Sub Fuel Tanks"To fill or not to fill"

Submitted: Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 18:25
ThreadID: 20114 Views:3627 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Had a fuel warning light come on in a 3TD Patrol recently which reckoned there was some some water in the diesel. Changed the filter (was due at 40000 service anyway...) and all is OK.
I had recently used the sub tank after a trip away and feel there may have been some condensation in an empty sub tank that was empty for 2-3 months.
My question is should you leave maybe 10litres of diesel in the sub-tank???
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 18:29

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 18:29
my toyota 80 series handbook says to leave 1/4 of a tank in the sub at least all the time (presumably not neccessarily when you are using it) having said that the sub in my camper is 90-100l and I leave that empty most of the time except on trips
AnswerID: 96688

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 18:41

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 18:41
with the Patrol the transfer pump operates for a very short time when you start. I gather that is so the computer can test it is working.

I also try to keep fuel in the sub tank because of this as i dont like the idea of the pump running dry.

I just keep both tanks full and every week just fill up.
AnswerID: 96691

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 22:21

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 22:21
I'm with you Alan...I keep both of my tanks filled up each time I go to servo.......

It's not just the condensation itself that is the trouble; it's the algae and other crud that actually "lives" in the "gap" between the diesel and the can do some really nasty things to your filter and eventually your injectors.

This is the reason I also use a Morison's De-Bug unit before my fuel filter.
FollowupID: 355412

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:06

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:06
I do the same Roachie, fill both tanks and empty them. Sure you are carting extra load, 175 litres a fill but the refill is infrequent unless travelling distances. As you say it refreshes the load and keeps it cleaner.

You want to make sure though that you don't keep your summer higher wax fuel still there in the colder weather. As Alan says, in the Nissan the pump runs a little at every start and minimises that.
FollowupID: 355432

Reply By: Leroy - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 21:01

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 21:01
If you keep your tanks full you don't have the problem of condensation forming in the tanks. Evan if you have the tank 1/4 full you still have the problem of condensation forming.

AnswerID: 96719

Reply By: pmacks - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 23:32

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 23:32
G Day
as already mentioned leave your tanks full then there is no problem. I had an issue with the underfloor tank in my boat ( 150 lt ) i pulled it out to do some work on the boat and emptied the stainless tank i reacon there was at least 6 lts of water in the tank mind you that took 6 years to build up
AnswerID: 96735

Reply By: Knight Patrol - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 23:56

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 23:56
I make sure that every seconf tank full or thereabouts I empty the sub tank and when I refill I just fill the sub tank and top up the main tank. That way I know the fuel cannot get "stale" and any water problems ar minmized. I used the same logic on the farm with the tractors/truck/ute and never ran into problems with "stale" fuel.
The only downside is the large lump out of the wallet when you fill up?????????????
AnswerID: 96738

Reply By: Member - Geoff M (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 08:34

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 08:34
In my Troopy I alternate the tanks on a weekly basis.
One week front tank is in use, next week rear tank is in use. Just fill them according to their use that week and run accordingly.
Does two things, I know the oldest any fuel can be is 2 weeks. Also the changeover solenoid for the tanks gets a little bit of excercise each week and hopefully if it's going to fail it'll do it around town, not somewhere between Kickatinalong and Wheelabarraback.
This works well with the Troopy as it has two independant ~90 litre tanks.
Of course, if I'm on a trip they are both full and I pull a little from each alternately. Theory behind this is if I hole one, (Murphy's law says I'll hole the fullest) they both contain about the same amount. I'm trying to make Murphy's decision on which one to hole real hard!

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AnswerID: 96750

Follow Up By: Dodgy - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 09:55

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 09:55
I do similar Geoff but around town i run a tank all the way down then fill it and switch to the other tank.. Keeps the fuel fresh and if there is anybleepe in the tank it will be picked up in the filters and less chance of a fuel problem when i am on a trip.. I like your theory on alternating tanks when on a trip to keep murphy out of the equation and might start that practice myself.. Tks for the new tip..
Regards Dodgy..

Keep your whistle wet and your powder dry.. :)
FollowupID: 355429

Reply By: stitch - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 12:13

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 12:13
I fill both tanks on my 80 series, run the main tank near empty, switch to the sub and run that down and fill em both and do the same again. Never had any probs with condensation using both tanks frequently. Also gives me longer time between refills.
AnswerID: 96785

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