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  #1   IP: 209.210.252.244
Old 11-07-2019, 11:41 AM
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These things run on silly putty!

My A4 has been running slightly rough lately, and I'm overdue for a tune up. I'm getting the boat ready to sell, so I figured I'd get the ol' A4 purring properly.

As I removed the secondary fuel filter, the bit of stuff that dribbled out of the fuel line looked odd, so I powered the electric fuel pump and extracted a jar full. Holy crap! What came out was this murky, cloudy crap that didn't even look like gas! Heck, it didn't even smell like gas. I should have taken a picture of that jar, you'd all have been amazed that an engine can run at all on whatever this crud was!

This lead to a fuel fuel system check. Gas at the top of the tank was perfect, but my big Racor fuel filter/water separator had obviously reached it's limit. I pumped out ~5 gallons of gas using the A4 pump and each jar full looked slightly better than the last till finally I was at reasonably clean gas. Replaced the filters, did a bit of carb cleaning, and now she's running perfect again.

Anyway, this is just another example of how resilient these amazing little engines are. I can't imagine that any car engine would have been able to fire up at all on whatever it was at the bottom of my tank.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:17 PM
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BTDT.

I had a small runabout with a Racor filter. Engine wouldn't run. The stuff I drained out of the filter was clear.

Except it was 100% water.

We ended up draining the entire tank, perhaps a third of which was milky. I guess the Racor did its job, until it couldn't.

Bill

Last edited by Administrator; 11-08-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:00 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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Exclamation Carefull

Remember that the fuel pick up is not on the bottom of the tank. The water settles below the pick up and poses no issues until it gets up to the pick-up tube and starts to draw some of the water in. So just sucking the water out until it is below the tube is no good. You need to get most of the fuel off the bottom as when running with the fuel sloshing it WILL suck up more water.

Often you can remove a tank fitting or even get to the "bottom" through the fill and suck out what is below the pick-up tube, then you can be sure of smooth running for a long time.

Not that tough of a job in most cases.

Dave Neptune
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:19 PM
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If memory serves me right Dave in a earlier post recommended pumping out from the bottom of the tank a couple of gallons of fuel/water mix on a yearly basis to be sure you clear the tank. If your tank is directly below the fill cap I recommend an extendable battery operated "stick pump". Makes the task real easy and especially if you have to repeat the process after a heavy rain and a bad seal etc.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
If memory serves me right Dave in a earlier post recommended pumping out from the bottom of the tank a couple of gallons of fuel/water mix on a yearly basis to be sure you clear the tank. If your tank is directly below the fill cap I recommend an extendable battery operated "stick pump". Makes the task real easy and especially if you have to repeat the process after a heavy rain and a bad seal etc.
Or, in my case, with the fill cap on port and the tank on starboard with 12' of line between, one takes off the fuel level sensor and pulls it out from there.......
/sigh
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:35 PM
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Good advice on the pick-up not being at the very bottom of the tank. Unfortunately, on a Tartan 30 the tank is pretty much inaccessible without major cabinet disassembly. Also, the Tartan 30 tank is sort of a vertical triangular thing with the point at the bottom, so I believe there would be very little fuel below the pickup. But ... point well taken, I'll consider some clever way to get the rest of the bad gas out of that upside down peak.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Administrator View Post
BTDT.

I had a small runabout with a Racor filter. Engine wouldn't run. The stuff I drained out of the filter was clear.

Except it was 100% water.

We ended up draining the entire tank, perhaps a third of which was milky. I guess the Racor did its job, until it couldn't.

Bill
That was me this past spring....
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Aj@yknot View Post
Or, in my case, with the fill cap on port and the tank on starboard with 12' of line between, one takes off the fuel level sensor and pulls it out from there.......
/sigh
That's exactly how I got the 15 gallons out this summer; too many bends in the fuel fill.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:05 PM
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YES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
Makes the task real easy and especially if you have to repeat the process after a heavy rain and a bad seal etc.
A major part of the "fix" is to figure out how the water got into the tank and fix it so does not happen again. And again.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
A major part of the "fix" is to figure out how the water got into the tank and fix it so does not happen again. And again.

TRUE GRIT
Mine ended up being a bad o-ring/fuel fill. Since I replaced that, I have been doing great with no water intrusion.
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Last edited by sastanley; 11-09-2019 at 01:18 AM.
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