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Sodium Sulfate is clogging Yamaha VST filters .... ?

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DaleH

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Did you guys read this?

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/thre ... 49&start=1

If sodium sulfate is that small a particle ... I can see why a few here added a 'fuel polishing system' to their boats. But it makes we wonder 'what mesh?' the VST filter is? I mean, did Yummieha thorw in a smaller mesh filter on the VST tanks than they recommend for the incoming line (10-micron)? If so ... that would be stupid - no??

I'm not a Yam guy, so I need your help sorting through this issue. Now my older brother runs twin Yams, but they're 20-year-old dirty 2-strokes ... that have NEVER needed service suring a season. I think we have only replaced the trim motor on one of them and replaced the shift rods (plain carbon steel) during a winter layover.

Hmmmmmm, yup, his '87 models are the EXACT copy of the late 80s OMC V6 OB design which heralded the classic suit between Yam and OMC for design infringement ...
 

DaleH

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Tom:

That pic was posted on this site and was captioned as 'before and after' photos of a VST filter exposed to ethanol ...
 

Outta Here

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DaleH":tzkgxi6x said:
Did you guys read this?
Hmmmmmm, yup, his '87 models are the EXACT copy of the late 80s OMC V6 OB design which heralded the classic suit between Yam and OMC for design infringement ...

Hmmmmmm, I'm not too sure OMC invented the V-6 design. :roll: If OMC and Merc spent as much on quality as on lawyers, maybe they wouldn't be in such sad shape. Johnson's reputation was so bad, they couldn't stay afloat selling re-baged Suzukis. Merc had to sell Yummies until they could figure out "What's NXT". Imagine having all the o/b business in the world and loosing it...to Yummie

Yamaha wouldn't have gotten their foot in the door if the American o/b's had been worth a sheet. I remember when Yummie got here. People were glad to pay 20% ($2000) extra for a good motor. Whatta ya think it means when top quality world class boat builders in SE NC (proudly the home of huntin' and fishin' world class flag wavin' rednecks, me included) refuse to rig their boats with US made motors? Why do you think most of the motors on (other brands') Tourney Trails are Yummies? Practically every modern feature of today's o/b came from Yamaha.

Look at it this way, if it weren't for Yummie, you'd still be crawling inside your boat to tilt the motor (s) up. Yummie invented the tilt switch on the motor. :wink: 8)
 

DaleH

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OK all ... step away from the kool-aid please ...

I know I 'started' it (by commenting on the longevity of the Yam copy of the OMC design yet) but let's get this post back on-topic of VST and injector filter membranes and possible contaminants.

Please use the PMs if anyone wants to continue debating OB design ...

Edit: Does this mean I just moderated myself .... ??
 

channel_surfer

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Yes, it does sound like the VST filter is smaller than 10mic judging by the symptoms.

Do the 4 strokes have this VST filter? I thought the Vapor Separation Tank was where the 2-strokes mixed the fuel and oil together? Does it serve a different purpose on the 4 strokes?
 

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I'm not that familiar with the 4-strokes, but don't believe they have the VST.

And yes, the VST is where the fuel and oil are mixed together before getting hitting the fuel injectors.

-- Tom
 

jpg1969

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Dale,

From what I've read you are exactly correct. Yamaha has a 2 micron VST filter "after" the 10 micron primary which is stupid. I've had the sodium sulphate (if that's what it really is) clog my filter twice so far in the past 12 months.

-Jim
 

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After having a clogged filter cost me 4 trips and about 3500 dollars in repairs I have gotten to the point where i clean my VST filter and my fuel injection filters after every trip.
Just 3 weeks ago i emptied my fuel tank about 80 gallons and flushed out my fuel tank with lots of water, i then let the tank sit open with a small blower placed in my fuel fill neck for 5 days so it could dry properly. I then changed every filter in the boat and flushed out fuel lines.
At the bottom of my tank was a good amount of water and about a pint of the white mystery stuff that clogs the filters.
Well after i got it all nice and clean i filled it up with all 173 gallons of fuel
(OUCH!!!) and went on a 11 hour never turning the motor off fishing trip. All went well. The next trip a week later i head out of the harbor ( about 20 minutes) and the motor starts to bog down again. Time for a on the water VST filter Change. Well after the change boat ran good for another 5 hour trip.
The Problem this time the filter clogged it wasn't the white stuff but more of a gritty type dirt.
I have come to the conclusion that Yamaha needs to make a filter smaller then 10 micron before the stuff hits the VST, my opinion is this is a design error, and why doesn't the filter that is just before the low pressure fuel pumps ever clog up? is there a reason that Yamaha could not make this filter smaller then the VST FILTER so people would not have to take the VST tank apart every time there is a clog. The filter prior to the fuel pumps is much easier to clean and change then the VST.
I have been trying to invent a filter that is about 5 microns and place it prior to the low pressure fuel pumps. When i come up with it i will post my findings.
I don't know if what i said just now makes much sense to you but i feel better for getting it off my chest.
This is a problem that really need to get resolved for the sakes of alot of people.
Chris

By the way i am using Carb cleaner and a tooth brush to clean my vst and fuel injector filters, anyone else know of something better??
 

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John_Madison CT":70xlqhtf said:
Racor makes a 2 micron filter that can be used for gas and diesel. You may want to look into that.
They do ,,, but putting such a fuel restriction in-line to the fuel line could cause your motor to run lean (demanding more fuel, but not getting it). Some motors have lean alarms (OMC and Bombs) but I am not sure about Yams and others.

Running any motor lean is THE fastest way to kill an engine ...
 

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Just my two cents here.. but I believe the engine mounted filter is 30micron. I know most people savvy enough to know better are running external 10micron filters, but I don't think this is a standard practice when rigging Yamaha engines, and at best is at the dealer's discretion.

Yamaha came out with their own version of the 10micron fuel / water separators this past year, but I don't know if it is now standard procedure to install one with every outboard, or even recommended.

Playing devil's advocate, there is nothing wrong with the Yamaha design, and they have no reason to change it:

I'm just guessing here, so don't take this as fact..When they designed the carb. version of the outboard, they put in a 30micron fuel filter - so I'm assuming that anything smaller than 30microns was ok to go through the carbs. When they designed the EFI version, they put the VST filter (?? microns) in there to prevent anything that was too big from going through the fuel pump and injectors. They did not change this design when they designed the DFI version (HPDI) as it has the same components.

So, now that the chemistry of our gasoline has changed, I don't think its Yamaha's responsibility to "fix" their 12+ year old design. Its actually doing its job, with the VST filter blocking the mystery substance (sodium sulfate, aluminum sulfate, or whatever the latest guess is) from getting into the high pressure fuel pump and injectors.

Don't get me wrong.. I'm all for Yamaha (or anyone else) coming up with a fix for this problem.. if they came out with a tech bulletin stating that all engines running Ethanol were now required to have an external fuel/water separator and the spec'd in a new 2-5 micron filter element, that would be great.

All that is really required to drastically reduce this problem is for Racor/Parker to come out with a fuel/water separator that fits the existing fixtures and is 2-5 microns.

What is more puzzling to me is the source of this white substance. Why do some people have more of it than others? All the discussions I've read on this topic all assume that the gasoline is 100% pure when it gets loaded into the boat, but is it? Most assume that its something happening in their gas tank or mixing with water, etc.. that is causing this substance to appear, and that is entirely possible.

But what if its coming from an external source? What if it gets added as a byproduct when they mix the ethanol in with the gasoline? What if its part of the detergents they add to make the gas 'better'? What if it comes from all the trucks that bring fuel to the pumps? Or something that the gas station owners use to periodically clean out their tanks?

For all we know it could be the ethanol reacting with the element in the fuel / water separators..

I'm just rambling here and no, I don't have any affiliation with Yamaha, other than owning one.

Some of the threads on other forums are starting to make it sound like Yamahas have a problem because more and more people are having problems and finding their VST filters clogged as at least one of the symptoms. But maybe more people are noticing the problem because the VST filter is doing its job and its easy to spot.

Who's to say that there aren't just as many people having much worse problems (blown engines/powerheads/etc) which result as an accumulation of the white mystery powder clogging up their engines, leaning them out, and blowing a cylinder, etc.. because they don't have a similar filter? I know I've heard of more blown engines this year than in the last 5 combined.. from all manufacturers.

Just another viewpoint to consider.. back to work for me :)

-- Tom
 

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Just a quick followup to my longwinded post above.. did some Googling and found the following report from a guy who had a clogged VST after using a Sierra fuel/water filter:

Most mechanics don't suspect the fuel filter because it is suppose to protect the fuel system, not harm it. But my mechanic didn't see any deposits in my Racor bowl, so he worked his way through the system and determined that the inside of the filter was the only uninspected part. He cut it open with a box knife and matched the glue particles therein with the same particles found in my VST. This guy is good.
You can read the whole story here, but his mechanic determined that the Ethanol Gas was eating away at the glue which is used inside the Sierra filter and was the cause of the particles in the VST filter.

http://www.triumphowners.net/forums/sho ... 842&page=2

-- Tom
 

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More Googling found this:

Yamaha was at first baffled by this situation, but after studying clogged fuel injectors and filters from its EFI four-stroke and HPDI two-stroke motors, the company concluded that the problem coincided with the introduction of ethanol into the gasoline supply as winter-blend fuels came on the market in the Northeast.

“To be honest, it's still a bit of a mystery,” says Claude Von Plato, manager of the Yamaha Marine Service Division. “We had the material that clogged the filters analyzed, and it contained metallic elements like copper and sulfur that shouldn't be in gasoline. Our theory is that ethanol has been rinsing all kinds of residue from transport trucks, storage tanks, and perhaps even boat fuel tanks, and it gets into the fuel filter and causes a clog.”
Full link here:

http://www.boatingmag.com/article.asp?s ... cle_id=691

-- Tom
 

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Thanks for the info. I had to clean the VST on both of my motors within past 3 weeks.

Looks like I'll have to add it to my spring commissioning list. A Dealer mentioned they are a 100 hour maint. item.
 

Scalawag 2320

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OK clogged VST filters and Clogged Injector filters are ruining my trips. After having 2 seasons plagued with water in the fuel problems 3 years ago I started using ONLY Mobil gas from one Mobil gas station. Can it be the detergents or other additives? 1997 225HP
 

jeffnick

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The contaminents I cleaned from a VST filter were resistant to petrol solvents. Soap and water did the trick. Makes me think they are from small amounts of water that collects in the bottom of the VST?
 

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Hi all, For what's its worth I have a lot of experience with many yamaha's. I have torn down my f225 and figured what went wrong with the fuel last season. I had a nightmare with the white sludge in the filters and went through 3 low pressure pumps, 1 high pressure pump and clogged injectors. Problem was solved and have not had one problem in over a year and a half. Solution was to put "TWO" see through Racors in series with each other. I had the injectors rebuilt for 25 each and pressure tested along with replacing the low and high pressure pumps-pretty much the whole fuel system. I did everything myself and ordered the parts through boatsnet. The whole job was easy and cost about 900 bucks-a far cry from the thousands the dealer would of charged. Anyway I have no fuel pressure or delivery problems and the motor purrs like a kitten. The first filter in series does do its job and there is the white stuff on the bottom but the second filter is as clean as a whistle!!! I put a lowrance fuel sender gauge on my boat and she is reading 6gph at 28mph cruise spinning a salt water series 2 prop 15x17T. I get unbelieveable fuel mileage and can head to the canyons 100 miles off Marthas Vinyard for the whole weekend and come home with 30-40 gallons to spare. I have some real cool underwater high intensity led lights-green, blue or whatever color that I will be selling very shortly on ebay. They mount on the transom out of the waterflow and light up the area around the boat for 50-100 feet and draw hardly any current. I currently have 6 on my boat for bass, tuna, and swordfishing. All the lights on the boat have been changed to leds-way cool and no battery drain. I even have a multicolored light that I drop down on the edge of the canyons at night and it brings in unbelievable amounts of marine life. I also injected liquid foam in the transom and now my ice stays cold where before it melted in a day. If you need ideas or help just email or post and I will try to help you. If you fish up here in the northeast I am always looking for crew to help share the costs which are very modest and we all split the catch equally. I fish heavily for tuna off stellwagen and the cape for offshore pursuits. I trailer my boat with an Expedition and just rebuilt the 4 drum brakes on the trailer myself. Tight lines-Andy
 

ADG FISHING FORCE

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Hello,
I'm having the VST filter replaced by the dealer (just $30 for the part but $500 of labor!). My engines are under warranty but now the dealer says warranty won't cover it. Really??? So, a filter that is located INSIDE the engine goes bad is not covered??? I don't even know if I should believe the dealer... does anyone knows if warranty covers this?

Anyway, I'm trying to prevent as much as I can to return to this situation again. Could you send me the specific info of what you have done on yours? I'm a nurse, not a mechanic but, I'm handy enough to do some things.

Thanks!!!






Did you guys read this?

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/thre ... 49&start=1

If sodium sulfate is that small a particle ... I can see why a few here added a 'fuel polishing system' to their boats. But it makes we wonder 'what mesh?' the VST filter is? I mean, did Yummieha thorw in a smaller mesh filter on the VST tanks than they recommend for the incoming line (10-micron)? If so ... that would be stupid - no??

I'm not a Yam guy, so I need your help sorting through this issue. Now my older brother runs twin Yams, but they're 20-year-old dirty 2-strokes ... that have NEVER needed service suring a season. I think we have only replaced the trim motor on one of them and replaced the shift rods (plain carbon steel) during a winter layover.

Hmmmmmm, yup, his '87 models are the EXACT copy of the late 80s OMC V6 OB design which heralded the classic suit between Yam and OMC for design infringement ...
Hi all, For what's its worth I have a lot of experience with many yamaha's. I have torn down my f225 and figured what went wrong with the fuel last season. I had a nightmare with the white sludge in the filters and went through 3 low pressure pumps, 1 high pressure pump and clogged injectors. Problem was solved and have not had one problem in over a year and a half. Solution was to put "TWO" see through Racors in series with each other. I had the injectors rebuilt for 25 each and pressure tested along with replacing the low and high pressure pumps-pretty much the whole fuel system. I did everything myself and ordered the parts through boatsnet. The whole job was easy and cost about 900 bucks-a far cry from the thousands the dealer would of charged. Anyway I have no fuel pressure or delivery problems and the motor purrs like a kitten. The first filter in series does do its job and there is the white stuff on the bottom but the second filter is as clean as a whistle!!! I put a lowrance fuel sender gauge on my boat and she is reading 6gph at 28mph cruise spinning a salt water series 2 prop 15x17T. I get unbelieveable fuel mileage and can head to the canyons 100 miles off Marthas Vinyard for the whole weekend and come home with 30-40 gallons to spare. I have some real cool underwater high intensity led lights-green, blue or whatever color that I will be selling very shortly on ebay. They mount on the transom out of the waterflow and light up the area around the boat for 50-100 feet and draw hardly any current. I currently have 6 on my boat for bass, tuna, and swordfishing. All the lights on the boat have been changed to leds-way cool and no battery drain. I even have a multicolored light that I drop down on the edge of the canyons at night and it brings in unbelievable amounts of marine life. I also injected liquid foam in the transom and now my ice stays cold where before it melted in a day. If you need ideas or help just email or post and I will try to help you. If you fish up here in the northeast I am always looking for crew to help share the costs which are very modest and we all split the catch equally. I fish heavily for tuna off stellwagen and the cape for offshore pursuits. I trailer my boat with an Expedition and just rebuilt the 4 drum brakes on the trailer myself. Tight lines-Andy
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