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bbelt

Vapor Lock

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bbelt

Before I go on and on about the whys and wherefores, I will start with my actual question. Would non-ethanol gas in a lower octane rating be better than ethanol/higher octane?

03 RLXi 400+ hours, 2nd season for me in this boat.

I have previously only experienced vapor lock once at Lake Powell which I attributed to 115 degree heat. The other night at our local lake which seldom sees 80 degree temps I had a vapor lock issue after boating for 1-2 hrs straight, letting the boat sit for an hour and trying to boat again. It would start, struggle and die, no amount help on my part (with the throttle) could get it to run well enough to even put it into gear without dying. Loaded up, drove 20 minutes home with the engine cover propped up a few inches and it started up just fine at home on the hose. I did try releasing the air from the schraeder valve when I was struggling at the lake and got a mixture of gas and air but a storm was blowing in and we were floating further away from the dock so I abandoned that in favor of getting off the lake before the nothing got us.

Anyhow, I have been kicking around the idea of running only non-ethanol containing gas in the boat but have been hesitant because the one station that carries it is on the far side of town, hard to get into and only carry f in 87 octane rating. I try to run mid grade or high octane in all my vehicles but don't have any real reason other than the owners manual suggestion for my 99 Silverado. I am under the impression that all chevy motors like 88 or better.

Your thoughts?

Edited by bbelt

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DUKENO1

Hi

I am in the same boat lol. My boat has been doing this for the last 3 or 4 years. I have tried ethanol fuel treatment with mixed results and on really hot days

I leave the blower running the whole time. Sometimes it still vapor locks and the only way to fix it is to pour some water on my fuel pump and then it fires right up. Recently I found non -ethanol nearby and put about a half tank in. That trip it actually vapor locked once but I only had a half tank in of the ethanol free.

The next trip I put another half tank in but realized then that it was only 87 octane . I have always ran mid grade. I am not sure if it helped because it was a cool evening that trip and I had no issues. I too am concerned with running the lower octane so I look forward to seeing what others say.

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oldjeep

Question - do all lxi's not have a fuel cooler, or is that only on the Black Scorpion powered boats?

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racer808

When my boat did this, I skipped all the vapor lock suggestions got a new fuel pump & it's never done it again

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blk93jeepzj

I run 87 octane with ethanol (min 10percent ethanol) in my 04 Monsoon. Since I added the secondary low pressure fuel pump I have never had a vapor lock issue.

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malibu03lxi

this happens to me on hot days. I open the engine cover, turn on blower and after 20 minutes, a few turns of the key and it starts right up. this is a 2003 response lxi monsoon335

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AndrewSchear

I had this issue in an old Sanger I had, I put an additional self priming in-line Holley electric fuel pump in on a switch, set to 6 psi. Used it just as a booster pump. Fixed the vapor locking problem.

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Mackie 12

I had this issue in an old Sanger I had, I put an additional self priming in-line Holley electric fuel pump in on a switch, set to 6 psi. Used it just as a booster pump. Fixed the vapor locking problem.

Is this pump marine approved?

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AndrewSchear

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Mackie 12

I just finished installing that exact pump last night. It says "Maintains 5psi" and most of the time that is what I get, however it did drop to 3 psi momentarily but boat did not stall. So I am hoping this is the fix to my problem!

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bbelt

No oil/gas engineers around here with an informed opinion about minimum octane ratings for fuel? What are the down sides of running lower octane fuels? Who runs what fuels in their boats?

As a side note, it happened again last night at the lake and it had been in the mid 70's with no sunshine. I got a pocket knife and a rag and let all the air out of the system, started right up and ran fine. That was all after I smoked my impellar from not having my water intake valve open from checking to see if the boat would run on the hose at home. :Frustrated: Thank goodness for crew advice on keeping a spare handy. Would have missed about 2 hours of barefooting water and the entire lake to myself.

Is there a thread somewhere about adding or changing fuel injectors into theses boats? I am not so comfortable messing with fuel injected systems. :blush:

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MalibuNation

Pre-ignition is what can happen with lower octane ... something I'm not worth chancing.

I run what is recommended for my engine - 93 octane which I can only get with ethanol around here.

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dalt1

When my boat did this, I skipped all the vapor lock suggestions got a new fuel pump & it's never done it again

I tried that, didn't help me. Only adding the low pressure fuel pump kit solved mine. Tried every trick in the book till then.

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bbelt

Pre-ignition is what can happen with lower octane ... something I'm not worth chancing.

I run what is recommended for my engine - 93 octane which I can only get with ethanol around here.

OK good point. What is your boat? 93 seems a little high for a general recomendation since most of us cannot even get it. What do you all run, 89 or 91?

Edited by bbelt

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bbelt

I tried that, didn't help me. Only adding the low pressure fuel pump kit solved mine. Tried every trick in the book till then.

Which low pressure pump are you talking about? How long to install? Up in the motor or down by the fuel tank? Where do you plug it in for power?

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iliketoski

I have an 01 Monsoon 330, I've been running most always 87 W/10% ethanol, and never had any performance problems. I have had about 4 incidents of vapor lock in 14 years. I always stabilize the gas for winterizing.

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malibuvlx02

Malibu makes a second fuel pump kit, which I bought and installed for vapor lock symptoms. I noticed that helped me in my 02 VLX. I also run 91 gas, which I noticed helps versus 91, but then again I live in California.

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MalibuNation

bbelt

I have a LS1 and premium is recommend.

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bbelt

Malibu makes a second fuel pump kit, which I bought and installed for vapor lock symptoms. I noticed that helped me in my 02 VLX. I also run 91 gas, which I noticed helps versus 91, but then again I live in California.

WOuld you post a link to this second fuel pump put out my Malibu? Thanks.

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dalt1

Which low pressure pump are you talking about? How long to install? Up in the motor or down by the fuel tank? Where do you plug it in for power?

http://www.skidim.com/VAPOR-LOCK-PUMP-KIT/productinfo/49-5137/

I did this but sourced the pump myself and wired it myself. Had about $100 in it. Never vapor locked again.

Search my posts from about 4 years ago and all the info is there somewhere.

Edited by dalt1

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Bill_AirJunky

I have an 01 Monsoon 330, I've been running most always 87 W/10% ethanol, and never had any performance problems. I have had about 4 incidents of vapor lock in 14 years. I always stabilize the gas for winterizing.

Ditto for me. Same crappy gas & the Monsoon runs great. 650+ hours & I've seen it happen twice. I run the blower 80% of the time we're on the boat and it has never happened again.

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malibuparadise

I always bring a frozen Velcro wrap-around wine bottle cooler in my mailbu ice cooler under the seat. Very easy to wrap around anything (fuel lines fuel pump etc. Of course because I bring it, no vapor lock.

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bbelt

Ok, my vapoer lock questions have been answered. Thanks.

Now for the sake of not starting a whole new thread for a minor question and since I am getting such great feedback, when do you guys change your steering cable? I have started noticing it (the steering wheel) getting stiffer and some play in the wheel. I got down to grease the zerks. Helped a little. The boat is around 430 hrs. I believe it had a new cable with once with the previous owner but not sure.

Edited by bbelt

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bbelt

Ya man, thanks for the link. I think I will try that. Had a moment today. Boated for an hour, stopped and left blower on, even lifted the engine cover for a while. Sat for a while in the heat and starts right up. THen later in the afternoon we take one more little outing before loading up. Time gets away from me as we are screwing around playing in the water before bringing the truck down and I forgot to do all the right things. Vapor Lock!! I relieve the air pressure with the sharp point of a knife and a rag but it makes a gassy mess. So I can prevent the problem and even overcome the problem but what a hassle. Will try the heat wrap for starters.

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