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Bad fuel? Nightmare....

Old 02-10-2015, 03:43 PM
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Default Bad fuel? Nightmare....

I have noticed some performance issues on my 150 Yamaha 2 stroke the last couple times I used it. So I drained the fuel water separator to find it was full of half gas and half ethanol sludge nightmare. So I drained it and tried again. This time I made it to the end of the no wake zone and died when I put it under load. I checked the fuel water separator again and had minimal ethanol sludge at the bottom. I also checked the motor filter and it didn't look too bad? Any ideas? Do I need to get the tank pumped and or polished or...? The tank is nearly full with 75% (45 gallons min of ethanol free)....
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:12 PM
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look for pm CC...
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:15 PM
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I've always heard that you shouldn't mix ethanol and non ethanol gas. Stick with one or the other. The ethanol cleans the varnish and deposits from Rec90.

Good luck. I have a feeling a full fuel system tear down may be in your future. Try to blow it out with Seafoam first.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:16 AM
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You can normally mix E10 and Rec90 without any problems.

BUT, when you start out with E10 that has already had phase separation, filling with Rec90 is a bad idea. Even after removing all of the ethanol/water phase (which is hard to do completely without a fuel polishing unit), you have gasoline that still contains some ethanol and is completely saturated with water. So adding straight gasoline will cause additional phase separation of the existing water.

If you don't want to go through the expense of having you fuel professionally polished, you can pump the tank out yourself and run the gas through a water separating funnel like this one:

http://www.starmarinedepot.com/racor...FdccgQodG6cAEQ

It will remove any free water that has separated and you can return the fuel to your tank.

I would replace the Racor element and clean your internal fuel filter with a solvent. Adding a fuel treatment that is supposed to help remove (emulsify) water might help. But as long as you stick with Rec90 and keep checking your Racor bowl any residual water should eventually be removed without harming your engine.

If your engine continues to run poorly, you'll need to rebuild your carbs.

In humid Florida, it's best to stick with Rec90 unless you run your boat a lot year round. The guides in my area run E10 and never have problems since the fuel never gets to sit around very long. But folks who let their boat sit for a while eventually run into problems using E10/
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:11 AM
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What is your fuel tank made of? We had a fiberglass tank on our Montauk breakdown due to ethanol. Sludge clogged fuel lines. I am guessing fuel isn't making it to the carbs/engine fast enough.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:17 PM
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Default Follow up

So I took the boat to the marina and had the tank pumped TWICE... In addition to some other electrical work being done. I also added the clear bottom water separator so I know that the fuel is spotless!

I took it out Saturday, and it ran fine at wot but coming back it felt like the 150 didn't have any spunk (usually it wants to jump out of the hole). The best I could get was 3500 rpms at wot. Now what?????? Ugh!

Is it time for a carb rebuild? Is a fuel pump going bad? Any ideas? All the filters are clean and it has good fuel.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:29 AM
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If you have not inspected / rebuilt the carbs after all of your fuel problems, that would be a good place to start. Also, have you performed a compression check lately, and made sure you are getting good spark on all cylinders? Troubleshooting sucks, good luck!
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:35 PM
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I hate to state the obvious but your problems are fuel related. I couldn't tell from your post but what year/model do you have (did I miss it)?

I would start from the source and systematically check each component. It's not that difficult and there are plenty of resources online to help. Carbs are the easiest to resolve.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:26 PM
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What's Rec90? New one on me.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dpowell View Post
What's Rec90? New one on me.


Ethanol free fuel. Called REC90 becuase it is for recreational, equipment etc. Not for cars.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:00 PM
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I had the same exact problem on my boat. After talking a mechanic and doing some research I ended up replacing all the fuel lines from the tank to the motor. Ethanol was melting - eating them up. The melted rubber form the hose was clogging my fuel filter/separator. I would be fine going out (with new filter) and after couple of hours running time I couldn't get the motor pass 3000 rpm.
Replace all fuel lines, get new filter cartridge, get some ethanol-free gas and you'll be good to go. STAY AWAY FORM ETHANOL!!!!!
I have also heard that there is a possibility of clogged or damaged fuel injectors due to water entering them. Let's hope not in your case.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:51 AM
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The bottom line is that you should put in 2 Racor filters (one 10 or 8 microns, one 4 or 2 microns), rebuild your carbs, and get your fuel polished so that you at least have a chance at not having to pull and replace your tank. You can try running off temporary "day tanks", but that's just a band-aid approach.

I also suffered from phase separation of E10 fuel (the only kind you can get in MA; thanks state legislature!). Had to get the injectors on my Suzuki 115 4-stroke rebuilt twice, even after installing a new 8micron Racor then a second 2micron Racor on running from a newer aluminum tank. Finally decided to get the fuel polished, and learned that it is VERY hard to find someone to polish gasoline, as opposed to diesel (at least up here in New England). It's almost impossible to suck everything out of the tank due to the viscosity caused by the phase separation (a vanilla pudding consistency) and the tank baffles (basically, internal vertical vanes in the tank put there for both structure and to keep the fuel from sloshing causing weight shifts). The guy who polished my fuel put a sample in a clear soda bottle, and the bottom 3 inches of it was the vanilla pudding. He said his filters couldn't get all the phase separation out and recommended not even trying to put the polished fuel back in. After seeing the pudding (and considering it was "only" 35 gallons, it was hard to disagree. Then I got whacked for disposal of 35 gallons of hazardous waste @ $10/gallon (a fair price, believe it or not). It wasn't worth replacing the tank on my much older boat, so I had a 12-gallon "day tank" (the plastic kind - Moeller and others make them) installed with brackets and tie-downs on the deck by the transom and just ran very short trips off that until I no longer had the boat.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:18 AM
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I have been dealing with this same issue over the last month. I started out by draining 25 gallons out via the pickup, it was all cloudy phase separated fuel until I finally hit clear gas after filling 5 jerry jugs. I have since filled the boat with fresh fuel and still every time I come up on plane sure enough the bowl clouds up again.

I have a 30 gallon portable tank from a whaler that I could use in the meantime but I have just been draining the bowl until I get to clear gas again and running the boat, keeping a close eye on the bowl. I carry a full jerry jug with me just in case I need to get back from my fishing spots and I've had to use it the last 2 trips out. I'm hoping I can just keep draining the racor and finally I'll get all the crap out, if not I will need to pump the entire thing out and drive 45 minutes to dispose of it properly . At least fuel disposal is free here...$10 a gallon I'm shocked anyone uses that company and fuel doesn't find its way into a storm drain....
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cwe123 View Post
I have been dealing with this same issue over the last month. I started out by draining 25 gallons out via the pickup, it was all cloudy phase separated fuel until I finally hit clear gas after filling 5 jerry jugs. I have since filled the boat with fresh fuel and still every time I come up on plane sure enough the bowl clouds up again.

I have a 30 gallon portable tank from a whaler that I could use in the meantime but I have just been draining the bowl until I get to clear gas again and running the boat, keeping a close eye on the bowl. I carry a full jerry jug with me just in case I need to get back from my fishing spots and I've had to use it the last 2 trips out. I'm hoping I can just keep draining the racor and finally I'll get all the crap out, if not I will need to pump the entire thing out and drive 45 minutes to dispose of it properly . At least fuel disposal is free here...$10 a gallon I'm shocked anyone uses that company and fuel doesn't find its way into a storm drain....
Unfortunately the best solution is pump it out and get fresh fuel. You have two things going on when water gets in and one is the phase separation. The other thing you have to remember is ethanol increases octane so if you have phase separation going on the fuel you will also have drop in octane. Many people think if they just pump out the cloudy part or white part it will be fine but If you are using an 87 octane if could drop as low as 84 with phase separation. NO BUENO . Fortunately here in Florida they allow the REC 90 and it is what I always recommend using in boats. If you have no options in your state take every measure you can to keep water from getting into your fuel tank. Always easier said then done.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:37 PM
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The murky water-alcohol sludge layer, why not pour it out and let it evaporate?
What is left behind turns into water soluble dust-crud like dirt. You could evaporate on a tarp and then dispose of the tarp if your green minded. What do you suppose they will do with it, something similar.

The gas layer is still gasoline of a lower octane maybe 84 octane, fine for lawnmowers.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:31 AM
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Use a fuel additive Like Ring Free from Yamaha. Also, note that it can appear that fuel lines are ok from Outside. The issue with non marine fuel is that the lines degrade from the inside out.
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