Like Tree0Likes

Ethanol Bad Gas?????

Reply
Old 09-11-2007, 02:51 PM
  #1
Registered
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Cambridge, MD
My Boats: 1982 Superboat 24'
Posts: 9
Default Ethanol Bad Gas?????

I have a 24 superboatw/ 225 1987 Yamaha - I was told that I got bad gas. I was driving across chesapeake bay & the engine died. She would not start so I had to get towed in. I talked w/ a tech & everthing is good electrically & mechanically so he feels it's bad gas. But I have never heard of an engine thet just shuts down, I have heard of bad RPM's or not getting on plain. Any thoughts?
Kismet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 02:59 PM
  #2
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Knot 4 Me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Central IL
My Boats: Old/Heavy/Slow
Posts: 6,660
Default

I doubt it is the gas, but easy enough to find out by hooking up a portable tank with fresh fuel.
Knot 4 Me is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 03:03 PM
  #3
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
omerta one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: LOTO
My Boats: 2009 Lip-Ship Gladiator; 1995 Cig 20
Posts: 2,865
Default

From Powerboat Magazine:

Ethanol Attraction
Paying attention to the new additive.
By Dick Debartolo

Are you having any "fun" yet with the new fuel dubbed E-10? It's called E-10 because of its 10-percent ethanol content. Actually the fuel blend is not new, but now its rollout to just about every place in the country is complete. I remember reading a little bit here and there about the new gasoline that contained ethanol, however, I didn't pay much attention to it. Well I'm paying attention now!

Ethanol is a corn-based additive that replaced MTBE, which some scientists believe is a carcinogen and has been associated with ground-water issues. According to a Yamaha bulletin I read, using ethanol in place of MTBE solves the ground-water issue. It seems ethanol has a very short life in the environment before it is broken down chemically by nature. But it creates new issues.

I didn't think any of this concerned me because my boats ran fine all summer long. But now that my 24 Pro-Line is up on land for the winter, I thought I'd go for a little spin in my 22 Farallon workboat. That little spin turned out to be very little indeed! After I idled out into the Hudson River, I inched the throttle forward and the workboat started to go on plane. Then it hesitated, stalled and refused to start again.

Fortunately I had Bob Kiloh, the Wizard of Wiring with me. He can get into tighter spaces easier than I can, and he quickly slid under one of the hatches to check the fuel filter. Inside the filter was lots of liquid, none of which seemed to be gas or at least a combustible liquid. It took us a long time using both a hand and an electric fuel pump to get all the nonburnable stuff into a container. Luckily, as we were working to get the Yamaha outboard engine running again, the tide was pushing us back toward the marina. We got close enough for Bob to jump off the boat and secure a line to the dock.

We finally did get the boat up and running, and we were able to make a little trip and return to my slip with no further problems. Once back at the dock, I started to reconstruct what I had put in my fuel tank. My last two fill-ups were at Englewood Marina in New Jersey. I thought I'd give the owner, Pete Monte, a call and ask if he had had any problems with his gas supply.

As soon as I described what happened Pete asked: "Did you drain stuff out of your fuel filter that looks a bit like weak orange juice?" Hmm, yes we did. He explained that the new E-10 fuel attracts greater amounts of water. And when the fuel in the tank sits for a long period of time it goes into "phase separation," so you end up with two separate solutions in the gas tank.

Once this happens, the engine won't run because the pickup sucks up the noncombustible liquid, which settles to the bottom of the tank. This was starting to make sense. I ran my Pro-Line all summer long problem-free, while my workboat sat idle. Actually I thought it was sitting idle, but it seems like it was really quite busy going into "phase separation."

Pete told me to get ahold of a product called Star*Tron from Star brite. I hadn't talked to Jeff Tieger at Star brite for quite some time, so I dropped him an e-mail explaining the gas-tank situation. He sent me a bunch of information on the problem and their new product.

The information is long and involved, and this column is short and unscientific, so here's the quickie version: Star*Tron is a fuel additive based on enzyme technology designed to prevent water-related fuel problems brought about by E-10. The enzyme package in the product disperses water derived from normal condensation into microscopic clusters, and allows the water to pass through the fuel system and engine harmlessly, preventing the build-up on the tank bottom that can contribute to poor performance, fuel gelling and corrosion.

Since this is winter and many boats are sitting idle, who knows what's going on inside your gas tank. You may have added stabilizers, but stabilizers do not prevent phase separation.

Speaking of gas tanks, I remembered a letter that appeared over a year ago in Powerboat (Teague on Tech, December 2005, Page 18). A boater worried that ethanol might be eating through his fiberglass gas tank. Turns out it can do that and eat some older hoses too. Bob Teague recommended replacing the fiberglass tanks. I quickly checked the specs on my boat and was happy to find they're marine-grade aluminum.

Now that I still go out on the Hudson in the dead of winter, I don't want to break down since getting help is pretty slim. Yamaha is recommending its new 10-Micron filter designed for use on boats with its outboards, so I installed one of them. Between Star*Tron, the Yamaha filter and the fact that we hopefully drained most of the gunk out of my fuel tank, I'm hoping for a trouble-free winter.

But in two months or so when it's time to put your boat back in the water, I wouldn't roam too far from help until you can determine if your fuel is exactly the way you left it. And while you're at the computer one night with a bit of free time just type "ethanol" and "marine fuel" in Google. I just did that and 772,000 results came up! Yep, it's a big problem. But many of those results are from boat and engine manufacturers with good advice. It's easier to do the research at your desk than while drifting in your boat with an engine that won't start. Trust me on this one.
omerta one is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2007, 03:41 PM
  #4
Registered
 
Chris288's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY
My Boats: 2005 288 SUNSATION
Posts: 4,124
Default

scary part is some people still reccomend storing your boat for the winter with a full tank of that CRAP !!
Chris288 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 08:14 AM
  #5
Registered
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Cambridge, MD
My Boats: 1982 Superboat 24'
Posts: 9
Default

I talked to the Service Manager @ Clarks Landing & he also thinks this could be the problem but... more water in the gas than E-10. I got some good info from him & I will try this out today. I will let you know what happens.
Kismet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 08:31 AM
  #6
Registered
 
BY U BOY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: HOUSTON ,TX
My Boats: 91 Scarab 21' Excel/1999 Proline 200 sport
Posts: 8,778
Default

i had the same thing happen to me last summer on a merc 150. The fuel sucks. I added 2 more filters and always have sea foam in the tank. Heet in the yellow bottle was recommended also, I have not tried it but a fellow OSO got some bad gas at Tickfaw and HEET cleared it right up.
BY U BOY is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 10:24 AM
  #7
Platinum Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: so. WI
My Boats: Formula
Posts: 1,562
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BY U BOY View Post
i had the same thing happen to me last summer on a merc 150. The fuel sucks. I added 2 more filters and always have sea foam in the tank. Heet in the yellow bottle was recommended also, I have not tried it but a fellow OSO got some bad gas at Tickfaw and HEET cleared it right up.
SeaFoam is great stuff! Today's fuel is not. Ethanol has not proven to be a decent replacement for MTBE, but the pressure to use it was incredible (farm lobbyists).
Is HEET still making the two different products? I remember there being one in a yellow bottle and one in red one. The red one is the ISO-HEET, which is their product that advertises that it actually absorbs water (has an isopropyl base). Just curious- we use to use the red bottle stuff when I worked for GMAC, and it would cure just about any water-in-fuel problems.
jafo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 01:40 PM
  #8
Registered
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: WA
My Boats: not shopping
Posts: 2,430
Default

I've had the fuel filter that looks a bit like weak orange juice and almost a grease clump like build up as well. In three months I've changed filter's twice. This fuel is chit!
Zudnic is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 04:01 PM
  #9
Registered
Platinum Member
Trade Score: (3)
 
tomtbone1993's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: LAKE CONROE, TX
My Boats: 42 FOUNTAIN / MALIBU
Posts: 15,486
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmark View Post
Can you explain more?

I was told the more fuel in the tank the less air to get in which is where the moisture comes from.

I was thinking as little fuel as possible, then add fresh higher octane fuel and additives the first tank next season to burn it all out.
Very simple, Ethanol goes too chit after 60 days
tomtbone1993 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2007, 04:37 PM
  #10
Registered
 
GEORGE YURICK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
My Boats: 27 Progression O/B twin 225 Mercs
Posts: 608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmark View Post
Can you explain more?

I was told the more fuel in the tank the less air to get in which is where the moisture comes from.

I was thinking as little fuel as possible, then add fresh higher octane fuel and additives the first tank next season to burn it all out.
mark,

you want the tank as empty as possible for the winter....the small amount of moisture in the tank is nothing compared to the mess you could encounter with a tank full of wasted fuel....

the ethanol fuel loses octane within 30-60 days even with stabilizers and then there is the chance of Phase separation which is when the ethanol and moissture mix together and settle to the bottom...well then your separators do not pull it out and you are running you brand new pair of $40,000.00 motors on ethanol/water mix....as you can imagine not really the best for your motor....

so doctors orders...get the tank as empty as possible prior to storage and then once the boat is done and out siphon out the rest so the tank is dry if possible for the winter...then come spring a nice fresh batch of high test along with new fuel water separators and your golden....
GEORGE YURICK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
camptappakeg69
General Q & A
0
06-29-2008 09:53 PM
Here's Johnny
General Boating Discussion
4
07-05-2007 11:44 PM
jeffswav
General Q & A
25
05-30-2006 12:00 PM
Wobble
General Q & A
34
05-04-2005 04:08 PM
sightunseen
General Q & A
2
06-14-2004 03:35 PM



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:26 AM.


Copyright 2011 OffShoreOnly. All rights reserved.