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View Full Version : To fill or not to fill......


76S&S
09-19-2007, 01:31 PM
Fill the gas tank before winterizing or not. There are two trains of thought on this one.

Fill and add fuel stabilizer. To my understanding (which is questionable):o the stabilizer keeps the varnish from forming but doesn't do anything to maintain the octane levels. So, next spring we have a tank full of stable, low octane gas. :(

Run out most of the gas and add stabilizer. Gas looses octane rapidly and West Marine's winterizing tips say to run out most of the fuel before storing. This way we could top off in the spring with fresh, high octane gas. :D This does open the door to condensation, but that has always been more of a diesel issue as far as I'm aware.

I think I'm going with option two, what do the rest of you think.

erkoehler
09-19-2007, 01:33 PM
Oh, this should be interesting........

Roonie's
09-19-2007, 01:34 PM
I was thinking of going with option 2 as well. I just don't want to run it too low as I don't want to be buying another fuel pump in the future so it will be about 1/4 tank full for winter.

Also I have done it this way for 20 years on my other boats and never had a problem yet. Never had to add heet or any other product to get water out. Boat has always fired right up and run like a champ. I also store my other toys this way too and never had problems with them either.

76S&S
09-19-2007, 01:42 PM
So Eric, you're not going to weigh in on this one???

Sodar
09-19-2007, 01:43 PM
Run out most of the gas and add stabilizer. ..... This does open the door to condensation, but that has always been more of a diesel issue as far as I'm aware.

Water in your fuel is an issue for both diesel and gas, however, it does happen more to diesel, because diesel tanks are usually metal (aluminum) versus poly-pro, which are is most MC's. If you have a poly-pro tank, I would have no problem, emptying the fuel tank and throwing some stabilizer in. In newer MC's and any EFI's though, I would be careful trying to run your tank dry. If you run it to dry, you will be looking at a $400 fuel pump replacement bill!

Sodar
09-19-2007, 01:43 PM
Oh, this should be interesting........

Yeah, this one will get good! Wait until BigMac or Jimn gets ahold... they will start throwing their super-tech info around and make us all look like idiots!

tones03
09-19-2007, 01:48 PM
Its hard not filling before storage for us because we are so excited to get the boat in the water in the spring, we dont want to waste an extra 10 minutes filling it up, and we can never remember whether or not we filled it. There is not a marina on our lake or gas station with in 10 miles, so gas is an issue for us.

NeilM
09-19-2007, 01:50 PM
Every fall, I fill the tank completely full, adding the appropriate amount of stabilizer to last the winter.
My thoughts are:
- a full tank won't collect condensation over the winter;
- a full tank will cost more in the spring than it does now, even accounting for the extra stabilizer that's needed.
- one less thing to do in the spring when de-winterizing.

TheOneandOnly
09-19-2007, 02:00 PM
Option one Ive always done on my motorcycles. I have used stabilizer for 10+ years with no carb/tank problems, I have however watched people not use stabilizer and have to reclean their carbs and reclean their gas tanks (these were on motorcycles) the next year since varnish/oxidation formed. People on here are going to give you all types of answers, the most important is to get the stabilizer in the injection rails/injectors.

For boats with plastic gas tanks its not going to be a problem with oxidation however condensation will form without it being full the gas, what ever you choose just make sure to stabilize

Prostar Rich
09-19-2007, 02:14 PM
In the spring I siphon the treated fuel that I left in the boat gas tank over the winter and use it in my lawn mower. Refill with fresh fuel and I am good to go. Just don't fill the boats gas tank if you go this route unless you have a lot of grass to cut.

Prostar Rich

M-Funf
09-19-2007, 02:15 PM
How cold does it get where you are in the SE?

I don't winterize my '76. It's parked in a barn, covered. It gets down below freezing, but not much, and not for long. When it gets cold, I usually put a drop light in the engine compartment with a 60 watt bulb.

wakescene
09-19-2007, 02:26 PM
I have run option 2 for 5 years now on my MC with no problems. I researched this when I put together this article: http://wakeboardnj.com/winterize.htm but you hit the major points of both so I have nothing more to add, other than this shamless promotion! :D
KG

JoshBuzz
09-19-2007, 02:34 PM
Just run through the winter!

:D

That's what we're doing this year, I'm ready to freeze haha!!

conway400
09-19-2007, 02:51 PM
Takes us all of one full, hard day or so to get rid of a tank of gas. So getting rid of that winter tank is not a big deal. :)

88 PS190
09-19-2007, 03:00 PM
I stabilize what I expect to be my last few cans of fuel in the fall and run it.

Wherever it finishes up is where it sits during the winter.

I do not fill the boat at the pump in the spring because I dislike having a full tank of fuel in the back of the boat for slalom.

I only need 5 in there at any one time, maybe 10 when I put in some extra to cross the lake.

I don't buy fuel at the marina, I just use 6 gallon cans and fill on the lift anyway so I don't really have an issue.

east tx skier
09-19-2007, 04:27 PM
On my old 93 (carb), I'd fill up with 93 octane in November and stabilize it. Then run it for the fluid changes with the stabilized fuel is in the carb, lines, etc. I recall JimN saying that gas loses about one point of its octane level per month. So even if stabil didn't protect the octane level, I wouldn't be too far below 89 octane, if at all, when I recommissioned in March. I'd try to pull it out and run t in January just because.

76S&S
09-19-2007, 04:42 PM
My boat stays on a lift all winter and is roughly 50 miles from home. It doesn't get that cold here, very often, but when it does it isn't convenient to run down and put a light or something on it. I usually run antifreeze through the engine so I don't have to worry about it freezing.

TMCNo1
09-19-2007, 06:30 PM
Fill the tank full to prevent condensation and use Stabil to stabilize the gas for the layup period.

TX.X-30 fan
09-19-2007, 06:35 PM
Fill the tank full to prevent condensation and use Stabil to stabilize the gas for the layup period.




And on the 7th day he rested. :worthy: :worthy: :worthy: :worthy:

Bruce
09-19-2007, 06:44 PM
Recent email from Skidim has a complete winterizing list. It also says full tank. Mine stays on a lift year around. Whatever is in the tank I add stabil to. It's in my back yard so it is easy enough to go start it up and run for about 15 every now and then.

"Some folks like biscuits and some like cornbread."
Edited since I forgot the " "
I'll have some pot likker with those greens. While you are at it add some cream corn and fried green tomatoes. "I.m coming Elizabeth. This is the big one!"

TX.X-30 fan
09-19-2007, 07:16 PM
Recent email from Skidim has a complete winterizing list. It also says full tank. Mine stays on a lift year around. Whatever is in the tank I add stabil to. It's in my back yard so it is easy enough to go start it up and run for about 15 every now and then.
Some folks like biscuts and some like cornbread.


Yes to both there for me. :D

Biscuits with cream gravy and fried venison. :)


27708

Cornbread with black eyed peas of course. :rolleyes:


27709

TMCNo1
09-19-2007, 07:18 PM
Recent email from Skidim has a complete winterizing list. It also says full tank. Mine stays on a lift year around. Whatever is in the tank I add stabil to. It's in my back yard so it is easy enough to go start it up and run for about 15 every now and then.
Some folks like biscuts and some like cornbread.


Yes to both there for me. :D

Biscuits with cream gravy and fried venison. :)


27708

Cornbread with black eyed peas of course. :rolleyes:


27709

Some poeple say Pi r2, but see, I told everyone pi are round, cornbread r square!

EricB
09-19-2007, 08:07 PM
My preference is to store full. I have an older unit with an aluminum tank, but it doesn't matter - condensation still forms on plastic tanks too.
The other thing to cosider is that up here (MN/WI) it gets cold, and gas does not vaporize nearly as quick as it does when warm. So I fill, and the boat runs just fine in spring. Boat goes to sleep mid-October an brought back to life middle of April.
Now my snowblower on the other hand, I do drain that tank for summer storage.

Roonie's
09-19-2007, 08:36 PM
Do you guys fill with premium gas (92) as it sits for so long and the octane rating goes down? I usually fill with 89 octane during the summer but may do premium for the winter.

Muttley
09-19-2007, 09:03 PM
I plan on filling mine. I had my last boat for 15 years and kept it full in the winter with stabil and never had an issue.

I'm sure it probably won't kill it to keep it low, but old habits die hard.

Be gentle. It's my first post. ;)

WTRSK1R
09-19-2007, 10:01 PM
Be gentle. It's my first post. ;)


Welcome to the board. I like your Avatar.

Hoosier Bob
09-19-2007, 11:03 PM
Full! Block all vents and stabilize! Losing octane? Never heard of that one. Sure molecules tend to combine and other materials leave but that is typically due to the addition of air. If sealed no worries. Fill and stabyl. Motorcycles, lawn mowers, weedeaters, snowblowers, generaters and yes boats. Octane remains and kerosene returns if you do not stabyl!8p

76S&S
09-20-2007, 08:52 AM
I've had the '76 for 28 years now and to be honest have never even considered this issue. Being a '76 is has an aluminum tank and when it was put up for the winter it was stored with whatever was left, no stabilizer no nothing and it has never been a problem.

With that being said it usually doesn't sit for more than four to maybe five months.

FrankSchwab
09-20-2007, 09:06 AM
I've never understood the "fill it to prevent condensation" standpoint. Condensation is going to come from moisture in the air; air is going to get into the tank from normal "breathing" (The gas gets colder at night, and contracts, pulling air into the tank. The gas gets warmer during the day, and expands, pushing air out of the tank).

The same mechanism exists regardless of whether you have a full or empty tank. There is always an airspace, the airspace is always changing size, there is always air entering or leaving the tank.

I have a question for you: If you had a completely empty tank, and left it in your boat over the winter, would it be full of water by spring?

In any case, it's a boat. Water's gonna get in the gas tank. I figure I run plenty of gas through the boat that's had Ethanol blended in, so all of those little drops of water are getting absorbed and burned. I just don't worry about it.


/frank

NeilM
09-21-2007, 10:27 AM
Liquid gasoline doesn't expand / contract nearly as much as air does, so the more gas in the tank, the less volume of 'breathing (as you call it)' that will occur.
We all have our own way, but looking through this thread (and many like it), the one thing in common is "stabilize".

ram
01-21-2008, 03:03 PM
With E10 fuels you also have to worry about phase separation.
PhaseSeparation.org has some information about this.