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G-Pac

Any issues with Ethanol fuel additives

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G-Pac

Just curious if any of you know if this is a potential issue/concern.

Our county in Maryland (MD), Anne Arundel County, is requiring service stations to add ethanol to their gas (all grades from what we have been told) as of 1 August 2006.

I am no fuel expert, but my buddy's Tige started having fuel pump/filter issues last week and the local dealer noted that the fuel additives (ethanol specifically) can have an adverse affect on that system. His boat is getting the pump/filter replaced as I write this post.

I have the HH engine and run 89 octane religiously.

Should I be concerned about potential engine/performance impacts as a result of this additive? If so, what can I do to mitigate this concern.

Please advise..

Regards-

G-Pac

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ilovetrains

There is a ton of mis-information about ethanol out there. First off, ethanol is in almost all pump gas. Federal law has required gas to be thinnned with an oxygenate for many years. This was traditionally MTBE which has been phased out and replaced with Ethanol. So you are already burning 2% ethanol and did not know it.

Ethanol at 10% mix raises octane to 89 and is cleaner burning. It tends to slightly degrade the cold starting ona vehicle, but I imagine you rarely run your boat below 0 degrees.

It is extremely unlikely that the Ethanol itself caused your buddies problem. Putting a cleaner fuel in an older boat can, and probably will, disolve old deposits from less clean fuel which may clog a filter and cause other problems. However you should not be afraid that it harm your boat in any way.

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jgouveia3

well, i'll totally disagree (that's the second time today that i disagreed within someone on this site!!). i have been directly affected by the ethanol blues with my boat that stays on the water all day/night long. my ski boat is fine, but my whaler with built in fiberglass gas tank, and 2-stroker has had the carbs rebuilt twice this year (i've gotten really good at it, 15 minutes per carb now).

2 problems with the ethanol. 1 (and it was explained by 2 different dealer to me and it got way too technical) is that is somehow attracts water, and seperates in the tank, making it float to the top, it gets sucked into the water seperater right away. 2 is it breaks down the resin in the fiberglass tank. if i don't use the whaler every day i get this gooey blue buildup in the carbs.

again this did NOT effect my ski boat. i guess it has a less effect on 4-cycle/stroke engines, plus fuel injected, and plastic tank.

well, good thing about this situation for me anyway, is my wife got sick of me spending so much time fixing the beach bomber (which was 20 years old), that we bought a new Century Center Console, with a nice Yamaha 4 stroker on it. its a much more of a bay boat, so now we can go out into bigger seas!

Edited by jgouveia3

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ilovetrains
well, i'll totally disagree (that's the second time today that i disagreed within someone on this site!!). i have been directly affected by the ethanol blues with my boat that stays on the water all day/night long. my ski boat is fine, but my whaler with built in fiberglass gas tank, and 2-stroker has had the carbs rebuilt twice this year (i've gotten really good at it, 15 minutes per carb now).

2 problems with the ethanol. 1 (and it was explained by 2 different dealer to me and it got way too technical) is that is somehow attracts water, and seperates in the tank, making it float to the top, it gets sucked into the water seperater right away. 2 is it breaks down the resin in the fiberglass tank. if i don't use the whaler every day i get this gooey blue buildup in the carbs.

again this did NOT effect my ski boat. i guess it has a less effect on 4-cycle/stroke engines, plus fuel injected, and plastic tank.

well, good thing about this situation for me anyway, is my wife got sick of me spending so much time fixing the beach bomber, that we bought a new Century Center Console, with a nice Yamaha 4 stroker on it. its a much more of a bay boat, so now we can go out into bigger seas!

Those are exactly the two problems with Ethanol. It does bind with water, however in most boats this is not a problem because they have a water/fuel seperator.

Also on older boats it can break down a fiberglass tank, but my understanding was the Marine industry switched to plastic for tanks in 1980.

Sorry about your Whaler, you are right though, your problems are from Ethanol.

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gooddog

Ethanol in the fuel makes the fuel more capable of absorbing water. It can cause problems in the filter because of water in the gas. The higher the ethanol percentage the more water the gas can absorb. The water is then absorbed in the filter which eventually stops the flow of fuel. Then you have to replace the filter. Even though the gas/ethanol has absorbed water, you can't really tell because the boat still runs like normal until the filter becomes soaked.

Older boats that were built with fiberglass gas tanks are having a world of problems because the ethanol in the gas is breaking down the resins in some of these tanks. When that happens, the resins go into the engine with the gas, gumming up the entire works of the engine. They are having to do new engines and gas tanks. It isn't a problem with the tanks in Malibus.

There it is then...trains beat me to the post :salute:

Edited by gooddog

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jgouveia3
Those are exactly the two problems with Ethanol. It does bind with water, however in most boats this is not a problem because they have a water/fuel seperator.

Also on older boats it can break down a fiberglass tank, but my understanding was the Marine industry switched to plastic for tanks in 1980.

Sorry about your Whaler, you are right though, your problems are from Ethanol.

what i read was that most manufactures stopped using glass tanks by 1987. mine was an '86.

actually, it turned out good for me. i've been wanting a new boat, but couldn't really justify it. i got it all running nice, told the guy that was buying it the problems i was having and how i would no longer use the internal tank (it was a knockoff whaler by a company called Wahoo and they actually glassed the tank in, so there was going to be some major cutting to replace the tank). I recommended using external tanks for the remainder of the season, and replacing the internal tank as a winter project. I had just put the 2 stroker on 3 years ago, and should have gone with the 4, so now I have a newer boat with the engine i should have bought in the first place.

Edited by jgouveia3

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99response

Well I know I've had alot of issues, some new boats with a bad tank of gas will leave a black goo that clogs up everything and makes the boats run like junk, need to drain the tanks to fix the problem

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G-Pac

Awesome feedback, many thanks!!

That exlains a lot to me. The Tige actually was initially having problems with the fuel/water seperator and then the pump was acting up. Not sure if related, but it is good to have some more info on ethanol just the same. I will pass this along and also take comfort knowing that the Bu should be OK with running fuel mixed this way.

G-Pac

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