View Full Version : Heads up on Calif gasoline!!!

08-20-2005, 08:08 AM
I bought a new boat in May and it is powered by a 40hp Yamaha 4 stroke motor.

The motor was broken in according to manufactures specs and the ten-hour servicing was completed on time.

The motor is flushed every time after use and Stabul fuel stabilizer is regularly added to the fuel system as a precaution against moisture build up.

I have got about 50 or so hours run time on the motor and you would think that I would not be having engine problems with a new rig.

Well thanks to the great state of California and it's EPA fuel regulations the rig is in the shop and the carbs are so crapped up they already need rebuilt.

The reason is the ethanol that is added to the fuel, it absorbs water, that water can and does precipitate out in your engine (In the carb bowls) and it turns into a white goop that can and will ruin your day.

I'd hurt my knee on the last trip I'd made and the boat sat unused for 2 weeks, I'd put it away in the backyard where I'd topped off the fuel tank to remove air pockets that cause condensation and had run the engine for 30 minutes and had also run the carbs dry too.

It sat for another two weeks and after I got my knee fixed I went out to fish, the motor crapped out right at the dock, barely ran and died as soon as it went into gear.

Knowing better than to try to go out I drug it to the dealer and he told me he has about two dozen people this week that are suffering the same problems.

Rather than bore you with more details the bottom line and the fix is to add a good water/fuel separator AND a ten micron filter in line before the engine.

I verified this with the Yamaha people in Georgia and it is a statewide problem.

The reason it is shows up quicker here is we live right on the coast and have high relative humidity and our weather is cooler which condensates quicker.

I do not know how this will affect the two stroke people but you 4 stroke owners with fixed tanks had better take note.

Oh yeah... the Guv. has also signed a bill that will allow more ethanol in the fuel so the problem will get worse.

I'm beginning to really hate this state.

08-20-2005, 10:30 AM
Ethanol has been added to winter fuel in other states for a long time. It is relatively new to California since they used MTBE as an oxygenator until the decision was made to ban the additive because of environmental concerns.

We had fuel moisture problems all the time in Florida, especially in the winter. The solution was to run the fuel out of the carb and top off the fuel tank after every trip. A fuel separator won't help much if the carburettor bowl is filled with fuel during storage where temperature changes and a humid environment can cause condensation to form inside the engine. However, a fuel filter/water separator is a good addition where water loaded marina fuel or any source of poor quality fuel is used.

08-20-2005, 08:13 PM
stop buying 76 gas.

well in this area, they are the only ones that sell it.

that junk will also tear up all the rubber lines in your fuel system.

that is just happy, happy, joy, joy! for the shops that get more money for us using corn gas.

and yes, it tears up CAR gas lines too!

08-20-2005, 08:56 PM
According to our bulk supplier here in Eureka (Renner Petrolium Co.) ALL gasoline has ethanol in it as it's a mandate from the state so the brand doesn't matter.

You can buy leaded racing fuel...but it's about $6.00 per gallon

08-20-2005, 09:11 PM
i would come to sacto to the am/pm stations and start stockpiling mtbe fuel ;D ;D ;D ;D

08-21-2005, 05:20 PM
Guys, fuel lines and seals in all automotive and marine engines have been designed to resist 10% ethanol since at least the mid '90's. Ethanol can cause fuel line and carb problems in older engines. There is a slight lose in power and fuel economy when ethanol is used in fuel. Ethanol has been added to fuel in the North East and Mid West since the '70's. Some other countries use far more ethanol in their gas than we do without problems.

08-21-2005, 08:36 PM
chevron up here in these parts sells 100 octane for 3.40 per gal(not that much more than 92)If Cali is unsubitable move.

08-22-2005, 05:54 AM
Jan, you are only Now starting to hate california. Every year it gets worse,and worse. I have been noticing that since the 80's :(

08-23-2005, 08:35 AM
Jan, you are only Now starting to hate california. Every year it gets worse,and worse. I have been noticing that since the 80's :(

Oregon, Washington?

A,B,C....Anywhere But California ;D

08-23-2005, 09:33 AM
I already have my escape plan in motion. Bought a cheap condo on Lake Powell, AZ and looking for a couple acres in Colorado for the "Summer House". I was born and raised in California and didn't know how great other places were until I started travelling more.

09-01-2005, 02:52 PM
I usualy do that but due to a knee injury didn't get to for a few days and then it was too late.

Follow this link for some scary information about ethanol gasoline "Phase seperation" ought to scare the crap out of the 2 stroke owners.


09-02-2005, 06:04 PM
an update, baby is back!!!

I picked up the boat and it runs like a top, carbs rebuilt, filter installed we're ready to hit the water tomorrow.

two weeks lost. :(

09-07-2005, 09:04 PM
Jan, I am a Yamaha four stroke owner who is sort of becoming concerned about California gasoline now because of you! Please tell me what you have learned from all of this! I called the Yamaha dealer in and he told me that as long as I run the motor every week, I should not use and fuel additives. But my manual says I should use Ring Free Fuel Additive to prevent combustion buildup. I go to Monterey every now and then so I want to hear it from a real coastal fisherperson like you!

09-07-2005, 10:56 PM
my brother had carb problems on his 2 stroke honda motorcycle.when he took them apart after running a certain brand of fuel for about 4 months they were all corroded inside.they were fully cleaned about 6 months before that so the only thing to think of is the fuel.white goo..

12-17-2005, 06:42 PM
Watertrip1 sorry I didn't reply to you sooner.

Thefix for me was to get the carbs rejetted (At Yamaha's expense) and add the Raycor water fuel seperator with a ten micron filter carterage.

The mechanic told me to fill the fuel tank to the top add the correct amount of Stabul for my 21 gallon tank and then said to run the motor for at least 30 inutes every two weeks.

I put the boat into winter storage in tha back yard around the middle of October since Salmon season was over and I was having some knee problems it seemed like a good thing to do.

I did winterize the motor with a good cleaning, and a general once over with lube and oil, pulled the prop and changed the lower unit oil.

I go out every two weeks and hook up the hose and fire it off and run it till it warms up and I'll let it fast idle at about 1100 rpm for 30 - 40 minutes.

Other than the cold killing the battery and having to get it replaced this is working out fine for me.

I'll probably siphon off ten gallons of fuel and replace it with fresh stuff at the end of Feb. (I figure it won't hurt to have a fresh shot of fuel)

12-18-2005, 10:40 AM
how would aviation gas work? it is a higher octane but doesnt get stale and i dont think it has ethanol'

12-18-2005, 03:07 PM
California is not the only state with ethanol in the gas. It was federally mandated by Congress last year for everybody. The reason it is in your gas is because Bush and the Republican Party is lobbied by a bunch of Mid West Farmers that grow corn and want to make a buck.

The rationale for the whole boondoogle is that it will reduce oil use. The problem with the law is that it mandates that gas must be mixed with ethanol. It wouldn't matter if a better subsitute came along, it has to be ethanol!

When engines recomment gas additive they are talking about an additive that helps keep your gas from putting a varnish like finish in your carburator jets. As it builds up your jets choke off. This happens when you let old gas run through your carburators. It also does wonders for fuel injection systems.

You can see how rumors get started when you go through this thread.

12-18-2005, 04:35 PM
I don't know about the politics of the ethanol (Nor do I really care) but I do know that it attracts moisture and it will corrode the allow inside the float bowl of a 2005 Yamaha and clog up the jets on the carb. *

I was standing there when the guy poped off the float bowl and there was white crap all over.

It's not an urban legend nor a tall tale being passed on and the engine didn't have 50 hours on it so there wasn't a varnish build up.

*Ethanol in gasoline sucks.

12-19-2005, 08:19 AM
Aviation gas. Are you kidding? The racor is the best thing you could of done for yourself. You should of installed one when you bought your boat and you'd probably be fine. Check it regularly to make sure theres no water in your tank. Water in the fuel is one of the most common problems with motors. Anyone not running a seperator its only a matter of time....pop!
Do you really think 100 octane does anything to your motor?
please enlighten me.

12-19-2005, 03:50 PM
I found this piece of information writen by Don Casey. He is a best selling author of "how to" books. Hopefully this helps to answer the "what to do" question. I also wonder how much fuel is in the tank of a brand new boat. Mine sat around the dealer for almost a year with only a few gallons in it.

Q: Recently I have been hearing that it may NOT be wise to fill your gas tanks for winterizing.
A: The increasing prevalence of alcohol (ethanol) in gasoline has led to cautions you are hearing about storing gasoline. This is because gasoline oxygenated with alcohol readily takes up water when it is present. The water can condense out of humid air inside the tank, which of course is why you store your tank full. With enough water present, gasoline oxygenated with alcohol will separate into two phases?gasoline on top and a water and alcohol mix at the bottom. This will make engine starting next season difficult or impossible. It also fosters corrosion in the bottom of the tank.<P> If gasoline that does not contain ethanol is available in your area, that is what you should put in the tank. If all local gasoline contains ethanol, or you just don?t know, you can avoid problems in the spring by the additional step of sealing the tank?s vent to prevent moisture from entering. If your fuel is fresh and dry, your tank is completely full, and you seal the vent while the fuel is being stored, the risk of water contamination with an ethanol blend should not be significantly higher than with regular gasoline. Oxygenated gasoline should not cause any other problems in a late model boat. Alcohol in gasoline can attack some of the fuel system components in older boats, but that is a different issue. Oxygenated gasoline does appear to have a shorter shelf life than conventional gasoline that does not contain alcohol. That makes adding a stabilizer even more important.

12-19-2005, 04:41 PM
I sure agree with the shelf life issue. My Honda generator would hardly run on gas that was only two months old. Had to take it out and replace it with fresh fuel to make it run right. I hate to store anything dry because of the gasgets drying out. Tough choice these days...

12-19-2005, 06:49 PM
Here's another link to more info on this fuel...


Along with this previously posted link...


My neighbor also owns a 17’ Triumph with a 50 Yamaha that is a year older than mine is and he started having the very same sort of trouble with his rig as I did, he bought some new jets and added a Raycor filter like mine and troubles are all gone.

It doesn’t just crap out all of a sudden, you will start having the motor die on warm up and sometimes it will run a little rough, sputter and misfire until it warms up or you really give it the gas, then one day it clogs up enough where it won’t run.

I’d specifically asked the mechanic about how to winterize/store the boat this winter and he told me to do all the storage maintenance items in the manual for greasing and oil changes and the rest.

He advised that I fill the fuel tank as full as it would go to remove any air pockets and treat the entire tank with a fuel stabilizer to the proper amount for the gallons of fuel, then run the motor for a minim of 30 minutes every two to three weeks.

My dealer told me that he’d had 25-30 customers come in that same month with the same sort of problems and that there were other areas around the state that were having the same difficulties.

Don my mechanic showed me the “California” jets out of my motor, in order for the outboards to meet the emissions standards here they use very fine jetting so as to atomize the fuel fine enough for a clean burn. The replacement jets were the type that are used in the Midwest and Florida where they have used ethanol fuel for sometime now.

My whole intent on posting this info was to save someone else a serious on the water problem or a busted trip.

12-25-2005, 01:41 AM