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post #1 of 22 Old 09-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Diesel fuel stabilizers

My new (to me) boat came with an almost full tank (needle on "F" but not pegged) of diesel fuel that was almost 2 years old. The surveyor said it looked clean, and both of the fuel filters were freshly replaced. I still see no signs of water in the Racor bowl.

I've been fortunate that everything has been running well. I didn't want to mix new fuel with old, so I ran the tank down to about 3/8 full. At this point the fuel gauge would bounce around a lot in rough seas, occasionally bouncing all the way down to "E". Since I don't know the tank gauge all that well yet, I decided to go ahead and top off the tank since we're getting to a time of year when condensation can be a problem. The tank took 15 gallons. Since the tank is 25 gallon capacity, it means that there were about 10 gallons of the old diesel left. I did not add any stabilizer (yet), although there was likely some in there from the prior owner.

The previous owner left behind two different stabilizers: a bottle of Biobor JF and a bottle of Starbrite EZ Stor EZ Start.

What do all of you know about these stabilizers? Which should I add? Should I add both? Should I add nothing? Should I buy something else to add? Do these stabilizers themselves go bad over time?

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post #2 of 22 Old 09-14-2016
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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

^^

They are not the same thing. Biobor JF is a biocide and controls bacteria and fungus. Nothing else. The Starbrite product contains a detergent and corrosion inhibitors. You would use them both, together.

Shelf life is VERY long, perhaps a decade. I have tested old samples.

This is a blog post on biocides. Practical Sailor has done a lot more.
Sail Delmarva: Diesel and Biocides
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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

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Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
^^

They are not the same thing. Biobor JF is a biocide and controls bacteria and fungus. Nothing else. The Starbrite product contains a detergent and corrosion inhibitors. You would use them both, together.

Shelf life is VERY long, perhaps a decade. I have tested old samples.

This is a blog post on biocides. Practical Sailor has done a lot more.
Sail Delmarva: Diesel and Biocides
Thanks, I will use both. And I might add some Startron to the cocktail, per your blog's recommendation.

The dosage levels for 15 gal of fuel are pretty small, and I am concerned that such a small add may just coat the fill line and not fully get into the tank. I think I should have a chase liquid, but not sure what to use. Should I just bleed some fuel from my Racor bowl? Would a little mineral spirits work OK? Need suggestions.

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't even learned how to drain water (or fuel) from my Racor bowl. Every time I've looked at it it looked fine. I need to get into it and do some unnecessary maintenance so I know how to do it when it is needed.

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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

Best to add the stuff to the tank before you put the fuel in! If you can get a quart or so of diesel fuel, add the stabilizer and biocide to it and pour it in the fuel fill.
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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

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Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Best to add the stuff to the tank before you put the fuel in! If you can get a quart or so of diesel fuel, add the stabilizer and biocide to it and pour it in the fuel fill.
Since this was my first time buying fuel, and I did not know how accurate my gauge was, I had no idea how much fuel it would take. Given the serious things that can happen if you overdose (insolubles), I chose not to risk it, even though I knew I would have to figure out how to get the additives in later. It was worth it to me to wait and see how much fuel I needed to stabilize (since the fuel already in the tank was stabilized).

Now that I have measured the consumption rate and am building a calibration table for my gauge, I can predict how much fuel it will need from the hour meter.

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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

On the recommendation of several people, I have started to use "Biobor JF". It is both an algaecide and has stabilizers and lubricants. Do any of you use this product? Any thoughts?
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-15-2016
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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

I had these folks clean my tank and polish the remaining fuel that was in it. After 12 years, they removed a small amount of crud and maybe 2 inches of water in a mason jar, from maybe 30-40 gallons of fuel. This was actually considered pretty clean to begin with, after all that time. I chose this company for two reasons. First, they can clean the tank from a sender or fuel pickup port and don't require a full access port. Second, I received several positive reviews from more than one local yard service manager. They also make an additive called Desl-shok. I'm usually skeptical of snake oil additives (other than a biocide), but had several pros tell me they've seen unexpectedly good results, particularly with eliminating water. One even suggested that I double dose my tank before bothering having it cleaned. I'm not sure that was good advice and I did not do that, but it was representative of his confidence in the product. I believe that water is our biggest issue, which leads to bacterial growth, which die and create sludge. I'm not sure this product contains a biocide itself, but rather eliminates the water problem in the first place. Still, I buy Valvtec diesel fuel, which already has a biocide added.

USA Fuel Service ? Tank Cleaning ? Gas Shok and Desl Shok

Looks like they have a branch in MD, which may be close enough.


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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

I just noticed this comment from ActiveCaptain this morning (see attachment). I guess I should call the marina where I bought the fuel and ask what additives are already included. I do not want to over-dose the fuel with more of the same stuff.

Any suggestions of what other questions I should ask them?
Attached Thumbnails
Diesel additives.JPG  

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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

How would the marina know, if their fuel is in the tank? How would you know what has or has not been added by the PO?

You might run the risk of over thinking this one.

If it were me, I would inspect the tank and filters. If no water or growth, I would just dose the fuel and go run the motor. If it was keeping me up at night, I might polish it or replace it.


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Re: Diesel fuel stabilizers

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
How would the marina know, if their fuel is in the tank?
I would think that if they're selling diesel with an additive, they would know what the additive is, or at least know the brand of fuel that they're reselling. Maybe they're selling Valvtec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
...How would you know what has or has not been added by the PO?
Well, I could ask the PO. I've been compiling a short list of questions for him anyway, but holding off because I don't want to bombard him with multiple emails. But until I ask, my best bet is that he added the stuff in the bottles that he left behind, which Drew said is pretty good.

These are pretty simple questions which are worth asking before I dump any additives in there.

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