How much gas in tank for winter?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: How much gas in tank for winter?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 08:32 am:

Since Kevin brought this up in a previous post, how much gas do you leave in the tank over the winter? Drain it or fill it?

I know an empty tank is much more explosive and more likely to get condensation. However, the new gas won't last through the winter before it breaks down.

Just add Stabil or that other new product? Forgot the name, but have some in the garage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, Mostly in Dearborn on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 08:39 am:

My T in winter storage has an empty tank and carburetor. The gas tank is left uncapped and open in a rodent proof enclosure.

My modern car (2000) is stored in a cold garage with a full tank. I've stored it that way for sometimes over a year and it starts every summer.

Batteries are always removed and periodically placed on a Battery Tender charger.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, Mostly in Dearborn on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 08:40 am:

I should add, I don't use Stabil or similar products.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 08:41 am:

It gets cold and here over the winter, so I usually only use about one tank of gas between December and April. :-)

Seriously, I've never used Stabil in my Ts. But, I do fill the tanks to avoid condensation problems over the winter


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 08:52 am:

I'm with Tom, drain it and put it in your daily driver. Put in fresh fuel in the spring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:35 am:

What? Some of you deprive yourselves of the pleasure of winter Model T motoring? Huh.



2009 Snowmobile meet at Moulton Farm east of Meredith, NH. I did not trailer it to the meet, I drove from Keene. The temperature was 10 above zero when I left the storage unit and had warmed to a balmy 30 when I arrived.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:36 am:

I fill the tank and use Stabil.

It is a backup source of fuel for my generator when the power goes out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:47 am:

Winter storage? Please explain that concept, why not drive it all year long? Long term storage drain the tank tape the vent hole and flood the tank with nitrogen no Oxygen = no corrosion and no explosive mixtures! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:47 am:

For stabilizing fuel I just use Marine Stabil. Seems to always do a good job in stuff that gets seasonal storage like cars, outboards, snowmobiles. No problems so far.

I've always thought that with side curtains, my touring would be fairly comfortable to drive in winter. However the copious amounts of road salt that is ever-present on our winter roads persuades me that the car is better off in the garage until spring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David M. Coleman - Grand Marais, MN on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:55 am:

Like a couple of others I fill the tank and add Stabile.

Works great for the T(s), snowmobile, snowblower, emergency generator, and sailboat (diesel engine). Never an issue.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:33 am:

Empty. Period. If it ran when you drained it it'll start when you put fresh fuel back in. Guaranteed. Plus you're not spending hard earned cash on an additive that does nothing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:35 am:

I leave in the tank whatever gas was there the last time I drove it. No additives, no problems ever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenny Edmondson, Indianapolis on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 11:15 am:

I'm with Jerry. I've never added anything and want the T available if there is a nice day to drive during the winter. I don't use a battery tender and the engine always starts fine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 01:31 pm:

I empty the tank and carb. With gravity feed, you will get an instant start in the spring anyway.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 02:17 pm:

Hello All,

I wasn't helpful with my earlier post and I offer a lukewarm apology (tongue in cheek).

I suppose that what you need to do relates to how long the car will sit unused. Those of you who lay up the car in mid October and do not revive it until late April may need to do more that those whose car sits for only two or three months.

I think that most of us have heard horror stories of carburetors that get "all gummed up" from sitting unused for many months at a time; this especially on seasonally used small engines such as snow throwers, lawn mowers and the like.

With my seasonal use equipment I shut off the fuel and run the carb until empty, then drain the tank. My Model Ts would not sit unused long enough to develop problems related to fuel aging.

I have never used any of the fuel stabilizers that are on the market and therefore can not comment on them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 04:06 pm:

I do the same as Jerry and have never had an issue. Batteries pulled and a 50-50 mix in the radiators.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 04:37 pm:

Buy ethanol free gas like we all used to, and you won't have to worry about it.

http://pure-gas.org

This is just one of its many benefits.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gustaf in Idaho on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 05:01 pm:

Dan B posted the link before I could find it. Alcohol free gas will not break down as fast as gasohol, but I still add a bit of Bel Ray MC-1 2 cycle oil, There are people here who would never try it and wish you would never try it either because they can not believe it works. I find it hard to believe it works too, but I have seen it help too many times to not believe. I add it at a rate of 1000 to 1 to every gallon of gas I use, and when I have an engine that has a carburetor problem or an engine that will not be run over the winter, I put a 50 to 1 mix in the tank and run it through the carb and leave the remainder in the tank. About 80% of the time it will fix carb problems and 100% of the time it will keep gas from spoiling for up to 4 years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:24 pm:

I drain gas from the Ts cause it's easy to do. Put some stabil in the 31 and the 55 with what ever gas they have as they don't have an easy way to drain. Keep a battery maintainer on the 55 and put a charger on the others once a month to top off the charge. No problems. Even the cars with gasohol.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 09:27 pm:

UUUUUUUUUUUHH? 4 years? Sorry Pal. No soap. Not arguin' but not buyin' either.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:10 pm:

Gustaf knows what he is talking about. I have 3 year old gas on one of my T's and as a result of this thread I went out to the shop and started it. It started right up without any problem. Last time I started it was about a year ago. I looked into the tank and the gas was clear as glass with a slight blue tint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:15 pm:

A partly filled tank is problematic because as winter temperatures go down, the humidity in however much air is in the tank will condense and drip down to the bottom because water is heavier than gasoline.  _There, the water will start to do to your tank what everyone knows water does to steel.

There's no question that empty is best, but how to achieve such emptiness?  _It's pretty difficult to get the tank absolutely bone-dry and that little undrainable portion of the fuel will turn to varnish as it dries out and combines with the little particles of crud in there to solidify on the bottom.  _For similar reasons, I don't drain my carburetor, either.

For winter storage, I keep my tank almost completely full and add Star-Tron to the tank as I'm filling it at the gas station. _Most of the commercially available gasoline out there is the worst there has been in a half-century and ethanol is the reason why.  _The stuff separates like salad dressing and only remains fresh for a number of weeks.  _Stabil is the most popular gasoline stabilizer on the market, and it does work, but in my humble opinion, Star-Tron works better.  _Stabil has a corrosion preventive and Star-Tron, by virtue of it's enzymes, more directly prevents the gasoline from separating.  _Neither is particularly expensive and there's no law against using both if you're really worried about winter storage.

Being of an aviation background, I've been trained and indoctrinated in a healthy respect for and the avoidance of fire.  _If there were the slightest leak in my fuel system, I'd drain it as dry as humanly possible and to hell with the varnish, crud, etc., because the last thing a family that lives in a house with an attached garage needs is for the car they sleep eight feet above to dump ten gallons of gasoline on the floor.  _Every night, just before turning in, I go down the stairs, open the garage door, stick my head in and sniff.  _My wife and kid make fun of me for that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:19 pm:

I got to thinking about it and the gas in that T is 4 years old. The last time I filled it was in Arkansas when I was returning from the Petit Jean Swap Meet in 2011. It is alcohol free gas treated as Gustaf mentioned.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob middleton on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:34 pm:

Never used stay big in my A I fill the tank 3/4 to full and never worried in the T barn rarely get to freezing


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Corey Walker, Brownsboro TX on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 10:43 pm:

I don't drive my T's that much summer or winter mainly because of the cost of gas. I always leave the tank empty. I put gas in one a couple weeks ago after at least a year and it fired right up. I drained the excess, put it back in a can. No gas in tank or carb.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gustaf in Idaho on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 11:42 pm:

Charley, you will never try it because you already know that it will not work, I would have doubted it too, but I would not call some one a liar with out doing some fact checking.
Now what would you do with a 5 gallon can of 14 year old gas that was brown and stinky? I dumped 12 oz of Bel Ray MC1 into it and put it in a pickup that had set for 10 years with out being run and started driving it with out a sputter. The only down side I have had, in two cases, the varnish in the tank has dissolved so that the hole rusted through the bottom of the tank started to leak with in a couple of weeks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Monday, October 05, 2015 - 11:47 pm:

I run ethanol free fuel all year. At the end of the season I drain the tank and run the T to ensure the carb is dry. I then seal the fuel tank filler, so no air/moisture can get in the tank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 12:11 am:

Your the only one that said liar. I only said I don't believe it. And since you asked: I'd take that can to an oil recycler and get rid of it. probably the can too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 08:51 am:

Throwback from my old boating days...fill 'er to the very top...back then you didn't need any stabilizers 'cause the gas was GOOD! Now you DO NEED to put some sort of stabilizer in it. Case in point would be my '94 T-bird. We lay it up for winter. Hasn't ever seen salt. Never used to use Stabil until all of a sudden every spring it started acting up real bad, check engine light would come on, I'd have to literally beat the piss out of it to "pull it out" of it's illness! Then started using stabil, and voila!--following spring NO PROBLEM at all! I'll keep using it. I'll keep topping off my T's until it is right at the filler threads. With double dose of Stabil. The dang ethanol causes enough water issues, we don't need to help it along by condensation, and believe me, it will really happen in an empty tank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Lay,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lancaster Ca. on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 10:28 am:

Some of us T'ers in So Cal drive all year round. Its brutal but worth it.:-) Some of you know I am a motorcycle mechanic and I tell my customers to either drain it all or fill the tank to the top. A 1/2 or partially filled tank will tend to promote rust.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gustaf in Idaho on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 11:53 am:

Hey Charley,
I apologize, liar was a bit harsh, but as for the can of 14 year old gas, I ran it out and then dumped a second in the same vehicle. Mileage was a bit off, about 90% of fresh gas, but the gas burned with out any problems. I credit the 2 cycle oil, because I have had experience with bad gas in the past, and we have removed gas tanks from trucks because they had varnish in them, and there was no way to clean them before I discovered the benefits of Bel Ray oil. I honestly thought about just burning the gas, but figured that it would be a good test for the oil, and also figured that I would have to replace the gas tank on the pick up as it had stale gas in it too. I have driven that pick up for a couple of thousand miles now with out a single gas related problem, and I think that is remarkable for a vehicle that had set for 10 years with gas in the tank and was filled with 14 year old gas to start it. Of course, those who know better will never try the same thing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 12:00 pm:

RE; How much gas in tank for winter?
however much is left from my last drive and what I put in when needed for the next drive. I try and take mine out at least twice a month even in winter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 12:20 pm:

No apology necessary. I ain't that thin skinned but you have to admit your later explanation is different than your first statement. 90% fresh gas. You could put kero or diesel fuel or paint thinner or 2 cycle oil or trans fluid or MMO in your tank at that mixture and it would burn and you might not notice a difference. OK maybe some smoke. Just like the additives sold to "preserve" fuel. They just burn.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 10:55 pm:

For those of you who chide some of us for not driving our T's in Winter I have one word for you: SALT


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gustaf in Idaho on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 11:08 pm:

Hey Charley, You miss understood the 90% comment, the 14 year old gas was run with out any fresh gas added, just the 2 cycle oil, and Mileage was probably 90% of what I would have gotten from fresh gas. I never put any fresh gas into the pick up until I had driven over 60 miles with it, I did not want to ruin good gas by mixing it with the crappy stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chuck Lebeda, Humboldt, SD on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 09:57 am:

Bought some Bel-Ray yesterday; going to give it a try, $10 a quart. Been using Stabil and MMO; but this post got me thinking.

Yes, SALT is a big problem. Regular cars turn white from the salt deposits on them in the winter; hate to have that happen to my T. I usually wait until a good spring rain has washed the salt off the roads before the first T drive in the Spring. Even when the roads are ‘dry’ in the winter, the residue salt is like dust when you drive over it. The hazard of living up north!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 10:22 am:

Empty, with the filler cap in place but very loose. If I could get gasoline here in MA without that damned Ethanol in it (illegal here) I'd leave it full with Sta-Bil. Not real worried about condensation as the barn is cold and does not change temperature rapidly. Not much moisture in the cold New England air, but the Ethanol will capture what there is. I put the gas that I drain in a sealed container and use it in the garden tractor next summah. Modern cars with sealed fuel systems don't have the Ethanol water absorption problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 10:29 am:

In response to Gustaf and Charley - I ain't taking sides, but I virtually never throw away gasoline. I run ugly gas through a coffee filter and use it in my lawnmower, my garden tractor, or even the roto-tiller. I don't use it straight, and the uglier it is, the more diluted I use it. As Charley said, you can get rid of almost anything that will burn that way.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 11:18 am:

You know, honestly John, I'm not really in a position where I have fuel laying around for any length of time. I suppose, since it works for you, that's a way to get rid of the stuff but I wouldn't do it myself. The reason is I worked for a few years at a small engine repair shop and have seen the results of "forgotten" and "preserved fuel" left in units. Our customers would ask, especially in winter, if we added stabil or whatever to out fuel and we did. To satisfy them only. If it didn't snow one season they'd be back soon after it did because the "preserved" fuel went bad and ruined the fuel system & carb and the snow blower wouldn't start when needed. Stabil states "will keep FRESH fuel fresh for x time". It does nothing of the sort. It just burns. That's all. Most folks don't actually know or have forgotten how long fuel has been laying around so when it's said "yeah, this thing had the same fuel in it for 5 years and I added X and it started right up" it's because, like some of you do by adding fresh fuel to old, X burns giving the appearance of old fuel burning normally. I know many will dispute this but it's true. I do not, because of experience, advocate using old fuel in any gas engine but if you simply must mixing fresh with old will give you the exact same results as spending $ on and adding X to old gas. I say again, if it's going to lay around for an undetermined amount of time, drain it and run it until it quits. If it ran when you drained it it'll start when you put fresh fuel back in. Guaranteed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gustaf in Idaho on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 05:28 pm:

Hey John,
I tend to agree with Charlie, I would not mix bad gas with good as it will just make the good gas bad. In the past, I would never pour brown or stinky gas in a gas tank. It seems that the varnish in bad gas will cause good gas to spoil early. I have two gas tanks on the pick up that I put the bad gas in, I poured 5 gallons into one tank to see it it would even run since there was already varnish in the tank from setting 10 years, when it ran great, I poured the other 5 gallons in the other tank. I did not add any fresh gas until the first tank ran empty and then I put about 10 gallons of fresh gas in it. When the second ran dry, I did the same, by now both thanks should be totally free of the stale gas. I mixed about 12 oz of Bel Ray in each 5 gallons, mainly to clean out the gas tanks. In the process of pouring the gas into the tanks, I managed to spill a bit in the shop. Old gas is really stinky and lasts forever, but with in a few days the smell was gone, I did not expect that. I am sold on Bel Ray, it is expensive. Chuck was able to get some for $10 a quart, usually it is about $15 for a 12 oz bottle, but I some times get it by the gallon for any where from $65 to $80 a gallon. I am cheap, and I would not waste my money if it did not work for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chuck Lebeda, Humboldt, SD on Friday, October 09, 2015 - 09:16 am:

Gustaf: I checked my Bel Ray cost; it was $9.95 for 32 ounces. No where on the container does it say what rate to mix it? You said in an earlier post you blended it 1,000:1 ratio? I talking about mixing it with fresh, non-alcohol gas; to burn in the engine. So what would you put in 5 gallons of fresh gas?


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