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If the tank is sealed then almost indefinitely. I have started and run a car with 6 year old petrol, however dirt tend to collect at the pick up point and clog the fuel filter, or with the car I was referring to, the carburettor. If the tank is not sealed, filler cap off or pipes disconnected then it will evaporate.
It will still be flammable long after it won't run an engine properly, possibly with a much higher flash point, but still dangerous if mishandled.

Roger.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i ask roger because i have a car standing unused for past 7 months. changed head gasket started twice after repair and haven't been able to start it since
 

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Petrol does go stale and will make starting the engine difficult even though it will still burn. It is basically the fumes that are the flammable part of the fuel which is why the injectors or carb jets are designed to spray the fuel into the cylinder as a mist of microscopic size. It is possible to put out a fire with a bucket of petrol under the correct circumstances but I wouldn't recommend you trying it.

I would suggest if the tank contains a small amount of fuel to stick in some fresh fuel and try to start it again. If the tank is nearly full then maybe drain it out into a few petrol containers, put some fresh fuel into the tank and once started, mix the old petrol with new fuel with at least 2 parts new to 1 part old.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hi storeman. when i fitted the HG and timing belt i turned the ignition twice, it started 2nd time. 1/2 hr later, ignition and it started again. both short spells, after that it would not start. i thought it might be stale petrol
 

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Petrol is not your problem you may have flooded the engine with your short runs you done but i would have expected it to have dried out by now anyway.

Remove the plugs make shure they are dry you could even heat them up prior to refitting then try again but sounds like you have more going on with your bsi reset thread etc you may have confused things elsewhere :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hi reliable. i took out the sparkies out, dried, cleaned and regapped them to 0.9mm and it still refused to start. thats why i thought it was the petrol, because the coil is producing sparks and the petrol is coming thru
 

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If you have a spark and you have petrol then it should go :)

You may have upset the immobiliser with all your BSI reset shenanigans does it still beep to say key is in ignition ?
 

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Sounds like it should go then i would recheck timing is right as this engine seems to cause people a lot of problems getting timing right i have bought a few with timing 180 degrees out and because its not a wasted spark ignition it wont go this includes my daughters pluriel i bought it after garage gave up reset timing and all good again :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
its juust occurred to me when i said the petrol was coming thru i meant tthe fuel rail not the injectors. but is it possible for all the injectors to get blocked at the same time?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks everyone for your help on this. it was the timing belt that snapped when i trried to start it because it was too tight. huge luck nothing was damaged so replaced belt and all is fine touch wood
 

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Sounds like it should go then i would recheck timing is right as this engine seems to cause people a lot of problems getting timing right i have bought a few with timing 180 degrees out and because its not a wasted spark ignition it wont go this includes my daughters pluriel i bought it after garage gave up reset timing and all good again :)
Reliable, i was trained by an old Miura engineer (not the lambo, the brazillian sports car company) and he thought me a very old-school but effective way to time an engine.

Basically, remove the head's cover and the spark plugs. Take out the oil check rod, clean it of any oil and stick it in the first cyl's spark plug housing until you reach the head of the piston.

Loosen or remove the belts to allow independent movement of the head command and the pistons. Crank the engine until the oil stick is at its highest position, indicating the piston has reached its max travel. Ensure the valves are closed then plug the SparkP's housing with a piece of hard warped paper. Now crank hard the crankshaft until the paper pops outta place. If it doesn't pop, ram it a bit harder in the housing until you get a good seal.

When it pops, you have your first cyl in compression stage. Now just rotate the head valve command until you have the exhaust lobe ready to go and the intake lobe just about lifted. Works 100% with all the 6 types of engines we had for testing.
 
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