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Old 12-22-2006, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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algae in fuel

I am sorry for the BORINGGGG cycle of questions about Diesel Fuel Tank Algae, but, a friend has a problem. We just got back from Bisbee, AZ to visit our god-children (7 of them in one family) and their father, (an '86 graduate of West Point,btw) has an Eagle bus....a 1963 Silver, matter of fact. Now has a gospel bluegrass family band. Playing at Silver Dollar City/Branson next Sept.
So...It has been converted about 16 years now. Has 20,000 miles on 8V71 with a GREAT trans...a 10speed RR.
Anyway, he changed the fuel filters a couple weeks ago, after the newly installed ones plugged.
We started it...15 minutes of HS idle, the engine put out white smoke and died.
We cut open a filter...Black looking algae.
He has about 75 gallons in tank (the bus set 13 months with this fuel in the tank).
Any ideas?
thank you for helping here...I know this has been beat to death here before...just didn't pay too much attentionj then....bilbo
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

I never paid much attention either although there used to be articles on algae formation in our shop fleet mags, but it was years later that I finally got a slug of it in my pickup on a long trip. I changed my fuel filter twice, ran my tanks almost dry, added an algaecide and never had another problem. The truck stop reimbursed me my costs, they'd had other complaints at the same time. I'd drain out all the fuel you can, buy a couple primary and secondary fuel filters, put in some fresh fuel with an algaecide and go from there. If he has regular truck fuel tanks, most have a drain plug in the bottom. Supposedly any algae left in the tank will multiply unless you add an algaecide. I talked to a fuel distributor when I went through it and he said school district busses have the worst problem because they sit during summer vacation. Same would apply to a motorhome/bus so he might want to use the additive from now on.
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

We had this problem in town several years back with all the city fire trucks. First drain all the diesel possible. Flush all the fuel lines with FRESH fuel. Add 'Bio-bore' or equivilant and refill the fuel tank with fresh fuel. Now from now on the vehicle must be driven monthly and started weekly. Just to keep the system clean. Now you will need several filters just to keep going for a while. The algaecide will eat the stuff but you still will have the problem because there will always be residue left behind. Getting rid of this stuff is a PITA. If this has not been driven for a while drain the coolant and install fresh there also. The coolant goes 'stale' and rust can get under the head seals and you will find coolant in the oil pan. Owning a motor coach or equivilant requires some maintaince so have him plan on doing such, or getting it done from someone. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

Are you sure it's algae? Considering how old the fuel is it could be diesel breaking down and the black sludge could be asphaltene (see link: http://www.dieselcraft.com/fuel%20facts.html). Is there water in the fuel? You can't have algae without having water. Algae lives and grows at the fuel-water interface.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

I actually think it's bacteria that grows in diesel fuel.
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

[ QUOTE ]
I actually think it's bacteria that grows in diesel fuel.

[/ QUOTE ]

You are right. It's a misnomer. Algae can't survive without sunlight. It's actually bacteria (microbes). But people (including me) incorrectly refer to it as algae. Shame on me!
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

I had run in w/ that stuff. Was clinging out of my filters when I replaced it (loss of power, smoking, etc)- thought the injection pump went T/U.

Treated the farm 'bulk' tank (300 gallons) with that stuff for it and the tractor fuel tank. Never saw it again. Happened to a friends tractor also, treated his, and he never had an issue again.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

so....we need tp drain tank?...treat with Bio-Bore and maintain a full tank; keep filters replaced...anything else?
sounds like some here treated tank and continued to use fuel?
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Old 12-23-2006, 11:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

[ QUOTE ]
so....we need tp drain tank?...treat with Bio-Bore and maintain a full tank; keep filters replaced...anything else?
sounds like some here treated tank and continued to use fuel?

[/ QUOTE ]


Yup, that's what I did...kept on using. Run the risk of plugging filters again, but my tractor tank is small (17-20 gallons???) But I would assume it depends on how much is in the tank. A small amount, the filters may take care of it. I must have had a small amount.

Wouldn't hurt to have some extra filters w/you if you use if you drive. In case it clogs up.
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Old 12-24-2006, 08:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

Algae is the slang for the FUNGUS that grows in the fuel tank. As mentioned it starts/lives at the interface between water/moisture and the fuel which due to water being heavier then fuel is at the bottom of the tank though at its beginning state will start along the moisture laden wall of a fuel tank then gravity will take it to the bottom as the fungus is heavier then diesel but lighter then water. When a contaminated tank is stationary long enough it provides the fungus a chance to build into a matting, from there it really takes off and grows to which strands start braking off as the tanks starts sloshing around to where it ends up in your filter. Boicides prevent fungus growth not cure it but if you have light/loose amounts of fungus then a biocide will destroy it. Power Service puts out a product treatment if I remember right is called 911 which I heard good things about when trying to clean small tanks. My experence with FUNGUS is in the marine field working on yachts where where fuel sits in large moisture laden tanks for months sometimes years at a time I spent 26years cleaning fuel tanks by either climbing in them and pressure washing them or due to lack of access I would flush them out by pumping all the fuel out into my 2000gal filter equipt tank truck and pump back in through a pressure wand that I would work in around the baffles through the limber holes. If your going to have your truck laid up for extended periods at a time treat it with a biocide ( not a conditioner) and top off the tank ( less air,less water,less growth).
Before anyone argues with me about Fungus/bacteria my "edjumacation" comes from 26 years in the field and numerous A.S.T.M manuals ( Fuel cleanliness & Stability )

On Edit: Chevron has a excellent TB on diesel Fuel http://www.chevron.com/products/prod...ltechinfo.shtm (Click on tech bullitin) if you call them they will mail you a copy free
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Old 12-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

thank you to all who helped here.
The bus still has approx 65 gallons left in tank. We will drain it, mix some Bio-Bore in a couple 5 gallons cans, change filters, run engine, add more fulel, add more Bio-Bore...fill tank, drive and fill, drive and fill, drive and fill........add Bio-Bore......
Merry Christmas and may you have a never-ending tank of fuel in the next year!
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqI14CfACjU (I'm the old guy singing lead, w/beard)

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4 more original songs...one traditional standard (Fields Have Turned Brown).

Now fighting the big Kidney Cancer, Stage IV.
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Old 12-24-2006, 10:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

Yes sir, like Kaliburz, I just added the algaecide and ran mine out, we're only talking two pickup truck tanks, I had to do a total of three filter changes during the process, no big deal. However, the way you describe it, your fuel is WAY worse so I think if it was me, I'd drain and replace with fresh fuel along with the algaecide. The only way I could actually see it was when I cut my fuel filter open, spread the pleats, and scraped the dirty side with a knife blade. By the way, 911 by Power Service isn't what you want, it is NOT an algaecide.
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Old 12-24-2006, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

"By the way, 911 by Power Service isn't what you want, it is NOT an algaecide."

Ok Power service has changed their line up again, the 9.1.1. use to be a three step process with step three being a biocide, now its just advertised as a de-geller. They now have a product called "Clear Diesel" claims to clean tank in a single process???

The best "BIOCIDE" I've used is "Bio-Kleen" from Power Service it doesn't contain the alcohols that biobor has in it which act as a emulsifier and will mix any large amount of water present into the fuel which will turn your fuel milky and then pass it through your filter element and into your injectors, most filters are designed to filter out only free water not emusified water. Bio-Kleen will treat both fuel and water but not mix/emulsify and if you overdose no problem it won't hurt anything where as with Biobor you never want to use more then the shock dosage
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Old 12-25-2006, 05:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

Where could a guy buy this "Bio-Kleen" at?
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Old 12-25-2006, 09:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: algae in fuel

"Where could a guy buy this "Bio-Kleen" at?"

From who ever sells "Power Service" products in your area should be able to get it for you.
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