What to do after water in fuel tank - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 03:36 AM
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What to do after water in fuel tank

Long story short . . . I had about 1/2 a gallon of water in my gas tank of a 1982 380SL. I was able to drive home about 20 miles because the water had not settled to the bottom of the tank yet, but it ran roughly the whole time.

The next day it obviously wouldn't start. I emptied and drained the tank, and I replaced the fuel filter. The car would not start on it's own. I can spray starting fluid in the air intake, and it will run, and idle roughly and then die.

The fuel is now good also because I can put a little directly into the air intake, and it will run a little while then roughly idle and die.

I checked the fuel going into the fuel distributor by unscrewing the hose and catching the fuel with a clear plastic bottle when you turn the key to start. I can also put that fuel in the air intake and it will run and roughly idle and eventually die.

The more I did that, it would idle longer before dying, but I reached a point were I felt it wouldn't continue to idle if I continued to do it more.

I'm thinking it's not any of the individual fuel injectors or spark plugs because when the fuel is poured directly into the air intake, it will run, but as that fuel runs out, and it tries to run on the incoming fuel from the system, it will idle roughly and die. So that leads me to believe that it's something common to all eight cylinders that's not giving enough fuel.

Is there something I need to change out, or clean like the fuel distributor or somithing between the incoming fuel and each of the injectors?

Thanks,
Joe
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 04:49 AM
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Did you crack open one or more lines from the fuel distributer to the injectors to see that gas is getting to them?
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 07:49 AM
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Try adding "dry gas" to get rid of the water contaiminants remaining in your lines and tank. You might have to do this twice. Hope this helps.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 02:56 AM
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I had already added a bottle of Iso Heet, and since the car would run on the gas I intercepted going into the fuel distributor (and putting it into the air intake), I figured the gas was good enough. I had added half a bottle of Chevron Fuel Injection cleaner as well.

I started cracking each of the lines as dugald suggested, and fuel was coming from each of them, except there was one that would squirt out rust colored fluid. I did that one a few more times until the fuel was clear, and I took it a step further and removed all the lines to ensure there was a flow through each line (and there was). I went a little further and took out a couple of fuel injectors to clean them, but I felt a little out of my league and it was getting late, so I buttoned everything back together. I had checked just about every line coming out of the fuel distributor, and everything was getting gas. In this whole process, I used almost a can of Gumout Air Intake & Throttle Body Cleaner to clean anything and everything. After putting everything back together, it started up and ran on its own. I took it for a test drive, and it ran well, but sluggish at times. I guess as an afterthought, when I pour fuel into the air intake, it doesn't go through the fuel injectors, so one or two of them wasn't getting any fuel through. Thanks for your help.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 08:08 AM
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If I recall, some of the de-watering products can cause sluggish performance for a while after use. I may be wrong, but if I am, I'm sure someone will correct me quickly.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 08:13 AM
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Sure would like to know how a half gallon of water got into your tank?

It may make for interesting reading.

Loren
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by HalNineThousand View Post
If I recall, some of the de-watering products can cause sluggish performance for a while after use. I may be wrong, but if I am, I'm sure someone will correct me quickly.
I believe most of those concoctions are simply alcohol, which has a lower energy content than gasoline. But, I'd think you'd need to dilute your gas a fair bit before you noticed a power difference. Many brands of gas contain 10% ethanol, which affects mileage slightly but not power, according to my seat-of-the-pants dynomometer.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 01:57 PM
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Based on Loren's request, I will post the long story version when I get home. It may be interesting reading if not comic relief.

I must say it is quite a chore to remove the fuel lines from the fuel distributor especially at the injector end. Is there an easy way to remove those? I ended up using an open ended 14mm wrench vertically over the tube and fitting, and turning the wrench with an adjustable wrench fitted narrowly on the other flat end of the wrench.

Iso Heet is isopropyl alcohol like rubbing alcohol (but rubbing alcohol is probably diluted with water). The drive in this morning did suck down my tank. I checked immediately for leaks when I parked, but didn't see anything leaking.
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