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Old 08-01-2021, 04:22 PM   #1
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Starting bus after sitting...

Hi!
My bus has been sitting for about 11 months and needs to be moved in the next 2 weeks. I was unaware that I should fill my tank before storing, so, my diesel tank is almost empty.
My question is, what needs to be done before I try to crank her up? Just fill the tank? Fuel additive?

Thanks!

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Old 08-01-2021, 05:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kdondley View Post
Hi!
My bus has been sitting for about 11 months and needs to be moved in the next 2 weeks. I was unaware that I should fill my tank before storing, so, my diesel tank is almost empty.
My question is, what needs to be done before I try to crank her up? Just fill the tank? Fuel additive?

Thanks!

You should be just fine. Diesel is fairly stable unlike modern gasoline that is deteriorating with weeks and nasty within a few months. There is the possibility of condensation having formed in your tank due to heating and cooling cycles (even just day night) which can result in water at the bottom of the tank. The higher the humidity in your area the more potential for that.


If you're really worried about it you could pull a fuel line and remove sufficient fuel to ensure that you've gotten a sample from the tank. Depending on how your fuel system was built you might need to use some compressed air into the tank (use the least necessary and don't exceed 10psi of so), attach a pump to the line capable of pulling the fuel out, or you might get lucky and have an electric pump in the tank that operates when the key is on.
Another option, if yo have a low point drain on the tank, is to pull a sample. If it's a plug, realize you're going to make a mess and take appropriate steps to minimize it and contain the fuel.
Personally, I'd just make sure I had well charged batteries and fire it up. Only worry if it doesn't fire up and run well.
I would also try to get a look inside the tank if you can. I have seen diesel vehicles in long term storage develop a mold like growth that plugged filters after a short time running. Filling the tanks and driving caused the fuel to slosh around and knock the stuff off. That was a fun day....NOT!!!!



Definitely DO NOT fill the tank first as if you do you may well find yourself defueling if she doesn't start.


Before deciding see what others say. I'm a retired mechanic including having been in charge of a Marine Corps motor pool with 120 prime movers. That mold thing happened on the east coast when I checked out an Air Force reserve truck that hadn't had a full tank of fuel in several years.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:03 PM   #3
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Thank you! Good idea about not filling the tank. I live in Virginia and we have very humid summers, so, I'll take a peek into the tank and reassess.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:47 PM   #4
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Thank you! Good idea about not filling the tank. I live in Virginia and we have very humid summers, so, I'll take a peek into the tank and reassess.

The mold I mentioned was from an Air Force reserve unit on Andrews so right there in your neck of the woods.
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:34 PM   #5
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Granted, I live out West...but to me, 11 months is nothing for diesel. I just rescued a bus which had sat for 8+ years in a salvage yard and the diesel in the tank was just fine. I've also run buses from SC and the PNW on several-year-old diesel, without issue. If you find that there is growth in your tank, you're concerned about it, there is a product... Bio Kleen... which works well for killing growth and it can (apparently) help prevent filter clogging. But it's a good idea to have spare filters on hand during your trip.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:09 PM   #6
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Granted, I live out West...but to me, 11 months is nothing for diesel. I just rescued a bus which had sat for 8+ years in a salvage yard and the diesel in the tank was just fine. I've also run buses from SC and the PNW on several-year-old diesel, without issue. If you find that there is growth in your tank, you're concerned about it, there is a product... Bio Kleen... which works well for killing growth and it can (apparently) help prevent filter clogging. But it's a good idea to have spare filters on hand during your trip.

SPARE FILTERS would be absolutely a requirement. I went through three of them from Andrews AFB MD (just outside DC) to Norfolk NAS VA..... NOT all that far. The diesel was fine, it was the stuff growing on the inside of the tank that caused the issues by clogging the system.
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:53 AM   #7
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I started the bus up just fine, moved it forward about 10 feet, now I cannot start the bus again. Water in fuel light came on, so, I changed both the fuel water separator and fuel filter. The light still comes on. Now what?
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:10 PM   #8
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I started the bus up just fine, moved it forward about 10 feet, now I cannot start the bus again. Water in fuel light came on, so, I changed both the fuel water separator and fuel filter. The light still comes on. Now what?

Did you prefill the fuel filter (if possible on your rig) when you replaced it? If not, you may have air in the system which caused it to die. It's fixable.


Did you find water in the filter when you removed it?
If you did or didn't check, pull the new filter and dump it into a glass jar and look for water. It should be very apparent at the bottom of the glass and will appear as small beads (not much water) or a distinct line of separation (lots of water).


It's also possible (I don't think it likely but don't know) that the water light won't reset until you do something but I'm not familiar with bus specific systems in that regard.
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