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 Fuel Management
 Fuel, a clean system, nothing is more important
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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  21:43:28  Show Profile
Just want this to be a running essay on the basics, how to keep a "decent" M100 running in decent shape. First thing, often overlooked, is to take off the fuel tank on that beast you just acquired. I can hear your reply, "it looks just fine." Oh sure. A fuel tank that's 35 to 40 years old is "just fine". Now that's the joke.
Once the tank is off, send it to a pro shop for steam cleaning and inspection. You might need a new tank.
Rust is a killer from the inside out. That rust, you can't see. There is a way to tell. It involves a long stiff wire and a small wire brush. After you do that, use a top side oil changer to suck some fuel from that still installed tank. Now you can see the rust. Take the tank off, no way around it.
More on the next step later. Under no circumstances, never install a rebuilt mechanical fuel injection pump onto a M100 with an unrestored fuel tank.

Stu Hammel

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  03:14:35  Show Profile
A long time ago I made the mistake of thinking that the gas tank was clean because I couldn't smell bad gasoline. Wrong! The rust and crud can still be present. Dan is right. Cleaning and restoring a gas tank is not expensive and will go a long way to keeping your car running well.

Stu
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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2005 :  01:07:07  Show Profile
By now, all must know, this is as basic as you can get it. This is also, meant to be a total restoration, thus, the next step. All of these should be done at one time, again, this is before you fire up a rebuilt MFIS. Forgot to mention in that tank rebuild, either clean that tiny screen in the tank or buy a new one. Also, buy a new fuel sender.
Now, change every rubber part in the fuel line chain. Even for you lucky guys with the 1970 vapor device, (joke), meaning the tiny lines that lead to the hard black PVC looking tank on the right side of the trunk / boot, behind the spare tire. Change every darn rubber part. If not, I will quaratee that you will sooner or later, in a five year period, come out one morning to an empty fuel tank. The rubber becomes brittle. It cracks. Simple road vibration can cause a crack. Worse than that, heat can expand the fuel in the tank. That pressure will blow that hose, if your lucky. The real risky hose is the one you can hardly see. It leads from the filter on the left side under the hood / bonet to the MFIS. If it fails under power, you have a fire. It is under pressure from the fuel pump. If a fire starts, that 600 or 6.3 are toast.
Next step, after the tank and the rubber lines, is the fuel pump. If just purchased assume the worst. They can be rebuilt by the factory supplier. If you choose to go new as I do, save the old one. I think it's future price will be pretty high. Even Now, it's pretty tough, but such is life.
Next step, the fuel filter under the hood on the left. Change it, but first clean the canister.
Next, we check the steel fuel lines. We have never seen a failed fuel line but I have heard of lines being crushed by mechanics that don't care. Check them, they are hopefully OK.
Now your ready to fire the engine. Later, I will give my methods that prevent rust in the tank and stabilize the fuel. In my opinion, fuel over a year old, store bought fuel that is, is real dicey after a year. I'd think about the vaue or cost of another MFIS rebuild before I fired up old fuel. But there is a way prevent this. Some fuels are more stable than others. That subject will be the next update.
Dan in Oregon
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Tim Hartney

USA
142 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2005 :  07:57:26  Show Profile  Visit Tim Hartney's Homepage
So far, I've had no major fuel related problems with the 600. Every once in a while, there is a faint smell of fuel under the hood, but no evidence of leaking anywhere. Fortunately, she's rarely allowed to sit for more than a few weeks at a time and perhaps this is why I don't suffer from "old gas" related problems.

A total overhaul of the system probably wouldn't be a bad idea, but that will have to "take a number" behind the list of other problems that are more pressing right now.

I am curious to see your thoughts on stabilizers, etc.

When in doubt...GET ENOUGH!
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Phil OBrien

USA
777 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2005 :  19:05:37  Show Profile
I do the same thing too Dan. As soon as I get a new car I rebuild the injection system and flush or seal the tank. I had a near disaster when a gas line broke on my first car.



Phil



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Gerrett

USA
919 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2005 :  19:12:02  Show Profile  Visit Gerrett's Homepage
Phil:

Great pick.. looks like the 'sophisticated' Mafia has pulled up in front of your house!

I've got to get my Impala out of the garage soon.. It has sat since March. I'll have them drop the tank and replace the oil and filter. Anything else I should request?

Gerrett Conover
1970 600 LWB
1971 600 SWB
1995 Impala SS
1999 E55
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paul-NL

Netherlands
4315 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2005 :  20:20:56  Show Profile
Never forget to change breakfluids, then it attracks moisture. After enough moisture that fluid will attack your breakingcomponents.
Depending on the weatherconditions in your erea you could change that periodic in three (or five) years.

There are small testers for real cheap money for measuring the moisture.
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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2005 :  20:57:47  Show Profile
First on Paul's brake fluid subject, that is one very important post. "It" / old brake fluid, contaminated with water, not only ruins all your costly brake system parts BUT, water in the fluid, under extreme braking, will turn to steam and cause a complete brake failure. The question at hand, either change your fluids every two years MAX or have a bunch of cash handy for repairs. Just think about those Garage Potatoes out there. Use some of the cash you save on routine maintenance and buy a huge life insurance policy. That way, some young guy in this Group, can find your widow and assist in improving her life. LOL
Second, lets say you took all the info about the fuel system to heart. You did it. How can you keep that puppy in Great condition from now on?
This subject can be real complicated, again, I'll "keep it simple, stupid", (KISS).
Every time you fill up your tank, meaning it was down in fuel, you cause that water vapor in the air to turn to tiny rain drops. That water goes to the bottom of the tank. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, gasoline / (the store bought type) weighs exactly 6.23 pounds per gallon. Thus guys, water sinks to the bottom. That water carries oxygen. It causes rust. The easiest way to clean that water out is to add a tad of alcohol. It will mix with that water first and then with the gas. Then, it goes through the fuel system.
If you live in a USA State or a country that has that lousy 10 % alcohol to gas mix, you should be ok, TO A POINT.
BUT, the huge BUT, what if the fuel gets a tad old. That alcohol is the first to evaporate. What if your Garage Potato is pulled into the garage with a tank at the 1/2 point? That means it has air with water vapor in it. Once the ambient temp hits the dew point, presto, you now have water in your tank. What if the alcohol was gone when this happened. RUST.
How can you prevent this. Boy, this is easy. Keep your fuel tank filled. Same thing for every gasoline powered rig you own. Ever have a real hard time starting that lawn mower? Solves this problem.
The next chapter will cover one additional additive.
Dan in Oregon

Edited by - Dan Smith on 12/18/2005 17:38:00
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Phil OBrien

USA
777 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  00:34:53  Show Profile
Dan, what kind of alcohol do you put in yours? I know at the hardware store by my house they carry methanol, ethanol (mixed with methanol to prevent you from drinking it!), and one other (can't remember the name). I know putting in too much alcohol dry rots your rubber quickly as does toluene or xylene. I had put new fuel hoses on my previous 6.9 and put about 1 gallon of xylene in with 4-5 gallons of gas to clean out the system and see if there were any performace gains. I drove it out over a few day period and thought things were fine, but paid the price about a month later when all my new fuel hoses basically rotted out. It was an expensive lesson.


Phil

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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  01:00:17  Show Profile
Phil, interesting about your hoses failing with that use of Toluene. I use it all the time with never a failure. It does make a hose softer. That I have seen. Maybe it was your Zylene trick? I still have not used that stuff.
Alcohol? While I prefer a good Porter, some Ales just fine. Good one, right?
I use straight Meth. Buy it in 55 gallon drums. It plays heck with the pumps gaskets. Drys them up as well. I then switch that pump over to the Toluene 55 gallon drum and it stops the leak. Go figure? Put a sample of a rubber hose in a tad of Tolune in a contaior. Watch what happens. Then let it sit in the ambent air temp. It seems to me, that it makes a dry hose as if it is new.
In my alcohol only days, yes, it toasted two sets of rear rubber lines on my first 6.3. But I was running as much as 30 % until Rich, the second in command at MBI Motors,drummed into my dense brain the fuel value of different BTUs of fuels. That's when I shifted to Toluene via airplane fuel. A huge difference. BUT, that's when I broke a few things until I learned what trick not to do to preserve rear diffs. In other words fans, airplane fuel has more BTUs in it. But my super trick fuels are much superior to just store bought airplane fuel (100 low lead).
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Phil OBrien

USA
777 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  01:06:51  Show Profile
Before I used Xylene I looked for Toluene, but since my state has a meth problem, hardware stores stopped selling it. I think those damn junkies should start sipping on methanol instead .


Phil
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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  20:47:25  Show Profile
Phil, good one, at least it received a chuckle from me. A solution to meth heads, in the final days, they would be blind meth heads. To continue on the fuel system.
So now you have a perfect tank, new rubber hoses, new fuel filter, and you are either running a 10 % alcohol blend, or adding a tad every once in a while, to remove water. What's next?
On a regular basis, I borrow Konrad from Europe's idea, add a 1 % mix of ATF oil. This is a great detergent. It cleans the entire system. Do it often enough and it doesn't effect the fuel filter. If you do it with going through the first steps; get ready to change your fuel filter after a few tanks of fuel. A few more tanks, change it again. ATF is a miracle worker, and, it's cheap. 2 Stoke oil works just the same, and you can buy a smokeless brand from KLOTZ if you wish. It is just one step better than ATF.
First time I ran into this method was in 1978 with a 450 SLC, 107 body, that had real bad fuel injectors. MBI Motors had me install two quarts with about 5 gallons of fuel. I was then told to head home, 35 miles. After that, they said to fill the tank. That's a thick mixture fans. That's a method to try to clean up a terrible performance problem. It worked, it ran reasonable for a 450 anyway.
Next chapter, Toluene, the paint thinner.
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n/a

21 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  00:24:56  Show Profile
Dan, I have heard adding alcohol to fuel will actually draw water vapor from the air into the fuel that would not happen otherwise. Also condensation will occur on any surface that is colder than the dew point. Once the temp equalizes, condensation stops.

Best thing would be to add a water separator into the fuel line. The good ones are pretty big, like the ones used on diesels, but they have some relatively small ones as well.

Fred
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n/a

21 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  00:28:23  Show Profile
DAn: moisture in the brake fluid: why is it all American cars have a rubber seal on the master cylinder cap but German cars don't? The Luger heads like to recommend changing the brake fluid once a year, but they don't really advertise that all that much.
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paul-NL

Netherlands
4315 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  04:15:18  Show Profile
My car hass also a rubber seal/cap on the master break cilinder.
It was delivered end 1977 in Bonn and so it is an official German car.

So they seem all to have it lost in the past ......
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Dan Smith

USA
1623 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  17:53:17  Show Profile
M100 Fans, interesting observation about Toluene. I have a real odd heat system. It burns used oil of any kind. The junk type oil. Black sticky stuff or clean diesel, it could care less. Cheap stuff but a damn expensive system. It even heats my barns. LOL, right?
The downside, it requires a little extra work, which I kind of enjoy. I now even understand the system. We have duplicate parts ready to go, thus it is never out of service for more than , lets say 10 minutes to swap over burners if one's electronic junk goes haywire.
The Toluene connection? OK, I use that stuff to clean the secondary, stainless steel filter. I came up with a brilliant idea. As many of you know, the few ideas I have, I consider absolutely brilliant. The idea? In the past I used a gallon plastic paint bucket to soak the junk / dirty sticky black oil that resembles bunker fuel, off that filter.
I thought, why not have a small container inside the gallon bucket. That way, I could get the real grimy stuff off and then use the gallon for the final cleanup. Well, I put it into a clear plastic chemical measure cup. Two days later, it gone.
I'm thinking, why did one of my crew members take my cup? So I pull out my Leatherman tool. Go to pull the filter out and it seems real heavy. Pull a little harder and it comes out with a clear plastic substance stuck to it on the bottom. It dissolved the damn cup. LOL, So, it dissolves some types of plastic but just softens rubber. Keep this in mind.
Dan in Oregon

Edited by - Dan Smith on 12/18/2005 21:31:27
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