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Author Topic:   mechanical vs. fuel related breakdowns
acseatsri posted 10-27-2001 02:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for acseatsri   Send Email to acseatsri  
Ok, as a separate thread, I'm curious as to how many here have had contaminated fuel related breakdowns in the past. On another thread, jimh mentioned that a small emergency power engine should have a separate fuel supply.
I've had to change filters or drain fuel bowls of water in the past, but nothing ever caused a total failure in the fuel supply (and running out of gas is NOT a legitimate fuel-related problem!). Have never had to be towed back to the dock. Anyone with other experiences care to comment?
Traveller posted 10-27-2001 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
I got water in my fuel once. Though I was running a Carolina Skiff at the time, the experience I had could apply to any boat. I had a 90 Johnson and a 9.9 Yamaha 4-stroke auxilliary on that boat. The same tank supplied fuel to both motors. The Johnson died because of water in the carborator and spark plugs. (Which I didn't know about, yet!) The Yamaha started, because the gas in the motor was still good. That motor died several moments later as the contaminated fuel reached the carborator and spark plugs. BoatU.S. towed us to a local marina, where the fuel problem was discovered.
Since having that experience I have been a firm believer in running my auxilliary motor on a separate fuel source from the main motor.
jimh posted 10-27-2001 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you are trying to build a redundant, fault tolerant system, you want to eliminate as many single point failure nodes as possible. In the case of dual outboard engines, having only one gas tank makes the fuel source a single point of failure.

You can take some steps to increase redundancy by having separate fuel pick ups in the main tank, having separate fuel filters, and no common hoses, but you are still depending on a single tank of fuel.

At some point, the increased complexity of the duplicated systems might increase the probability of a failure, but it's a failure in one of them, not both, so you can still operate, you are fault-tolerant.

jimh posted 10-28-2001 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As for actual problems with the fuel, I know lhg had a problem once, caused by the attendant at the gas dock refusing to permit Larry to mix his oil with the gasoline as it entered the tank. He even refused to let anyone be aboard the boat as it was fueled--following the regulations to the letter, I guess.

The result was the fuel dock attendant dumped a gallon or so of oil down the fuel filler pipe, followed by about 50 gallons of gas on top of it. Unfortunately, no mixing action occured, and shortly after restarting the engines sucked pure oil through the whole fuel system---hoses, filters, primer bulbs, etc.

I think Larry was carrying an auxillary tank of fuel on this trip, and was able to get the engines restarted on that. What a mess! I'm sure he'll jump in here and give us more details.

where2 posted 10-29-2001 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I'm waiting for the "rest of the story" on this one. How can you NOT have mixing if you dump the oil in the tank first? Last, yes I can understand no mixing, but if you dump the oil in first, then 50 gallons of fuel, it would have to mix. If I dump a quart of oil in my 6 gallon tank, then dump 6 gallons of gas in, it mixes fine... If I forget to add the oil first, then I make sure I shake the tank considerably (hard to do with those in the floor tanks!)
tbyrne posted 11-02-2001 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
Maybe because your 6 gal tank was empty - then the first of the fuel has nothing but oil to mix with in a proportionally smaller tank? I presume the oil in LHG's tank sank through the remaining fuel and when the 50 gals were added they did not sufficiently agitate the oil.
WantaWhale posted 11-03-2001 01:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
What about fuel line problems ? I broke down in a storm about a month ago. Most of this was thought to be a primer bulb (But turned out to be good timing as water pump started to fail at the same time). Anyway it was supposed to be fixed and I have used the boat about 4 times since then with no problems. But Last Saturday I took the boat to the river just to play around and the problem came back. This time the engine did not totaly die but lost power like it was about to. Well the water was pretty calm and I was close to shore so I spent some time trying to figure it out. By squeezing the bulb I could get the engine to run normally.
I switched tanks and got the same result. I tried this several times then noticed that when I squeezed the bulb I could hear hissing where the line connected to the tank. I took a pin and pushed on the ball on the connnector . After that the thing ran fine. Botton line I hope it was just that connector so I changed it out with a new one and going to test tommorow (Sat). With the new connector i get good presure squeezing the bulb with the orignal omc tank.

Also on a side note , I was going to originaly going to replace the bulb and connector with a new one but I could never get presure from the replacment unit (tempo)I went and got another one and had same result. I called my omc mechanic and as soon as he heard tempo, he stopped me and said to throw it away and get only OMC brand. He said their stuff is just not as good and he had about 25 tempo primer bulbs at his shop that were bad out of the box. Just curious what experience you guys have had with tempo?

Whalerdan posted 11-03-2001 05:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Very interesting. My plans were when I get home, to change the bulb and line first thing, as I too have been having these type of intermittent problems. Glad you mentioned this. I'll make sure I get the OMC parts. Thanks.
TightPenny posted 11-03-2001 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
I have a Tempo bulb on my Montauk.

The check valve inside of the bulb (discharge end) tends to separate causing the fuel to drain out of the bulb and sometimes blocking the fuel line on the discharge side.

I don't know whether this is a general Tempo problem, or whether I stepped on the darn thing. It drove me crazy until I found out what the problem was. I can fix it when it happens now, by taking it apart and snapping the retainer back into place.

I will replace it in the spring, but at least I know what the problem is for the one more possible trip this year.

WantaWhale posted 11-04-2001 12:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for WantaWhale  Send Email to WantaWhale     
Well at first I couldn't belive that 2 brand new tempo fuel lines could be bad so thats why I called my mechanic. He also said to avoid atwood primers/plugs as well. When I picked up parts from a local dealer I asked about this. They agreed with my mechanic and said tempo probably ok for backup use but OMC is really a better product. They said West and Boat/us sell tempo because they can't get OMC parts.

Anyway I tested boat today and 1/4 mile off shore the problems start again. But this time it was my fault. I didn't have a tight fit on the plug on the motor side of things.
After that she ran like a fine watch :)
I did notice another fuel issue though:
On the omc tank where the fuel gauge and connector are located I could see a slight leakage. This assembly is held on by 4 screws/bolts so I may just need to tighten it or replace a gasket. If not a new identical tank is $55.00 . If you are having troubles you might want to check this as well.

lhg posted 11-05-2001 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
About 3 years ago I replaced the fuel lines, from water separator to engine, on both my twin 115's and 200's, with 3/8" Tempo equipment, and have found them to be excellent. Never a problem with the primer bulbs, and I like them better than the previous Mercury OEM lines & bulbs.

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