Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Gasoline after 14 years?

1969 F250 camper special, it has had gasoline in it for at least 14 years now, I don’t know what to do. Any ideas? How do I clean it out of the old lines? Is it possible? Or would they all be clogged? It also hasn’t been started in atleast 14 years. Would it still start if I put the new battery in it?

Do you really want to start this project? 1st drain the gas lines and tank. Call around to hazmat sites that will take the old gas. The gas may have turned to varnish, you might need to replace the tank, pump, lines and carb. Remove the spark plugs and squirt oil into each cylinder and let it soak for a day or so. Then use a big socket to try to turn the crank shaft. If the engine does not turn by hand that may be a sign to walk away from this project.

Is this vehicle yours or something you want to buy? If it is something you want to buy I would ask that it be running before agreeing to purchase. If yours call a couple of repair shops with all the info you have and ask for a ball park estimate with the thought that final bill could be 50 % higher.

It’s mine, been passed down, had it in my possession for about 2-3 years now

So assuming you want to keep it, do as @SteveCBT said. But only if you can deal with the drained stale gas safely, the fumes are very explosive. Also inspect all the gas lines for corrosion, and any rubber gas lines for cracks. I would replace all rubber gas lines just in case, they’re almost 50 years old! Same goes for brake lines, once you get the engine up and running.

If you’re not up for this kind of a project, it’s ok. Do it if you love it, otherwise sell it to someone else.

In the mid 90s a 1953 Chevrolet was under a sagging garage where it had sat for over 15 years when the executrix of the estate called me. I connected a charger-starter, poured 5 gallons of fresh gas in the tank, topped off the radiator and crankcase, pulled the plugs and squirted Dexron in then spun the engine over and heard no bad noises. After cleaning and gapping the points and replaceing the plugs I poured a good shot of gas down the carburetor and the engine actually started and ran. I backed the car out and parked it on the street under its own power. That wasn’t my first successful effort at dragging a “barn find” out of the barn but it was the quickest. Of course a few weeks with ethanol fuel in the tank will result in some time consuming repairs but someone thought it was worth their effort and bought it. If there is less than a 1/4 tank of fuel in the tank I’d suggest pouring in some fresh gas and giving it a try.

I rebuild old motorcycles, and often run into 15 year old gas. It stinks terrible! Whatever you do, do it outside, away from the house, and have a container ready that you can seal really well before you even start this job. And remember, this is explosive stuff and you should be really careful!

Definitely drain it out. It’s nothing but trouble, and you’re better off without it in there. If it was my job I’d take the tank off the truck first so I could wrestle it around to pour it out and shake it out, too, to get the most out of it. Once it’s out of the tank put about 3 or 4 gallons of E85 fuel into the tank (
, cap it up and seal off the output fuel line, the slosh the fuel around in the tank, and do that again every few hours for a few days, then empty that out, too.

You should replace all the rubber lines on the truck anyway (fuel, brake, vacuum, coolant) because they are all junk now, even if they look OK on the outside.

Once you put the tank back in, and put 5 gallons of regular fuel in, it will take a bit of cranking to start, which is good because oil will begin to circulate in the engine before it starts. You don’t want it to start immediately.

If you clean the tank this way, replace the rubber fuel lines, inspect the metal lines for obvious damage, change the oil and the filter, and make sure there’s coolant in the engine, in my opinion you can test start it to see if it runs. If it starts then I’d replace the steel fuel line and, depending on how it runs, clean out the carburetor. You do need to know if the engine is OK generally, if the clutch and transmission even tries to work, before you start throwing money at it.

Yeppers . . . Don’t even act like it might be startable . .don’t even go there.
Treat it like a kit project.
Take stuff apart first.
clean, inspect, replace as suggested above.

even the . . TIRES !
you may not even roll a block on those things.

Ford pickups of this vintage have some fans and nice ones have some value just not a lot of either. You could easily spend a few thousand dollars and many hours of work just to get it running properly and driving safely. It could then be sold for substantially less than your investment. Unless it has great sentimental value to you I would suggest you break even by giving it to someone willing to take it off your hands for free.

Yeah I think first you have to drop the tank and hope its still liquefied. When I got my dad’s old outboard motor, the tank was just filled with crud that used to be gas. Only thing to do was throw it away.

If the gas is still liquid, you’ve got a shot at cleaning the lines and so on out first instead of replacing.

This vehicle is going to need much more than fresh fuel and a new battery. It’s likely the carb(s) are gummed up and need at least a rebuild. If the last fuel used in it had any ethanol in it, the entire fuel system is going to need a thorough inspection to make sure the lines haven’t cracked or dry-rotted.

If faced with doing a frame up rebuild the OP would likely opt to get the truck scrapped. I can’t imagine spending several weekends and many hundreds of dollars repairing and replacing everything from the fuel filler cap to the intake manifold only to find that the block is cracked and ring and pinion are stripped. It would seem that getting a “down and dirty” look into the worthiness of the vehicle for repair is in order. Connecting a rubber fuel line to the fuel pump and hanging it in a can of fuel and spinning the engine might quickly indicate problems too costly to spend more time and money.


That’s what I was trying to say. If the truck was in dry storage, indoors, it might be worth saving. If it’s rusty and rotted, forget it. You can’t make general statements without a lot more detail, but if it seems to be usable then taking some steps to see if the engine can start seems reasonable.