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Diesel in a gas engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fisher, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139


    Yesterday I nearly pumped diesel into my tank rather than gas but caught myself. Will a gas engine run on diesel without damage? I have heard of people mixing in diesel for one reason or other.
  2. Funny you mention this, I was stuck on the side of the road with a guy I know because he put diesel in an unleaded car. No it wont hurt it, it will stop it from running though. It is also a PRICK of a job to get it running again on the side of the road.
    (Made me 2 hours late for work!)
  3. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,196


    When I worked at a dairy farm as kid- one of the other guys put diesel in the small gas can, and I unwittingly filled the little push mower tank up with diesel. It started just fine, and I mowed the owners yard with it. Smoked a little but I didn't think anything of it. The next time someone else went to use it- it wouldn't start. Man was that farmer pissed.

    We had to drain everything out and clean out the carb really good- but it ran fine after that, on gas.
  4. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    My father had a 51 Nash that a valve would stick now and then. Really made a racket. He would go down to the local truck stop and pump a gallon of diesel in then fill up the tank with regular. In a mile or two you could hear it quiet down.

  5. mottsrods
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 742


    All of the newer cars have a certain size filler hole. Gasoline nozzle's are smaller than diesel. This is supposed to help deter anyone from putting one in the other. A gas engine will run on diesel, smoke a little, and be a little lower on power, but will run, and can be hard to start if the gas engine has a higher compression ratio. A diesel engine on the other hand will not run on gas. It will turn over and push gas into the combustion chamber, then blow the crap out of a few pistons. I've fixed several like this.....and it isn't fun.
  6. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Might not hurt a lightly-loaded car engine, but I caved in all the piston tops on my 292 Ford water truck with about 5 gallons of diesel in the tank of gas. Pre-ignition is not your friend!
    Gas in a diesel engine usually wrecks the injector pump in seconds, before any major internals break.
  7. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Ive heard of mixing gasoline in a diesel fuel tank to help aid in cold weather..but its a small amount.

    With no mixing and only the fuel that shouldnt be in there isnt a good deal
    gasoline in a Diesel vehicle = bad
    Diesel in a gasoline vehicle = bad

    a little bit may not screw things up..but if you were on E and pumped it full of what shouldnt go in there..yer going to be pissed and its going to cost you
  8. KreaturesCCaustin
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,258

    from Austin, TX

    Here's what it will look like...
    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    On the bright side, you won't have any mosquitoes in your neighborhood for a while :D
  9. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,460


    That should be kerosene!
  10. TBone69
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 821

    from NJ

    Ya she won't run good if at all. Years ago I worked as a fleet mechanic for a beverage distributor. I had one of the Diesel trucks in for service gave the driver one of the spares that was a gas truck.

    Well he filled her with diesel, made it around the corner. Popping, banging and nice fireballs out the exhaust.

    Extreme word of caution do not dump gas down the carb as it's running as she may backfire and if your lucky end up the hospital for a couple of weeks, like I did. It's all cool now but man did I learn a painfull lesson.
  11. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Many years ago when working at a service station we'd regularly sell truckers one or two gallons of gas along with 100+ gallons of diesel. It was usually on either end of winter with a trucker that was headed north and couldn't trust our fuel to be 100% winter blend because of the season.

    But putting diesel in a gas engine won't hurt it other than needing removed as mentioned above. New stuff it'd probably trash the cat and a sensor or two, but old stuff it'd mostly be embarassment.
  12. art.resi
    Joined: Oct 15, 2006
    Posts: 214


    We had a 41 dodge ambulance that we cut the body off and grafted a truck cab to
    and built a nice low wide flatbed on.The gas filler was way under the bed so
    we used to hate putting gas in it. We used it as a service truck for our cats.
    Well we had one ranch 13 miles from our home place and we would run out
    gas there. We would pump a gallon or two of deisel into it and tow it up
    a hill and get in and roll it a few hundred feet and it would fire and of we
    went smoke screen and all. After a year of doing this every week or two
    it blew a head gasket. when we pulled the head it was the cleanest engine
    I ever worked on.Do not try this on a modern efi eng.
  13. Actually, this reminded me of a chick that put diesel in a petrol Hi-ace van. She was an Army drive, supposedly a professional driver but she still filled the duty van with the wrong fuel!
  14. T-Time
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,627

    from USA

    Had a relative put in a 1/4 tank of diesel in his Ranger PU (fuel-injected 4.0L V6) back in about 1990, by accident. Filled the rest of tank up with premium. Ran that tank out (with lots of smoke) over a week or so. That engine still runs fine to this day. In fact, I'm driving it as a loaner today while my PU gets some work done to it.
  15. Hoop-in-JAX
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 184


    Diesel fuel has a cetane rating just as gasoline has an octane rating. Simply, they are opposites. Adding diesel to gasoline lowers the octane rating. Adding gasoline to diesel lowers its cetane rating.

    Why would you do either?

    Gasoline added to diesel also reduces the lubricating properties of the fuel.

    Gasoline has no anti-gel properties. Diesel fuels are localized quickly when needed and proper additives are available at every truck stop.

    When considering any stories about practices in the past, you should keep in mind the changes in fuels. Diesel today is a much more specialized brew (as are the engines) than the old days and screwing around with it, especially by adding gasoline, is simply a mistake.
  16. Smokin' Joe
    Joined: Jul 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,000

    Smokin' Joe
    Member Emeritus

    Dang, Hoop... sure taught me something here! And we thought you were just another pretty face!
  17. c10addict
    Joined: Oct 22, 2007
    Posts: 115


    I had a lady getting ready to leave New York and drive to PA... She ended up putting half of a tank of diesel in a 94 Saturn... It made it to PA on half a tank but was smoking like all hell... The only thing I can not figure out is how do you get the nozzle in a gas filler on a newer car because it is so much larger??
  18. yankbuilt
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 386


    I put diesel in my daily driver once.Had a roomate that worked for a construction company, and the deal was he would bring 5 gallons of gas home for me a week.WELL,he was burning brush at a job site and filled the gas can with diesel, whitch he never used and I got up early and put it in my truck.After I finished he came out and told me the bad news.Went to the gas staion and topped it of with gas.I had a funny smell the whole week!!!
  19. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    The VW Rabbit diesel operator's manual sez to put up to a gallon of gas in a tank of diesel fuel in really cold weather to assist starting.
  20. ltex old iron
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 515

    ltex old iron

    this is a little bit backwards but i ran my 01 ford f250 7.3 diesel truck on a tank of pure gasoline..i drove it for about 60 miles that was my only sputtered a little bit every once ina while but damn did that truck haul ass with gas in it..not to mention the flame that was coming out of the exhaust pipe
  21. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    No I knew what i was talking about..Gasoline.
    add one gallon of gasoline to 20 gallons of diesel fuel as a cheap easy anti-gel for winter fuel.
    I live in Michigan

    Its an old school deal..the newer diesels I dont recomend it..but the ol 600 Detroit Diesels lived like that up here in the winter, prior to winter blends.
  22. JF
    Joined: May 15, 2008
    Posts: 516

    from Utah

    I put about 8 liters of unleaded in a little diesel car when in Portugal, then topped it off with about 37 liters of diesel. it was the only pump I had seen that was green and had unleaded in it! go figure....

    I think we got lucky to make it to the airport the next day :) it ran just fine the first day, the second not so great lol
  23. NuzzyFipples
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 112


    Just the opposite. I had an F250 diesel that I put gas in by mistake, not paying attention that the YELLOW (or green, generally diesel) pump was gas, and OF COURSE the nosel fit in the hole. Put about 5 gallons in when I realized it wasn't what I needed. Called a diesel machanic friend of mine and he told me to dump a quart of 40 wgt oil in my tank and drive it to another station.

    I mixed the oil in, drove about 15 miles to the next station, topped it off with diesel, and never had a problem. A little smoke but no perminant damage. VERY CLOSE CALL.
  24. Henry VIII
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 272

    Henry VIII
    from Tulsa OK

    Certain industrial diesel engines were designed to start on gasoline and then switch over to diesel after they were hot enough. Many years ago I trained on an International bulldozer that worked that way. It would start on an electric starter and run rough on gasoline, then it would sound great when you switched over to diesel. The contemporary Caterpillars started on secondary gasoline starter motors that turned the main engine until it fired on diesel.

  25. Hooligan63
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,343


    You arwe correct sir.First car I had was a '79 VW Rabbit type D given to me by my mom when I was a teenager,and it did say that in the owners manual.Luckily I live in So. Cal. so I never had to try it.I ran that thing in to the ground,drove it with a blown head gasket and it wouldn't overheat and still got around 40 something miles to the gallon.
  26. snowmann
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 99

    from Sabin MN

    1. Filled empty snowmobile with diesel, about ten gallons, rode until the fuel in the carbs started drawing diesel in and stalled and wouldnt restart, drain, flush, all is well
    2. Filled snowmobile from 3/4 tank to full, adding 3 or 4 gallons of diesel to 8 gallons of gas, detonated and burned both crowns of the pistions,rings came off and beat the hell out of the cylinder head......... not cheap.
    When your standing next to the gas pump and your sister in law yells over " which one should I put in" dont yell back " the most expensive one" , thinking she would top them both off with premuim.......... not premuim diesel.
  27. OLDSKEWL61
    Joined: Feb 8, 2006
    Posts: 565


    this happen just this weekend i went to GG in columbus with 2 of my kids, and my wife rented a jeep cheeroke as i took her van. She called me from the mall saying her and her dum ass sister put deisel in it by mistake. mot much like 5 gallons with a 1/4 tank still in it of gas so they just drove it 45miles to pittsburg. no real problem till they tried to start it when they were leaving the mall. never told the rental company they towed it away and brought here a new car!
  28. When I was in high school I worked part time at a Sunoco station near a main highway in our town. One day a late model Chevy limped in, banging and knocking something awful. The driver said he had just filled up at a truck stop about three miles away. This was in the days before self serve and he was in a hurry, so when the attendant didn’t rush right out he filled the car himself, not realizing he was at the diesel pump. The attendant took his word for the price and he was off. I’m guessing there was still some gas in the tank when he filled up and the truck stop was on top of a very high hill so the driver didn’t notice anything right away, but as soon as he hit the bottom of the hill he knew something was wrong. He just barely made it to our station. The engine was a stock four barrel 327 (this was about 1968) and the sounds it was making were just painful. Our mechanic drained the tank and filled it with 260 and ran it for a while, and it sounded better but still not right. The guy was in a hurry so he took off with it still running lousy. I suppose a couple of tanks of gas would clean the diesel out of the system but I wouldn’t want that engine afterwards.
  29. 59flatbedford
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 97


    well my dad ran an old ford 8n tractor for like two years on some old left over deisel out at the ranch. said it worked pretty good cept it would foul the plugs occasionally. works ok one way works like shit the other way around tho.
  30. Ran out of gas in my stock model A back in 57. Farmer didn't have any
    gas so we put 1gal. of kerosine in tank and drove 7 miles to town before
    adding gas. No after affects and ran ok.

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