Author Topic: Coleman white gas, does it get old?  (Read 30864 times)

Offline TexasGirl

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Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« on: June 02, 2012, 08:09:27 PM »
Okay, this is a guy question...

30+ years ago I used a backpacking stove that ran on white gas.  Then I moved on to another technology.  Recently, I picked up a MSR tri-fuel stove, but it's still sealed in the wrapper.  (yeah, bad girl)  So today, my daughter was cleaning out Dad's old storage, and finds my old backpacking fuel flask.  I opened it, it's full of white gas.  Smells like normal white gas, looks completely clear. 

Is this still good?  It was completely full, sealed in the aluminum flask for... Yes, 30 years!

~TG

Offline TexGuy

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 09:18:09 PM »
Put it in and see if it burns ... then you can tell us!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 09:20:37 PM »
My understanding is it is like gasoline, it will go bad. 

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 12:13:15 AM »
Put it in and see if it burns ... then you can tell us!

I 'spose that's possible.  Would the tri-fuel stove be a good test?  I think it will work on anything from cheap whiskey to stump water.

It was surprising to open the flask and not smell old gas "varnish" or see a tinged color.  It looked as clear as alcohol or water.  Guess they don't make fuel like that anymore!

~TG

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 12:31:31 AM »
My understanding is that if the container remained sealed that the fuel will be ok, unlike gasoline tanks that are vented with the vapor leaking off. If you decide to use it would like to hear how it works.

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012, 07:06:40 AM »
I used a can of Coleman fuel that had been stored in a friend's camp for 10+ years. It had been used/opened many time over the time it was there, but was still over half full when I got it.
Also, during the time it spent in the camp, it was subjected to wild temperature swings.
Any way, I used it up with no issue. I've even bought partial cans of white gas at yard-sales, as long as it still smells good.

As long as it passes the smell test, and still looks clear, you're good to go. It may not burn as hot as a can you just bought yesterday, but it'll work just fine ;)

Offline reefmarker

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 05:54:34 PM »
I fired up a coleman lantern that had been in storage for over 18 years about 2 months ago.  It worked just fine.  Even had intact mantles, but the globe was cracked.

I also had 2 cans that were so badly rusted you couldn't read what was in them that I put into a stove and it worked just fine.

so...I am of the opinion that as long as you keep the easily evaporated stuff in the can with a good lid, it will last darn near forever.


Offline rogersorders

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 02:55:41 AM »
One of those MSR stoves would be a good way to try it out. They are easy to take apart if it is bad and you need to clean it out, but from what I've heard white gas keeps for a while.

If anything run it through a Mr Funnel http://www.mrfunnel.com/Mr._Funnel/Home.html Everybody running small engines should have one or two.

I recently bought a Colman dual fuel stove and lantern, both came with funnels with a solid white filter material in it. It may do the same thing.

Offline Wingman115

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 10:19:34 AM »
I've used old Coleman fuel with no issues.. Coleman fuel is a form of Naptha and I don't think it breaks down like regular gas.

Offline Nate

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 08:17:10 PM »
A few years ago I took my MSR whisperlite to the lake.  It needed a good cleaning so I thought I would have some time to tinker with it there in Grandpa's awesome garage at the lake.  After cleaning I wanted to do a test fire of the stove.  I asked grandpa if he had any coleman fuel.  Sure enough, after a few minutes rummaging around in the garage he produced a rusty can.  The can was very old and from the artwork on the can, my guess it was vintage 60's or 70's fuel. 

I fired up the stove with no problems, although the fuel had a few sediments in it.  I found this out later as I used the same fuel on a canoe trip a week later.  I needed to do a field cleaning of the stove to get it running again due to the dirty fuel.  I filtered the fuel through a cheap coghlan's fuel filter before the next use, and had no problems with this "ancient" fuel.

I think your fuel should be fine.  Make sure you filter it before using for best results.  MSR stoves are bomb proof and it is difficult to screw them up too bad.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 12:48:04 PM »
Recently I was going through my dad's garage and found 3 gallons (original  1 gallon metal containers) of Coleman fuel which had been on a shelf in that un-heated, un-air conditioned garage in Southern Ohio (meaning varying from near freezing to 90 degrees) for probably 20 years.  15 at least.  He does not have a use for it, since he bought a (still new in the box) Coleman canister stove and did not understand that it didn't use liquid fuel.  He does have canisters for it, but he's 85 now and all that is ancient history.

I have a fairly new "dual fuel" Coleman gasoline stove which I use regularly so bought the cans from him and used it.  It worked perfectly.  Just like new.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 12:50:25 PM »
Forgot to add: today's regular unleaded gasoline has to be rotated every 6 months, longest, unless one puts in some additive and then it's iffy.  If storing gasoline the simplest way is to, every 4 months, pour it in your car and refill the cans with new gasoline.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 01:23:35 PM »
Forgot to add: today's regular unleaded gasoline has to be rotated every 6 months, longest, unless one puts in some additive and then it's iffy.  If storing gasoline the simplest way is to, every 4 months, pour it in your car and refill the cans with new gasoline.

Hi Cryptozoic, 

Dad always used Marine Stabil in his gas cans, I did the same with my hurricane gas, mainly because that's what he did.  The hurricane gas is in full, 5 gal cans for the generator.  Recently I rotated the gas in those, they were all marked Sept 2010, and it ran great in my car.

I've heard these is a difference down here between "summer gas" and "winter gas."  I was told the winter formula has 5% butane in it.  I do know winter gas will "balloon" out a sealed Scepter gas can!

~TG

Offline Rorschach

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 08:20:48 PM »
The term "white gas" can be used to mean 2 different things(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_gas).   Both of these are a range of hydrocarbon chains that are generally shorter compared to diesel, though there is some overlap.  It seems that if kept in a sealed container there is nothing to worry about(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline#Stability). 

Offline Bob Spelled Backwards

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 08:46:58 PM »
Okay, this is a guy question...

30+ years ago I used a backpacking stove that ran on white gas.  Then I moved on to another technology.  Recently, I picked up a MSR tri-fuel stove, but it's still sealed in the wrapper.  (yeah, bad girl)  So today, my daughter was cleaning out Dad's old storage, and finds my old backpacking fuel flask.  I opened it, it's full of white gas.  Smells like normal white gas, looks completely clear. 

Is this still good?  It was completely full, sealed in the aluminum flask for... Yes, 30 years!

~TG

Is your MSR a "Dragonfly"?  I've got one but haven't tried it out yet, I originally thought I could use Rubbing Alcohol or Denatured Alcohol in a pinch with it but read somewhere that Alcohol is corrosive to the Aluminum parts and doesn't pressurize like fossil fuels do.  Filtering that old white gas is probably some sound advice,  a youtube video stressed the importance of keeping the MSR filter clean. 
This thread reminds me that I've got some 2 or so year old gas in the garage that I may need to deal with and try out in the stove for my trial run. 

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2012, 09:22:52 PM »
Is your MSR a "Dragonfly"? 

It's an XGK EX.

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 05:09:18 AM »
It is essentially impossible to kill an XGK beyond clogging the jet (an easy fix if you have the maintenance kit).  I've had mine since the early 90s and the only things that have stopped it were clogged jets and dried out pump flanges (these used to be leather and if your stove had been sitting dry for a month or two the flange would dry out.  The field solution to this was to suck on it until moist).  Now the replacement flanges are a flexible synthetic rubber and they seem to never go bad.

Imho, if you have a liquid that burns, an xgk will run on it.

Offline tarheelgarden

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 03:01:28 PM »
that's good news, i have an old coleman with a rusty can of fuel as well.  Backup to the backup.  I will keep extra parts to the regulator assembly too.
thx Tar

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Coleman white gas, does it get old?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 03:03:58 PM »
For what it's worth, my opinion of Coleman fuel is that it's long life is due to having no automotive additives. I believe it is the additives that breakdown over time and cause the varnish buildup, yellow color and funny oder. Right or wrong I've used old Coleman fuel with no problems. What I wonder is using the unleaded auto fuel with ethanol added in duel-fuel appliances. Supposedly unleaded auto gas will work in duel-fuel stoves, etc. but what about the 10% ethanol unleaded. Ethanol fuels are supposed to be very corrosive in engines not specifically designed for it. I don't use it in any of my small gas engines. I wonder what it does in duel-fuel stoves?