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Old 27-12-2019, 11:02   #1
PHR
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Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Hi.

I was putting diesel additive down the fuel fill tube on my Hunter 49 SV, and the little cardboard paper thing inside the cap of the additive came off, flipped in the air, and on a little gust, fell into the freaking fuel fill tube while I watched in stunned amazement. I used several different items to try to see it (i.e., a borescope), or recover it. But it never went down it in the first place, it made it past 6 feet down the fuel tube, or it was stuck along the side of the tube and I missed it.

Worst case scenario, what would be the consequences of having a 1 1/2 inch round piece of pressed cardboard in the fuel tank?

I can't imagine it making it all the way to the engine in any fashion, but would it just clog the fuel intake within the tank, or mess with the fuel gauge, or what else? Would it be caught by a fuel filter? I do not want to make a bigger deal out of it, especially since I could not see it with the borescope, and I ran the engine without any problems right afterwards.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Weird situation.

Peyton
S/V Sail La Vie
San Diego
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:06   #2
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

try overfilling the fuel tank,it might just float out on top with the overflowing fuel
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:09   #3
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Worst case is it clogs the fuel pickup in the worst of circumstances. I think you need to find it. Its not just paper and cardboard as they have an aluminum foil facing and so will not just turn into mush.
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:11   #4
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

time for an access panel into the tank, (which it should already have). Does it have a fuel gauge that can be pulled? Might float out if its in the fill hose still. Would complicate other solutions if it doesn't work.
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:17   #5
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

This happened to a friend of mine last year. The foil that is on Startron and Stabil. He didn't used to remove them completely. He left them there like a 'hanging chad'. One day one fell off and he didn't notice.

Fast Forward.....he found it because he was taking apart his fuel system trying to figure out why his port engine was starved for fuel.

I had another friend that had an issue getting his holding tank pumped out properly. The manufacturer had let the cutouts fall into the tank when they installed the fittings. One eventually blocked the pumpout outlet. (obviously not an issue for the inlets).
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:19   #6
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Great collection of ideas. It felt like the start of a Robert Zemeckis movie with the little cardboard thingy floating in the wind, sitting for a second on the lip, then dropping down the tube.
I may try a shop vac too to see if that will suck it out. But like the overfill idea, and had not thought of that.
Thanks follks!
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:21   #7
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
This happened to a friend of mine last year. The foil that is on Startron and Stabil. He didn't used to remove them completely. He left them there like a 'hanging chad'. One day one fell off and he didn't notice.

Fast Forward.....he found it because he was taking apart his fuel system trying to figure out why his port engine was starved for fuel.

I had another friend that had an issue getting his holding tank pumped out properly. The manufacturer had let the cutouts fall into the tank when they installed the fittings. One eventually blocked the pumpout outlet. (obviously not an issue for the inlets).
Thanks, sounds like just the concerns I am worried about.
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:34   #8
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHR View Post
Great collection of ideas. It felt like the start of a Robert Zemeckis movie with the little cardboard thingy floating in the wind, sitting for a second on the lip, then dropping down the tube.
I may try a shop vac too to see if that will suck it out. But like the overfill idea, and had not thought of that.
Thanks follks!

Do not use a shop vac, those motors are not designed to have solvents or fuel fumes running through them.


PS I do feel your pain, I lost a piece of siphon hose into my RV fuel tank and have yet to be able to recover it.
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:42   #9
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Thanks. Yeah, kind of funny but not in a laughing way. The shop vac would not have the problem you allude to but I appreciate your comment and sympathy for my plight.
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Old 27-12-2019, 11:47   #10
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHR View Post
Great collection of ideas. It felt like the start of a Robert Zemeckis movie with the little cardboard thingy floating in the wind, sitting for a second on the lip, then dropping down the tube.
I may try a shop vac too to see if that will suck it out. But like the overfill idea, and had not thought of that.
Thanks follks!
to over fill the tank you will probably have to locate the breather pipe from the tank and block that off first.
then fill the tank very slowly using a long siphon hose from cans on the deck to avoid flushing the cap into the tank.
build a dam of rags around the fuel filler to avoid fuel going into the sea.
the cardboard cap should float to the top
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Old 27-12-2019, 12:28   #11
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Paper is about as dense as water, may not float in diesel.
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Old 28-12-2019, 09:28   #12
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Chances are at some point in the future it shall be responsible for an obstruction in your fuel line. If this was not the only fuel tank in the vessel then you could change to the other tank and run off that until at a later time remove the fuel line and use air or water pressure to blow clean the fuel line then reinstall. Or even better you can remove the fuel gauge sender located on the top of the tank and look down into the tank and maybe you can see and remove it. Regardless itís not going to pass through your filter. I think it will just plug up the fuel pick up line near the bottom on the tank, just what you need when your motoring through a narrow passage between the reefs.
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Old 28-12-2019, 09:31   #13
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Buy another can of stabil and try drpping the foil piece into a cup of diesel and see if it floats. At least you will have some more info to brainstorm with.
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Old 28-12-2019, 09:56   #14
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Here is an out of the box idea for your problem. Flexible fuel tanks use expanded foam inserts instead of baffles. They look kind of like a loofah sponge. If you inserted this baffling material in your tank it would create a filter that would prevent the cardboard disc from clogging your fuel pickup or fuel line. I learned about this foam insert when I had a flexible insert made for a leaking diesel tank years ago. Mine was from Aero Tec Laboratories in New Jersey. Hope this helps or stimulates other ideas.
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Old 28-12-2019, 10:00   #15
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Re: Item dropped into fuel fill stem

Depending on how your tank is baffled the fuel level sender may not be much help but maybe worth a try. If you think it might still be in the fill hose. Take gently without a Lott of shaking off the fill hose ( bottom clamp first ) and then see if it is in the tube. Probably no need to undo the top just blow it out and see what you get and inspect with flashlight.
If itís is in the tank pump it out through access hatch or fuel sender hole. If still donít see it slosh some fuel around and try to get it to move from bagel to bagel till you can see it. Grab it with a suction tube. Maybe same pump would work.
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