I need darker colored gasoline

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Old 08-04-19, 12:08 PM
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I need darker colored gasoline

I have a Craftsman Pro Tight turn extreme riding tractor. It has a place on the left side where the fuel tank is visible and molded into the dash area near it is a few lines that are supposed to indicate about how much fuel is in the tank. Well my fuel is so clear that I have to get off the mower and stand near the left side to see the level. Not that I have ever ran out of fuel while mowing but it would be nice to see the level from the seat.
Is there anything I could add to the fuel to darken it some so I can see it better through the white colored tank? Nothing that would be expensive something cheap. I think it is a 3 gallon tank so would say an ounce of 2 stroke oil maybe work? Or maybe some red tiki lamp oil? I really don't want it to smoke while running just make the fuel darker.
 
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08-05-19, 03:59 AM
beelzebob
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Don't know how many tanks per mow or mows per tank or how many times you have run out of gas. I would take the gas cap off and use a dip stick before each mowing.I would then use time as indicator to determine when to refuel if the mowing requires multiple refuels.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 12:22 PM
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Google oil soluble dye.

One if the complications of adding any dye it is that it likely contains microscopic bits of abrasive.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 06:07 PM
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Really? 1st world problems!
Try taking a black magic marker and draw a heavy vertical line at the viewing area. That may give you enough contrast between the gas and the plastic tank. Usually gas will begin to turn a golden yellow as it ages. Sta-bill additive will retard that for several weeks. But even brand new gas straight from the pump has a little bit of color to it, I can see the level in my riding mower.
Or let the gas age a few weeks in a container (still use an additive) before filling the mower tank. That should give you enough contrast to see it.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 03:59 AM
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Don't know how many tanks per mow or mows per tank or how many times you have run out of gas. I would take the gas cap off and use a dip stick before each mowing.I would then use time as indicator to determine when to refuel if the mowing requires multiple refuels.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 04:32 AM
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The fuel level on my riding mower is also difficult to see.
Knowing rougly how much fuel it uses and keeping the tank full has so far prevented running outta gas.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 04:43 AM
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Fuel dyes do exist but unless you work at a refinery I doubt you will ever get some in less than industrial quantity.

If not being able to easily see through the fuel tank bothers you how about a different system? You can install a sight gauge. The big drawback is you will have to makes holes in the side of your tank which could be leak points and the sight gauge is suseptible to damage. You can install an electric fuel gauge. Some older types have a mechanical float in the tank but there are new electronic systems without floats. Any holes can be made near the top of the tank minimizing the change of a leak.

Personally, I say getting off the tractor for a better view of the tank is much easier.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 04:47 AM
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I would take the gas cap off and use a dip stick before each mowing.I would then use time as indicator to determine when to refuel if the mowing requires multiple refuels.
This is exactly what I have done with my Toro Proline that is coming up on 25 years old, and it works fine. I have a stick standing right next to where I park it, so each time before I pull it out I stick the gas tank and check the oil. If I am going to mow just a certain area I know that it needs to be about here on the stick and if I'm going to mow the whole yard it needs to be about there on the stick. If I'm on the last tank, both cans are empty and I don't feel like going to the gas station, I can see where it is and know what I can or can't do. Particularly given the problems you hear about with fuel systems today, gunked up carbs, fuel lines deteriorating, etc., I wouldn't want to start mixing anything in.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 04:48 AM
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I also agree with getting to know your mower's fuel usage and checking it before hand. My Ford NAA has a steel tank with no gauge. I check the fuel level before I get on it and since I know about how much fuel it takes I've never run out of gas.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 10:29 AM
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Thanks guys! As I said before I have never ran out of gas. It holds 3 gallon and I fill it before every mowing. I mow about every week (unless it is super wet) and mow 2 acre.
I use about 2 or 2 !/2 gallon each mowing. I have 2 five gallon jugs I fill for the mower and refill when both are empty. Not much time for the gas to age and I see no difference in color between fresh from the station and 5 weeks later.
I might try the magic marker and I priced the dye (it was about $15) not worth it as I never have ran out of fuel.
Thanks again for the good conversation.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 11:14 AM
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Try puting a couple drops of Easter Egg coloring in the gas tank. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 08-05-19, 11:45 AM
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I think mccormick's black food coloring is made of propylene glycol.... a few drops wouldn't harm the fuel. And its probably under $5.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 11:46 AM
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Aviation gasoline is colored so different grades are distinguishable on sight. Draining a bit of gas from a sump at the low point is always part of the preflight, both to check the color of the fuel and to look for water in the gas.

100LL is dyed blue, 100/130 is dyed green, and 80/87 is red. Plus other colors, but unless it's a large airfield your FBO is only likely to have 100LL.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 07:39 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks

Thanks again guys! I will look into the newest suggestions.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 09:32 AM
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Avgas is good stuff but it's expensive and 100LL is the only one commonly available. The other flavors have largely gone the way of the dodo. I run 100LL in all my carbureted equipment especially near the end of the season. It can sit during the off season without varnishing/gumming up the carburetor.

Do NOT use aviation fuel in a fuel injected engine. Avgas contains lead which will quickly kill the oxygen sensors of a fuel injected engine.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 10:06 AM
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Instead of doing all of that, maybe you could just top off the tank everytime your finished mowing.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 12:57 PM
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You could add a little 2 stroke oil to the gas. Might get some extra fouling but you can see the gas.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 02:14 PM
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I take it you buy aviation fuel at an airport, Pilot? they have pumps there for the public? Also, from what you're saying, the aviation gasoline available is leaded?
 
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