First off, let's be clear about how many folks are watching this: the Facebook post with this video has been shared almost 290,000 times. That's a lot of people watching this, and it's simple, basic, unrefined bullshit. I know it's no fun to pay for gas (or, well, anything), but you can't run on "gas fumes."
Well, technically, you car always runs on gas fumes — or, more accurately, gasoline vapor, but we'll cover that later. Let's look at what's going on in this video first. Maybe you've been sent an email by your mom (or in our case, Deb & Randy) that reads something like this:
Maybe people make fun of Rednecks and their ideas but here is one Genius who will make you stop and think for a minute. He watched his neighbor do this with a lawn mower and used the same technique on his V-6 Dodge Dakota pick-up truck. Why can't GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc do it too?
Which links to this video:
Our humble narrator and lead engineer on project More Free Energy Bullshit is Joshua Lineberry. Lineberry describes his experiment like this:
This is an experiment I did to see if cars will just run on gas fumes. It was so simple and I was so excited and very pissed that it worked at the same time. We are getting majorly screwed at the pump. I drove like this for a few miles and came home with no problems.
Lineberry freely admits that his setup is a little "hillbilly" but I'm not going to hold that against him. Lots of great inventions started by being made out of crap. You should see what John Logie Baird's first television systems looked like. The problem's not what he's made his rig out of, it's that his rig is nothing more than a distraction to divert your attention from the fact he hasn't really altered his truck in any way.
The rig consists of a plastic 2-gallon gas can, which has been perforated with hoses in six locations: three short hoses at the rear of the can open to the atmosphere, and three more leading from the front of the can directly into the air intake of the truck's air cleaner housing, which then feeds to the Dakota's throttle body fuel injection air intake.
Lineberry has made a nice little metal plate to seal the three hoses from the gas can into his air cleaner housing, and he's removed the air cleaner. He's also claimed to have removed the relay switch from his Dodge truck's electric fuel pump, which would, theoretically, starve the engine of fuel.
It's probably worth mentioning here that working with gasoline vapor in any way is dangerous, as that stuff is incredibly flammable. So, aside from the fact it's bullshit, don't try if you want the best hope of eyebrow retention. This is serious enough that there's even, in the YouTube comments, a link for a GoFundMe for a father and son who allegedly burned themselves trying this with a lawn mower.
He claims the engine will run just from the gasoline fumes found in the plastic gas can, and to prove this he starts up his truck, which starts and runs without a hitch. To prove that the truck is, in fact, running on the fumes from the tank, he uses his hands to block the hoses exposed to the air from the gas can, and the truck dutifully stops.
All this is, at the risk of sounding repetitive, bullshit.
What's really happening here is a laughably simple bit of trickery. The gas can and hose assembly into the engine's air intake is nothing more than a huge, ridiculous extension of the air cleaner housing's intake tube. You'd think if you wanted to run a car on gasoline fumes, you wouldn't want to make holes in your gas can exposed to the air, where all your fumes could escape. But if that gas can was really just a useless chamber connected to your car's air intake, you better believe you want it exposed to the open air. Hence the three hoses.
And, when he places his hand over the hoses, the engine stops because it's being choked of air, not starved of fuel.
The crux of the trick is the simplest — that relay he shows as being from the fuel pump? It's not. We have no idea what that relay is from, and no attempt to show the properly labeled relay socket or anything like that to confirm the fuel pump is off happens. Because the fuel pump isn't off.
This truck is running perfectly normally, pulling liquid gasoline from its fuel tank and letting the fuel injectors atomize it into a vapor into the cylinders just like God/Lee Iacocca intended.
That's just the thing — all cars run on "fumes" already. The gasoline doesn't squirt into your cylinders like a stream of urinated gasoline, either the carburetor mixes it with air to form a vapor or the fuel injectors atomize it into a vapor. Cars already run on "fumes," and they need a full tank of liquid gas to make enough of those fumes.
Reading the Facebook and YouTube comments — never a smart thing to do — shows that many people really want to believe this works. Of course they do. It would mean essentially free gasoline. But there's zero science to support this, which borders on perpetual motion quackery, and videos like this are just trolling a population desperate to quit paying for gas.
If this guy really wants to convince us, he'd need to absolutely prove that no actual fuel is getting to the cylinders. Maybe disconnect the fuel supply line, so we can see it, and plug the hole?
A similar experiment would be easy enough to try. If Mr.Lineberry wants to show me the inside details of his hoses-in-gas can rig so I can duplicate exactly what he's doing, I'll connect, via hoses, a gas can to the air intakes of the carbs on my Beetle, disconnect my fuel line, and try to duplicate his experiment. I want to see how he has the hoses inside the gas can first so there's zero discrepancy in our two rigs.
I'm not going to be surprised at the outcome, since I already know what happens to my car when it gets no fuel. It doesn't run.
Because, of course, this is all bullshit.