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View Full Version : Full Gas Tank or Empty Gas Tank?


bkblaida
09-23-2005, 06:09 PM
Ok TeamTalk members....need some clearification. I was told by my local boat dealer that it is best to add stabil during your last trip out on the water and run your tank as empty as possible before storing. The logic is such; years ago when tanks were made of metal, condensation caused rusting. Hence you wanted to keep the tanks full to prevent condensation. Today, virtually all tanks are made of plastic and you are better off keeping as little fuel as possible over a long winter storage (Chicago area 6-7 months). With the empty tank there will be
less weight on a trailered boat and even stabilized fuel will change over long periods of storage. Any condensation that forms over the winter will easily be diluted in the 20+ gallons of fresh gas in the spring.

Even boat magazines do not agree as I have seen articles on both sides of the full / empty tank issue.

I have been storing with an empty tank for the last 5 years and have never had a problem.

What say you??

:confused:

Laurel_Lake_Skier
09-23-2005, 06:47 PM
If it has worked for the last 5 years why change? I use the same method and have had success as well. Most things I've read suggest filling the tank but I actually drain any gas left in mine out after the stabilized gas has worked its way to the carb. When I do that, I need to remove the fuel line from the tank to the pump in spring to get gas flowing again but the engine always fires up like it had been run the day before. Unless I find a real good reason not to contiue.....I'll stick with what has worked for me in the past.

Tom023
09-23-2005, 06:54 PM
I've done it the opposite, full tank, for 25 years and never had a problem either. I would think both ways work well as long as the gas that is left in it is stabilized. With my electric in-tank fuel pump I don't want to get too empty given the rash of failures.

ski_king
09-23-2005, 07:10 PM
I have done it both ways over the years. Both have worked.
Mine sits without running for just over 6 months.

Mine is full (with stable) right now, I hope to get it in the water a time or 2 yet, but if I don't, I will store it full.

If nothing else, it is nice to know I have 25 gallons of gas I can use "just in case".

André
09-23-2005, 07:18 PM
With my electric in-tank fuel pump I don't want to get too empty given the rash of failures.
Very wise! ;)

FlyingFreeman
09-23-2005, 09:58 PM
Recently replaced the fuel pump in my 02 PS197. The upper spring on the pump assembly had some corrosion. If the tank had been left full, the metal parts of the pump assembly would not have corroded.

Also, more liquid in the tank results in less air in the tank. Less vapor space will reduce the amount of condensation possible from humid air inside the tank.

Storage practices did not result in my pump replacement (actually, the original fuel pump was probably O.K, but a weatherpack connector in the harness near the pump relay was my problem).

pilot02
09-23-2005, 10:08 PM
Personally, I'd probably lean towards a full tank simply based on my experiences with planes and the fact that condensation does form rather quickly with changes in temp. when something is stored outside. Sta-bil is not an option, it's a necessity regardless and I'd recommend running the engine a bit with it in there before winterizing. If the boat is stored indoors in a climate controlled facility, then I wouldn't think tank level would really matter. Again, sta-bil's a necessity regardless because the fuel in the carb will likely evaporate and allow moisture to gather.

east tx skier
09-23-2005, 10:17 PM
Top it off, stabilize, run it a bit to do the winterization. Top it off with a stabilized can. Condensation = water, which I do not want in my fuel. The less, the better.

RickDV
09-23-2005, 10:28 PM
Top it off, stabilize, run it a bit to do the winterization. Top it off with a stabilized can. Condensation = water, which I do not want in my fuel. The less, the better.

Agreed. I do the same. In addition I am going to run the fuel out of the engine this year so there's no corrosion building up.

Workin' 4 Toys
09-23-2005, 10:45 PM
1/2 tank all winter.

Leroy
09-23-2005, 11:34 PM
I think the gas systems are sealed better making the issue less important. Gas in water used to be a much bigger problem when I was young in the 60-70's. Link tells a story, most of it I believe!

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/myth_of_condensation_in_fuel_tanks.htm

erkoehler
09-24-2005, 12:39 AM
Mine will be left however it sits when the snow flies and the season is over. I don't think it matters that much.

bkblaida
10-15-2005, 10:30 AM
Thanks for the link Leroy. Finally some technical info that settles the debate. The math is pretty straight forward and impossible to argue against. The one comment that keeps coming up and is the next question to be answered is "do you need to leave enough fuel to cover the fuel pump to prevent corrosion"? Leaving about 5 gallons of stabilized fuel should cover the pump.

east tx skier
10-15-2005, 10:42 AM
30 gallons will cover it nicely. 8p

NeilM
10-15-2005, 10:44 AM
Sta-bil and (almost) full is where I end up after running the engine on the last tank. Gas last fall when winterizing was one heck of a lot cheaper than it was this summer! - I probably saved twenty bucks by buying then.

mitch
10-15-2005, 02:39 PM
Full w/ stabil

6ballsisall
10-15-2005, 06:12 PM
We have plastic tanks, you don't get perspiration which leads to water in the fuel on a plastic tank. I am all for a can of stabil with it ran thru the engine just a tad. Having it full or empty doesn't really matter. Todays fuel should not have much of a problem sitting until next spring without breaking down that much

stevo137
10-15-2005, 06:56 PM
Always a full tank as per MC dealers request prior to winterization.
Starts right up first time every time...

RickDV
10-15-2005, 09:48 PM
From what I can tell from all this is that it doesn't really matter if the tank is full or empty. Seems that folks from both sides of the issue report that they have never had problems with their preferred method.

6ballsisall
10-15-2005, 09:50 PM
From what I can tell from all this is that it doesn't really matter if the tank is full or empty. Seems that folks from both sides of the issue report that they have never had problems with their preferred method.

Tru dat!! :guitar:

VTJC
10-15-2005, 10:21 PM
Could you just decide to fill or not based on what you think gas prices will do? Fill they will go up, empty they will go down! Jamie

captkidd
10-18-2005, 02:53 PM
1/2 tank all winter.
Is the tank half empty or half full, Grasshopper?

tommcat
10-18-2005, 03:01 PM
just thought i'd bring up another product that i use instead of Stabil. the Fitch fuel catalysts, i've been using them for almost 5 years in the snowmobiles and other toys and they are unbelievable. the benefits are numerous besides the stabilization properties.
take a look

http://www.fitchfuelcatalyst.com/techinfo/index.html