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  1. #1

    Default Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    2011 MerCruiser 4.3 TKS A 1.7R
    Model Number: 4-2110G5U
    Serial Number: 1A636075

    I have owned this brand new boat since April of this year and have only had it on the water 3 times. The first two times, I had absolutely no problems at all. Between the 2nd and 3rd time, however, I added new fuel and now the engine is stalling out. I added clean fuel purchased at a local major chain gas station while the boat was on the trailer using brand new, clean gas cans. Without realizing there was a problem, I launched the boat in order to dock it for the holiday week-end. The motor fired up, no problem, but stalled immediately when trying to put it in gear and stalled five times while trying to get it to the dock. Now that it is docked, again the engine starts OK, but will stall immediately when idling in neutral and applying the throttle. It will also stall out eventually if I just let it run without applying the throttle, after only 5 minutes or so.

    Obviously, the only thing that has changed is adding the fuel. I removed the fuel/water separator and checked the fuel in it and it was an extremely unusual color - a bright orange color, almost rust-like. There was no evidence of water being separated from the fuel - just the unusual color and some very minor debris. When I added the fuel it was filling at a very slow rate and the fuel would not go down after adding around 4 gallons. I moved the vent line around and the fuel then went into the tank. I am concerned that the fuel may have backed up into the vent line.

    I'm brand new to boating so please bear with me. Thus far, it's been a frustrating experience, as you can imagine. Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Yes, fuel that is bright red or orange = bad.

    This is going to sound really stupid, but are you sure you bought gas? Some gas stations have multiple hoses on one pump.
    Bright red (sometimes looks like dark orange) is usually offroad diesel.
    If you put diesel in a gas boat, it will not be happy......

    That said, if it is gas, a yellow tinge is fine, but bright orange is a problem. Dump the fuel water seperator and try again -- almost sounds like you could have bought fuel from a nearly empty tank and sucked a large portion of water or tank rust with it....

    How much gas does your gauge show being in the tank?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    "I added clean fuel purchased at a local major chain gas station while the boat was on the trailer using brand new, clean gas cans. Without realizing there was a problem, I launched the boat"

    Strange you couldnt just put it in the boat.Any chance it was diesel fuel?
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  4. #4
    Commander NHGuy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Sniff test the tank, does it smell oily? Gas has a very different odor. If you are unsure of the smell of gas you could open the fuel fill on a car and get the smell, then go to the boat and check it. Diesel fuel is effectively kerosene, and off road diesel has red dye in it. Don't try to run the boat til you are sure. It will be easier to remove the wrong or bad fuel than if you crank & crank it which can cause other stuff.
    Check your private messages, I have a thought for you.
    1989 Baja Sunsport 196, Mercruiser 5.7, Alpha 1
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Wow, thanks for all the quick responses.

    I definitely did NOT put diesel in - the diesel pumps are separate at the station I was at. In fact, I topped off the tank in my truck at the same time, so I know it is gasoline.

    Bt Doctur - didn't have the boat with me at the time - it was sitting on the trailer at home. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

    kd7isf - the gauge shows between 1/2 to 3/4 of a tank.

    Thanks for the PM NHGuy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Wanted to also clarify that the fuel was clear when I was putting it in. Whatever has happened to it to give it that orange/rust color has happened since it went into the boat.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Went back to the dock today and checked the fuel/water separator filter again - still the same orange color. Put the filter back on and started it up and all of a sudden everything seemed to clear up and it ran great at idle and again when I applied the throttle in neutral. Nevertheless, I shut it down and checked the filter one more time. Again, same orange color. Put the filter back on, started it up, same result - ran great in idle and when applying throttle in neutral. Decided to take it out for a test drive to see how far I'd get, with a friend following just in case. Ran great long enough for me to back it out of the dock and briefly take it up to a higher speed, and then when I backed down on the throttle again it stalled and I couldn't get it started again.

    At this point there must be some other problem. I'm afraid to mess around with it in case I break something else, so I guess I'm going to have to take it into the marina and hope it's a warrantied issue. I can't possibly fathom what could be making the fuel turn that orange color, unless there was some additive in the original tank of gas from when we picked it up at the marina that may be making it happen. Is that possible? There was probably 1/4 tank of gas left in it before I added the new gas.

    Thanks again for the quick responses. I'm not a happy holiday boater, to say the least.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Junior Grade
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    One thing you can do that they will. Run it on a remote gas tank. See if it improves the running complaints. If not, take it in. If it is a fuel problem, warranty isn't going to cover it.

  9. #9
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Hi,

    Ok, I read your thread again.

    You say bought the boat brand new with fuel in it? OK, if thats the case, then don't owrry about the orange color -- most likely its "stabil" a fuel stabilizing product that was added by the dealer at some point.

    You say the gas didn't want to go INTO the tank -- even when pouring from a can -- until you moved the vent around.... THIS IS PROBABLY YOUR PROBLEM...

    If the VENT doesn't let fuel IN, it could also be trying to not let fuel OUT. The fuel pump can only work against so much vacuum.....

    I'd take it back to the marina and complain about the vent issue when you tried to fill it AND about the running problem. See if they will make it right. It's probably a defective vent cap or (more likely) a kinked vent hose.

    Hope this helps
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    After going back to the dock again tonight and chatting with some people at the lake who saw we were having problems we had pretty much come to the conclusion that it was probably stabil that was making the fuel look a funny color. And I am convinced at this point that it is not a fuel problem - there is definitely something else preventing the fuel from getting where it needs to go.

    Thanks again for all the great responses. It's been very helpful.

  11. #11
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    doesn't really sounds like a fuel quality issue...

    sounds more like a fuel delivery issue or ignition issue.
    2000 Regal 1900 LSR
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    Motor replaced due to batwing failure and upgraded to a Edelbrock 1409 4 BBL carb

  12. #12

    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Just thought I'd give an update for all of you who were kind enough to respond. According to the dealer, there WAS water in the fuel (although we saw absolutely no evidence of that when we drained the fuel/water separator filter) that was caused by a bad seal on the filler hose beneath the gas cap. It rained quite a bit here for a couple of weeks and so they are assuming that the rain that got in under the cover leaked into the hose and consequently tainted the fuel.

    At any rate, it's a warranty repair and we should have the boat back this week-end to be able to take advantage of the beautiful weather we're having.

    Thanks again for all your help.

  13. #13
    Rear Admiral Fishermark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Thanks for the update. That's why I do not like Stabil fuel additive. It emulsifies the fuel and water so the water doesn't separate out. It causes all kinds of problems when you get water into the gas.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Brand New MerCruiser 4.3 TKS stalling out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishermark View Post
    That's why I do not like Stabil fuel additive. It emulsifies the fuel and water so the water doesn't separate out. It causes all kinds of problems when you get water into the gas.
    Not sure where you got this ideal.....Stabil doesn't emulsify fuel.

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