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  • Smell of gasoline

    I bought my Mako 171 in February and have put maybe 100 hours on it since. I noticed a faint smell of gasoline in the bow compartment some weeks ago, but I didn't think it was much of a thing until today when I was working under the console. The smell is much stronger, but emptying the bilge water shows no sheen or other evidence of gas in the bilge. My thought is that it's the tank vent and I'm writing to ask if there's an easier way to inspect that than by removing the entire console. Any help is much appreciated.
    Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

  • #2
    It may be in the foam.
    Brian[br]1992 Mako 221[br]1987 Bayliner 17 (sold)[br]1963 Elgin (sold)[br]Pasadena,MD[br][email protected][br]I am a PROUD DEPLORABLE[br]\"Make America Great Again\"[br]

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    • #3
      Hm, help me out here. My 171 is a 1986 model; is there foam in this? Where?
      Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

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      • #4
        In the entirety of the hull under the deck, they are foam filled hulls. I think bluecrab could be onto something with it being inn the foam but yet to saturate to the point it would have dripped into the bilge
        John[br]1989 Mako 210 (Sold and Missed)[br]

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        • #5
          You need to find the source of the leak, rather quickly and not use the boat until you find it. First I would open all compartments and let everything air out. then I would disconnect the battery cables from the battery. Fuel vapors seek the lowest level in the boat and raise up from there. Pull the plug as well.

          Next I would open the fuel inspection port and check to see if there is any leakage around the fuel tank sending unit which is a common source of leaks. I would also check all fuel line connections, water/fuel separators, etc. Your fuel tank from the factory is foamed in to prevent it from moving and any water leaking from the deck finds it's way down between the foam and the tank and begins the long slow process of corrosion. One pinhole leak will cause fumes to spread from the foam and through out the boat so you will smell it in strange places like the anchor locker.

          Why do you think it's the vent? You should be able to feel air coming out the vent when you are filling up the boat. Also, are you using ethanol free fuel? Your fuel lines are almost certainly NOT rated for ethanol, which will break down the rubber on the inside of the hoses. If you still think it's the vent then you can always remove the hose from the vent and simply blow into the hose to see if you can blow air into the tank. You'll know if the line is clear and a simply monofiliment line into the vent could help check for obstructions, but a blocked air vent will not cause fumes into the bilge.

          check out the below link for a manual for your boat.

          http://classicmako.com/manuals/

          You can also use the google search tool to search past threads (the website search does not work), and see many projects with pictures of how your boat is constructed to give you a better idea of how things are laid out. I'd start with the simple things first and work from there.

          http://classicmako.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52507
          1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
          1985 Mako 20c - sold
          Fort Walton Beach, FL
          http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=42841

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          • #6
            That's some sound advice, Sailor. I really appreciate your support. As I said in my original post, I just. bought this boat in February. The previous owner told me the owner before him replaced the original fuel tank with something new and not the original aluminum. Everything on the boat works, so smelling gas was a surprise. I had opened everything yesterday and this afternoon the odor is gone, I cannot detect the odor in the bilge, just inside the console.

            Your suggestion that the sending unit may be the fault is intriguing, but where is the fuel inspection port? There's a square cover under the console, but there isn't anything under that.
            Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

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            • #7
              PICS would be a big help for us to help you.
              Brian[br]1992 Mako 221[br]1987 Bayliner 17 (sold)[br]1963 Elgin (sold)[br]Pasadena,MD[br][email protected][br]I am a PROUD DEPLORABLE[br]\"Make America Great Again\"[br]

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              • #8
                Sailor, I just took some of your original advice and followed the links to the searchable Forum. What a treasure! I saw several others who described the same thing that I've had, so I think I have a place to start. Like you said "Start with the simple things first...".

                []
                Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

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                • #9
                  should be either a square screwed down hatch or a round pry out port to easily check on your tank and sending unit. If the tank was replaced what material? Some plastic tanks can swell and cause leaking around the rubber sending unit seal. I would also look at the hoses to see if they were replaced. Check the fuel water separtor and all connections on it. My old 20c did the same thing and it was a slightly lose hose barb connection - but no evidence of a drip!
                  1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
                  1985 Mako 20c - sold
                  Fort Walton Beach, FL
                  http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=42841

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                  • #10
                    I looked at the searchable site and can't find anything on how to include pictures. I've taken a couple as illustration, but I may be able to accomplish a reasonable explanation without.

                    It was pretty easy to take all the screws out and prop the console and access cover up several inches. The tank is plastic, there is no foam around it, and I have to question if it's not made for some other boat. Nonetheless, it fits perfectly into the space, though the fuel level sending unit is on the forward end, as is the line fitting to the engine. It was easy to spot the leak as there's fresh fuel stain where the filler line goes into the tank. I filled the tank before my last outing, so it's evident that some slopped out. Still, that's not acceptable. I'm going to take my pictures to my local boat parts store and see if they have any ideas.
                    Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

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                    • #11
                      Unfortunately you have to use a site like photobucket[][]

                      then you post the link
                      Brian[br]1992 Mako 221[br]1987 Bayliner 17 (sold)[br]1963 Elgin (sold)[br]Pasadena,MD[br][email protected][br]I am a PROUD DEPLORABLE[br]\"Make America Great Again\"[br]

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                      • #12
                        FIXED!!!

                        This issue arose from someone using the incorrect tools when the replacement fuel tank was installed. Luckily for me, my cost to remedy has been a few hours building up my courage by using CLASSICMAKO.COM and less than $10 in replacement parts.

                        The 2.5" fuel tank filler line ends with a 90 deg plastic hydraulic fitting that threads into the tank filler port. The person who installed this used standard teflon tape to wrap the fitting threads. This, I learned, is a common mistake, but not one I would expect from a professional since the tape disintegrates when exposed to fuel fumes. The fitting wasn't properly tightened,either. I used a fuel-resistant putty on the threads and a pair of channelocks to tighten the fitting. I added new line clamps and everything is back together.

                        I deeply appreciate all the good information I've been provided through this group and I hope that I can similarly help someone else in the future.
                        Clearwater, FL[br]1986 Mako 171[br]1986 Yamaha 90hp

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                        • #13
                          Awesome!
                          ..........
                          1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
                          1985 Mako 20c - sold
                          Fort Walton Beach, FL
                          http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=42841

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                          • #14
                            Glad it worked out.[]
                            Brian[br]1992 Mako 221[br]1987 Bayliner 17 (sold)[br]1963 Elgin (sold)[br]Pasadena,MD[br][email protected][br]I am a PROUD DEPLORABLE[br]\"Make America Great Again\"[br]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I once kept getting water in my fuel tank on my 1980 17' Standard.

                              My vent line had gotten a hole in it and water splash would fill the line and it would run into the tank. If I remember correctly,I had to replace the vent through fitting that goes through the hull to the outside of the boat , and pull out a piece of smaller aluminum pipe and replace it with hose. I was able to install this new hose and correct the problem. Yours could certainly be the tank, but dont overlook the vent line first. Mine has a hatch cover that I can pop off and inspect the fuel fill line and vent line also.

                              Hope this makes sense.

                              Dont overlook the easy stuff first.
                              Craig Patrick

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