whaler1889

Bad Fuel??

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Posted (edited)

I recently added 60 gallons of regular ethanol fuel to my 150 gal tank which made it close to full.  I trailer my boat, buy all my gas at two gas stations and never had a problem in 7 years.  As I was filling up, the owners son posted signs indicating that they only have premium fuel left.  I questioned him and he assured me that they had over 500 gallons of regular left.  I did one fishing trip after filling up with no problems where I burned about 60 gallons, and today I ran into fuel problems where I burned an additional 15 gallons.  Outboard began to sputter and eventually stalled.  I drained the fuel filter and outboard ran fine thereafter to max rpm.  When I returned home, I drained the filter into a jar and the fuel was cloudy with no water evident.  I let it settle and slowly I began to see a very fine sediment. There also was some sediment in the FW seperator.    I should add that I visually check the clear bowl on the F/W seperator on  a regular basis and it always was clear   Did I end up with sediment from the gas station?   What recourse would I have?   My boat is a 2002 with an aluminum tank.  Im going to check with my mechanic tomorrow.

Edited by whaler1889

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The water separator filter is the first thing as fuel leaves the tank?

I don't understand how sediment could get past that one.

 

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Really no recourse. How often do you top the tank?  Do you usually use ethanol or was this spur of the moment?

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7 mins ago, Kml said:

The water separator filter is the first thing as fuel leaves the tank?

I don't understand how sediment could get past that one.

 

yes. 

 

I suspect that the flow of fuel beyond the water separator was restricted.  Im screwed if the sediment got past the water separator.

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9 mins ago, Bergallmaster said:

Really no recourse. How often do you top the tank?  Do you usually use ethanol or was this spur of the moment?

I use ethanol exclusively as I trailer my boat.  This year with the price of fuel Ive been adding fuel as necessary for short trips but when I fish for tuna I always head out with close to a full tank. I also treat every gallon of gas with Stabil all season long.   

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I ask because ethanol is a solvent. It will knock loose any sediment if the tank is only occasionally filled especially with non ethanol fuel. 

Stabil does nothing for ethanol but does stop the gas from degrading. I would change the racor if it hasnt been changed in a while. Also i would throw a few gallons of super in. The octane rating in the tank may be a bit low.

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Take your fuel line off the engine and pump a quart or so into a jar with the bulb.  That will tell the tale.

 

You should HOPE its sediment and not phase separated ethanol.

 

What raycor filter are you running?  I run a 10 micron, and I can only scratch my head as to how crap makes it down stream through a raycor, then under the cowl the yam water seperating filter, the vst, and finally the canister filter....yet my HP pump basket filters show dirt.  Go figure.

 

By the way, if you're running ethanol, you wont see any water in the bowls.  Ethanol absorbs water....until it cant anymore then phase separates.

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12 mins ago, makorider said:

 

 

By the way, if you're running ethanol, you wont see any water in the bowls.  Ethanol absorbs water....until it cant anymore then phase separates.

What mako said is why i recommend adding a few gallons of 93. The reason ethanol destroys engines is not cause of the water it absorbs but because the ethanol/water/gas mix has a lower octane than the 87 that allows for pre ignition. 

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Just now, Bergallmaster said:

What mako said is why i recommend adding a few gallons of 93. The reason ethanol destroys engines is not cause of the water it absorbs but because the ethanol/water/gas mix has a lower octane than the 87 that allows for pre ignition. 

I think before he does that, he needs to know what he's dealing with.

 

If phase separated....adding fuel won't do chit except add to the amount he has to pump out and dispose of....

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Neighbor's 24 albie CC phase separated.  I helped him with the mess.

 

It was the nastiest looking fuel you could imagine, from the top of the tank to the bottom.

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I use a 10 micron Racor as the primary filter, feeding into another 10 micron Yamaha filter, then into a series of filters down to 1 micron all on a 200 hpdi. 
I checked the fuel in the sample jar this morning and it is clearer than yesterday with only slightly more sediment at the bottom of jar. 
The fuel that came out of the filter was nasty looking. 
If it is phase separation, what needs to be done?

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Phase separation means the ethanol has separated the water out of the fuel and remains as water in the bottom of the  tank. You must remove the water out .  I hate to say it ,but the tank needs to be drained . Start all over again.

I don't know where you are ,but I would only use straight gas if I you can get it.

I am in both CT and FL. When I am in CT I can't get straight gas so I use premium fuel ,in FL only straight gas.

 

I know it costs more,but way better than having an engine crap out at the worst time.

 

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yep....if it separated, you are draining your tank.  Although the water emulsion does seem to drop to the bottom, something else happens, don't ask me what, the fuel above it will be nasty as well.

 

200 HPDIs, as I've come to find out, while great engines, are pretty finicky on fuel.

 

When you get this in your rearview mirror, it would probably be good PM to replace the basket filters in the HP pump (mystery filters, yam doesn't mention them anywhere as they don't want you cracking the pump open, but its easy enough...think there are some youtube vids to guide you if needed) and also pull your injectors and have them serviced.  Clog an injector and go lean....boom!

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Discussed problem with my boat yard today. They were not overly concerned after seeing the sample I drained from the racor and what I pumped from the hose at the second 10 micron filter. They suggested I take fuel samples from the racor after each trip. Anyway, I made a run today in 3 ft 3 sec seas and outboard ran flawlessly.  I burned about 40 gals of fuel. Will drain sample from racor tomorrow and check. 

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I think the 'sediment' isn't getting past the filters. I think it precipitates again in the tank after all the filtering and additives. I am not an expert by any means but can you find a way to make it so the fuel going in in the first place is is fairly clean?

 

Again, I have no boat but I am interested in these cases. As scummy as the gas companies are maybe their lab studies aren't showing this problem due to the fact that their testing doesn't allow for the remnants in the tank to get more concentrated.

 

I would like to know if my thoughts have any validity.

 

thanks

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