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Oh Boy...This Smell Ain't Good

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  • Oh Boy...This Smell Ain't Good

    Filled up the tank, headed to boat ramp for some evening fishing. Before backing boat down I went to screw in the plug and saw a steady stream of fluid coming out. Turns out it wasn't sea water. It's fuel.

    This is a first for me with this boat. And I had wanted to eventually unseal fuel compartment panel to look at tank since i bought this boat over a year ago. Rather not have to under these circumstances.

    Obviously the tank and/or fitting is leaking. The tank lays in a coffin under deck. It can be accessed by unsealing the deck panel it lies underneath. The center comsole is secured to the deck over this panel. So once I've removed the console and panel, any advice as to how to locate the leak is appreciated. I recon by the time I get to the tank the majority of fuel will have leaked out.

    I was told by previous owner the tank is new. I'm praying he was telling the truth and praying this leak is caused by a bad fitting/hose. Fingers crossed.
    Jason
    1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

  • #2
    Goes without saying....turn battery switches off.

    My greatest worry with owning an older boat. At least you have some access to tank. I would have to cut deck apart. Difficulty for you will be figuring out how to deal with remaining fuel.

    You definitely have the talent to repair/replace.

    How big is the tank?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pstephens46 View Post
      Goes without saying....turn battery switches off.

      My greatest worry with owning an older boat. At least you have some access to tank. I would have to cut deck apart. Difficulty for you will be figuring out how to deal with remaining fuel.

      You definitely have the talent to repair/replace.

      How big is the tank?
      Oh yea, disconnected connections to all 3 batteries. It's a 27 gallon tank. But here's what I'm thinking, let me know you thoughts. Once I discovered fuel was draining from hull plug I just kept the boat on the ramps decline, letting it drain out. My friend and I fished off the dock for an hour, then I trailered back to my storage facility. Unhitched and raised bow as high as the trailer wheel jack would allow. At that time there was no more fuel draining from hull plug. Looked inside the access hatch near transom and there wasn't a pool of fuel like there was when I discovered the leak.

      I've never seen this fuel tank so I don't know from an orientation standpoint where the fittings are. I would think that since the bow is lifted higher than the stern, thus the tank is also on incline, if this was a leak coming from the tank itself it would continue draining out fuel. Right? It's a 27 gallon tank that was full. And when the fuel was draining out of hull plug it wasn't gushing out. Just a steady moderate trickle...estimating about a gallon/hr.

      I did most of the labor when I got to boat yard....disconnecting all of the electronics and unseating console . So tomorrow I'll open up the fuel panel and see what's going on. Btw, any suggestions on the most effective way to unseal the panel? The groove between the panel and deck is about 1/4 inch, filled with what I expect is 5200.
      Jason
      1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

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      • #4
        Oh yea, disconnected everything from the 3 batteries. It's a 27 gallon tank. But here's what I'm thinking, let me know you thoughts. Once I discovered fuel was draining from hull plug I just kept the boat on the ramps decline, letting it drain out. My friend and I fished off the dock for an hour, then I trailered back to my storage facility. Unhitched and raised bow as high as the trailer wheel jack would allow. At that time there was no more fuel draining from hull plug. Looked inside the access hatch near transom and there wasn't a pool of fuel like there was when I discovered the leak.

        I've never seen this fuel tank so I don't know from an orientation standpoint where the fittings are. I would think that since the bow is lifted higher than the stern, thus the tank is also on incline, if this was a leak coming from the tank itself it would continue draining out fuel. Right? It's a 27 gallon tank that was full. And when the fuel was draining out of hull plug it wasn't gushing out. Just a steady moderate trickle...estimating about a gallon/hr.

        I did most of the labor when I got to boat yard....disconnecting all of the electronics and unseating console . So tomorrow I'll open up the fuel panel and see what's going on. Btw, any suggestions on the most effective way to unseal the panel? The groove between the panel and deck is about 1/4 inch, filled with what I expect is 5200.
        Jason
        1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

        Comment


        • #5
          Btw, if anyone has a better way to siphon fuel out of a tank other than getting a mouthful of 87 octane please let me know.
          Last edited by Jason2tpa; 04-29-2017, 01:26 AM.
          Jason
          1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

          Comment


          • #6
            Hope it's not 5200. Remove panel and see what you have. Maybe you don't need a siphon.

            What a week!
            Last edited by pstephens46; 04-29-2017, 01:30 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jason2tpa View Post
              Oh yea, disconnected everything from the 3 batteries. It's a 27 gallon tank. But here's what I'm thinking, let me know you thoughts. Once I discovered fuel was draining from hull plug I just kept the boat on the ramps decline, letting it drain out. My friend and I fished off the dock for an hour, then I trailered back to my storage facility. Unhitched and raised bow as high as the trailer wheel jack would allow. At that time there was no more fuel draining from hull plug. Looked inside the access hatch near transom and there wasn't a pool of fuel like there was when I discovered the leak.

              I've never seen this fuel tank so I don't know from an orientation standpoint where the fittings are. I would think that since the bow is lifted higher than the stern, thus the tank is also on incline, if this was a leak coming from the tank itself it would continue draining out fuel. Right? It's a 27 gallon tank that was full. And when the fuel was draining out of hull plug it wasn't gushing out. Just a steady moderate trickle...estimating about a gallon/hr.

              I did most of the labor when I got to boat yard....disconnecting all of the electronics and unseating console . So tomorrow I'll open up the fuel panel and see what's going on. Btw, any suggestions on the most effective way to unseal the panel? The groove between the panel and deck is about 1/4 inch, filled with what I expect is 5200.
              You are having a great week...Hopefully it is not 5200, and if it is hopefully again its just the seam filled and it not glued down with it. If the panel is glued down with 5200 you are going to have a hell of a time getting that apart...Brute force and ignorance may be your friends da morrow..

              Hopefully its not 5200.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, hell of a week is right. But it comes with the boating life. Luckily for me there are far more ups than downs.

                It's tough to tell what substance is sealing the panel just by looking. It's been sealed for at least 2 years, so the surface of the sealant is dirty. It's a grey coloring. Could very well be silicone.

                The previous owner told me he had replaced the tank. He took very good care of this boat and motor, very knowledgeable. And this fuel panel sealant is done very meticulously, no sloppy gunk on either side of the filing between panel and deck. I'd be shocked if he did use 5200. But hey, shock happens. I'll find out tomorrow. Keep y'all updated.
                Jason
                1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

                Comment


                • #9
                  disconnect the fuel line to the motor and splice in a longer hose so it will hang over the side into other containers as needed.

                  Then pump the primer bulb and let it flow. it will be slower than coming directly out of the fill with a larger hose, but it will get most of the fuel out.

                  are you sure you did not pump fuel into a rod holder

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                  • #10
                    It's early and I'm still half asleep, so forgive me if my reading comprehension is not what it ought to be.

                    1. Bad news indeed. I dread that day. Just sold a boat with ZERO access to the tank, so it will be sawzall time when that job surfaces.
                    2. Just take a spare squeeze bulb and stick some hose on either end to siphon. No sucky sucky.
                    3. It sounded like you may have drained some fuel already out the bung hole. It sounded like you may have done that at the ramp. You might want to edit that post as the USCG will have your junk in vise for allowing a known fuel leak to get into the water.
                    4. If 5200, I have had good luck using a hacksaw blade, by itself. Wear heavy leather gloves and have at it. Obviously the blade can't rub against the glass, to due diligence is required. Alternately, you might consider using the type of "caulk cutter" that auto windshield installers use when they first remove a busted windshield. Its basically a two-handed razor knife that allows the
                    two-hander to get seriously Cro-Mag and apply max grunt to the tip of that blade.
                    6. You might just want to lay down a really thin bead of Drano along the horizontal part of the seam. It might just eat through all the old caulk. Hell, it might even make it disappear. If it does, write a book and take a video to let us know. That would certainly be motivational for those about to tackle the job!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oldmako69 View Post
                      It's early and I'm still half asleep, so forgive me if my reading comprehension is not what it ought to be.

                      1. Bad news indeed. I dread that day. Just sold a boat with ZERO access to the tank, so it will be sawzall time when that job surfaces.
                      2. Just take a spare squeeze bulb and stick some hose on either end to siphon. No sucky sucky.
                      3. It sounded like you may have drained some fuel already out the bung hole. It sounded like you may have done that at the ramp. You might want to edit that post as the USCG will have your junk in vise for allowing a known fuel leak to get into the water.
                      4. If 5200, I have had good luck using a hacksaw blade, by itself. Wear heavy leather gloves and have at it. Obviously the blade can't rub against the glass, to due diligence is required. Alternately, you might consider using the type of "caulk cutter" that auto windshield installers use when they first remove a busted windshield. Its basically a two-handed razor knife that allows the
                      two-hander to get seriously Cro-Mag and apply max grunt to the tip of that blade.
                      6. You might just want to lay down a really thin bead of Drano along the horizontal part of the seam. It might just eat through all the old caulk. Hell, it might even make it disappear. If it does, write a book and take a video to let us know. That would certainly be motivational for those about to tackle the job!
                      Or you could put Draino on your bung hole and you won't be concerned with your fuel leak for awhile.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Plus 1 on using your primer bulb attached to a longer hose, then to another tank.

                        How much fuel comes out will give you an idea where the leak is. No fuel, the leaks towards / at the bottom...

                        I wonder if it's an aluminum or plastic tank that cracked maybe at a mounting point.

                        I'd get some real sharp razor blades and simply start cutting down the middle of the sealer to break it loose. I doubt they squeezed it super deep into the crevice. All you have to do it break the seal, then clean up the edges/ what's left later...

                        Hopefully, it's an aluminum tank that can be re-welded or a patch applied.

                        Once out, simply pressurizing it with some air, and squirting with windex will show you your leak (if not already visible once out).

                        Me thinks the PO, with the trailer issue, now this, hasn't been completely forth coming with the sale..

                        Good luck, find some shade as it's going to be a hot one today..
                        Scott
                        1997 Angler 204 CC, 2006 F150 TXR

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                        • #13
                          I forget the brand but there is a product in a spray can that debonds 5200.
                          it is wonderful stuff.

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                          • #14
                            Update:

                            Fuel floor panel came off easy, silicone sealant. Pictures are below pretty much tell the story. There was a yellow paper thin layer of dried fuel on top of the most of the surface area of tank. By looking at the condition of the sender gasket, as well as how much flakey corrosion was surrounding it, my guess is fuel was leaking from here. And probably for quite a long time. After scraping most of the layer of crusty off the tank I found 4 small holes. The diameter of these holes are about the size of the tip of a blunted lead pencil tip...1 or 2 millimeters. In the pictures I've circled each puncture site with a black marker. So far these are the only holes I've discovered. 1 hole next to sender, the other 3 starboard aft of tank.

                            I think it's safe to assume the bottom of tank is not leaking because the tank remains at least 3/4 full, no fuel leaking into bilge. The tank was manufactured by EVER-NU Tank Corp, Pompano Beach, FL. Manufactured date is 1988, 29 gallons. The "Const. Mat." is 090. I'm not sure what that indicates. The code for aluminum, SS?

                            So now's the time to chime in after looking through pics. Please let me know what you think. Replace tank? JB weld the puncture sites and replace fuel sender/gasket, then pressurize tank to confirm no other leaks? I'm headed back to the boat now to siphon out fuel, clean up the tanks surface a little more for better inspection.

                            This first picture is what the sender looked like before I started scraping






                            Jason
                            1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

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                            • #15
                              More pics...





                              Jason
                              1976 170 Aquasport***1998 S115TLRW

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