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Old 12-13-2018, 05:03 PM   #1
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Fuel fumes

I have a Sabreline 36 Fast Trawler. Recently, after a run I have been getting a very strong raw diesel fuel smell notably on the starb side. It dissapates over the next day or so. Trust me, it's fuel, not a hot engine. I have gone over the engine room carefully, including what I can see of the stb. fuel tank, the fuel crossover manifold and fuel filters and the stb engine. There is no sign of fuel leakage around the tank, the fuel crossover manifold, filters, injectors, fuel pickup or return hoses, or vent hose. Feeling around on top of the tank, there is dust but no fuel. There is no raw fuel in the bilge or elsewhere. There is no similar condition on the port side. Has anyone every encountered a situation like this?
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:47 PM   #2
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No shortcut here. Starting with the tank fill hoses, work your way through the entire fuel system including tank return, pumps and injectors. Do the paper towel and feel test. Check tank top, sides and bottom. Do this after a run when smell the greatest and before fuel evaporates off.

How old is the boat? Any recent maintenance?
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
No shortcut here. Starting with the tank fill hoses, work your way through the entire fuel system including tank return, pumps and injectors. Do the paper towel and feel test. Check tank top, sides and bottom. Do this after a run when smell the greatest and before fuel evaporates off.

How old is the boat? Any recent maintenance?
Hot areas vaporize more fuel, make more smell, and hide leaks quicker.

Wrap paper towels around any suspected leak point and check them periodically. I can't recommend this for you but I sometimes burn a piece of the towel if I have doubts.

Dyed fuel also might help.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:17 AM   #4
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I had a pinhole leak in a high pressure injector line for maybe a week.

Kept smelling fuel underway but it would dissapate quickly after shutdown.

After a few days it was becoming bad enough to have some fuel in the drip pan at the end of a long day but still not easy to see the spray.....I thought it was just a few drips that I was having trouble finding the source of.

Finally it got bad enough to see the spray and I replaced that fuel line.

Glad it hadn't become a blowtorch before I found it.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
No shortcut here. Starting with the tank fill hoses, work your way through the entire fuel system including tank return, pumps and injectors. Do the paper towel and feel test. Check tank top, sides and bottom. Do this after a run when smell the greatest and before fuel evaporates off.

How old is the boat? Any recent maintenance?
Thanks. The boat is a 1994 and has been well maintained. There isn't any point in the systems where there is evidence of a leak such as discoloration, filmy surface, etc. I will follow your suggestions. Thanks again.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:18 PM   #6
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Yep its a leak somewhere. Agree with HP fuel leak that atomizes most likely because it doesnt leave a trail. Be very careful and wear leather gloves. It can inject fuel right into your skin. Not good.
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