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Old 06-11-2015, 09:30 AM   #1
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Oh, NO . . . that's gasoline!!

You know we all like brag about something we fixed or some clever solution for these beasts we call RVs. But, sometimes we also have to admit major blunders.

We were driving I-40 and stopped for fuel at a Loves outside Flagstaff. I wasn't feeling all that well and mind was on other things when I automatically picked up pump handle, put it in the hole, hit "regular unleaded", and proceed to wash the windshield. I put in about 30 gallons when I starred at the black handle in total disbelief. I quickly shut it off and topped off with diesel.

I estimate that I've got about a 65/35 of diesel/gasoline blend. The engine ran good for the 107 miles to home, but it now stutters and stalls at idle. No over heating or apparent loss of power - yet. I'm not running the engine until I drain the tank.

I've had this motorhome for 11 years and I have to admit this is worst thing I've done. As you might expect I've lost some sleep over this.

Local NAPA store says they will give me a couple of 55 gallon drums and they will take the fuel mixture for their shop heater. So, I'm out shopping for a fuel transfer pump before picking up the drums today.

So, confession eases your pain, right? I wonder how many Hail Marys this one is going to take?
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:44 AM   #2
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There I was, cruising across Kansas on the mind-numbing I-70 interstate in my '69 Camaro, when I needed to fill up. Stopped at a station, winds gusting to 50 mph plus, so I quickly grabbed the pump and stuck it in the gas tank filler opening. Only a minute later did I realize it was DIESEL I was putting in my high-octane-consuming engine's tank. Topped the rest off with high octane, and drove away. The engine stuttered a bit, and no doubt wondered what he heck it had done to make me mistreat it so badly.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
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Not wishing to be the bearer of bad news, but anything more than 1%-2% gas contamination in diesel fuel will most likely damage the injection pump, as the contaminated fuel has lost the lubricity needed to keep the injection pump and injectors properly lubed. The only option would have been to drain the tank immediately without ever starting the engine and refuel with diesel. I guess at this point it wouldn't cause any more damage to try draining the system completely and try a few gallons of diesel fuel to see if it recovers. You might get lucky.....
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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Does anyone know what the cost is to drain a tank? Obviously we are gonna loose the cost of the fuel in the tank but how is this best done and what kind of service provider does this?

Just hoping I don't need to use this info.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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Last summer we were in a campground in Whitehorse, YK. The CG had their own fuel pumps for both Diesel and Gasoline. There were two Seperate pumps with a big sign that said "Make Sure To Check That You Have The Correct Pump"
Well, I saw this fellow come out of the office after going in to pay for his fuel. By his actions I could see that he did not heed the sign until he went in to pay.
Next thing a tow truck appeared and the motorhome left on the hook. About two hours later he was back. I did not have the heart to ask what it cost.
We all have our moments of weakness. I had mine in a different form that shall remain unsaid but expensive none the less.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Does anyone know what the cost is to drain a tank? Obviously we are gonna loose the cost of the fuel in the tank but how is this best done and what kind of service provider does this?

Just hoping I don't need to use this info.
As mentioned about the only thing you can do to avoid damage is to have it towed to a competent repair garage. Most truck repair garages will have the equipment to drain the tank. Back when I was in the business tank repairs were not that uncommon. We drained and repaired fuel tanks on a weekly basis.

The only experience I've seen with putting in the wrong fuel was just the opposite. A little old grandma went to the local self service station and promptly filled her 75 Cadillac with #2 diesel. She thought it ran poorly, but since it ran she completed her errands and went home. She finally realized she had a real problem when she tried to shut the engine off and it kept running even though the ignition was off.

The old 500_cu. in. engine was so carboned up it was burning the diesel without the need for an ignition system. Rather than call for someone to come help, she just jumped back in and drove it to the garage.

When she arrived it was obvious from the smell that something was wrong. She thought she had gotten a bad tank of gas, but when she showed me the receipt the secret was revealed. The only way to stop the engine other than removing the fuel line was to put a cover over the carburetor and shut off the air.

Once it stopped we pumped out the fuel tank, removed it and cleaned out the remainder, flushed the fuel lines and carb, reassembled everything and put in a few gallons on premium gas. When it finally started it purred like a kitten. Grandmas Cadillac ran better than it had in years.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:52 AM   #7
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Hate to say this but I see this once a week at my present location. Since you have the 8.3 cummins, no pump damage will occur.

The bad news is, the electronic injectors experience a plunger jam, and either hang open, or stay closed when fired in time while the engine is running.

I'm not recommending this for your coach because you have a different exhaust system (DEF) system. I've had a 50/50 success rate relubricating the injectors using 1qt to 1 gal of 10wt engine oil in the (first and only first) fresh tank of proper fuel.

Now, the vehicles I'm working with are non (EPA) compliant/exempt. So no (DEF) system to worry about.

This mixture needs to be removed as soon as possible and the engine if running well enough needs to run a tank of fresh fuel through it.

This will be your least expensive way out of this mistake, otherwise, expect to need new injectors in the near future.

I'm sorry for you misfortune. I've had the this same experience once, putting diesel in my motorcycle. Not a good day, but a speedy recovery.

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:17 PM   #8
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Haven't done that with the fuel pumps, but did it with winterizing. MIL was being "helpful" organizing the garage with us one weekend & put all the pink fluid gallon containers together. Not paying attention & being the 1st time we'd ever winterized ourselves, 1 of those pink bottles was model airplane fuel. Yep, you guessed it, half a bottle went through the pump & into the TT lines before DH realized what happened. We replaced the pump, neutralized & flushed what probably equated to the volume of Lake Erie through those lines. Went on to use that TT for another 4 years with no problems, but sure scared the heck out of me.

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Old 06-11-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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When this happens with airplanes the results are usually much worse !! Piston engine planes use gasoline, but turboprops use jet fuel, which is closer to kerosene. Sometimes the fuel in the lines gets then airborne, then the engine (or engines stop) !!!
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #10
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Haven't done that with the fuel pumps, but did it with winterizing. MIL was being "helpful" organizing the garage with us one weekend & put all the pink fluid gallon containers together. Not paying attention & being the 1st time we'd ever winterized ourselves, 1 of those pink bottles was model airplane fuel. Yep, you guessed it, half a bottle went through the pump & into the TT lines before DH realized what happened. We replaced the pump, neutralized & flushed what probably equated to the volume of Lake Erie through those lines. Went on to use that TT for another 4 years with no problems, but sure scared the heck out of me.

Lori-
Eeek!! Along those same lines, we recently had an engine coolant leak (loose hose clamps), and my hubby sent me to buy some coolant. Well, I left my brain at home that day and bought some "RV Antifreeze" and brought it home.

Needless to say, it was the "pink stuff" to winterize, not coolant for the radiator. Thankfully my hubby knew I bought the wrong stuff, so crisis averted. (And now I don't have to worry about him sending me on auto-store errands. )
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:07 PM   #11
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...Thankfully my hubby knew I bought the wrong stuff, so crisis averted. (And now I don't have to worry about him sending me on auto-store errands. )
VERY DEVIOUS... Well played!
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:24 PM   #12
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VERY DEVIOUS... Well played!
I wish I could claim devious, but it's more like clueless.
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:31 PM   #13
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Ah yes, Sarah, but clueless in a devious manner!
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:22 PM   #14
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VERY DEVIOUS... Well played!
My wife complained that I wouldn't help with the laundry. One wrong heat setting on her sweaters in the dryer and I was told to never touch the laundry again. "EVER"
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