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Author Topic:   OUTRAGE 18 Fueling Problem
bmoreland posted 12-01-2001 09:42 AM ET (US)   Profile for bmoreland  
I've got an 18 Outrage I'm experiencing difficulty with fuel backing up and overflowing in the fuel filler line when refueling. It's so bad that it will only accept fuel at the very slowest setting of most nozzles. I would guess the vent is clogged, but how would that happen? I also notice a lot of "sludge" in the inspection ports around the fuel tank. What's the best way to clear that? Finally, the other day the engine quit on a slow plane with about 1/4 tank of fuel. After pumping the bulb, it refired and was fine. Any thoughts? I know there are several threads on the fuel tank sludge, just wondering if anyone thinks the inside on the filler/vent lines could look like the outside? Thanks to all the resident experts in advance.
Tom W Clark posted 12-02-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
You've listed three problems: 1) difficulty filling 2) sludge under the inspection ports 3) engine stall, fuel related.

Do not jump to the conclusion that they are related. In all likelihood, they are not. They are all separate issues. Let's take them one at a time.

Difficulty filling: This is a very common characteristic of the 18-Outrage. It has been discussed here with different thoughts. In ten years of 18-Outrage ownership I experienced this problem and concluded that it had everything to do with the position of the fuel nozzle at the time of filling. I learned that the only way to avoid a mess or super slow filling was to make sure the nozzle fed into the fill from the inside of the boat. If I was not actually in the boat sitting on the RPS I at least held the nozzle as if I were. By this I mean that the curve of the nozzle is curving down and in towards the middle of the boat. Be doing this, the shape of the nozzle follows the curve of the filler tube and reduces resistance.

The other thing that must happen is that the nozzle must extend down as far as possible. Different years Outrages have different brands of fills, but most of them have an anchoring point in the fill where the chain for the gas cap attaches. I leaned early on that the tip of the nozzle will tend to bump into this protrusion and create the illusion that this is as far as the nozzle will go. Again, getting the curve of the nozzle going the right way will help get it past this slight obstruction.

When you are filling (even slowly) you should be able to put your hand or finger over the vent and feel the air escaping. This will tell you if the vent is clogged or not. I suspect it is fine, but a clog remains a possibility.

Sludge under the inspection plates over the tank: This is perfectly normal. Whether you like it or not, the tank cavity is, for all intents and purposes, part of the bilge. Bilge water is going to get in there and algae and scum is going to grow and fester. As the bilge water dries out it leaves behind dried gunk that just seems to accumulate over time. New bilge water will tend to reconstitute this scum and produce sludge. It is just like the sludge tha generally resides in the tunnels of all the Whalers with tunnels.

Engine stalled, fuel related: This sounds like the infamous fuel check valve problem that was common to these boats. There are several good threads that deal with this issue. Among them is:

jimh posted 12-02-2001 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Wow, Tom, what a good answer!

Thanks for the pointer to that thread on the check valves. I think I have that exact problem. It has been driving me crazy trying to prime on of the squeeze bulbs on my system.

Sometimes I myself am amazed at all the information stored in these FORUMs!


bmoreland posted 12-02-2001 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for bmoreland    
Thanks for such a thoughtful answer. I will certainly take your advice and see if I can solve by removing the check valve. I'm new to the Outrage but have had Montauks all my life. Love this site. Hope I can return the favor someday.
Chap posted 12-03-2001 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Great info I will certainly use in the future. I have run into similar slow fill fuel situations with my Whaler and our Shamrock. Both times it was the vent fitting on the outside of the hull. The two screens which kept the outside world out, became corroded/gunked closed. Poked them with a thin pin to turn them back into screens and completely soved the problem. By the way, I believe the openings should face towards the stern and away from direct spray. The Shamrock was the opposite and clogged very early in its life. Worth a check for a simple solution.

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