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Old Fuel

10 year old fuel

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Malcolm Fisher29/07/2019 20:40:24
627 forum posts
7 photos

Just ran up an OS Wankel which has been idle for at least ten years. I used the fuel from that time and had no problems. The half gallon bottle had been tightly capped after the air in the bottle had been squeezed out. I've also been running a couple of diesels which have had a similar lay off time and using fuel of similar age, one can of which had been only half full. In all cases I had no difficulty starting them and they ran as well as I remember them ever doing. I have never had an issue with old fuel - perhaps I've just been lucky.

I always preferred diesels when I started modelling - they needed less starting gear than glow engines and in my early days had often flown a C/L tank dry while my friends were still trying to start their small glow engines. Another plus for me was that in my late teens I worked in a laboratory where I could buy ether at cost and mix my own juice as and when I needed and much cheaper than shop bought.


Steve Dunne29/07/2019 20:41:14
128 forum posts
57 photos

As a slight aside to this topic, I have just had the third occasion in the past 2 or 3 years of the silicon tubing in my fuel bottle going cloudy and stiff, then wrinkling, then breaking off inside the bottle.

The fuel is Propower 16%, decanted from gallon bottles into the 1/2 gallon bottle I keep in the flight box. I've used this fuel for donkey's years.

The fuel tubing is standard 3mm bore from the LMS, and worryingly the same tubing that I use inside the fuel tanks...

The damage appears to be in the tubing above the fuel level - i.e. in free air above the fuel.

It hasn't happened (yet) to my Laser 5%.

Any bright ideas?


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Don Fry29/07/2019 21:07:27
4397 forum posts
52 photos
Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 29/07/2019 20:16:10:
Posted by Levanter on 29/07/2019 14:49:55:
Posted by Don Fry on 29/07/2019 08:57:06:

If it's sealed, I would be surprised if it's not fine. Some time back, I "found" some lost unopened containers in the cubbyhole I store wine. Cool but damp. 10 years old. It was fine.

And the wine tasted pretty good too ….. hic!

Some years ago there was consternation in the wine world when it was found that Austrian wine producers were adding methanol to the wine to sweeten it.

Is that not ethylene glycol. My preciouses are safe.

Former Member29/07/2019 22:24:37
3578 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Frank Skilbeck20/08/2019 16:09:20
4571 forum posts
101 photos

Just a brief update, I've run a couple of engines using this old straight fuel, one a Laser 150 on a 50/50 mix of new 10% and the old fuel to give 5%, engine ran fine. and an OS 55AX on this fuel with a dash of petrol, again the engine ran just fine.

Re the dash of petrol, this was because I read somewhere that a dash of petrol could help with starting (there was an article in RCME about this a while back but I can't remember which issue).

Both engines flick started quite easily (using a stick to look after my pinkies!).

Robin Etherton20/08/2019 18:06:18
272 forum posts
41 photos


Your post takes me back to when I used to fly f2b control line. If the tank run was a bit short you could extend the run by up to 30seconds by adding a cup ful of petrol to a gallon of fuel. Annecdotely it run a bit hotter but was never proven. Whether it helped with starting I don’t know you only got a minute to start and get off the ground.


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