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  #1   IP: 107.77.230.63
Old 11-14-2021, 01:34 PM
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ColeHarmening ColeHarmening is offline
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Intermittent Shutdowns - I think its fuel related but looking for advice

Hey all,

Welp after putting about 400 hours on my A4 this summer going fishing offshore with my A4 running great the whole season I am now having shutdown issues.

I checked my ignition and wiring connections, re ground my E- fuel pump hoping that was the issues. Test run it in my slip for 2 hours, it runs fine. Go out daysailing with people and it shuts down while we are headed back to the harbor. I replaced my filters and re did my fuel line, tested the engine on short runs and in the slip for a few hours. It ran great, then go out day sailing again with friends and it randomly shuts down and it takes some starting and restarting finagling before it runs long enough to get us back into the slip. Now I am running it in my slip and trying to get it to shutdown so I can go through my shutdown spark and fuel tests. But its running great in the slip for about an hour and I can't get it to repeat the issue. My hypothesis is that my fuel tank has crud in it and every once in a while (seems like whenever I am out sailing with friends) the fuel pickup is grabbing a piece of crud and clogging the line so the engine starves and shuts off suddenly. Our last outing the way I was able to finagle the boat back into the slip was to unplug the E-fuel pump + wire then plug it back in. This seemed to keep the engine running for a few minutes. My thought to fix this issue is either to do a diy fuel tank polishing or hire a company to come do it. Wondering is there any other issues you guys recommend me checking out before spending the money on a fuel tank polishing service?

I leave on a 6 month cruise to Mexico in a few months so I am very keen on getting this problem sorted and return to an engine that I trust. (Ive cruised about 1,500 hours and 3,000 NM on my A4 in the past two years)

A few things to note: This spring before my summer fishing outings, I re did my E-ignition with the indigo kit, new distributer cap, new spark plugs and wires, new OPSS etc. With this in mind I am leaning towards this being a fuel related issue rather than spark problem.
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  #2   IP: 162.245.50.230
Old 11-14-2021, 02:56 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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A common issue. If you have decent access and a port to snake a tube in you can wiggle it to the bottom corner and suck the krud out from under the "good fuel". Most often it is the access at the "pick up" port itself that is the easiest to suck out from. You just need to get deeper than the pick up is.

A drill motor pump will work fine into a large container. When it runs clear your good to go.

Do change the filters after your done and say farewell.

Dave Neptune
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Old 11-14-2021, 09:09 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Here's possible scenario:
If there is a filter on the end of the pick up inside the fuel tank:
The boat motion when under way stirs up crud that is in a low area of the tank close to the pick up tube. The crud is pulled to the filter blocking it and the engine dies. When the engine dies there is no longer any suction at the end of the pick up tube so the crud falls off.

ex TRUE GRIT

If there is a filter on the pick up tube it could be partially blocked all the time which would lead to poor engine performance.
I took the filter off the pick up tube inside my tank so this didn't have a chance of happening - let the down stream filter handle any garbage that came from the tank.
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Old 11-14-2021, 10:04 PM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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Install a pressure gauge in the line to the carb. If you lose pressure (for whatever reason) the gauge will tell you, then you can track it down.
Install a test light (LED?) to coil +. If the light goes out, you've lost electrical power, then you can track it down.
Right now you're groping in the dark.
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  #5   IP: 107.77.228.235
Old 11-17-2021, 12:47 PM
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Thanks you for the suggestions. I’ll be installing a pressure gauge and doing a fuel tank cleaning soon
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:20 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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You'll be glad you did, the gage will help in the future and the tank will be clean.

Dave Neptune
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:34 AM
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Can someone suggest a source for a small marine grade fuel gauge? The one I installed few years ago is getting rusty.
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisakedjack View Post
Can someone suggest a source for a small marine grade fuel gauge? The one I installed few years ago is getting rusty.
Lots of good brands out there like Faria-Beede or Seastar. I have had a Faria gauge for 5 yrs and no issues... but then I sail on fresh water only...
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Old 11-18-2021, 05:34 PM
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I have a Marshall brand 0=15psi from ebay about $20. Stainless steel body, glass lens and liquid filled - works well and no problem.
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  #10   IP: 47.142.140.12
Old 11-18-2021, 06:33 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisakedjack View Post
Can someone suggest a source for a small marine grade fuel gauge? The one I installed few years ago is getting rusty.
Fuel pressure or fuel tank gauge?
I used a JEGS fuel pressure gauge - stainless steel case, glass lens, liquid filled. It worked well for many years.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 11-19-2021, 09:54 AM
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I like my electric fuel pressure gauge, it glows red when the pressure drops below 1 PSI.
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Old 11-21-2021, 03:00 PM
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Update…tracked down the sympton

Just installed a fuel pressure gauge. I turned my engine on in low rpm’s turned my iPhone camera on and went about my business. After about the twenty minute mark my engine shut down. I looked back on my video and found the pressure slowly dropping about 1 minute before the shutdown occurred. 30 seconds before the shutdown fuel pressure was at 0. Now I’m for sure certain it’s a fuel issue and since my pump, lines and filters are all brand new pretty sure I fuel tank cleaning and pickup line crud check is where I’ll find my problem. Thanks for the help! May also install that led test light that Al suggested to diagnose future spark problems. Any pics of that led install that I can refer too?

Thanks for the help. Now my Sunday afternoon will be spent digging around this fuel tank.
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  #13   IP: 47.142.140.12
Old 11-21-2021, 03:36 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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TANK VENT?

Did you try running with the fill cap slightly open to be sure the tank vent line is clear?

ex TRUE GRIT
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  #14   IP: 24.15.213.195
Old 11-22-2021, 02:30 PM
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If you want to verify the "crud in tank/pickup tube" theory try an using a gallon tank in the cockpit. Depending on your layout you can[1] connect directly to carb and siphon gas if the height is high enough - provides about 1+psi or {2] connect to directly pump. If it runs more than your 20 min. you know.
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