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Old 03-15-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Car started running horrible. Started getting lean codes.Then it died on me.Dad replaced a bunch of parts(Before we knew what was up) and started the car.Runs like a million but the valve covers are barreling out smoke..

Im freaking out and dad said the only thing you can do is a motor swap and he said he'll send the damn thing to the junkyard before he'll do ANOTHER motor swap.
Is there anything i can do? If i drain the gas tank and do a fuel system clean? ANything at all? I would rather die than get rid of my car.It has a LOT of sentimental value to me. Me and my dad built it together and its my dream car that ive wanted since i was 9. My dad's put 6 grand into it. And almost every day working on it. He used up 2 vacations from work to fix it.Theres gotta be something. Please let me know.I dont want to get rid of my car.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Bump
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

dude that sucks, i know kerosene is extremely flammable, now how much compared to gasoline im not sure. The big concern is that if it burns hotter than gasoline it could have melted rings which could be causing it to smoke. I know from shop experience that when putting diesel in a car it runs like hell or not at all until you drain the tank and run the car and it will smoke like crazy until it is completely off the cylinder walls and out of all the fuel system. After its out of the system there is no more issues. Best thing i can recommend is to start with the easy, drain the tank, get fresh gas in it and run it at your house for a good while to see if it stops smoking. It will probably take a good long time to clean it all out if thats all that is wrong with it
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Should be ok, just drain the tank and refill with gas.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

How do you accidently put the wrong gas in?
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

as already said, drain the tank.
i would also flush the rest of the fuel system with some gas.
then replace the fuel filter.
start the motor and let it idle for a while till its fully warmed up.
if it sounds ok, i would change the oil.
you may need to change the spark plugs too.
drive it easy for a couple of tanks of gas just to make sure all the Kerosene is flushed out.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Thanks for the responses guys.But dad just said i have back pressure in both my valve covers. He said no matter what i do the damage is already done/
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

I just checked out your Cardomain and that looks like a really nice car.
It sounds like your father is pretty angry right now. Did you put the Kerosene in the car?
Either way, I would give your Dad some time to cool off and then talk to him about it. I think he will help you get the car going again. He sounds like a great guy considering he put all that effort into getting your car going in the first place.
Believe me, I know how it is being angry at your son - I have one that has gotten me angry plenty of times. We may say things we don't mean in the heat of the moment, but most of us wind up doing the right thing.

It sounds like your father is right, and you may need some engine work - hopefully just a set of rings which is really not that big a deal.
Either way, good luck with your car.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathStarr89 View Post
Should be ok, just drain the tank and refill with gas.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Drain it and refill with gasoline. Kerosene won't damage anything.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

You sure? Then why are my cylinders all smoking and i have SOO much back pressure? Im thinking my rings are shot and im gonna throw a rod here pretty soon
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:51 PM   #12
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

It's smoking because of the kerosine and gas mixture.



Back pressure is a terrible term from the 70's for exhaust systems. If you have a large amount of crank case pressure then that would indicate a problem but like previously stated kerosine shouldn't hurt anything. IIRC the main additive in octane boosters is kerosine.


If you are convinced that you have a problem then a simple compression test would show it. rent the gauge from autozone and go through all 8.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #13
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Do you have back pressure or do you have crankcase pressure?
Did you get all the kerosene out of the fuel system?
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #14
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Crankcase pressure. And no not yet. I only have a little less than a quarter tank of gas so im debating whether to syphen it out or just run it with a few gallons of premium in it too and let it burn off
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #15
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

I wouldnt run it.Just drain the **** out.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #16
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Did you do a compression test?
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:55 AM   #17
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

How much Kero was put in it?
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Drain it and refill with gasoline. Kerosene won't damage anything, once its flushed out of the tank and fuel lines and new spark plugs have been installed , Kerosene is similar to mineral spirits and diesel, it won,t burn well in a low compression gas engine or meter thru a carb set up for gas but it can just be flushed out, drain the tank , replace the fuel filter and fill with fresh gasoline and after running for 15 minutes things should be back near normal , and btw your hardly the first person to put diesel or kerosene in a gas tank, once its flushed out and the spark plugs and filter are replaced you should be fine after 15 minutes run time to get the lines flushed out
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #19
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

If anything your fuel system is now the cleanest that it will ever be.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #20
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

I would get as much fuel out of the tank as possible, and then fill with fresh gasoline. Also would change the oil and filter and inspect the PCV valve immediately. You may have kero in the oil.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:39 AM   #21
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Accidentally crimped the gas line while trying to unscrew it! Now I've gotta fix that before I can try it with fresh gas. It would be great if it did clear up but I have my doubts, it looks like a train smoke stack puffing out smoke while its running. BTW the tank was on empty when I grabbed the can that I thought was gas and put in about 2 gallons. Drove it about 10 miles.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #22
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

I did some googling...

http://www.smokstak.com/library/tech...ine-engine-23/

Quote:
In order to burn "distillate fuels" like kerosene or diesel, first, it must be atomized/vaporized. Either mechanically (like a diesel injection pump) or with heat. Any gasoline engine can be set up to run on kerosene as long as two issues are addressed, how to prevent preignition, and how to vaporize the fuel.
They're talking small engines and carburetors, you have injectors taht should atomize the kerosene very well...

Quote:
The second problem with kerosene and diesel in a gasoline engine is preignition. Kerosene and diesel have a very low octane rating (somewhere around 25) and thus makes it very prone to compression ignition. This is why, of course, they run great in diesel engines. In a diesel, the fuel is not introduced until it is time to burn it, so the low octane is a non issue. When the intake air is carrying the fuel, low octane is a problem. There are two ways to resolve this. The simplest, and most common, is to use a low compression ratio so that the intake air will not be compressed enough to ignite the fuel. Any engine with a ratio of around 6.5:1 or less should be able to run kerosene without problems. This would include almost every flathead engine made, as well as a good number of antique tractor I-head engines. Another slightly more complicated option is to use an anti detonant. The best example of this would be the Rumely Oil Pull engine. It utilized a three bowl carburetor. One for starting gasoline, one for kerosene, and one for water. The water jet was located ahead of the venturi (where the main jet is located) so that water was only drawn when the engine was under load (half throttle or above). The water prevented compression ignition thus allowing higher compression ratios to give performance equal to (some will argue better than) a gasoline engine of equal size. Another advantage to the water/kero mix is it produces a much smoother (less violent) burn in the cylinder, making it much easier on the engine. Therefore, it lasts longer. For more information on the Secor-Higgins carburetor, follow this link to a fantastic article on the “Rusty Iron” webpage.

http://rumely.rustyiron.com/secor.html

There were a surprising number of OEM small engines built for gasoline/kerosene operation by Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, and Tecumseh. All were off the shelf gasoline engines modified for kerosene operation. These modifications included:

1. Either a low compression cylinder head, or a stock head installed with two head gaskets.

2. A divided fuel tank with the large side for kerosene, and a small (usually a pint or less) for starting/warm-up gasoline. In some cases, the bowl capacity or the fuel bowl in the carburetor had sufficient capacity for an adequate amount of gasoline to start the engine, so a small flip top “fill cup” was T’d into the fuel line so that the carburetor bowl could be filled with gasoline prior to starting.

3. A carburetor bowl drain of some fashion for draining kerosene from an improperly shut down carburetor. On Briggs “Flo-Jet” (updraft) carburetors, a special main jet screw was installed with a drain cap that allowed the bowl to be drained. Most other engines with stamped metal bowls used a small button installed in a drilled hole in the bottom of the bowl. These are still used on some Tecumseh “Sno-King” and other engines for seasonal use.

4. A hotter spark plug was utilized to prevent fouling, and in some cases (on the Kohlers) timing was retarded to aid in the prevention of detonation.
This is very telling...

So kerosene will ignite much sooner than gasoline due to its low octane rating. I would assume this is like taking an engine that runs on 87 octane and running it on 50 octane. I dont know, but thats just gonna be the working metaphor. The point of running higher octane is in high compression engines, the fuel will detonate before, or independently from the spark plug igniting it, so you run higher octane (requires higher temperatures to burn) to prevent the fuel from igniting until you want it to. There are important differences between preignition and detonation, but they have the same end result. You get a jackhammer effect on your rotating assembly parts from all the unintended ignitions during operation. This is what blows up turbo cars that rn the boost too high basically. Most parts can withstand high pressures as long as they increase linearly. A sudden impact (ie detonation/explosion) in the chamber is what you want to AVOID by using gasoline that ignites at a higher temperature (higher octane). Did you hear anything that sounded like marbles rattling around in a can while you were driving it? Thats what it sounds like.


Now someone will come in and tell me my terminology is all wrong, and they'll be right, but for purposes of explaining I've done the best I can, hopefully someone more knowledgable than myself can clarify the finer points if I'm too far off.

But the end result is the same. If you ran into preignition issues, you could have melted your pistons and/or ripped off ring lands and/or toasted your piston rings.

As the chamber temperatures increase (and preignition/detonation will dramatically increase temperatures in the combustion chamber) the C shaped piston rings expand, and since they're in a small channel against the cylinder bore, the two ends of the C can only expand towards each other until they form an O. At that point, if they expand, they seize against the cylinder wall, and strip the top of the piston off. This area is generally known as the "ring land". This is assuming the piston doesnt end up with a hole in the middle of it first, because that constant hammering effect on the piston can and will put a hole into it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

A compression ring being broken/melted like that can and will cause smoke to puff out of the crank case (through oil cap, etc). The piston tries to compress it on the compression and power stroke, but if the ring cant hold the pressure, it will leak past every revolution.

What I suggest you do is pull the spark plugs. There's a reason people used to read plugs back in the day (and al ot still do). The plug is exposed to the same things the piston is exposed to, and if you pull the plugs you can check their condition, and they'll tell you what was going on inside the engine. If you see plugs that are half damaged/missing/melted, definitely assume the worst. If you see plugs with the white part (the porcelain) covered in dark specs, assume the worst. Then do a compression test while they're out. Then you will know what you're dealing with.

If nothing else, put your finger over each hole and have someone turn the engine over until you feel pressure or two complete revolutions. It should turn over easily with all the plugs out, and a good piston will create a noticable amount of pressure. heck, you can even do it with the distributor disconnected from the battery and have someone bump the starter a little at a time. It will be very noticable when a cylinder gets to the compression stroke. If you get a cylinder that never puffs your finger off, you probably have a hole in a piston. A broken ring land probably wont be noticable enough for you to tell a difference, though.

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Old 03-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #23
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Well so far I've drained the tank, changed oil and filter, changed gas filter. Im in the process of replacing the gas line I crimped earlier. Gonna try it with 10w40 and some Lucas oil treatment and 5 gallons of 93 octane. Ill give that a shot and see how it runs, if no better then ill start pulling the plugs out which sucks because I have headers!!! What a pain!!!
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #24
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

You should've already pulled the plugs out to inspect them all.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #25
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
Originally Posted by White93z34 View Post
If anything your fuel system is now the cleanest that it will ever be.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:14 PM   #26
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

You should pull the plugs before you run it again. If there is some damage in the cylinders you dont wanna make it worse by running it. Pulling the plugs can help tell you if theres something amiss inside the cylinders.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:00 AM   #27
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Alright guys so heres an update.Went out today and got some new oil,oil filter,fuel filter,a new gas line,and put in some new fresh gas. Also got some stuff from auto zone thats suppose to fix compression and restore rings. We shall see how that works haha.But for now...Started it up.Runs like BRAND new. Still smoking like theres no tomorrow though. So we did some quick checks and i took it for a run. I was very easy on the motor. Went 25 miles and nothing changed at all. Biggest thing though. My power was much better than it ever was.Its to the point now to where it scares the absolute crap out of Me haha. I got it out on the highway and prepared to get it up to 60, oh my god it was an amazing feeling when that thing kicked in.

Gonna drive it for a few more days and see where it goes. I went for the drive at 9 at night. So my headlights were up. When the cars stopped you can see smoke BARRELING out of the motor. Its really embarrassing. So im praying to god it stops and its just all the kerosene burning away. If not..well then im lost. Getting a compression test tomorrow. And the worst part is i have emissions.so even if it keeps running as well as it is,i would have to get rid of it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:49 AM   #28
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

It'll be alright.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #29
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Im using a open element air cleaner with a push in breather on the drivers side and pvc valve on passenger side. Im thinking of putting the original valve covers back on and the original air cleaner. That way the excess smoke would be sucked through the breather tube and into the air cleaner? At least it wouldn't be as noticeable while sitting at a stop light? I just have to find that plastic breather tube, I think it got thrown out? It'll be hard to find one of those at the junk yard.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:41 PM   #30
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

The extra smoke should be gone within a week of driving. If not then there's probably trouble to look for.

Be careful about additives you put in the oil.
I don't trust very much beyond the STP product, or Moly or ZDDP additives for oil.

Definitely check all your spark plugs closely (post pics), and do your compression/leak-down test on all cylinders.

They are probably fine, but it doesn't hurt to check up on how they are holding up, especially at this point.

When the engine is running hook up a scanner/datalogger to check vital functions of the ECM. Make sure you are going closed loop and you don't have excessive BLMs.

It is possible to have a good compression check and still have the smoke in the exhaust due to failure of the valve seals.

Kerosene used to be used as an oil flush product to clean out sludge from your engine. On a high mileage engine sometimes sludge (used to be common) was the only thing keeping the valve seals working. If you used the Kerosene flush to remove the sludge, then the engine would smoke from that point on, until you replaced the valve-guides, or at least installed new valve seals. Failed seals usually show themselves by a large cloud of smoke right after a cold-start in the morning.
New seals cost around $20.
If the guides are very worn, then they were already worn out before the Kerosene, and they have to be refreshed at the machine shop.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:59 AM   #31
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

they always run the best right before they blow up
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:35 AM   #32
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

But he didnt put kerosene in his oil, he put it in his gas. If he blew a hole in a piston some of it could have cleaned out some oil gunk I guess, but freight train puffing out the oil filler cap is a classic symptom of a damaged piston. Every car puffs to an extent, but he is playing it up to be a pretty large amount of smoke. The crankcase shouldnt have that much pressure in it unless combustion is blowing past the pistons.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:42 AM   #33
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

He has to do a compression check.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #34
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

The smoking has gotten alot better since the oil change and new fuel filter. We emptied out the tank and have ran a entire tank of 93 octane thru it. This is my sons car and I usually end up doing all the repairs to it. I plan on having him take it in for a compression check because I don't have time or the tool to do it right now. The engine is running great with no weird sounds or issues ? When I remove the oil fill cap I can feel puffs of air with a little smoke and there is some smoke coming from the breather. I hope the compression test comes back ok, I know obviously it wont be perfect but hopefully good enough that I don't need to pull the engine right away.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #35
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

sounds like you can limp it along maybe for the season. Compression check may be a waste of money...seems like it will definitely have low compression/blowby by what you're saying.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #36
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

What would burning kerosene do to the cat? Plug it up? Coat it so it doesn't work?

My guess is the kerosene did not burn as good and washed the rings out. No lube due to the washing. If so, they may seal up again if they are not too bad and then again may not.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #37
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

How many miles on it since its been drained out and refilled with gasoline?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #38
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

During the time you ran it with Kerosene in the tank, did you listen to the engine? Did it knock and ring loudly? It must have been hammering pretty loudly.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:02 PM   #39
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin89Formy View Post
they always run the best right before they blow up
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:01 PM   #40
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

I'm still wondering how kerosene got into the fuel tank.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:31 AM   #41
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo57509 View Post
I'm still wondering how kerosene got into the fuel tank.
Someone too cheap to buy a blue can and just put the kero in a red one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin89Formy View Post
Compression check may be a waste of money...seems like it will definitely have low compression/blowby by what you're saying.
The question is whether he did damage to a specific piston when it tried to run backwards or whether he just smoked the rings. You can get a compression tester for $40 bucks and do the test yourself easily.

Quote:
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they always run the best right before they blow up
Haha... you're thinking of a rotary!
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:13 AM   #42
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
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you have injectors taht should atomize the kerosene very well...

So kerosene will ignite much sooner than gasoline due to its low octane rating.
A TBI injector at 15 PSI won't atomize cold kerosene for crap.

Kerosene has a low octane rating, but it has a much higher vaporization temperature. Dual-fuel gasoline/kerosene engines have to be started on gasoline to warm up before they can burn kerosene.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:57 AM   #43
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
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The question is whether he did damage to a specific piston when it tried to run backwards or whether he just smoked the rings. You can get a compression tester for $40 bucks and do the test yourself easily.


If it were me, I'd know that there was major internal damage and it would have to come out of the car anyway. I wouldn't bother. I'm lazy though lol
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:44 AM   #44
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
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A TBI injector at 15 PSI won't atomize cold kerosene for crap.

Kerosene has a low octane rating, but it has a much higher vaporization temperature. Dual-fuel gasoline/kerosene engines have to be started on gasoline to warm up before they can burn kerosene.


+1
hence the oil contamination.
Bad ring seal isn't the only source of extra blowby, which is why I suggested the compression & leakdown test. Why not just take the car to someone with the test equipment and do the check for free?
It only takes 100 PSI compressed air and the gauges which you can get cheap from Harbor Freight, - or like I said ask a friend to use theirs.

Maybe the "barreling smoke" statement could be clarified ? Is this from the exhaust pipe or from the valve-cover?
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #45
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

There was alot of smoke coming from the breather and oil fill hole. None from the exhaust though. It has since gotten alot better, its still has some smoke from the breather but not an alarming amount. This is my sons car and I've let him know that I have put way to much money into this car and this time he's on his own. He has to take responsibility for this. I know it was a stupid mistake but this engine has only been in the car less than a year. Hopefully it will last until he can save up for a rebuild. Thanks for all the input guys its appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #46
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

well, the way I see it, most people are saying it should be fine. In that case, run her like hell, it'll either clear out or blow up, but there's no point in changing an engine if it's still running.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:48 PM   #47
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Quote:
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well, the way I see it, most people are saying it should be fine. In that case, run her like hell, it'll either clear out or blow up, but there's no point in changing an engine if it's still running.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:04 AM   #48
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Well its been almost a year and i took the motor to the machine shop. Essentially the whole motor needs redone, 1200 dollars worth of work.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:46 AM   #49
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Sounds like pops wants you financing your addiction work work work!!
Least it got you by for awhile.

Was the Lantern a Coleman?
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:16 AM   #50
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Re: Accidentally put Kerosene in the gas tank..

Haha dork. I honestly haven't even touched the car in like 8 months. It's
In my backyard. I got a backup beast/ about last October (: 2001 marquis with 286,xxx. Now it's up to 295,xxx. I honestly love this car haha. I debated
For a while selling the TA and using the money to put into the marquis. Things actually pretty quick too.
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