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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2009
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Because the alcohol was stripped from the gasoline by the water your octane is now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam1986 View Post
What do you mean by top off with high test? Higher octane?
lower than it was. So, a simple cure is to use high octane fuel on the next fill to run the octane back up into the normal low-test range. I'm not a big fan of paying the high octane primium price, but this is a valid exception. This is one of the things refiners do with alcohol falls out.

Do drain the separator EVERY time untill the problem clears up. It takes moments and prevents a host of problems, most frequently cloged filters (many gas filters are designed to choke-off rather than allow water into the engine). I had some terrible water problems in the past, and know I find I glance at the separator bowl evertime I start the engines, and always will.

I have had both plastic and alcohol-proof frp tanks and have been happy with both.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 05-11-2009 at 10:40 AM. Reason: info
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam1986 View Post
By the way, anyone have any recommendations for replacing the tank? I am not a fan of steel or aluminum tanks, especially 32yr old ones. I'd prefer a plastic tank for cleanliness and resistance to corrosion. Any thoughts on this?

You might want to see what the current tank is made of. I've read that older fiberglass tanks are problematic with the E-10 gas.
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2009
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While this can be true, it depends on the resin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
You might want to see what the current tank is made of. I've read that older fiberglass tanks are problematic with the E-10 gas.
Most tanks built as much as 15 years ago were built with e-10 on the horizon and the resins were chosen with that in mind. Mine was, and it is fine. Older boats often used ordinary hull resins, and they are not fine.

It is simple enough to probe the resin of an older tank to see if it has softened.

I doubt you would find a new FRP tank now. Even though they can be built and could be the best choise (very strong, no corrosion, any shape), they would be hard to market until the hoop-la dies down.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2009
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I didnot use heet but used different makes (european) for water in the tank. They chemically bond water to the fuel and the color changes to milky. This mixture is used without any problem by the engine. After the fuel tank is nearly empty I added new fuel and everthing was fine.

Normally water gets into the tank as water vapour in the air. As the temparature changes from day to night, it condenses and collect at the bottom of the tank. Therefore you have to keep your tank full when you are not using the boat. It is a good idea to fill the tank when you return back from sailing instead of filling it before leaving your pantoon.

Water by itself is not good for the injectors. another point is that bacteria develops in the water which eats the diesel. If this happens, the fule becomes sticky and dense and clogs the filters.
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Old 05-11-2009
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Adam, there are some things about gasoline that no one tells you. It is a brew of about 60 chemicals including things like heptane and butane that vaporize at room temperature, and "pump gas" has a working life of 60-90 days. That's all the blend it for, assuming that it will be consumed in just a couple of weeks in the average car.

As gas gets older, it breaks down. The high end fractions (not just the butane) evaporate and go away, so it doesn't burn as readily or as hot. Other fractions actually turn into varnish as they oxidize, and the varnish literally gums up the fuel lines AND CARBURETOR PASSAGES. Even under the best of conditions, a carb should be torn down, cleaned, and rebuilt every five years or so to get the varnish out. (And check for bad floats/valves and mechanical adjustments.)

So given that you've got an old boat with a tank of gas that's been sitting around...I'd start with a total rebuild kit for the carb, and dumping all the old gas. Most gas stations and many marinas/yc's will take it into their "waste oil" recycling bin or similar.

Rebuilding a carb isn't hard--just requires some patience, a gallon of GumOut to soak it in, and making sure the small parts don't elope under the woodwork.

Folks may love or hate plastic fuel tanks, but if you get one try to get an opaque one, because crud grows better when there is light. Also make sure there is anti-chafe material under any tie-down straps or between it and the hull, so the plastic can't chafe through.

I'd also suggest adding "Sta-Bil" or a similar fuel stabilant in every tank. About $6-8 for a pint, this stuff has a long history of being the best thing you can do to prevent gasoline from breaking down. It should be added per the label directions to any fuel that will be kept over 90 days. (And logically, if you only use 1/2 tank in 90 days, then top up...some of your fuel will be 6 months old before it is burned, so add the Sta-Bil.)

There are no "injectors" in an A4, and carb'd engines can run quite a bit of alcohol and water in their fuel with no problems except stumbling. In fact some products designed to clean out carbon deposits contain large amounts of isopropanol and/or water to do just that, so as long as it runs well I wouldn't worry about what's in one tank that I was going to run through fast. But you mught as well start right, clean it up, set it up, and then KNOW that you have good fuel and a reliable engine. Or, what you'll need to do to get it that way.

Little idiosyncracie of mine: If I'm gonna feed and stable an engine, the damned thing had better work 100%, first time and every time, without any argument.
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2009
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I think you are looking in the wrong direction.

If you installed a water seperator and it is not getting full then water should not be gitting into the engine.

"She said it runs fine with a aux. tank." Does it?
Is the aux tank mounted above the level of the carb so that is is gravity feeding through the fuel pump? Will the engine fuel pump pull fuel with the aux tank down low--it should.

If it does I might try plugging the line you are using now and and running a new hose from the "outboard" side of the tank to the fuel pump and use a new intake fitting on the fuel pump.

You may need a new fuel pump. Just because there is no fuel in the oil does not mean a pump is good. If you are using a external lever on the pump to feed the carb does not mean the internal lever is shot or the cam drive parts are working. If you are using some kind of primmer bulb then the the same thing.

Running for two mins. is about the time it take to empty the float bowl of fuel and then if you reprime it it should run another 2 min.

If it has a manual fuel pump that turns out to be bad I would opt for an electric pump, be sure to get a "clicker" rather than a "hummer".

If you rule out the fuel system you might look toward the coil.
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2009
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The source of the water is generally absorbtion rather than condensation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by celenoglu View Post
I didnot use heet but used different makes (european) for water in the tank. They chemically bond water to the fuel and the color changes to milky. This mixture is used without any problem by the engine. After the fuel tank is nearly empty I added new fuel and everthing was fine.

Normally water gets into the tank as water vapour in the air. As the temparature changes from day to night, it condenses and collect at the bottom of the tank. Therefore you have to keep your tank full when you are not using the boat. It is a good idea to fill the tank when you return back from sailing instead of filling it before leaving your pantoon.

Water by itself is not good for the injectors. another point is that bacteria develops in the water which eats the diesel. If this happens, the fule becomes sticky and dense and clogs the filters.

And ethanol and biodiesel both make this worse. Where the basic fuels ignored water, these new additives actively "pull" them from the air. Then, as you said, temperture change drops them out.

Bugs do not grow in gasoline, the topic of this thread.

The comment regarding filling when you return, vs when you go out, is absolutly correct.
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2009
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All true. However, a clogged fuel filter is still on the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
I think you are looking in the wrong direction.

If you installed a water seperator and it is not getting full then water should not be gitting into the engine.

"She said it runs fine with a aux. tank." Does it?
Is the aux tank mounted above the level of the carb so that is is gravity feeding through the fuel pump? Will the engine fuel pump pull fuel with the aux tank down low--it should.

If it does I might try plugging the line you are using now and and running a new hose from the "outboard" side of the tank to the fuel pump and use a new intake fitting on the fuel pump.

You may need a new fuel pump. Just because there is no fuel in the oil does not mean a pump is good. If you are using a external lever on the pump to feed the carb does not mean the internal lever is shot or the cam drive parts are working. If you are using some kind of primmer bulb then the the same thing.

Running for two mins. is about the time it take to empty the float bowl of fuel and then if you reprime it it should run another 2 min.

If it has a manual fuel pump that turns out to be bad I would opt for an electric pump, be sure to get a "clicker" rather than a "hummer".

If you rule out the fuel system you might look toward the coil.
Water is often the cause, as it makes the membrane swell and restrict fuel flow. In a few minutes, some fuel seeps through, and as time bbanidit said, it will run for a few minutes.

Step-by-step trouble shooting is best. Never rule something out - say, a fuel pump - until it is tested.

For example, I have know anti-syphon valves to cause the same problem, particularly when paired with a weakish fuel pump or any other fuel system imperfection. Partially clogged idle passages in the carb are a possibility. Many things.
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(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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  #19  
Old 05-11-2009
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The fuel pump is definitely good. I checked this by shutting the fuel off at the tank and it was strong enough to colapse the primer bulb when I started it so I don't think it is a pump issue.

The coil is brand new. I put a fresh coil, cap, rotor, set of points, condensor, and plugs in her.

I installed the water separator after the lines had been primed with the bad fuel. There is a fuel filter that is also in line to the carb and it is not stopped up. The separator began to collect water as soon as I installed it. It was late in the day and the alt belt snapped (I was planning on replacing it anyway) so I was forced to quit but I will continue this weekend.

For the trip home, however, I am going to run on fresh, clean external tanks. I am fairly confident that the stumbling I was experiencing was a result of the risidual water in the lines. I've had water in fuel before on other primitive carb'd engines and I had the same symptoms. It'll run perfectly and then start to stumble and either stall or you can coax it through these spots with a combo of the choke and throttle to try to pull more "fuel" through.

Unfortunately I only got to run it a little bit because it kept pumping my entire bucket of coolant out within just a few minutes of running.

Before she goes in the water I am going to confirm that she's happy with the externals. If it can run for a while without issue on the external then I think I'll be good to go.

When I get her home I am going to open the top of the tank and inspect it. If it is as bad as some of the aluminum tanks I have seen, I will look into a replacement unit.

Thanks for all of the valuable input.

Adam
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2009
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Adam-
Something also to note about the A4 engines. From what I've been told (repeatedly) they were built and sold two different ways, with or without a restrictor plate under the carb. With the plate, lower hp, lower tariffs. A fairly common way to de-power engines for various reasons. Without the plate? More power! So if there's a useless-looking plate under the carb, you might want to toss it.
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