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Strange Fuel Line Goo

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Guest
I noticed some really strange stuff totally clogging the fuel filter inlet on my Pmax. It had a rubbery texture and was about the same color as the gas. Fortunately I had one of those clear plastic filters. So it was easily noticed. Any ideas on the stuff?

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Guest
quote:
Originally posted by Ronald Hribar
My opinion is that the ethanol is eating up your fuel lines
There's only about 2" of fuel line (hose) between the tank and filter. Regardless, I hope it's not the problem because there's about a foot of hose after the filter as it enters an electric fuel pump and then onto the carburetor. I hate to think of the mess it would make in the later. Please, someone offer a less frightening scenario.

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nighteye
Steve; I left a couple small parts soaking in gas in a plastic cup once and in the morning, had a pile of rubbery goo on the work bench. Could something plastic have made it into the tank? Where have you been getting your gas and how are you transporting it? Did this stuff slowly build up and cause a performace problem or did it just show up and make it quit? Wonder if someone used some sealer or gasket compound to lube the gas lines enough to get them hooked up annd it just broke some loose. I would throw another filter or two on it and keep a close eye on it. Good luck, Ken

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BLT
Ethanol has been tough on on two cycle products like chain saws, string trimmers and blowers. It seems to disintegate fuel lines that have been submerged in the fuel every two to three years. I have replaced them on all of the above at least twice each. As far as your problem, it could be something not related to enthanol.

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Guest
Ken - Actually, I noticed the gunk in the filter before trying to start the engine. The tractor ran fine the last time it was used a couple of weeks ago. The only thing different introduced to the fuel system besides fuel itself was a new gas gas gauge. Come to think of it, the float on the gauge was made of plastic. Could that be the culprit? I'll look for closely at it tomorrow.

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Guest
Bob - I recall the same warning from our local small engine repair shop the last time I purchased parts for a chain saw. They said to stay away from Arco gas for the reasons you described. But I also recall that the warning only applied to 2-cycle engines because of the oil and gas admixture.

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comet66
I have also seen gas lines replaced with hose not intended for use with gasoline. All hoses are not created equal. Another possibility is, that if the last time you filled your gas cans, the station had just got their tanks filled, you could have gotten some the sludge that gets stirred up from the bottom of the tanks.

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Guest
quote:
Originally posted by MPH
is it possible there was a piece of packing foam left on the new gas gauge. That stuff melts rather strangely when hit with gas.
Possibly but I doubt it. I checked the plastic float on the gauge this morning and it's still intact and doesn't have any signs of disolving. The interior of the small section of hose (made for fuel) looks good too. Also, the interior of the tank doesn't appear to have any contaminants in it. I plan to put on another filter today and watch it closely. Still strange though. I picked some of the goo out of the old filter and it has the consistency of cured silicone caulking and definitely plugged the filter completely.

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Mick14
I bought some gasline at the local hardware store {master mechanic},the hose itself turned into jelly and caused some minor problems,now i get it at the auto parts store,same price and no problems.

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HubbardRA
Silicone caulking will not stand up to gasoline, at all. I worked on a circle track racecar. The guys who owned the car put on a new fuel line from tank to carb. Unfortunately the filter was mounted at the tank. They sealed all of the joints with silicone. I'll bet I took that carb apart 6 or 7 times to remove pieces of caulking from the jets. We were still having that problem a month later after running at least 3 races. It always happened after sitting for several days, when the car was first started. All the loose pieces would come off and lodge in the carb. Once cleaned, it would run great till it was parked and allowed to sit for several days, then more would loosen up and come down the fuel line. Even though we took the lines loose and tried to remove all the caulk, there was still some that we didn't get too.

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Guest
Rodney - I've heard about the incompatibility that gas has with silicone before. However, it doesn't play a part in this case. I haven't noticed any silicone between the gas tank and filter. I don't know if it was actually silicone pulled out of the old filter. It certain felt and looked like it though.

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patrician12
It's the ethanol in the gas>Alot of cars and trucks with plastic gas tanks are suffering from "black death".The ethanol is eating away at the plastic and going into the fuel pump and strainer in the tank shutting off the vehicle.The manufacturers want the pump,strainer and tank replaced.

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quantico
Most fuel tanks in cars these days are plastic. I can't imagine that the tank itself is degrading into pieces. Fuel lines must be the correct type to handle gasoline... plastic aquarium tubing and fuel line are not the same. I know that many states require the use of 10 percent ethanol in fuel ( a bad idea in my opinion ) so there are lots and lots of cars / trucks / tractors / motorcycles / and engines of every sort in the mix. I would be sure to keep a spare filter around and maybe even install one just before the carb inlet to be sure that all your fuel is filtered before the carb gets a chance to clog. That seems prudent advise for most of us. I wonder if some old gas that had gelled in the fuel tank somehow came loose and moved through the fuel line ??? Without stabil in the gasoline , and over longer periods of time fuel can become an icky thing. Maybe even using an old gas can that had not been used in some time could contribute to a problem like this. I know that I just bought a tractor that had not been run in a year... and I removed all fuel and oil and started fresh after draning the line to the fuel filter. I just don't trust other people maintainance, if I don't know them well enough to know how they do things. Let us know if you find out the exact cause..

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Guest
Don't know why I didn't think of it before but all of my containers for storing gas except 2-cycle fuel are plastic. Could this be the source of the problem? Incidently, I haven't experienced any more goo after replacing the fuel filter.

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Al
Hi, One of the worst carb messes we have had was a carb on an engine that had been run dry and pure Stabil put in the tank and the engine turned over for a few turns to get it in everywhere. You can hardly get that out when it is all gummed up from setting a long time. It needs to be used with gasoline. Al Eden

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Guest
Well, looks like the strange goo will remain a mystery. I've run through about 8 gallons of gas since replacing the fuel filter and the problem has not surfaced again.

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quantico
One of the interesting things is that long term storage is not usually a planned event in a machines life. The military knows how to store things that will be unused for a long time, but the rest of us blindly find used / abused machines that came from years of garage storage with no oil in the cylinders... old gas in the tank and carb.... water and moisture able to rust parts... parts run years with no grease / cleaning or lube... I would expect to find wierd new life forms in the fuel systems of these tractors... but not in the machines that we service and run on a regular basis..... I don't know the cause of the substance you found in the fuel filter.. but the fact that you caught it and changed the filter means that the filter did it's job.... I was given a 6 gallon omc boat fuel tank last fall... it has strange syrup looking stuff in the bottom mixed with sand... I don't know if I will attempt to clean and use the tank... if I do I will likely try to clean it and then put some marbles and fresh fuel in it and let it bounce around the back of my pickup for a month or two to let the cleaning process work. In any case the thread has made me want to consider adding one or two fuel filters in the fuel line as soon as it leaves the tank. I am still not sure that a free tank is work risking a 2000 dollar outboard on either of my boats... those fuel filters look like a great idea right now.

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Ronald Hribar
Beeser You must be getting in some quality tractor time. I haven't used 8 gallons of gas in 90 days. You have used that much in 4 days. I use Stabil, but Al's comment about using it excessively is interesting. I usually have 3 full five gallon gas cans in stock and rely on Stabil to keep it fresh. Think I'm going to only keep 1 can on hand and go to station more.

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comet66
quote:
Originally posted by Al
Hi, an engine that had been run dry and pure Stabil put in the tank and the engine turned over for a few turns to get it in everywhere.
I think Al's caution was not to use pure Stabil, without gasoline.

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Guest
quote:
Originally posted by Ronald Hribar
Beeser You must be getting in some quality tractor time. I haven't used 8 gallons of gas in 90 days. You have used that much in 4 days. I use Stabil, but Al's comment about using it excessively is interesting. I usually have 3 full five gallon gas cans in stock and rely on Stabil to keep it fresh. Think I'm going to only keep 1 can on hand and go to station more.
Yep, it was a good week for tractor time. I had to level about 50 yards of dirt. Felt good to finally get some useful work done with the Pmax.

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Mowingman
how old is the fuel? if it's about 2 yrs. old, it's most likely varnish. calls for good old thorough cleaning, no way around it. if you're going to store it again, and you don't know how long the gas is going to sit in it, drain the tank and burn the fuel in something else. plastic MIGHT dissolve, but only in parts cleaning solvent or paint thinner.Anyway, arent tank guage floats usually made of cork?

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