increases unreasonably, so the person is keeping the vehicle for reasons other than cost of ownership - style, practicality, sentimental reasons, etc. So when it gets to 20 to 25 years, it's called a classic. 

I guess they're right even in my case. Back when I had plenty of money to piss away, and my 1994 was giving me trouble, I was looking at a newer version. The R50 Pathfinders, while having some newer and better things, had weaker components that I had broken on my WD21. So I didn't want a vehicle that I would be more prone to breaking offroad.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/8/2021 at 7:01 AM, Slartibartfast said:

To get the last of it, you'll need to remove the fuel pump (under the cargo area carpet, guessing you know that given how much you've done with it already) and pull out the last of it with a siphon or a lawnmower-style electric fuel pump. 

Wow, we can get to our fuel pump without dropping the tank? I have had to help cut out a window to get to fuel pumps before.

Edited by gustycrosswinds
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Some do. Sometimes there's an access panel under the back seat, my dad's Audi is like that (it makes up for it with a massive fuel sending unit that barely fits through the hole and some of the most fiddly connectors I've ever worked with). The WD21 pump access door is a little more fiddly than it could be due to the stupid plastic fasteners holding the rear trim (and the carpet) down, and the stupid Phillips bolts holding the cargo hooks (and, again, the carpet) down. Once those are out, though, four 10mm bolts and you've got access to the pump.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/11/2021 at 6:40 PM, gustycrosswinds said:

Wow, we can get to our fuel pump without dropping the tank? I have had to help cut out a window to get to fuel pumps before.


Yeah, I didn't know that either. My 1994 Pathfinder, they replaced the fuel pump and sending unit be pulling up the carpet and getting to it through an access panel.

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