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Lets talk Ethanol.........

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Old 05-06-2007, 11:14 PM
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Default Lets talk Ethanol.........



January 1st I filled up bone dry tanks with 50 Gallons of fuel at the local marina. Not a busy marina. " Gas could have been old"

2 weeks ago I put 100 Gallon of Shell Gasoline with 10% Ethanol in it. No problems the boat ran great the last 2 weekends.

May 4th I purchased 200 Gallons of 92 Octane unleaded in Lousiana at a truck stop. So did 6 other boats. " none had any problems except for me.


Went through nine fuel separators trying to clean the tanks. Finally we got strained in the middle of Pontrain for 4 hours this weekend.

The fuel filters had flakes floating in them....and other garbage..

I talked to numerous people about this weekend. My questions are this..

1) What do you think caused this?

2) How can I prevent it from happening again?

3) What steps would you take to correct my current situation?

4) do I need to drain 250 to 300 gallons of gas?

5) What all do I need to check? I have a good idea, I just don't want to hurt my new mills


Thanks, Tom

Last edited by tomtbone1993; 05-06-2007 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:40 AM
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Did the flakes look like little pieces of shiny paint ? If so I had the same problem. Is it from the tank ?

Let me know.

CM
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:35 AM
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Did the flakes look like little pieces of shiny paint ? If so I had the same problem. Is it from the tank ?

Let me know.

CM
yep gold shinny flakes
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:42 AM
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I had a problem with water in the tanks. I put the boat on the trailer and used blocks under the jack to get bow as high as I could, this gets the water to the pickups. I hooked up an electric fuel pump and pumped until I got clean fuel with no water, changed the filters added some Seafoam and have had no problem in two years.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:04 AM
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Mine where silver on one side gold on the other. Think its the aluminum from the tank ?

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Old 05-07-2007, 11:07 AM
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Mine where silver on one side gold on the other. Think its the aluminum from the tank ?

Curtis
Hard to say at this point. I had a guy riding with me who processes chemicals for a living. He felt the Ethanol cleaned out my tank. Then when I added the normal unleaded it turned it into water.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:22 AM
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From what I've heard your OK running ethanol just keep your tanks empty (instead of full) when stored and don't switch back and forth.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:31 AM
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From what I've heard your OK running ethanol just keep your tanks empty (instead of full) when stored and don't switch back and forth.
we rolled 19 boats deep to the poker run. everyone I had talked to new someone this has happened to. It is very hard to not find gas with out ethanol in Houston. Its also very hard to keep the tanks low on triple big blocks

This will become a big issue in the marine industry. They should have Enthanol every were or not at all. I prefer not at all
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:11 PM
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my 2cents worth.i always keep a addative in the tank to try a suck up the water that gets in the tank.i have heard that if you use ethanol in your boat that it a matter of time before you get into the water.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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Ethanol/ethyl alcohol, is hydroscopic which means it absorbs water, not good in a moisture rich environment. The water in a tank will combine with the ethyl alcohol to produce a non combustable layer of liquid in tanks that will stop an engine cold. Make sure your tank is clean before you add ethanol fuels.

Ethanol will also act a a cleaning agent in tanks, It will act as a clean agent and will loosen years of varnish build up in an engine or fuel tank. If you have been running on ethanol fuel lately chances are you are fine, but if your boat has been stored a while you could find some problems on your first fill up.
Ethanol also acts as a solvent, that will release fine metallic particles which could even pass through most fuel filters, those dissolved metallic particles will clog fuel injector nozzles and carbs.

Ethanol will also act as a solvent and could damage the sealants used in older fiberglass fuel tanks (I believe pre 1984).

The shelf life of ethanol fuels is very short compared to the old mtbe mix, so make sure you drain the tanks when stored for more than a few months.

All in all, we cant really change the ethanol movement, and Im sure the ethanol fuel technology is advancing daily which should end most of these issues. Once you have run a few tanks of the new ethanol fuel, you probably have a clean tank, and fuel system, and as long as you follow proper storage procedures, you will be fine.

If your boat has been sitting for awhile dont take any chances drain all fuel before you fill up. Get a few extra filters, and run cautiously, maybe even avoid full throttle untill the first tank had been used up. This should ensure your tanks is clean and ready for the new fuel.
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