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Sugar in gas tank!! What to do?
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bmimken
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Post subject: Sugar in gas tank!! What to do? (Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:33 pm) Reply with quote

Apparently my crazy neighbor visited my truck one night and put an unknown quantity of sugar in my gas tank. I did not discover the sugar until I went to fill up at the gas station. When I opened the gas cap, the tank was under pressure and a bunch of the sugar was blown out. But there was still a lot of sugar in the filler piping. I was really low on fuel and late for work, so I filled the tank up with gas (hoping to prevent the fuel pickup from clogging up inside the tank). I made it to work and back home (about 50 miles of driving) without any problems. My main concern is clogging up the filter sock/pickup in the tank and the inline filter. Do I need to drop the fuel tank and clean it out? Or should I keep driving it until a problem arises?

Brian



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Brussell
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Post subject: (Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:57 pm) Reply with quote

I'm still new to all this.

But sugar doesn't dissolve into gasoline. If your neighbor (who you should kick his ass btw) only put a bit in you should just change the filter a few times and check your engine a lot. If your unsure about how much was put in I think you should clean the whole system (Including tank, sock, engine filters, checking the fuel lines etc) . The sugar will most likely just be on the bottom of the tank.

If it reaches the engine it'll have the same effect sand would.


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66aCUDA
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Post subject: (Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:07 pm) Reply with quote

Brian
I had this happen once and drove the truck another 100K. Didnt notice it had been done. The girl that did it said later that she had dumped 5lbs in. Shocked
Frank



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bmimken
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Post subject: (Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:44 pm) Reply with quote

Brussell- You are right about the sugar not dissolving in gasoline. I would LOVE to kick her a**, but she is trying to provoke a reaction from me so she can have me arrested. Looooong story, but she believes it is my fault child services took her son away from her (not possibly at all her fault for biting a 10 yr old on his butt).

Frank- That is comforting to hear that you were able to drive for a long time with no issues.

I am going to at the very least replace my inline fuel filter and cut it apart for any signs of sugar. I really do not want to go through cleaning out the fuel tank, but if I have to, I will.

Brian



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dakight
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:55 am) Reply with quote

The only way to get the sugar out of your tank is to drain the gas, remove the tank and clean it thorougly. If you don't do that you are likely to have problems with the pickup strainer getting clogged. Even more problematic; if you have or get any water in your tank, which is very common, the sugar will dissolve in the water and *could* make it's way into the carburetor. If it were mine, I'd pull the tank and clean it ASAP, then put a locking cap on the tank.



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james longhurst
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:14 am) Reply with quote

dakight wrote:
The only way to get the sugar out of your tank is to drain the gas, remove the tank and clean it thorougly. If you don't do that you are likely to have problems with the pickup strainer getting clogged. Even more problematic; if you have or get any water in your tank, which is very common, the sugar will dissolve in the water and *could* make it's way into the carburetor. If it were mine, I'd pull the tank and clean it ASAP, then put a locking cap on the tank.


Yeah, what David said. I'm guessing this is on your Ram. Also a guess is the pump is in the tank and a returnless system. You ought to be able to drop the tank and remove the pump to siphon all the fuel out, then mop it out with a bunch of lint-free rags. be sure to be careful when reinstalling the pump and seal as you may wind up with an evap leak afterward. If you have an inline filter, replace it but bear in mind there may be another filter inside the pump itself (not including the sock.) flush the fuel lik=nes as best as you can with compressed air and carb cleaner. If you want to go all the way, it may be a good idea to pull the injectors and see if any crap got into the little filters there.
Sucks you live down in the boonies. We never have that kind of trouble here in the mountains!

-James



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slantfin
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:10 am) Reply with quote

Can you at least work on it where she can see you slaving over it? Pick a hot day and add fake sweat if necessary. There's no aggression like passive aggression.


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bigslant6fan
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Post subject: - (Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:42 am) Reply with quote

And when you finish fixing your truck,loosen the oil filter,and disconect the low oil switch on her car.That's what I did to some one that keyed my car.



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slantzilla
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:33 pm) Reply with quote

Just asking, but why will sugar dissolve in water and not gas? Question



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bmimken
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:49 pm) Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses guys!

This is on a 86 D100 truck w/225 engine. I've already put locking gas caps on the truck and my 2 other vehicles that were untouched. I would really, really, love to retaliate but she is getting foreclosed on later this month and I won't have to deal with her anymore soon. Put up a hunter's game camera to catch her next time.

Zilla, I don't know why sugar doesn't dissolve in gasoline vs. water. I suspect Lou (chemistry professor) could chime in with an explanation if he sees this thread.

Sounds like I am going to have to drop the tank after all... Evil or Very Mad

Brian



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Aggressive Ted
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Post subject: (Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:13 pm) Reply with quote

I had a 73 van that the kids did that too as a prank. Ended up dropping it and made them help me clean it out. The sugar just stayed in a pile under the filler so I tipped it on that side and shot the hose in from the pickup tube side to wash it down the neck. Nice practice.....my tank was pretty shiny inside.
Sometimes you just have to bit the bullet and do it....
Sad



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Brussell
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Post subject: (Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:10 am) Reply with quote

Good explanation I read is:

The principle outlined above under polarity, that like dissolves like, is the usual guide to solubility with organic systems. For example, petroleum jelly will dissolve in gasoline because both petroleum jelly and gasoline are hydrocarbons. It will not, on the other hand, dissolve in alcohol or water, since the polarity of these solvents is too high. Sugar will not dissolve in gasoline, since sugar is too polar in comparison with gasoline. A mixture of gasoline and sugar can therefore be separated by filtration, or extraction with water. - wikipedia but I believe it is genuinely correct.


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Dart270
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Post subject: (Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:24 am) Reply with quote

Yes, as Brussell said, it is the same reason that oil and water do not mix.

Sugar has molecular parts that mostly resemble water and so it interacts well with water molecules. The sugar molecules have a much higher affinity for each other than for the gasoline molecules (greasy, oily) and so the two do not mix.

Sounds like a crazy neighbor indeed. Glad you will be rid of her. You are probably correct that any action, legal or illegal, will be more trouble for you than cleaning this tank out.

If you drop the tank, you might clean the tank with water, then swish a few quarts of rubbing alcohol in after that to rinse, let it dry in a dry place, then reinstall and IMMEDIATELY fill to the top with gas to make sure no rust forms.

Lou



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bigslant6fan
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Post subject: - (Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:25 pm) Reply with quote

You should find out the day she is being kicked out,and park your other cars at a trusted friend's house,so nothing happens to them.I admire your self-control.



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slantzilla
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Post subject: (Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:16 am) Reply with quote

Dart270 wrote:
Yes, as Brussell said, it is the same reason that oil and water do not mix.

Sugar has molecular parts that mostly resemble water and so it interacts well with water molecules. The sugar molecules have a much higher affinity for each other than for the gasoline molecules (greasy, oily) and so the two do not mix.



Lou


Thanks for the explanation. Very Happy



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