Community Shop Talk

Online Engine Conversations from SmokStak and the Stationary Engine List

| February 2005


Clogged Fuel Lines ...

Stationary Engine List
By Helen French

The nearest I've been to a stationary engine for at least two months is …. well, about 24 inches. But that doesn't really count, because that engine is the Fairbanks-Morse Eclipse scale model that permanently sits on the kitchen counter, just behind my computer monitor. Apart from that, it's been too wet and cold to uncover and run engines, and we even missed the local Christmas show for the first time in five years due to pressures of work. However, it seems luckier people have been able to get out to the shed to do some real work!

In the past, a discussion on cleaning gummed-up old fuel and loose rust from fuel tanks has appeared in this column for GEM. I try not to repeat subjects covered before, but this one is more of a continuation than a repetition.

• I need some list help to unclog a pipe in a gas tank. I am working on a gas heater for soldering irons. The tank was full of dried junk and I finally got it all out by shaking rocks inside for quite some time.

However, the discharge pipe is also clogged. I have removed the cutoff valve. The pipe is welded to the tank and is radiused inside down to the bottom of the tank. Thankfully, this was done rather than a right angle, as it makes it easier to push something down it. I have tried forcing air, a number of wires, braided wire on the end of a drill, etc., all to no avail. The pipe must be full of dried junk. I now have it standing upright with carburetor cleaner soaking in the pipe. Does anyone have any ideas on how to unclog the pipe? It is 1/4-inch steel.

• I have used a section of speedometer cable in a drill with good results in similar situations.