Fuel transfer pump to empty car gas tank?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by spin10k, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,063
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    It's been about two years since I've driven my '73 Alfa GTV, and even though I put Sta-Bil in before parking it, I'm thinking that I should probably get rid of the old gas.

    Anyone have a suggestion for a decent transfer pump?

    I'd like to avoid getting a mouth full of gas if I can, and I'm torn between getting a super-cheap thing from Harbor Freight that will probably be destroyed by the gas once I'm done using it, and spending a bit more for a quality tool that I'll be able to use again.

    TIA
    #1
  2. south

    south Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Florida
    I've used one of these countless times--mine must be 10-15 years old; I've (merely) had to replace the hoses once they harden up excessively--and it does the job (albeit slowly) every time. In my view, it paid for itself with the very first use; now, it's just stupid the value I've gotten out of it:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/fluid-siphon-pump-62613.html

    The only "trick" to it that I've found is, after squeezing the ball, cover the end of the outlet hose with your thumb before releasing the ball in order to ensure it pulls from the inlet hose side only; once you see/feel the ball is full, remove your thumb and quickly stick the outlet hose into your catch can. Then just go have a leisurely lunch--maybe take a quick nap after--and when you return, the tank should be well on its way to empty.
    #2
  3. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,795
    Location:
    Northern California
    After 2 years, with Sta-bil, I'd probably sniff the gas through the filler. If it's gone bad it stinks something awful, and you'll know it. If it doesn't stink, I'd take a shot at using it.
    #3
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  4. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,063
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    Agreed - it's definitely worth it to check first before going through the hassle of draining the old. I've never smelled old gas before, but if it's that bad, I ought to be able to tell the difference.

    Thanks for the recommendation - I did see that one on the HF web site.

    One concern I have is how stiff vs flexible the hose will be, and whether it will want to curl up and not make it down to the bottom of the tank. In the past, when doing similar things with water in barrels using a garden hose and a mouth-generated vacuum to siphon, I've sometimes had to tie a large socket to the end of the hose to get it down. Not sure I'd want to try that with a car's fuel tank, just in case the socket got loose and I wasn't able to get it back out.
    #4
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  5. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,441
    Location:
    New Zealand
    An old inline electric fuel pump, hooked up to a battery does the job. Most Euro '90's cars will have an external inline pump...Mercedes for one.
    #5
    Houstrom46 and SmittyBlackstone like this.
  6. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,063
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    As does the Alfa, and I did think of doing this, but I don't want to mess with the hoses and hard lines - sometimes disconnecting old stuff like that is asking for extra work if one of them fails. I'd rather have to deal with a hose down the filler neck and not get all of it out.
    #6
  7. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,441
    Location:
    New Zealand
    So, you need a spare pump, incase your one fails....it's an Alfa afterall. And then you can use it for a transfer pump as well. Sorted.
    #7
    SmittyBlackstone, Bounder and spin10k like this.
  8. concours

    concours WFO for 47 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,027
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    Put some fresh gas on top of it & run. The Sta-Bil works, even after a couple years.
    And, contrary to urban legend, “old gas” will not hurt anything by running. Worst case is it will run crappy for a few mins till the fresh gets drawn in.
    #8
    sieg likes this.
  9. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,141
    Location:
    the hills
    Used to have an old VW fuel pump mounted to a piece of wood and an old motorcycle battery with alligator clips for a switch. Worked great for years 'til the pump died.

    [​IMG]
    #9
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  10. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,880
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I've had that same stiff rubber bulb from siphon pumps as mentioned above. I tried several and no good. I even opened a pkg in a store to check and still stiff.
    OP-you don't say how much gasolines in the car? If there's room fillup over the less than problematic contents in there now and move on. I have several octanes I use and as an e.g. I keep 91/93 on hand for my Vespa GTS so I can top off the tiny tank at home and be ready to go. If I have some fuel that become a few months old I'll usually dump it in my Kawasaki Mule as it's not a fussy engine. or if not much my F-150 tank is 36 gallons and a tad will be easily diluted in there.
    I have used small amount to burn brush too-be careful on that one!

    Is there a decent squeeze bulb siphon for sale?:dunno:ear
    #10
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  11. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,838
    Location:
    Truckee
    Can you pull the fuel line off the fuel filter and put it in a bottle then turn the car on. My cars will start the fuel pump in the on position.
    #11
  12. MattLikeyBikey

    MattLikeyBikey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    So Cal
    Yep cheap siphon pump will do the job and has a lot of uses. Multi-taskers for the win.
    #12
  13. Houstrom46

    Houstrom46 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Houston
    I've used a clear vinyl hose to siphon so I know when the gas is coming and avoid the mouthful of gas. I've also seen air driven pumps that run off an air compressor. Probably pick one up at HF for a few bucks
    #13
  14. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,141
    Location:
    the hills
    We have one of these in the shop for emptying tanks. You can get them here.
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,838
    Location:
    Truckee
    I have one that I use for transferring fuel from jerry cans. Works very well. getting the can higher than the fuel cap is a problem sometimes.
    #15
  16. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,063
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    Thanks.

    The image below shows what the tank on a GTV looks like. It's a fairly straight shot from the filler inlet to the tank, so I'd guess that one of those jiggle siphons will work, especially since the tank should be nearly full.

    I haven't had a chance to do the sniff test, but if the gas is bad I think I will get one of the Safety Siphons.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,880
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Interestingly, the fuel transfer thread I began has zero posts-this one has many?
    I'm still asking which 12v transfer pump has worked well for gasoline fueling for you?Amazon reviews all show ~ 10% poor reviews on "Universal 12v fuel pumps" in the $20-30 price range
    #17
  18. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna NSFW

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    24,026
    Location:
    Moran Nation
    #18
  19. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,880
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I did see the "Siphon Pro XL" there too.

    What I really need an electric 12v transfer pump to avoid 5 gallons held to refuel our Kawasaki Mule. Not one of the battery models has very strong reviews and hard to choose among the plastic body universal pumps as seems a significant number of the fail in use, transfer duty or in a vehicle. Autozone has a $26.95 pump looks same Chinese factory as the Amazon $22 one though. I think I'll put together a pkg like the pricey ones in an orange box, it's called "Gastapper", ~ $98, and mostly a cheapo pump with some tubing in a box wired and ready for transfer of fuel.
    #19
  20. Cogswell

    Cogswell Trying to live the new normal.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,638
    Location:
    Riding with my pal Richard Cranium
    If you want to siphon where you have a compressor to use. Take a length of rubber hose and insert one end into the vessel to be drained. At the other end make a puncture into the side of the hose about an inch or two from the open end. Insert and air blow gun into the puncture in the hose facing the open end and squeeze the trigger a couple of times. It will induce flow in the hose without a mouth full of gas or squeeze bulb. :deal
    #20
    PineyMountainRacing and Al Tuna like this.