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Unread 02-14-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
burley
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1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Posts: 288
Water in gas or blown head gasket?

I bought my 76 CJ5 with 258 last year and I've been slowly chipping away at it since. I've added a gallon here and there with the appropriate amount of STA-BIL and have been turning it over and getting up to operating temp every month or 2. PO let it sit for god knows how long.

Last week I finally got her on the road and it idled a little rough at first but drove fine, mostly. 5 min into the drive it acted like it was starving for fuel and I babied the throttle home and gunned it up my steep driveway no problem.

Thinking it was running low on gas I fired it up to head to the gas station the next day. White smoke poured out the exhaust for a second and it took a few revs to blow it out. It ran rough like it wasn't firing on all cylinders and lacked power, until I gunned it. Ran fine to/from the station.

While filling it only took a gallon before overflowing out the filler hole and leaking from somewhere above the tank. After she was done pissing herself I got home (lots of steep hills) just fine.

I've got whip cream under my oil cap, and my clear fuel filter looked like milk inside, finally settling with lots clear fluid floating on (or under?) gas. No noticeable water out the exhaust, and the dipstick shows no signs of coolant. Coolant level in radiator looks fine.

I've read that water in gas mimics signs of a blown head gasket. Ideas? Thanks.

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Unread 02-14-2014, 10:55 PM   #2
SouthernGypsy
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Is it making bubbles in the radiator when you run it with the cap off once it's fully warmed up? A blown head gasket will often do that.

Your milky stuff under the caps could be caused by your only occasional starting and warming it up then killing it. That's good for keeping it exercised but horrible for drawing moisture and building it up inside the engine, it takes a good extended run to get it cleared out.

The pissing herself sounds like the big O-Ring that seals your pickup/sending unit assembly is bad or missing on top of your tank or you could have another hose off or cracked. When I got mine, one of them the owner had put a new Crown tank on and whomever he had put it in that one had gotten the O-Ring on the pickup/sending unit in wrong and also had the float snapped in the loop facing the wrong way so it would come to rest on top of the pickup tube and never go all the way down to E, would stop just above E.

The rest could indeed be caused by bad gas or gas with water in it. I'd say start by putting a new fuel filter on it, clearly gonna have to since it's milky. If it still acts up try disconnecting the hose between the hardline and the fuel pump and taking a long line and hooking to the pump inlet and laying over in a can of clean gas sitting beside the Jeep and see if it starts and runs fine on that.

In either event it still sounds like you have a leak and your gas tank is contaminated so sounds like you may as well start by draining and dropping your tank, cleaning it out, fixing the seals and hoses, and putting it back up. Only takes a couple of hours. Then you can refill it with good clean gas.
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Unread 02-14-2014, 11:28 PM   #3
burley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernGypsy View Post
Is it making bubbles in the radiator when you run it with the cap off once it's fully warmed up? A blown head gasket will often do that.

Your milky stuff under the caps could be caused by your only occasional starting and warming it up then killing it. That's good for keeping it exercised but horrible for drawing moisture and building it up inside the engine, it takes a good extended run to get it cleared out.

The pissing herself sounds like the big O-Ring that seals your pickup/sending unit assembly is bad or missing on top of your tank or you could have another hose off or cracked. When I got mine, one of them the owner had put a new Crown tank on and whomever he had put it in that one had gotten the O-Ring on the pickup/sending unit in wrong and also had the float snapped in the loop facing the wrong way so it would come to rest on top of the pickup tube and never go all the way down to E, would stop just above E.

The rest could indeed be caused by bad gas or gas with water in it. I'd say start by putting a new fuel filter on it, clearly gonna have to since it's milky. If it still acts up try disconnecting the hose between the hardline and the fuel pump and taking a long line and hooking to the pump inlet and laying over in a can of clean gas sitting beside the Jeep and see if it starts and runs fine on that.

In either event it still sounds like you have a leak and your gas tank is contaminated so sounds like you may as well start by draining and dropping your tank, cleaning it out, fixing the seals and hoses, and putting it back up. Only takes a couple of hours. Then you can refill it with good clean gas.
I'll check for bubbles, thanks. I'll follow your advice and chime back in.
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Unread 02-15-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
LumpyGrits
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Where you live, and it's winter. I say your oil cap is SOP.
I would look at water/condensation in the fuel tank.

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Unread 02-18-2014, 09:49 PM   #5
burley
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No bubbles from the coolant. Put in a new fuel filter / bypassed the gas tank and fed it some premium via gas can. Fired right up with almost no smoke. Looks like I just need to dump the tank of bad gas.. really glad I don't have to do a head gasket.
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Unread 02-18-2014, 11:42 PM   #6
BagusJeep
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If you are going to drop the tank to clean it this is a good time to replace the fuel hoses above the tank. The fuel supply hose tends to crack and leak and allow air into the system.
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Unread 02-21-2014, 11:28 PM   #7
burley
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Siphoned out about 11 gallons of gas (pretty sure its just 15 gal tank), all of it looked yellow and I didn't see any water. Added 9 gallons of premium fuel, and it ran decent until it didn't. Same rough idle, and when I hit the gas it wants to die unless I really hammer it. When I got it home the fuel filter looked full of water again. Am i going to have to change the FF every 2 miles until the water is gone?
img_5621.jpg

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Unread 02-21-2014, 11:35 PM   #8
LumpyGrits
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The water sets UNDER the gas in your tank, just like your filter shows.
Drop the tank and dump it ALL......
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