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Looking for advice. 1984 Sportcraft, 228 mercruiser. Boat stopped dead in the water after running fine. Water separator had quite a bit of water in it. Changed separator and carb filter, got boat running again. This happened twice. I drained the entire tank and cleaned out what I could. Filled it around half full with gas, (From the gas station, I assume E10 ethanol.) Boat ran fine for about an hour, sat for 5 days. They took it out yesterday and it failed again. Same issue, separator full of water. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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fishing fool
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Looking for advice. 1984 Sportcraft, 228 mercruiser. Boat stopped dead in the water after running fine. Water separator had quite a bit of water in it. Changed separator and carb filter, got boat running again. This happened twice. I drained the entire tank and cleaned out what I could. Filled it around half full with gas, (From the gas station, I assume E10 ethanol.) Boat ran fine for about an hour, sat for 5 days. They took it out yesterday and it failed again. Same issue, separator full of water. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Saw this happen on a buddy's boat. Water was getting in thru the breather cap for the gas tank on the side of the boat. The cap was turned forward and spray was going thru it when he ran - especially in rougher water. Check your breather cap. Too much water to have gotten it from the gas station. My buddy had 2 different marine shops drain his tanks when this happened. One installed a separator which the water overwhelmed next time out. Both shops said bad gas. On the third time, we took a closer look and finally figured out what was happening. There is only a couple of ways water could get into you tank.
 

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I told those kids that was not a PEE HOLE.LOL , bad thing , I agree only two ways into the tank, fill and breather pipe. on a older boat yrs back I pulled the sending unit out and sucked all the fuel out. that fixed mine , and use a grade better fuel. and a can of sea foam ,or berrymens in each tank, your engine will like like it. theres a third way condensaon
 

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Saw this happen on a buddy's boat. Water was getting in thru the breather cap for the gas tank on the side of the boat. The cap was turned forward and spray was going thru it when he ran - especially in rougher water. Check your breather cap. Too much water to have gotten it from the gas station. My buddy had 2 different marine shops drain his tanks when this happened. One installed a separator which the water overwhelmed next time out. Both shops said bad gas. On the third time, we took a closer look and finally figured out what was happening. There is only a couple of ways water could get into you tank.
Someone else mentioned the vent on the tank was the problem with theirs. I think my vent is on the stern with a clamshell pointed down. My gas cap is solid plastic, no venting on it. I agree there is only a few ways to get water in there. I am going to check the vent out and see if there is another one I am missing. Thanks.
 

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I told those kids that was not a PEE HOLE.LOL , bad thing , I agree only two ways into the tank, fill and breather pipe. on a older boat yrs back I pulled the sending unit out and sucked all the fuel out. that fixed mine , and use a grade better fuel. and a can of sea foam ,or berrymens in each tank, your engine will like like it. theres a third way condensaon
I did the same thing last week. Pulled the sending unit and sucked out 20 gallons of nasty looking gas. I have been thinking condensation but a half full tank sitting for a week shouldn't have so much condensation that it would overwhelm a new water separator.
 

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The Original Hot Rod
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If you have a metal tank it could be corroded on the top side. When it rains it'll take on the rain water.
I've seen this happen on a friends sportcraft. Just a thought you might want to consider.
 

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There was a station owner near me busted for running a garden hose in his storage tanks. He had so much watered gas, engines wouldn't even run.
 

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I had a lot of water in my twin tanks. Won't admit how it got in there! Anyway, I had a fuel polishing service out of Marblehead come out to my dock and filter the fuel. It was quite a process as he said my tanks had several baffles in them to keep the fuel from "sloshing around" and the water was trapped behind these baffles so he had to thread the filter tube behind each baffle and then repeat the process several times. It worked, I never had more than a thimble full of water in my seperators after he filtered it.
 

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I had a lot of water in my twin tanks. Won't admit how it got in there! Anyway, I had a fuel polishing service out of Marblehead come out to my dock and filter the fuel. It was quite a process as he said my tanks had several baffles in them to keep the fuel from "sloshing around" and the water was trapped behind these baffles so he had to thread the filter tube behind each baffle and then repeat the process several times. It worked, I never had more than a thimble full of water in my seperators after he filtered it.
Was that Tibbles? What did they charge you?
 

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I seem to recall it was about $600which I thought was reasonable. Expensive mistake! He worked about 5 hours on this. Are they still in this filtration business?
Yes. I have talked to them. He was really helpful with suggestions but I'm trying to avoid the expense. Especially if it doesn't fix it.
 

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The baffle or windage tray should have holes in the bottom of them for the exact reason of draining a tank. 5 hours to drain a tank sounds a little crazy. Even dockside.
 

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The baffle or windage tray should have holes in the bottom of them for the exact reason of draining a tank. 5 hours to drain a tank sounds a little crazy. Even dockside.
The process used was challenging to thread the small semi rigid plastic suction tube through the tank baffles to get to the lowest point in the tank. Due to the amount of water it required 3 suctions before he was satisfied that he had sucked out the water trapped behind the baffles. Keep in mind too that he uses very good filtration equipment. Yea, it was expensive but the last thing I wanted was to continually battle engine shutdown due to clogged water/fuel separators. I've had no problems.
 

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If in water why not counterweight the boat to level the tank to drain. You would have been better off just emptying the tank. And a little water is ok in a carbureted engine, free decarbonizing when on plain.
 

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Startron gas additive also works to prevent water from ethonal gas.
They make a concentrated version that treats 16gal/oz after first treatment of 8gal/oz
 

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This is the specs from Startron
Features

  • Cures and prevents most ethanol problems
  • Makes all engines start easily, run smoothly; improves performance
  • Removes and prevents gum, carbon and varnish
  • Works in all engines and in all fuel
  • Helps prevent phase separation by dispersing water throughout fuel as submicron-sized droplets that are safely eliminated while the engine operates
  • Improves performance and fuel economy.
  • Stabilizes fuel; helps rejuvenate old fuel
  • 1 fl. oz. treats 16 gallons of fuel
  • Reduces smoke and all other emissions
  • Keeps fuel delivery system clean
 
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