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Fuel for Thought


Tedro

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Recently had a discussion about winterizing the fuel tank. Most recommend filling tank and adding sta-bil to prevent fuel breakdown and condensation in the tank. I was informed that condensation used to be a bigger problem before composite fuel tanks were standard.

I was curious if the lesser of two evils is to fill the tank partially (say a 1/3) and add sta-bil. This way you would not have 37 gallons of stale fuel at the start of the new season and still enough fuel to prevent condensation (if it does happen).

Any thoughts?

Tedro

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Used to be a problem with old metal tanks, and rust forming in the space where the fuel wasn't. Now a-days... if you fill you tank at the end of the season, the only thing you get is a full tank of stale fuel... Or a full tank of stabalized fuel, which isn't quite as good as fresh gas.

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We have been advised by numerous folks in our area to leave the tank 1/2 full with added Stabil. Then before the spring start-up, top off the tank with premium gas. Beats me, but it works and I haven't had any issues.

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We have been advised by numerous folks in our area to leave the tank 1/2 full with added Stabil. Then before the spring start-up, top off the tank with premium gas. Beats me, but it works and I haven't had any issues.

This is what we do also, but we also can have days in the winter hit 80 degrees and we go out. Biggrin.gif Love texas weather!! Rockon.gif

Edited by txwakejunkie
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I’ve done all the methods empty the tank, fill and add stabil, leave ½ empty and add stabil, and also just left it alone w/ doing anything on my old boat and that included 3-4 month layups. My highly scientific method had led me to believe I’m wasting my time purchasing products or doing anything about it. Now we however, only are off the water Dec/Jan at most and typically get out one day of those months so I just fill it up and go. For those warm winter days, last weekend it was 80 degrees..whooo hooo!

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I Sta-bil my fuel and run 'er almost all the way out prior to storage. The boat is stored inside a garage in the cold north east climate. My boats have ALWAYS fired up immediately in the spring. I usually add five gallons or so to run around on, but basically try to run through all the old gas before adding any real quantity of the new stuff. I've NEVER had a problem with water in the fuel or poor performance.

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This is one of those things that "if it works for you....keep doing it". I too run the tank nearly empty prior to storeage, add sta-bil to whats left in the tank an call it good. In the spring fill the tank with fresh gas and then hit the water. Never had any problems doing this

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I add Stabil to what small amount of gas I have left in the tank after the last day on the water. I run the boat on a fake-a-lake in my driveway for a little while to let the Stabil get up into the injectors and fuel rail. Then I completely drain the tank.

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I'll chime in because my method hasn't been mentioned yet. :) I siphon what is left in the tank at the end of the year leaving it virtually empty and use that gas in the truck. Then I add 10 gals of stabilized fresh fuel to the boat and run it prior to winterizing.

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As I head back to the boat launch on my last trip out of the season, I add double Sta-bil to whatever gas is left in the tank. Then for springtime start up I add about 20 gallons of fresh premium fuel. Tank is usually near empty when my season is over. So far, so good.

My brother tried to run his outboard boat on unstabilized 2 year old gas last year and ended up needing a complete carb cleaning. 4 hours of labor and then the shop burned up his 18 gallons of fresh fuel in less than a hour, test driving (beating on) his (hot)boat. So gas don't last forever.

Edited by electricjohn
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Oh my aching engineering mind-set. Here's my vote for leaving it full........When that air in the tank expands on a sort of warm day it pushes air out. When it cools back down that night and contracts, it draws fresh air (containing water vapor) back into the tank where the cooler conditions condense some of that water vapor. That condensed water (although a tiny amount) stays in the gasoline and drops to the bottom of the fuel tank. That causes problems in metalic tanks (older boats) but it also puts that water right where the fuel pick up is for the fuel pump system. That water goes to the injectors or carb first...not a good thing.

The more air in that tank that is available to expand....the higher the quantity of water vapor that is drawn back in. So leave that tank full when storing, especially if you live in the southern part of the country where we tend to have a higher relative humidity and quite a few mild days in the summer.

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Beau, not sure it matters that much where I am--humidity is extremely low when it is below freezing. Also, stored covered inside a garage, I'm not sure the temperature changes are dramatic enough to create the conditions you cite.

Based on your explanation and my practice, I would expect my boat either wouldn't start in the Spring or perhaps would start bun run very poorly. I've experienced neither. YMMV

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I NEVER winterise with a full tank, you never know what can happen at a boat show... twice I have sold a boat with a full tank of gas... I sta-bil my gas right after the labor day weekend and keep my tank as low as possible since I winterise. Plus, if I would of filled my tank this year, I would have paid 1,50$ à liter plus stabil costs, now it is just ,80$ a liter... if I'm lucky it will stay closer to that price until next spring.

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I add Stabil to what small amount of gas I have left in the tank after the last day on the water. I run the boat on a fake-a-lake in my driveway for a little while to let the Stabil get up into the injectors and fuel rail. Then I completely drain the tank.

You should run Sta-bil in that thing year round.

Biggrin.gif

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I’ve done all the methods empty the tank, fill and add stabil, leave ½ empty and add stabil, and also just left it alone w/ doing anything on my old boat and that included 3-4 month layups. My highly scientific method had led me to believe I’m wasting my time purchasing products or doing anything about it. Now we however, only are off the water Dec/Jan at most and typically get out one day of those months so I just fill it up and go. For those warm winter days, last weekend it was 80 degrees..whooo hooo!

You bum ... we had a foot of wet heavy snow yesterday ... still snowing. Gotta love Lake Michigan.

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I Sta-bil my fuel and run 'er almost all the way out prior to storage. The boat is stored inside a garage in the cold north east climate. My boats have ALWAYS fired up immediately in the spring. I usually add five gallons or so to run around on, but basically try to run through all the old gas before adding any real quantity of the new stuff. I've NEVER had a problem with water in the fuel or poor performance.

As much as I hate to admit it, I do the same as Jack without any issues.

Truth be told, I don't even bother with Stabil anymore.

-Chris

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As much as I hate to admit it, I do the same as Jack without any issues.

Very good, punk. Your newfound willingness to align yourself with wisdom exemplifies maturation. And it is about time you grew up. :lol:

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I've been doing research on storing my boat this year for a bit now since we just switched to E10 gas here. I have read that storing gas with ethanol is a bit different. There are rumors that state ethanol fuel can absorb moisture and separate from the gas. The theory states that ethanol is a water absorbent, and a fuel tank full of E10 gas left in 70% humidity for three weeks can absorb enough water to cause the gas and ethanol to separate, then the water and ethanol turn to a gel causing all kinds of problems. This isn't a huge problem for me in the winter as I store mine in a heated garage, but looks as thou when its sitting on the mooring in the summer could cause some problems! The ethanol is also a very good cleaning agent, so it is causing issues with fuel filter allot more.

I have no experience with this and is just what I've read! We have just switched over to ethanol gas and is too soon to see the effects of it.

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I add stabil before I pull my boat. Run the boat around the lake for 15 or 20 minuets. Now here is a change I made this year. Withe fuel prices so hi I did not fill I am thinking I will fill it when the price is down. I will get my usual 5 gallon cans and fuel some time this winter. I got gas for $1.72 today so I will get a full tank for half price or less Yahoo.gifYahoo.gifYahoo.gif . I keep the boat in a warm garage covered ready to go.

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I add Stabil to what small amount of gas I have left in the tank after the last day on the water. I run the boat on a fake-a-lake in my driveway for a little while to let the Stabil get up into the injectors and fuel rail. Then I completely drain the tank.

You should run Sta-bil in that thing year round.

Biggrin.gif

You know what's really funny?

I'm thinking about putting stabil in my truck during the off season. Biggrin.gif

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