Gasoline Fumes

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
HaroldRJr
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:13 am
First Name: Harold
Last Name: Schwendeman
Location: Sumner, WA

Gasoline Fumes

Post by HaroldRJr » Wed May 29, 2019 8:14 pm

I have a 27' enclosed trailer that I use for the obvious reasons,...hauling a Model T Ford to a distant location that is farther from home than I care to drive a Model T Ford. Also, I use it to store one of my Model T's over the winter, and third, it does make a nice little "shop" for light maintenance and repair work during the not too cold but very rainy weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Here's my question:

Even though there are weather-proof fresh air vents on opposite sides and opposite ends of the trailer, there is a very distinct odor of gasoline when one of the "T"s has been stored in the trailer for several weeks or longer during the winter. Because I close the fuel line valve, and run the carburetor dry, and nothing leaks in my Model T's fuel systems, I believe that the reason for the gasoline smell must be the constant daily/nightly temperature change within the trailer, which causes expansion/contraction within the Model T gasoline tank, and the resulting "breathing" of the gasoline tank thru' the gas tank fill cap vent hole. In the recreational boating world (think recreational inboard gasoline powered speedboats and cabin cruisers) it is not uncommon to hear of an explosion and/or fire at a marina or yachting facility where there are gasoline pumps for purchase of gasoline. I know that it is customary to run a bilge blower before starting engine(s) to adequately ventilate the bilges on a boat/yacht that has been "gassed up" at a marina, and this makes me wonder why I've never heard anyone that seemed particularly concerned about gasoline fumes inside an enclosed car-hauler trailer. (....never heard of an explosion of a car hauler trailer either, and for sure,....that's a good thing!!!)

Anyway, I guess the question is,....should I be concerned about the odor of gasoline inside my trailer, or is that a serious concern? "Freighter Jim",....I'm thinking that you and other regular car hauler folks would be the most knowledgeable about such things,.....??? Anybody,....??? Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this,....harold


Norman Kling
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:39 pm
First Name: Norman
Last Name: Kling
Location: Alpine California

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Norman Kling » Wed May 29, 2019 8:54 pm

You would be surprised at how much gas can leak out. It evaporates so leaves no spot underneath. You can take a clean tin can and set it under the gas valve and another under the carburetor. Look in the cans daily, and see if any gas accumulates. It can come out just a few drops but when it evaporates, will cause the odor.

You might be about the changes in air pressure. and condensation. You could put a good gasket into the filler hole in the tank and tighten the cap. then put some tape over the vent hole and see if that helps. Remember to remove the tape before you try to start the engine!
Norm


Adam
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:57 am
First Name: Adam
Last Name: Doleshal
Location: Wisconsin
MTFCA Number: 23809
MTFCI Number: 1
Board Member Since: 2000

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Adam » Wed May 29, 2019 11:02 pm

Just a little ring of gasoline dampness around the shutoff valve on the sediment bulb will create quite noticeable fumes, without ever dripping.

User avatar

jsaylor
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:25 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Saylor
Location: Citrus Heights, Ca
MTFCA Number: 1695
MTFCI Number: 23870
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by jsaylor » Thu May 30, 2019 12:18 am

I put two RV style vents in the top of my enclosed trailer with hoods so I can leave them open with out fear of rain getting in. I have also seen enclosed trailers with side vents near the bottom.


Topic author
HaroldRJr
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:13 am
First Name: Harold
Last Name: Schwendeman
Location: Sumner, WA

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by HaroldRJr » Thu May 30, 2019 1:03 am

Norm - I know just what you are talking about, and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised! I've paid particular attention to one Model T in particular that we leave in the garage up at our place on Lopez Island in the San Juans. I know for a fact that over several months, something over half a tank of gasoline has COMPLETELY evaporated! As you say, the tiniest bit of seepage, not even enough to form a visible drop because it evaporates faster than it seeps! Yup! Over half a tank in just a few months!

And John, I have exactly the vents in my enclosed trailer that you have described. One weather proof vent just above floor level near the front of the trailer, and a second one just above floor level at the back of the trailer on the opposite side, plus two opening hatches in the roof; one in front and the second toward the rear of the trailer. But,.....I still smell gasoline!

I really don't mind the gasoline smell that much, and I don't consider the loss of a partial tank of gasoline over several months as much of a loss. What I am really asking is,....what are the chances of enough fumes collecting to actually amount to a dangerous an possibly explosive condition? (???)


Norman Kling
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:39 pm
First Name: Norman
Last Name: Kling
Location: Alpine California

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Norman Kling » Thu May 30, 2019 5:19 pm

I personally would not park a T in a non vented garage with any type gas flame such as a water heater or other heater. Many fires have started from the gasoline vapors in such locations. Especially dangerous in attached garages. The reason I say this is regardless of whether one thinks the carburetor is in good condition or the valve and the line does not leak. They do leak unexpectedly. They are different from more modern cars with the tank lower than the carburetor or fuel insert to the engine and since they have gravity flow if a leak does happen, it will continue to leak until the tank is drained.
Norm

User avatar

Mark Gregush
Posts: 1163
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Gregush
Location: Portland Or
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu May 30, 2019 5:24 pm

How about a battery/solar powered roof vent fan?
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

1921 Huckster
1925 Cut down pickup


Rich Bingham
Posts: 720
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:23 am
First Name: Rich
Last Name: Bingham
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Rich Bingham » Thu May 30, 2019 5:59 pm

Norman Kling wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 5:19 pm
. . . gravity flow if a leak does happen, it will continue to leak until the tank is drained.
Norm
It's insidious. If you can smell gasoline there is possible danger. Norm is right. For months I fought with the "spud valve", the drain petcock, and the carb drain, never visible dripping, but parts would "sweat gasoline". I have a notion modern fuel is much harder to contain than what we were using even 30 years ago. Lapping the shut-off valves and the use of that fuel-line lubricant solved the problem for me. Question - is gasoline vapor heavier or lighter than air ? :shock:
"Get a horse !"


Humblej
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:23 pm
First Name: Jeff
Last Name: Humble
Location: Charlevoix, Mi
Board Member Since: 2006

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Humblej » Thu May 30, 2019 6:10 pm

Gasoline vapor is heaver than air.

User avatar

perry kete
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:46 am
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: Seth
Location: Jefferson Ohio

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by perry kete » Thu May 30, 2019 6:30 pm

Some of the smell could be from the vent hole in the gas cap. Not a big hole but if it's in a tight space over a period of time it can accumulate and penetrate the wood walls which would hold the smell. You may want to put saran wrap over the gas cap while in storage to block the vent hole.
1922 Coupe & 1927 Touring


Victor Borg
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:02 am
First Name: Victor
Last Name: Borg
Location: Tuscon AZ
MTFCA Number: 35213

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Victor Borg » Fri May 31, 2019 8:53 am

gasoline fumes are NOTHING TO TAKE LIGHTLY...as a long time sailboater I can tell lots of tales that will curl your hair.true gasoline vapors are heavier than air,and will tend,just like propane,to be at heavier concentrations down low,but the fact that the odor is detectable at nose-level proves that risky levels of vapor are present.The only safe solution is constant ventilation high and low in an enclosed area to eliminate both lighter than air and heavier than air vapors.solar or battery powered venting is good...better is having pulling old air out by fan or some device and having fresh air pushed in by another device at extreme ends of the enclosure.on my sailboat,as is quite common on watercraft with closed-in areas,forward facing and aft facing vents are utilized to provide this push-pull effect ventilation while under way,as well as taking advantage of normal flow of breezes at rest . it is best to not ignore fumes that are at great enough levels to be detected by the nose,which is not the most sensitive fume detecting device available.Just my 2 cents' worth,but take heed of my post,please...


fxlew
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:30 pm
First Name: Lew
Last Name: Morrill
Location: Mesick, MI
Board Member Since: 2014

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by fxlew » Fri May 31, 2019 9:55 am

The risk of fire and or explosion is present if gasoline vapors are present. Some type of forced ventilation is needed. A good place to start would be with a boat dealer for some ideas. Doing something about ventilation would be an immediate priority for me. Or, from a different angle, I guess I don't understand why someone would want to store their T with gas in the tank and carb considering all the fuel related problems many T owners seem to have during storage? Draining the entire fuel system would seem to be an effective and free way to remove the risks of leaking gas and explosive vapors, plus eliminate the problems, real or imagined, that todays gasolines can create.

Lew

User avatar

twrenn
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:53 am
First Name: Tim
Last Name: Wrenn
Location: Ohio
MTFCA Number: 30701
MTFCI Number: 24033

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by twrenn » Fri May 31, 2019 11:58 am

To expand on Victors excellent post...the vapors from one cup of gasoline are as explosive as one stick of dynamite. Ventilate-Ventilate-Ventilate! As he said, many a boat owner found out the hard way. When I had sailboats and then switched to power I bought them with diesel engines which are a lot safer.

User avatar

twrenn
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:53 am
First Name: Tim
Last Name: Wrenn
Location: Ohio
MTFCA Number: 30701
MTFCI Number: 24033

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by twrenn » Fri May 31, 2019 11:59 am

To expand on Victors excellent post...the vapors from one cup of gasoline are as explosive as one stick of dynamite. Ventilate-Ventilate-Ventilate! As he said, many a boat owner found out the hard way. When I had sailboats and then switched to power I bought them with diesel engines which are a lot safer.


John Codman
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:27 am
First Name: John
Last Name: Codman
Location: Naples, FL 34120

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by John Codman » Fri May 31, 2019 1:23 pm

Unlike modern automobiles, the T gas tank is vented directly to the atmosphere. If air couldn't get into the tank, the gas flowing to the carburetor would create a vacuum and the fuel flow would stop. I would be much more surprised to not smell gasoline then the opposite.

User avatar

Steve Jelf
Posts: 1581
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:37 pm
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Jelf
Location: Parkerfield, Kansas
MTFCA Number: 16175
MTFCI Number: 14758
Board Member Since: 2007
Contact:

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri May 31, 2019 2:31 pm

Gasoline vapor is heaver than air.

That's one reason my shop heater is ceiling mounted. If you install vents at least one of them should be near the floor.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


George Andreasen
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:21 pm
First Name: George
Last Name: Andreasen
Location: Alturas, California

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by George Andreasen » Fri May 31, 2019 3:00 pm

This is a long shot, going back to my cable splicing years at the phone company........

Anytime we entered a manhole, it had to be "sniffed" first for any flammable gases. We used a small gas detector with a squeeze bulb, hose and wand. The wand was inserted in one of the holes designed for removing the manhole lid and the bulb squeezed several times, drawing air into the tester. A meter on the tester instantly indicated clear air or flammables.

What's my point? Well, if you can befriend someone at either the telephone or gas companies, maybe they can come over and "sniff" various placed in the trailer. It might just locate where that odor is coming from.


Topic author
HaroldRJr
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:13 am
First Name: Harold
Last Name: Schwendeman
Location: Sumner, WA

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by HaroldRJr » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:59 pm

Lots of thoughts and good advice here and I appreciate it! I now think however, that Norm Kling and a couple others have come pretty close to an answer to my problem, and here's why:

Our club had a joint tour with two other NW Washington "T" clubs last weekend, and I trailered my depot hack to the starting point, and after the tour, replaced the depot hack back in the trailer after shutting off the gas line valve and running the carburetor dry. The car has remained in the closed up trailer ever since, which is a total of 5 days. Same venting situation as previous, with two roof vents "cracked" and weather proof air vents in opposite side walls,....front one high and rear one low. The only thing different was that when I put the depot hack in the trailer last Sunday after the tour, I put a small piece of duct tape over the tiny vent hole in the gas cap. Today, I opened the trailer for the first time this week, and happily noted absolutely no gasoline smell at all, even though we have had chilly nights in the 50's and warm sunny days in the high 70's when I know for a fact that the trailer inside temperature exceeds 90 degrees. I am now convinced that the gasoline smell was a result of the "breathing" of the gas tank thru' that tiny gas cap vent hole due to day/night temperature change! And yes, I did leave myself a "reminder" where I'll be sure to see it, to remember to remove the little piece of tape next time I get the car out of the trailer.

You know, I started this thread as an "OT" post, but I now think that might have been a mistake, because I feel that all of this is good information and is certainly "T" related,......sorry,......harold

User avatar

Ruxstel24
Posts: 1523
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:25 am
First Name: Dave
Last Name: Hanlon
Location: NE Ohio
MTFCA Number: 50191
Board Member Since: 2018

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:25 pm



Topic author
HaroldRJr
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:13 am
First Name: Harold
Last Name: Schwendeman
Location: Sumner, WA

Re: Gasoline Fumes

Post by HaroldRJr » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:16 am

Good "thought" Dave,....and thank you! I am seriously considering a solar powered ventilation fan like Mark G. suggested. Sure can't hurt, right? Thanks guys,.....harold


FreighTer Jim
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:50 am
First Name: James
Last Name: Jarzabek
Location: Dayton, OH
MTFCA Number: 29562
MTFCI Number: 24398
Board Member Since: 2008
Contact:

Timely Subject

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:02 am

(12) years and no real issues ...,,

Then today I pick up what was represented by the Seller to be an “ original 1950 Merc “.

Turns out the passenger side has had a lot of body work.

You can see it in the right light ....

4EFB3F14-3BFB-4B4C-B468-B33FE17D2309.jpeg

There was what seemed to be a small gas leak
under the gas tank on the ground that noticed before I loaded that the owner explained away as
an overfilled tank ....

4A29A3AA-55BD-4761-B894-5D2CA33ECAC2.jpeg

8029ABA0-9862-4C88-A784-EC8BEE06A8DA.jpeg

BFC7A851-DE87-483B-8061-864197B2F69C.jpeg

So tomorrow I have to have the tank pumped out somewhere - bought a large plastic under bed shoe box
for tonight and filled it with cat litter.

The gas was old varnished gas - going to have to replace that section of trailer floor - the Seller knew d@mn well the gas tank leaked - really sh’tty to not let me know :oops:


FJ
Last edited by FreighTer Jim on Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.


FreighTer Jim
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:50 am
First Name: James
Last Name: Jarzabek
Location: Dayton, OH
MTFCA Number: 29562
MTFCI Number: 24398
Board Member Since: 2008
Contact:

Windows & vents

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:17 am

My last two trailers I had sliding screened windows and side vents installed - no roof vents because over time
the mechanism works loose and the plastic dome flies off going down the road.


715191CD-E4A0-4214-A784-39EC75CFFD2A.jpeg


I usually will run a Model T out of fuel after turning off the fuel supply - I carry a pan and cat litter and place that under the carburetor,

Rubber horse stall mats protect the wood floor.

A lingering gasolne smell might mean gas soaked into wood or some other porous material if you smell it with no car in the trailer.

If it bothers you - it is a valid concern.

Until today it had never bern an issue for me.


FJ

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic