Fuel - Siphoning fuel from ZX2 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Fuel Siphoning fuel from ZX2

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by MetalsGeek, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. MetalsGeek

    MetalsGeek FEOA Member

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    I need to siphon all the fuel from a 2001 ZX2 so I can replace it with fresh gas. The Ford shop manual claims this is possible, but so far I seem to hit an obstruction before my hose finds any liquid. It seems to me that one possible trouble spot is the lip of the tank's hose fitting, and another is that this aims directly at the fuel pump housing in the tank as well. Has anyone actually done this, or perhaps had the tank out and is familiar with the filler pipe? I want to avoid running the fuel pump because it would eventually run dry and risk damage.
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Using the fuel pump is honestly the easiest way.

    How old is the gas in the tank?
  3. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    I just did this with my ''91 1.9L and I wish I knew how the ZX2 compares with that fuel tank system. I took the fuel pump out and it was easy to siphon, but my gas had separated into "varnish" so I couldn't get that out with a siphon. The inside of the tank is ribbed with baffles and gas will drain to the base of the fuel pump but it's hard to get a siphon hose into each of the compartments of the tank. I supped up the gas with a couple old towels and got most of it so the tank was easier to take off. If you do take the tank off it's easy to get the fuller hose off when it's warm and flexible, on a cold day it's too stiff to work with. To slide the tank out take the left, back tire off. If you take the fuel pump out you need to get the gas lines off and that's easy, just take the plastic clips off and don't worry about breaking them, NAPA has them.
  4. MetalsGeek

    MetalsGeek FEOA Member

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    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I have complex personal reasons that make any sort of "real" work (car on jackstands) unreasonably difficult so I'm trying to do a few things covertly. I have a cheap endoscope I may try to snake down the filler pipe to have a look. God willing, it won't get stuck... LOL
  5. Valdres Rose

    Valdres Rose FEOA Member

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    In a Post above, Pastor asked how old the gas was in the tank, I'm also curious about that. Also, can you hear the Fuel Pump activate when you turn your key on? (but I'm not sure if it does that with a Zx2) When I finally removed my fuel pump I knew right away I was looking at a long term problem instead of a short term solution. If your gas has separated into gas on top with "varnish" on the bottom of the tank you have a major problem. If the gas in your tank has been sitting there for over 5 years it may have separated.
  6. MetalsGeek

    MetalsGeek FEOA Member

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    The gas is only 6 mos old and I want to swap it for fresh to prevent horrible corrosion & separation issues. Assuming the ZX2 is like most other cars, the ECU will only run the pump for a couple seconds between power-on and cranking. Like I said above, there are complex personal reasons that make it incredibly difficult to empty the tank through any means other than a quick 10-minute siphon. The shop manual says to do this before dropping the tank. The shop manual may be over-simplifying it, methinks.
  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    When I need to siphon a tank (on other cars), I get a clear vinyl tube, about 3/8" i.d. and maybe 6-8 feet long. That way I can see the fuel coming, and avoid getting a mouthful of the stuff.
  8. MetalsGeek

    MetalsGeek FEOA Member

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    The ZX2 has an S-shaped filler pipe with at least 1 transition lip. I first tried some 1/2" vinyl tube, but it was too flexible to push and tended to grab the walls (way too much friction). Next, I tried some stiffer 3/8" polyethylene (better), but this encountered a pretty hard stop near the entrance to the tank. I fear it may have run into the side of the fuel pump housing, and is too stiff to hang down into the tank. I hope to try that endoscope and get some answers, but today life has given me other priorities...
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I spent a bit of time trying to syphon out my fuel tank on my '92, with the same issue that the hose hit some obstruction and no amount of twisting and pushing would get it past.
    This was, of course, with a completely full tank which is above the level of the fuel pump access.

    I jacked the car up a bit I think on the front right corner so that when I did take out the fuel pump hanger the gas ran down to the low corner of the tank where I placed my oil drain pan. I did catch most of the overflow.
  10. 04Svt

    04Svt FEOA Member

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    Just take the fuel pump access door off. (Under rear seat)Undo the twist collar then you will have direct access to the fuel.
  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    ...and if the tank is really full, the fuel will have direct access to you!
  12. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't take the fuel tank apart, but apply 12V to the pump to make it run constantly. disconnect the fuel line and use a hose to a container to get the fuel.
    denisond3 likes this.
  13. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    If the fuel is only 6 months old, I wouldnt do anything but to just drive the car. I own several Escorts. Two of them live at our summer home in VA, and two others at our southern home in south TX. Each of them therefore sits unused for six months of the year, with full fuel tanks & the battery disconnected. Each one starts up on the first try when we arrive, with the 6 month old fuel in them.
  14. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Denisond has a good point. Unless the gasoline is really old, as in many years, it is almost certain to be okay to burn.

    How does the fuel smell when you take off the filler cap? Is the fuel clearly rancid and foul, or just a bit stale?

    In my considerable experience of using junkyard gasoline, it has to be very rancid smelling, and very dark before it will cause acute problems.
    denisond3 likes this.

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