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  • Shop Vac For Fuel?

    My used Kabota has a fuel problem. It's starving then quitting. No fuel flow through the filter. New filter even before the problem. Took the whole filter housing off today, and found some fiberous strands in the fuel stut off valve. How did it get there? So to be sure I have this solved, I need to know the tank is clean. The tank is a major PITA to get out. and, it's an oddball shape made to fit here it is. I can hardly see down to the bottom because of the odd shape.

    So my plan was to flush out the tank, making sure it's draining well, but I sure would like to know there isn't anything hanging around down there to find it's way to the outlet and block it. I could probably use some duct tape engineering to hook up a hose to get down to the bottom of the tank, but would there be an issue sucking it out with an old shop vac? Don't want to cause some kind of "issue" doing this.

  • #2
    Do not use a shop vac period. Mixing fuel with air and drawing it through a motor with brushes is an accident waiting to happen. I would rather take a tank off and safely clean it than think about if I will survive an explosion or fire. Even if it is a real PITA. Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Mike that vacuuming fuel out is a bad idea.

      If a shop vac hose will go to the bottom, so will a kerosene siphon.

      http://www.amazon.com/American-Wick-...erosene+siphon

      Available at Home Depot and Lowes next to the kerosene heaters. Might also want to buy a short length of hose to attach to the end in case it is not long or flexible enough. If nothing comes out with the gas, your tank isn't dirty. Don't you have a filter on the end of the fuel line?

      BTW - a few years ago my loader stopped working due to fuel starvation. Turns out the fuel line wasn't rated for ethanol and was disintegrating. Replaced all the fuel lines with a quality line and fixed it.


      Steve
      Last edited by SteveF; 12-12-2013, 06:35 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Drain the fuel out and stop by HF for one of these to look into the tank.
        I made a suction vacuum once to clean marbles out of a dozers fuel tank, how a bag full of marbles made it into the fuel tank I have no idea, but they were there shutting off the fuel flow every once and a while.
        I made the venturi out of a piece of 1-1/4" copper tube and a piece of 3/8" tubing silver soldered into the side. The marbles rattled pretty good when they came through the venturi at 150psi.
        Dan.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, the shop vac could light on fire.
          Just do this outside and keep a hose ready
          in case you have to put out the flames.
          If you expect a fire, and are ready for it,
          how bad could it be?
          It might not catch on fire at all,
          but at least you would be ready for it.
          I have done way more dangerous stuff.
          I just had a plan ready if something went wrong.
          If you think you can manage the variables,
          it might be the easiest way.
          If you have any doubts, don't try it.
          Some people will think my advise is crazy.
          I believe it is practical, as long as you can
          manage things if shlt goes wrong.
          What ever happens, you are responsible.
          Be careful.

          --Doozer
          DZER

          Comment


          • #6
            Let's see...

            Suck a bunch of air through a hose at high velocity. Atomize fuel into the air stream. Push said air stream over a really dandy source of electrical sparks.

            What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

            Comment


            • #7
              MythBusters need to test it.

              --D
              DZER

              Comment


              • #8
                No doubt I'll get flamed for the suggestion but here goes, use a siphon blow gun similar to this http://www.amazon.com/Milton-S157-Si.../dp/B0002SQT96 to suck the remnants of the fuel out. As long as the atomized air/fuel spray isn't anywhere near a source of ignition you should have no issues. You could even point the nozzle into a rag a few inches away.
                FYI, this blow gun also makes a dandy paint sprayer for large items you just want to coat with paint and the finish isn't bad either. Painting a car radiator is an example. It will blow paint through the fins nicely.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  MythBusters need to test it.

                  --D
                  Not for me they don't,local guy did something similar with a gas tank......yea,he's alive but I bet he won't hook a shop vac to a gas tank again.

                  My Cub Cadet 882 has a Kubota diesel and it has a "transfer"pump to move the fuel from the tank to the injection pump,is yours working?
                  Last edited by BigMike782; 12-12-2013, 09:00 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Assuming its diesel?, anyway it sounds like a fun experiment!, i have to admit to sucking up diesel with a wet shop vac!, omg what i just do moment, it didn't blow up though, probably would have if it was petrol!
                    I suppose if you had a very very long hose and the vac was a long way from the tank it might be doable? If your only talking about the dregs at the bottom, i.e. tablespoons full, it would probably not get to the hoover, but I'm just thinking out loud, can diesel be ignited by the motor? Probably not, but I've got an idea for a youtube/darwinian award entry! Damn I'm not eligible as i have kids!
                    And i so wanted an award of my own! Lmao
                    If you do it make sure you borrow myth busters fire-suit that they are so fond of!
                    Mark

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just get an extra hose kit from HD, then run it through a homemade water trap. Might still be a little bit of fumes get through, but not enough to hurt anything.

                      Whatever you do, be sure to have someone taking video!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don't forget the risk of static electricity build up and discharge in the plastic hose!!!

                        JL........................
                        Originally posted by Gravy View Post
                        Let's see...

                        Suck a bunch of air through a hose at high velocity. Atomize fuel into the air stream. Push said air stream over a really dandy source of electrical sparks.

                        What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes turn on the video first so we have proof when you blow up the shop vac and possibly kill yourself.

                          BTW - Fibrous material in the shutoff valve would have me taking the tank out and replacing the hoses as well. Don't take a short cut on this repair.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Super bad idea.

                            I already know it will cause a fire... no it wasn't me, but someone "helping" in my father's lab at 3M did once try to vacuum up spilled solvent.

                            The vac in question was an old type that had a metal enclosure, so the vac (which the "helper" had his back to) was only spewing fire... as opposed to "being on fire" itself. My father hit the circuit kill switch and then *suggested that the technique was probably not an optimal way to deal with the situation*.

                            I think I might have learned some new words if I had been a "fly on the wall" there at the time.....
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "... how bad could it be?" Well, that shop vac has an exhaust to let out all that air that it sucks in. Sounds like a flame thrower to me. I wonder what the range might be. Feet? Yards? Or what? Outdoors is not enough. You need to be a good distance from anything flammable.

                              There's gotta be a better way to clean out a fuel tank. Or just buy a new tank and be done with it.



                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              Yeah, the shop vac could light on fire.
                              Just do this outside and keep a hose ready
                              in case you have to put out the flames.
                              If you expect a fire, and are ready for it,
                              how bad could it be?
                              It might not catch on fire at all,
                              but at least you would be ready for it.
                              I have done way more dangerous stuff.
                              I just had a plan ready if something went wrong.
                              If you think you can manage the variables,
                              it might be the easiest way.
                              If you have any doubts, don't try it.
                              Some people will think my advise is crazy.
                              I believe it is practical, as long as you can
                              manage things if shlt goes wrong.
                              What ever happens, you are responsible.
                              Be careful.

                              --Doozer
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                              You will find that it has discrete steps.

                              Comment

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