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Author Topic:   dirty fuel
crash posted 12-27-2002 05:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for crash   Send Email to crash  
I own a 18foot inboard/outboard. I have excessive dirt in my 'in hull' fuel tank. What is the easiest way to clean out the tank without removing it from below the floor? I can access the tank via an inspection cover for the fuel level sending unit.
Dick posted 12-27-2002 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
You could probably get more information on some of the other boating sites.

My best guess would be to pump/drain your tank, add new fuel, install a fuel/water separator and any other filters you have in the system.
Run it and install new filter cartidges as necessary. If the fiters dont's take out the crap there may be no choice but pulling the tank.

jimh posted 12-27-2002 11:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You must have a Boston Whaler 18-GTX c.1982-1986, as that is the only model with inboard/outboard powering in an 18-foot hull.

These typically had about a 63-gallon tank. Removing the fuel from such a large tank is going to be quite an operation. I'd install a new fuel filter in your fuel line, then use up the fuel currently in the tank in the engine. Change the fuel filter. Add some additives to the fuel to promote cleaning (are there such things?), and run another tank through the filter.

At the stern of the cockpit there is usually access to the fuel tank via a circular plastic port with O-ring seal. You may be able to get good access to the tank by removing the circular plate on top of the tank to which the fuel pickup lines are connected.

For me, I might be too timid to fool with cleaning a tank of that size with gallons of gasoline and residue in it. At some point, the concentration of gasoline vapor above the tank may reach explosive levels.

SSCH posted 12-29-2002 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for SSCH  Send Email to SSCH     
There are professional services that will clean your fuel tank. At most large marinas you will find a licensed, usually, dockside fuel polishing service for diesel fuels. Some of these guys will pump old or dirty fuel from your gasoline tank. When I had this done some years ago (on an 18 Outrage I had that had the same 63 gallon tank, thankfully not very full), the charge was 3.50 a gallon to dispose of the old fuel. The guy actually came to my bay home (near the Galveston, Tx Yacht Basin) with a truck mounted pumping system. Got so much fuel out (thru an inspection plate where the fuel guage fitting was mounted) I had to bring fuel to the house to be able to run the engine.
j_h_nimrod posted 01-02-2003 04:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for j_h_nimrod  Send Email to j_h_nimrod     
I have seen a unit that has a series of two large fuel filters and a pump. The inlet of the pump has the outlet of the tank plugged into it and the outlet from the filters goes back into the tank. The unit is started and allowed to circulate for as long as it is needed. I have seen some amazing things with this unit.

I hate to say it but $3.50/gal. to dispose of the gas? I bet he filtered the gas and the effluent went right into his gas tank in the truck. That whole job seems a little spendy for the effort it would take to do-it-yourself.

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