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  1. #1
    Cadet
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    Default Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    I bought a boat that had been sitting up about one year, according to the owner. I pumped all of the old gas/oil mix out with an electric fuel pump, put in one bottle of water remover and then 32 gallons of fresh fuel and oil mix. When I started running the boat, a slime, gel substance would clog up the pickup tube in the tank (70 gal.) It will run sometimes for a couple of hours and then collapse the primer bulb. When I pull the pickup out, the gel is trapped in the tube in the metal strainer. I put one can of sea foam in the tank but have not had a chance to run it yet. Will this dissolve the gel or is there something better? Thanks in advance for any info.

    Dusky

  2. #2
    Fleet Admiral Texasmark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    I had a 18 gal built in tank in a boat once and worried about fuel contamination so I bought some fuel conditioner and added it. The tank apparently had water in it and the conditioner apparently had alcohol in it as the two combined and made the gel (white viscous goo) for me which stopped my engine completely one day at WOT. Trouble shooting found it in the fuel line prior to the squeeze bulb.

    I took my tank out, stripped everything out and cleaned it.

    To answer your question I think I'd take some gel and some Sea Foam and put the two together and see what happens. I realize that you are at a 1:1 but at least you can determine if you are headed in the right direction. Or you might try another fuel conditioner.

    To remove the gel without removing the tank, you might remove your pickup hose/filter and get a fine screen mesh that tolerates gasoline and make a big boot to surround your existing pickup. Make a lot of surface area so that you can continue to run and the gel will get trapped in the mesh. Then remove it with the goo and hopefully you will be good to go.

    HTH

    Mark

  3. #3
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    Park the boat on a side hill, get a siphon into the lowest part of the tank and siphon it all out. (you can filter it and use it in your lawn mower)

    Then throw in about 2 quarts of isopropyl alcohol and siphon that out and discard it.

    Then install a suction side fuel filter/water seperator. (I use a Racor 60 gpm)
    Annual filter change is a maintenance item.

    Fill her up and go boating. Any chit left gets caught in the filter.

    hope it helps
    John

  4. #4
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    let the boat sit a day or 2, remove the fuel sending unit. and drain plug, run a hose thru the drain into the tank, siphon off gas keeping the hose off the bottom of the tank so as not to pick up the gooo. then clean the tank. i've never heard of anybody doing this, but it makes sense to me, put a gallon of carb cleaner in the tank, to free up residue. the drive down a bumpy road, go home tilt bow up, and clean the crap out. siphon what you can, the paper towels. let's see what others think about the carb cleaner.
    FLORIDA GATORS
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  5. #5
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    If it's a plastic tank, carb cleaner might eat it. Isopropyl alcohol is cheap, and a good solvent and dehydrator.

    hope it helps
    John

  6. #6
    Cadet
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    Thanks to everyone for the information. It has rained every day since I posted the problem. Maybe I'll get to try something this weekend. I will post the results. The tank is not plastic and it cannot be removed so I guess I may try almost anything to dissolve it.

    Thanks again,

    Dusky

  7. #7
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Fogland Beach, Tiverton, RI
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    Clearly the best solvent for varnished gas (which is what you seem to have) is Carb cleaner. I would spray in a whole bottle, followed by a bottle of isopropyl alcohol to keep things liquefied, then siphon out within a couple of hours. If you let it dry up too quickly, which is what happens with plain carb cleaner, it will just dry back up into varnish. The alcohol will help keep it liquefied and siphonable. Sounds like a fun weekend in store for you...You might even get a buzz from the solvent fumes if you're lucky.

  8. #8
    Admiral j_martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    You can't get it all, but you can clean it up enough so a good filter will keep you from having a problem with it.

    Hope it helps
    John

  9. #9
    Cadet
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    Smile Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    I took the boat out this morning and it ran fine. Put about 10 miles on it, turning it sharp and pouring the coals to it, trying to make it pick up anything left in the tank. I wanted to at least try the sea form solution before draining out all the fuel. I ended up putting 1 and 1/2 cans of sea foam in about 18 gal of fuel/oil mix and it cleared up right up. Thanks everyone for thier help. Now I'm ready to go fishing.

    Thanks again,

    Dusky

  10. #10
    Fleet Admiral Texasmark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gel in fuel tank, what to do?

    Another Sea Foam success story.

    Mark

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