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Tapping into vehicle fuel

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by oil pan 4, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    Before there is a possible disaster everything from a snow Ice/storm, or X class CME or hurricane you always here that "you should fill up your car with gas".
    Chances are your car holds at least 10 gallons and if you have a suburban like mine then it holds 40 gallons.
    What good is that going to do if you cant go anywhere?
    When you can't go anywhere what can you do with all that gas in your car?
    Sure you can start your car and idle it to charge some kind of small electronic device or run a power inverter. If you are in a winter storm and your power is out then you could go out start the car and warm up for a while. If you have a power inverter you could power it up with the vehicles electrical system. (Note: cheap modified sine wave power inverters damage small electronics, especially battery charging stuff, cell phones chargers and laptop power supplies.
    Problems with that I can see is using the heater is very inefficient and a possible carbon monoxide risk. Problems with using the car as a power source especially if you are using a car with a little alternator it may be possible to drain the battery and kill it and now you have a car with a dead battery. A cars alternator can usually put off an extra 30 to 50 amps with no head lights or blower fan going at idle. A newer heavy duty truck alternator can put off 50 to 100 amps at idle with no lights or blower going.

    How to get gas out of your vehicle?
    Well forget syphoning, even in a normal situation its a bad idea. Vehicles have a screen or other blockage to prevent syphoning, some cars I have seen have a fuel tank filler line reduces down to a 1 to 3/4 inch inside diameter that runs around like a snake through the back of the car and I see no way to feed a hose all the way down a filler tube like that.
    Plus the last thing you want to do when you cant get to a hospital is accidently inhale some gasoline or diesel into your lungs or get it in your eyes.
    For me and my EMP resistant carbureted vehicles it was easy. I converted them to electric fuel pump to get the fuel line away from the engine to prevent vapor lock in hot weather and I added a fuel tap, super easy for me and it can fill a fuel can pretty fast. My Camaro holds around 14 or 16 gallons of gas and my suburban has the large 40 gallon tank. Then there is my wifes car, a modern fuel injected 2008 Hyundai. It has a schrater valve on the fuel rail that is easy to get to. Should be easy enough to tap into, it would be slow to fill a 5 gallon can. With the suburban and Camaro I have fairly minimal interest in tapping into my wifes car fuel supply. Most of the schrater valves I see are -4AN or 1/4'' flare type fittings, some are like a tire valve. Easiest way to get fuel out of a schrater valve would be to bleed off the fuel system pressure, remove the schrater valve core and attach a hose with -4AN female connector. Most important thing is don't lose the valve core or just replace the valve core with a -4AN cap.

    If you don't have some predetermined way to remove fuel from the vehicle it can be hazardous.
    For starters new fuel injected vehicles maintain pressure in the lines after they are shut off, so if you disconnect a line or tap into a schrater valve gas is going to spray every where upon the seal breaking.
    To release pressure you can pull the fuse or relay to the fuel pump and start the car, this is what I have always done before working on fuel injection systems to release pressure. The car will fire up and die and not restart then you know almost all the fuel pressure is gone. It turns a spray of fuel into a little spurt. To remove fuel you could disconnect the fuel filter if you can get to it and use it to fill a can or disconnect a fuel line if you can reach it and fill a gas can, but any O-ring boss fitting you break open may not fully reseal when you put it back together with out a new O-ring. The safest way would be to tap into a schrater valve if you can reach it. The schrater valve is for testing fuel pressure and bleeding air out of the lines at the factory after putting it together so flow may be pretty slow.
    Then to get fuel out replace the fuse or relay and just turn the key to "on" and fuel will shoot out of the fuel line at a pretty fast rate.
    Now with this fuel tap I don't have to carry a gas can in my car or suburban, I just fill the gas can or lawn mower from the fuel tap, its always ready to provide fuel even on a daily basis.
    Bottom line, don't wait till you need it before you start trying to figure it out, kind of ties in with that "have a plan/training" everyone is always talking about on here.

    Once you have the gasoline out of the vehicle, assuming no disaster occurred, then you know what to do with it
    Gasoline generators over 5kw are very inefficient at light load, at no load or light load they can suck down gasoline at a rate of a half gallon of gas per hour. Using a car as a power source would be more efficient for the little things.
    The car and the generator announce to everyone that you have fuel/power.
    A move covert way to utilize the power contained within your gasoline is with camping gear.
    I have my old coleman "white gas" AKA gasoline stove and lantern. Now these have not been used in at least 14 years so I am going to assume the plunger pumps are bad and get some $12 replacements. When I get home I am going to fire them up. The stove puts off up to 12,000BTU per hour, it would burn through a full fuel tank in under 2 hours. The single mantel lantern makes about 100w of light and puts off about 1,000 to 1,200BTUs per hour of heat on the high setting. If I remember correctly it only held 12 to 16 ounces of fuel and ran all night on high no problem. Always light these things out side and inspect the gas generator tube of scorching and wear. After several years of once or twice a month use I found the gas generator nozzle a little loose on my relatively new made in 1993 lantern. In the late 1970s my dad had a 1930s era lantern burst into flames during operation inside his off grid cabin, he was able to toss it out side before it could set the cabin on fire. They can be dangerous, inspect the gas generator tube regularly and replace when questionable, its a $5 to $10 part.
    These have extreme carbon monoxide poisoning danger indoors, do not use in a tent or camper or under ground bunker. If you have a normal size house with normal drafts there is virtually no carbon monoxide danger with a single stove or lantern.
    Motomom34, Dont and Salted Weapon like this.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    Good idea, but you missed the part about having to cycle the key since the fuel pump shuts off after a few seconds.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    There are multiple ways to keep the fuel going. You can jump the fuel relay, you can use a line with a valve to take some fuel while the vehicle is idling, but keeping the pressure high enough in the fuel rail to stay running.
    I think if some one were to chop up a fuel pressure tester kit into a fuel tap it would tap fuel slowly enough for the vehicle stay running.
    Or just keep cycling the key like a monkey. That is if you can even get to the fuel on a newer car.
    I have a push button bypass and tap valve under the hood. I am all set.
    oldawg likes this.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I can and have used a siphon, even with the latest cars, and the anti-siphon fill tube insert. It is slow, but a small hose will slide right through the small hole at the bottom of every insert I've seen so far. The small portal needs to be pushed out of the way, and use a pencil or something similar to hold it open as you withdraw the hose, or you will bend it.
    I have never tried to empty a tank that way. But 5-10 gallons was slow but easy.
    Hose i use is clear, vinyl, and @1/4"-ID
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  5. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I use a pointy drill & drill the low part of the tank to rob fuel .
    Bone yard special tool ,, like slim jims for hookers !!!

    This is for stealing , not a car to work later .
    Homer Simpson likes this.
  6. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    I suppose I would take a 3/8" hose attached to the aux fuel pump I have mounted to the frame of my truck and connect it to the line coming out of my fuel tank. Then I would take the discharge side and put it into the fuel can. Then I would flip the switch that turns the pump on filling the can. Simple. I'm more concerned about putting fuel into my tank than I am about how to get it out. I could do the same for any truck I come across. The pump is set up just for that reason. If alone I can be refueling and still watching my 6.
  7. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon West Coast Monkey

    My 67 truck has two tanks equaling close to 38 gallons. It has two valves on it easy for switching and draining no power needed as its high enough up gravity works the large tank has a petcock so is about as easy as it gets . Plus it has point setup ( well its has Petronics now but I have the spare points) its my SHTF proof vehicle.The engine is fairly new in it as well. Its kept in reserve and taken out at graffiti and milk runs but mostly is under cover filled and waiting just in case. I wont waste time on my other vehicles as I may not have time or place to fiddle with trying to tap lines. Get and old truck with dual tanks they mine more a show truck but you can find beaters around for a couple grand rather then trying to find a work around.
    Gator 45/70 and Tully Mars like this.
  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    Older vehicles are a lot better for this kind of thing.
  9. duane

    duane Monkey++

    In rural New England the most common fuel used for heating is "fuel oil" in most cases dyed diesel and although it is not legal to use in cars etc, you haven't paid the tax on it and it often has too much sulfur, it will work fine. I have at least 250 gal at all times, 2 separate 275 gal tanks, and rotate them so one is always 100 % full and usually heat with wood, so often have 400 + gal for my small Cat diesel generator, 8,000 watts, and most of my neighbors have 50 to 200 gal in their basements. Without electricity, their furnaces will not run and it probably could be traded for. I have used my generator to power a neighbors house in an ice storm to run his furnace so his pipes wouldn't freeze and he gladly gave me the diesel to run the Genset. I use a rotary hand pump and 5 gal gas cans , remove one of the plugs on the tank, and easily pump out the fuel. You could use a cheap Harbor Freight syphon if you whish, but I like the pump. He had no gasoline and no way of getting it. Most fuel oil will work in diesel cars and tractors, doesn't go bad quickly, and most of my neighbors store at least 100 gal average and "rotate the stock". Still trying to get a mechanical fuel injection diesel truck, but that's a whole different story.
    Motomom34 and Tully Mars like this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    Mechanical diesel engine trucks are not to be found in anything new than about 1996 unless you do an engine swap or change the electronic diesel over to mechanical.
  11. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If worse comes to worse... you can use an Icepick/awl and puncture the fuel tank at the bottom and drain the fuel out... to fix use RTV sealant and a small diameter screw to fix the hole....
    Motomom34 and Tully Mars like this.
  12. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey++

    I dated a girl (once) who used an ice pick to drain gas from old boyfriends gas tanks.

    Late model cars that I drive lately I just hook up my fuel pressure gauge, put the drain hose in a well grounded gas can and sit in air conditioned comfort with the car running and the relief valve on the gauge clamped open. Takes about 10 minutes to fill a five gallon can. No hurry, no fuss, no mess, and most importantly, no sparks.

    I do tank to tank transfers the same way. Direct transfusion from one car to another. Neighbors just see the two cars parked where they usually are and a hood open and close like someone is keeping up on their maintenance checks.
    Ganado and oil pan 4 like this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    On my 67 Cheve truck I have an electric fuel pump as a back up, should the mechanical fail and it has functioned as anticipated .
    I keep spare fuel on my vehicles even the motorcycle because one never knows the situation they will need the spare.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    I run 2 electric fuel pumps in all the vehicles.
  15. 3cyl

    3cyl Monkey

    Just remove the return line and attach a hose to your gas can and start engine
  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+

    I see a lot of vehicles that have the return hose screwed into the fuel return on the engine then crimped where the hose meets the return line and goes back to the tank.
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I have a Cajun Master Card
    Siphon hose using an ITT hand held bilge pump to get the flow going!
    Tully Mars likes this.
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