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Old 03-25-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
weirdALJR
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Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

I could really use some suggestions here as my wife killed the truck. She thought she was doing a smart thing by poring some old gas in the gas container into the truck instead of the mower, but unfortunately this can was sitting for over a year, and I dont know what was left in the bottom of it that she poorer into the Durango.

Here is the facts I could get out of her. The truck had about 6 gallons of good gas in it, she pored about 1 gallon of what was in the gas can (I assume it was a mix of old gas and water in it as it has sat next to the shed for the last year). She said she got less then a mile and the truck was running so bad she pulled into the gas station thinking it was the old gas to fill it up. She put 18 gallons of fresh mid grade gas in it, and then only got 2 blocks from the gas station before breaking down totally. I was able to get it to start once or twice, and run for maybe 30 seconds before stalling. Hard to start and ran very rough. Only thing I could think of other then towing was some Water Remover gas additives, but after Valvoline Water Remover, and Seafoam that Durango is still dead on the side of the road. It is nearly impossible to start as I left it.

So in the tank their is about 6 gallons of regular, 1 gallon unknown old gas/water mix, 18 gallons fresh mid grade, & some water remover / seafoam. Is there anything else I can try other then having it towed and draining the whole tank?

Any suggestions/info appreciated as I have never dealt with this before.

Thanks,
Al
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

Stale gas will get diluted by the fresh stuff. But big dollops of water are in there for good, unless you put a tankfull of E-85 in there.

If I was in your situation, and assuming a lot of water got in the gas:

I would suggest towing the truck home. Drop the fuel tank (have a friend and a trolly jack. If its full it will be heavy).

Remove the sender unit and look in the tank with a flashlight. Water in the gas will settle to the lowest part of the tank, and will look like a distinct swirly bubble at the bottom of the tank. (think of a '70's LavaLamp, and you get the idea.)

Try to round up a bunch of gas cans, and siphon off the good gas from the tank, for re-use, if it looks clean and clear. If you care careful, you can keep the hose pick-up away from the water while its siphoning.
Chances are the last couple of gallons in the tank cannot be saved due to contamination. Siphon these off into a separate container which you can take to your local hazardous waste disposal depot.
Then dry up the bottom of the tank with rags etc . Disconnect the fuel line under the hood and pull the fuel filter off. Blow the fuel line out with compressed air and change the filter Reattach the lines and put the tank back in.

Have a good look at the fuel that you drained out. If it looks clean and clear, pout a couple of gallons in, and start the truck. It will take a bit of cranking to fill the lines and clear the injectors. Then let it run. If the rest of the gas looks clean and clear, pour it in.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

If it were mine, I'd pump it out by energizing the fuel pump and attaching a hose to the pressure test port, and pump the gas into clear container, like a one gallon pickle jar. I'd check each gallon for water in the bottom and decide to keep or dispose of each gallon by visual inspection. If I no longer saw any signs of water, I'd try starting truck, if still no start, then continue pumping.

Once tank is empty, I'd fill with a couple gallons fresh fuel and try to restart.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:15 AM   #4
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

Personally, I'd throw 2-3 gallons of ethanol into the tank and run it.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

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Personally, I'd throw 2-3 gallons of ethanol into the tank and run it.


How does that work? Put it in as is and try it? Does the ethanol do something to the water, or?
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:53 PM   #6
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

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How does that work? Put it in as is and try it? Does the ethanol do something to the water, or?

The Alcohol absorbs the water and allows it mix in low concentration with the fuel.

I've used it very successfully a number of times to cure water in fuel problems, but only in carburettered vehicles.



To make sure you fix it properly you do need to clear out the fuel lines, replace the filter and empty out the tank.
It's not a fun job, but it's the only to be sure the car will run, or you won't do any more damage.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:47 AM   #7
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

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How does that work? Put it in as is and try it? Does the ethanol do something to the water, or?
The ethanol will emulsify the water into the gasoline. By the description you gave, I wouldn't expect there to be that much water to enter your tank, unless your gallon fuel container was mostly water to begin with.

If, for example, there was one or two cups of water in the gallon can, the two or three gallons of ethanol should be sufficient to suspend all of the water in the tank into the gasoline.

You'd be surpised at how much water can enter your tank just through ordinary fuel station fillups.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

Great thanks for the suggestions guys, I will try it today.

I am curious about the lines going to the motor. If the ethanol cures the gas in the tank, but the line going to the intake has water in it will it be able to work through that without the motor running? Will just cranking it a few times cycle through what is in the lines?

Also is there a time to wait for this? Like if I put in 3 gallons of ethanol should I wait a few hours or just go at it?
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

Dump in some ethanol, then fill the tank with fresh gasoline to mix it up. Then I would pull the fuel line off the injector rails (aimed in a coke bottle) and turn the switch on and off a few times to cycle the fuel pump and push any liquid water out of the lines. If you have an inline fuel filter, I might do the same thing there since water can pool in the bottom of the filter and get picked up later, but the flow of ethanol/gas should take care of that over the next couple hundred miles. Or, as long as you're taking it off, might as well replace it since its only about $10.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

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Then I would pull the fuel line off the injector rails (aimed in a coke bottle) and turn the switch on and off a few times to cycle the fuel pump and push any liquid water out of the lines.
I have been working on this and for the life of me I can not get the fuel line off the rails. I have the service manual, and had to buy a fuel line quick disconnect tool. I went to the auto store and got one, it does 3/8-3/4. I believe the Durango 4.7l line to the rail uses a 3/8 but I can not for the life of me get it off. Tool dosent seem to go all the way in.

Is a 3/8 tool wrong for this? I tried searching and the service manual.. any suggestions?
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

the q/connect i have goes from 5/16 - 3/4
if its going in easily but stops its probably the right size
try some lube & turn tool while pushing in.try spinning filter
too, as this will losen debri that maybe stopping tool from going in all the way
of course compressed air will work but not everyone has a compresser
Good luck
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #12
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Re: Water in gas tank - 00' Durango - Suggestions?

I wanted to update you all and thank everyone again for the help.

I got another fuel line dissconnect tool that had smaller sizes (3/8 was too large for the Durango) and it worked like a charm. I let it pump out about a 1/2 gallon of fuel in the lines to attempt to get to cleaner fuel. At that point it was able to start!!! It ran very rough and stalled in a few seconds, but that let me know we have been on the right track. At that point I got 2 more gallons of ethanol in the tank, allowed it to mix up, and that did the trick! The truck is back in decent running shape, but it took about a 5:1 ratio of ethanol to water fuel to be enough.

Thanks everyone!
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