Advice: Purging Mexican Fuel - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-21-2009
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Advice: Purging Mexican Fuel

I recently completed our 2400 mile trip from San Francisco to La Paz and back. It was an unforgettable journey and my Beneteau 473 performed like a dream. My satisfaction level for this boat has sky rocketed. The only issue I ran into was transmission related, which I blame on the former owner free wheeling the prop while under sail. This was clearly the cause upon inspection of the old transmission components.

Anyway, so now the point of my post. We picked up fuel in Turtle Bay (down and back) and La Paz. The general consensus is that fuel quality is much improved from the past. However, upon inspection of a couple of my 5 gallon fuel jugs, I noticed quite a lot of algea globules floating around. We needed only one fuel filter replacement on the long motor back, and I'm getting set to replace the ones in place now. The motor is purring along and I'm not getting white smoke in the exhaust. So I'm pretty confident that a new filter will keep any particulates out of the engine. However, I'm deeply concerned that algae will now thrive in my tank.

What would you do?

btw, I use the Volvo Penta filters which do not have the glass bottom viewing portal.
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Old 06-21-2009
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I would buy some Biobor fuel treatment and follow their instructions to kill what algea you have and prevent further growth. I always use a Baja filter on Mexican fuel, and Biobor on all fuel. If you want more peace of mind, use a fuel polishing service like

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Old 06-22-2009
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Maybe there is a reason for the name of these filters??

Fuel Filter Article
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Old 06-27-2009
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Call me paranoid, I've never been to Mexico but still use a Baha filter and treat each fillup with a Biotoxin and Cetaine booster stablizier. The main filter is the Racor turbine style, 2 micron filter and see through sediment bowl. The Baha filter's neck extends about 1/4" into the bottom which would act to help trap a little water. I have 2 screens with the finest one on the bottom. From all my reading, the biobugs live at the interface of water and diesel, so it would be logical to pump out any water, residue in the bottom of the tank. I can access mine through the fuel sending gage hole. Fuel polishing is also an option. I keep a couple extra filters on hand at all times.
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Old 06-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
I would buy some Biobor fuel treatment and follow their instructions to kill what algea you have and prevent further growth. I always use a Baja filter on Mexican fuel, and Biobor on all fuel. If you want more peace of mind, use a fuel polishing service like

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I WOULD NOT add Biobor to a tank of obviously contaminated fuel. It will kill all of the beasties (and believe me there's more than meets the eye) and they will all fall out of suspension and clog up your filters like crazy. In a real world example I added biobor to a 5gal day tank that I assumed was contaminated, though had been problem free for my diesel stove. The day after adding the treatment I had so many dead bugs that it perpetually clogged my 1/4" fuel line.

I would get rid of the fuel first, or if you've got a really big tank and nowhere to get rid of it, get it polished first, then add the treatment. Best solution of all is to get rid of the fuel, polish the tank by hand, then refill.

Best of luck!

MedSailor
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