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Author Topic: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol  (Read 7275 times)

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Offline Painlesstom

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Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« on: May 13, 2015, 02:06:12 PM »
Something I haven't had any problem with until now, is ethanol in the fuel. A few weeks back I was having some idle and starting issues so I pulled the bowl off and found lots of tiny black debris. After blowing the carb out it ran like a top again, I knew this was from the ethanol deteriorating the fuel line and planned on replacing them soon. Today I finally got a chance to do some work on it again, my plan was to move the fuel filter right to the carb inlet (I modified mine to flip it over). That's when I found my fuel filter had come loose inside itself (2 years old). I put a small pre-filter before the pump, and then a new filter right at the carb. This way the pump is protected from any debris in the tank, and the carb is 99.9% isolated from debris as a result of the fuel line and ethanol at war with each other. This would be a highly recommended maintenance upgrade for everyone.

 \./8

Tom

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Offline bizler

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 07:15:40 PM »
Thanks for the tip.  The fuel I have access to here is 10% ethanol so it is likely that this problem will occur at some point.  If I understand what you have said, the ethanol is causing the fuel line to degrade over time and producing the black particulate. ???

On the issue of fuel, I have tried the three octane level grades, 87,89 and 91 in my Mokai and I really can't tell any difference, judging from the tach readings and power performance.  I am thinking that I might as well use the 87 octane and save a few cents.  Any thoughts on this?

Offline Painlesstom

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 07:25:33 PM »
You are correct with regards to the ethanol degrading the fuel line. A filter right at the carb inlet will eliminate the problem reaching the carb, but the inlet must be flipped over in order to set things up that way. Just need to lengthen one of the screw slots and the valve will bolt right up, upside down.

Octane is something many people have misconceptions about. Higher octane fuel does not clean your motor, it doesn't give you more power, it's not better for your motor. It burn slower actually, this allows engines with higher compression run without retarding the timing to a point of performance loss. If 87 was used in a motor that was 10:1 compression, there would be detonation (pre-ignition), which can damage the piston / spark plug/ valves. Those motors would need a higher octane fuel that would not detonate before the spark event. Running a high octane fuel in a motor designed to run on 87, would actually (on a small scale) lose power and efficiency. Mileage could even drop noticeably. Our motors are fine on 87, don't waste the money on something that isn't needed. A dollar well spent would be for some stabil and synthetic engine oil.  ;)
Tom

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Offline riverdawg

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 02:56:37 PM »
Find yourself some non-ethanol gas:

http://pure-gas.org/

I use Sea Foam with my non-ethanol fuel, so far so good!

Offline Painlesstom

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 07:32:02 PM »
It's a 30 minute drive in the wrong direction to get non-e gas.. Not worth the trouble for me. Stabil, Sea Foam etc.. all work great, and I do use it in fuel for things that sit mostly. Adding it every time I fill the Mokai is just a hassle I don't want to deal with, just a personal preference. I'd rather tackle the problem with strategically placed filters, or find fuel line that is compatible. 
Tom

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Offline bizler

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2015, 10:07:02 PM »
Find yourself some non-ethanol gas:

http://pure-gas.org/

I use Sea Foam with my non-ethanol fuel, so far so good!

Thanks for the URL, Riverdog.  I found a station that is just a few miles away in the right direction.

Offline Odie

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 05:53:24 PM »
Riverdawg is spot on. Less trouble in the long run. Store enough fuel in a cool, shady place (garage) for the season and enjoy the scenery. Boardwalk refuel along the AICW is often noneth.

Offline Rottweilerman

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 07:55:24 PM »
Hey Tom,   I know fuel filters of numerous kinds are available at most auto parts stores.  I just want to make sure I purchase the best one for our application.   Is a pre filter  a necessary item as well?

I would like to install these items on my EX 21 before my first run with the EX 17 head conversion.   Also is the standard plug the best option?

Thanks,  John

Offline Painlesstom

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 08:06:22 PM »
One filter is all you can really do on the stock Es-Kape motor, a small clear plastic fuel filter for lawn equipment is all you need. 1/4" ends. Install between fuel tank and fuel pump on the down side. Stock plug is fine. FYI there is no need to remove the governor for the conversion either, bolt the head on and leave everything else alone. Will run fine.  \./8
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Offline Rottweilerman

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 08:08:22 PM »
10-4

Thanks

Offline Fishlover

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2016, 08:40:08 PM »
I am just now installing a fuel filter on my boat and read up on this topic and am wondering if this deteriorating fuel line issue was on your older boat or the Es-Kape?

Unless I am missing something, are we saying here that the factory did not use the correct fuel line?
If so, we all should better replace all fuel lines on our boats with known compatible type to avoid any such issues.

I had a very nasty RV breakdown driving from Hells Canyon to Yellowstone because of this issue. We were up in the mountains hours away from any help when my RV just sputtered to a halt going up a grade. Waited to let it cool down and got it started and was able to limp slowly over the divide and from there was able to mostly coast all the way down to the town of Joseph OR. Located an "equipment" shop where they had to pull my tank (what a nightmare) to get to the fuel pump inside the tank.
Bottom of tank and fuel pump and filter were all clogged with this tiny black debris (like charcoal from a water filter). Had to get a new pump ($900!!) and filter and 3 days later I was $2k lighter and on our way. I didn't know what hit me!
RV is a 2004 Ford and to this day I am astounded that Ford would use bad fuel lines when the entire industry knew about this crap way before then.

Offline Painlesstom

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 08:52:40 PM »
All of the Subaru powered boats are prone to fuel line degradation from Ethanol in the fuel, unless Non-E Marine gas is used. This is why I modify the fuel inlet so it faces forward, so a fuel filter can be installed right at the inlet providing maximum protection. I switched over to Non-E only in all my boats a while back, well worth it.
Tom

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Offline Fishlover

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2016, 03:52:56 PM »
No argument here on Non E fuel.

The only issue with this is that such fuel is definitely not available broadly in my neck of the woods without running all over the place.

What research I have done suggests to make sure all fuel lines are meeting or exceeding the SAE J30R9 standard.
Broadly speaking, this is the type of fuel line used for fuel injection applications in this day and age.

The cautionary note here is this:
From what I can tell, ALL of these lines  use an inner liner that is the Ethanol resistant part. That liner comes in varying thicknesses AND it is subject to separation from its jacket after a period of time (1-2+ years). This is especially true if you do what most people do on installation: Simply push the hose over the nipple.

From my personal experience on my fishing boat, when the liner gets just nicked a bit during this installation process, the fuel will gradually seep into that weaker spot and over time permeate most if not all of the fuel line, separating the liner from its jacket and causing all sorts of obstructions toward your carburetor.
When I finally wised up to it, I opened the line and it looked like I had poured some sort of varnish into it as the entire liner had disintegrated into pieces. This was on Ethanol resistant fuel line, but I had not checked it for the SAE standard at the time. Bad me!

So the best thing to do, other than Tom's filter mod at the carb (which by the way will only delay you're having to replace the lines eventually, with the benefit of not having to clean the carb), is to find the very best fuel line you can dig up and make sure you understand the actual thickness of the inner liner. Thicker is better. Contact the manufacturer.
Then you also need to replace this line about every 2 years to be save, lest you find a line that is actually Ethanol proof, which I haven't found yet.

On installation, some folks use an expansion tool to pre-expand the hose before pushing it on the fitting, along with applying a bit of grease to aid the slippage factor.
Also, since not all fittings are created equal, make doubly sure that the barb end has no sharp edges of any kind to avoid marring the liner. Brass fittings in particular mostly come with sharp outer edges that need smoothing, but plastic fittings, in addition to that same issue, also sport separation lines that run lengthwise and often have very sharp protrusions that require removal.

Of course, you can ignore all that and just go with what you have now. Time will prove it one way or another.

I'm now checking with the factory about all of this and likely will need to replace my lines at some point next year unless I learn otherwise.

I plan on posting what I find out about the best fuel line (brand) to use soon.
Regards

Offline happul3

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2016, 11:30:47 PM »
Here is my experience. About ten years ago I've replaced fuel lines with the most basic kind from autoparts store and installed an additional filter in my jetski. I only use regular 10% ethanol fuel and never run engine out of fuel so the lines are full of gasoline all the time. Checking periodically for signs of fuel lines falling apart I never see anything of the kind. No particles or gunk in the filter, no hardening or softening of the line itself (I have a few unused pieces left to compare).

Similar picture with 6 year old lawn tractor except I never bothered to replace original fuel lines and filter. Can't say I am surprised: It is not a big deal that rubber can hold its own against mixture of hydrocarbons like in gasoline for very long time. And ethanol isn't more aggressive solvent, at least toward rubber. So it is really hard to believe that even a regular fuel line should not hold for several years, not to mention a special one. Nonetheless some people are seeing exactly the opposite and I am certainly not going to dispute that. But I wonder what is the reason for such a difference. Is it possible that the particle/gunk comes from low quality gasoline? Or maybe it is just getting stale and gumming up?
 

Offline Painlesstom

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Re: Fuel Filters, Gas Lines, and Ethanol
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2016, 07:06:56 AM »
It took a couple years for me to notice the break down of the fuel line, but once it started to cause problems it was like dominoes and all of my boats were down. Since I went to Non-E fuel and put the fuel filter right at the inlet, I've had no more problems.
Tom

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