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Old 04-07-2019, 07:35 PM   #1
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Getting the Tioga road ready after 5 years - change ATF?

First post here... hi all . I have a 2010 Tioga 28Y with only 3K miles. It's been sitting for about 5 years pretty much idle, though it's had a few short trips to smog it etc, and occasionally the engine and generator have been started up and run until warm. It's been stored here in the backyard in Southern CA, near the beach (very mild climate).


I'm now in the process of getting it back into shape for the extended family and myself to enjoy. I replaced the house and engine batteries 2 years ago, and they're still strong (have kept them charged up in the duration). I recently changed the engine oil and filter, had new tires installed last week, and put a new 18' awning on yesterday by myself (that was a challenge, but it all worked out).


My question for you folks is; should I also have the transmission serviced, even though the fluid looks great, is full, and shifts perfectly - and again, it only has 3K miles on it. In other words, does ATF go bad over time, even when not being used?


Thanks in advance, Tom
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:44 PM   #2
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Trans fluid is good to go Ford 5r140 trans has decent filtration, if it shifts up and down you will be fine, I am a retired (in2013) Ford field service engineer. And I have seen a lot of transmissions 5r140 is really stout
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:20 PM   #3
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Trans fluid is good to go Ford 5r140 trans has decent filtration, if it shifts up and down you will be fine, I am a retired (in2013) Ford field service engineer. And I have seen a lot of transmissions 5r140 is really stout

I really appreciate the reply, especially from a retired Ford field service engineer! Just being cautious, as I couldn't find any answers online about ATF age versus actual miles driven. Also good to hear that it's a stout transmission!
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:44 AM   #4
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I would worry more about the fuel. Today's fuel blends go bad in 6 months, not the years it used to take. Weak old gas can kill your engine.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:12 AM   #5
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I would worry more about the fuel. Today's fuel blends go bad in 6 months, not the years it used to take. Weak old gas can kill your engine.

Good information, but unfortunately the gas tank is about 3/4 full. What solution is there besides draining it? Additives? Maybe a top-off would help before going anywhere? It runs fine, and starts right up like brand new.


Been checking other things like the water heater, stove, water pump, refer etc. So far all is good.


Pic right after I put the new awning material on:
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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I would worry more about the fuel. Today's fuel blends go bad in 6 months, not the years it used to take. Weak old gas can kill your engine.
Being somewhat ignorant about the subject, I wondered what damage the weak old gas could do to the engine? I'm serious about this because In addition to helping Tom, I have a boat and a Triumph Spitfire with old gas in them.

Since the engine is running well now and the fuel tank is 3/4 full, I would lean more toward topping the old fuel off with new and running that down until I could do the same thing again. Then running as much out as possible before refueling again. However, I wouldn't do that if it could damage the engine. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about that will provide the needed information

I suppose the "best" thing would be to drain it all out, but that seems like a real chore, most of which would be finding something to drain it into, and what to do with it later. That's why I would lean toward running it out if it can be done without causing any harm.

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Old 04-08-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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Check anything made of rubber - belts, hoses etc. Those kinds of things could dry rot and become and issue while going down the road (which wouldn't be fun).
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:25 PM   #8
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Being somewhat ignorant about the subject, I wondered what damage the weak old gas could do to the engine? I'm serious about this because In addition to helping Tom, I have a boat and a Triumph Spitfire with old gas in them.

Since the engine is running well now and the fuel tank is 3/4 full, I would lean more toward topping the old fuel off with new and running that down until I could do the same thing again. Then running as much out as possible before refueling again. However, I wouldn't do that if it could damage the engine. Perhaps someone with more knowledge about that will provide the needed information

I suppose the "best" thing would be to drain it all out, but that seems like a real chore, most of which would be finding something to drain it into, and what to do with it later. That's why I would lean toward running it out if it can be done without causing any harm.

Steve

Been reading about it, supposedly in post-1996 vehicles the CEL would come on if the gas was bad, because the computer would be sending more gas to the injectors to compensate for poor combustion. That hasn't happened, though I've only driven it about 15 miles in the past 5 years. Also the gas smells about right, compared to my truck with fresh gas (maybe very slightly "off"). I have an old '73 motorcycle tank that has remnants of bad gas in it, well over 20 years old, so I know that smell.

I'd like to hear from others what damage it could do as well, but am leaning toward your suggestion. Just top her off before the next trip, drive it, then top it off again. BTW, just checked the serpentine belt and hoses, and they look and feel fine too.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:48 PM   #9
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Ok it's me again, the Ford guy. 2 years ago I purchased a 2007 3qft tioga that was stored inside for8-9 years, dealer I purchased from said gas had been sucked out, after I purchased it I drove it home to south Texas, ran ok for 400 miles, after a couple of trips, generator had the onan 4k surge, at the time I had 3/4 of a tank ,added 6 cans of seafoam (walmart) and ran the genset hard for 4 hours, ran the v10 the same for 2 -4 hours, bother v10 and onan are smooth, v10 idles so smooth you dont know it's running, and 4k onan has no more surge issues( which I hate).
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:01 AM   #10
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Thank you for the update and information they are important for those who may do a search of the subject in the future.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:24 AM   #11
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Hi tap4154,

The only time I ever heard of old bad gas doing harm is if the engine cannot run properly in a serious manner. A slight hesitation or slight roughness at idle won't do harm to the engine while consuming such fuel. If the condition was very serious (not your situation) I would be more concerned of messing up the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors.

If the engine continues to run fine without adding fresh gas, I would NOT top off the tank until on your trip and run the tank down to 1/4 full. Then get your first fresh fuel fill-up.

If while on the open road, you notice things are okay but not quite right, fill up that first time at 1/3 full.

I am concerned adding 1/4 good fuel to 3/4 bad fuel makes a full tank of bad fuel. Reversing the formula, reverses the results.

As is the case with any vehicle with it's fuel pump inside the fuel tank, it is wise to avoid run-down of fuel below 1/4 full. Your fuel pump will last longer if always submerged (or at least partially) in fuel because the fuel helps to cool the pump's electric motor.

As long as you confirmed the generator works, don't continue to run bad gas through it. Wait until after your second fresh gas fill-up. Why I don't know, but people often have trouble with their Onan generators not running right. Just avoid any potential contribution via bad gas.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:24 AM   #12
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Hi tap4154,

The only time I ever heard of old bad gas doing harm is if the engine cannot run properly in a serious manner. A slight hesitation or slight roughness at idle won't do harm to the engine while consuming such fuel. If the condition was very serious (not your situation) I would be more concerned of messing up the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors.

If the engine continues to run fine without adding fresh gas, I would NOT top off the tank until on your trip and run the tank down to 1/4 full. Then get your first fresh fuel fill-up.

If while on the open road, you notice things are okay but not quite right, fill up that first time at 1/3 full.

I am concerned adding 1/4 good fuel to 3/4 bad fuel makes a full tank of bad fuel. Reversing the formula, reverses the results.

As is the case with any vehicle with it's fuel pump inside the fuel tank, it is wise to avoid run-down of fuel below 1/4 full. Your fuel pump will last longer if always submerged (or at least partially) in fuel because the fuel helps to cool the pump's electric motor.

As long as you confirmed the generator works, don't continue to run bad gas through it. Wait until after your second fresh gas fill-up. Why I don't know, but people often have trouble with their Onan generators not running right. Just avoid any potential contribution via bad gas.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply Ron, and actually I had begun thinking along the same line. If I top it off, then I have a full tank with 75% bad gas (or less than optimal gas), and it may be years before all the lesser gasoline is gone from the mix, as I continue to top it off after trips.

Funny thing though... the Onan used to have the surge issue on occasion (mentioned by avfordguy) before the 5 year layoff, and now it runs very evenly. Had it on for about an hour yesterday as I was testing the A/C, heater, water heater, and refrigerator. No hiccups, stumbles, or surges.

Another thought I had was that because the tank was slightly above 3/4 full for most most of the 5 years, maybe less degradation occurred than if the tank had been only 1/2 or 1/4 full, because of less air in the tank? Again, the gas doesn't have that varnish/turpentine smell that really old gasoline has.

So probably my best plan of attack is to plan a trip soon and just burn it down to 1/4 tank. Great excuse for a vacation!
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:19 AM   #13
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I would drain it. Is a tank of gas worth ruining the engine? It may not sound bad but still be doing damage. The risk is a hole pounded through the Piston from detonation, not to mention clogged injectors. Google it if you don't believe me.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:26 AM   #14
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I would drain it. Is a tank of gas worth ruining the engine? It may not sound bad but still be doing damage. The risk is a hole pounded through the Piston from detonation, not to mention clogged injectors. Google it if you don't believe me.

It has about 42 gallons in it. Over eight 5 gallon cans worth. I just called local Ford service and he recommended Seafoam and topping it off, then just driving it. I mentioned the idea of running it down to 1/4 then topping it off, but he said everyone will have a different answer, and I agree. Frankly, if it were an old vented fuel system with carburetors I'd be a lot more worried.

Since I can't see any reasonable way to dispose of 42 gallons of gasoline, I'm probably going the Seafoam route, which should help keep the injectors clean, and just drive it. If I hear knocking/pinging, then I'll stop and reconsider finding a way to dispose of the gas. But so far, no pings, and it runs fine.

Also in the future I'll not top off after a trip, and fill up when leaving. We stopped to top off after the last trip, a mistake in retrospect, but we were planning another trip soon that health issues canceled.

I do appreciate all the opinions and suggestions, and am open to others as well.


Edit: Just called another Ford dealership, his suggestion was drain it, then when I mentioned it's running fine and has 42 gallons, he said maybe just top it off with 91 octane.


So maybe Seafoam and top it with 91 octane?
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