yo boat technicians,


I went for a spin a few weeks ago, and coming in at 22knots after approx an hour of running, the 2010 140hp suzuki started slowing down, losing power. it would hold approx 8 knots OK, but would sputter and pulse rev if I tried increasing revs. a quick inspection of the water seperator/in-line filter was the bulb was full, approx 120ml of brown shitty sludge/water, which was removed from the seperator. furthermore, when I got home, I inspected the motors fuel filter, and found a bit more water, and some brown flakey shit, which was empited out, and rinsed with good fuel. I ran the motor at home, and increased revs, its all good..


saturday it did the same thing. I went for a river cruise, and when I got to open water and powered her up, after a few minutes it started losing power, but would hold low revs/speed. parked up for a few hours, and checked the seperator, which was clean as. I returned home with no major issues though, holding 20 knots for approx 10 minutes across Melville waters. 


I've ordered a new filter, which should get here this week. boat was serviced in August (I bought it in November).  I'm just wondering what else I should be checking? 

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Posts: 187

Date Joined: 19/08/13

brown sludge

Mon, 2020-05-11 13:56

 Water in the fuel is one thing but that Brown sludge is a worry. Is there any way to syphon the bottom of the fuel tank. Can you get the boat trailer front up in the air and get a thin hose into the tank, maybe through the fuel gauge sender and syphon the sludge out of the bottom of the tank. the whole fuel system from start to finish needs cleaning out   cheers Ace


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Date Joined: 19/08/13


Mon, 2020-05-11 13:58



big john's picture

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Mon, 2020-05-11 14:35

 Worth it for peace of mind. I did that after having the same problem 80nm from Onslow, when I was at the Montes. Stressful trip back I tell you (in a 30knot easterly).


WA based manufacturer and supplier of premium leadhead jigs, bucktail jigs, 'bulletproof' soft plastic jig heads and XOS bullet jig heads.

Jigs available NOR at Shorecatch, Bluewater Joondalup/Myaree or online in my web store!

scottnofish's picture

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You will need

Mon, 2020-05-11 13:59

 to also drain the high pressure fuel pump as there will be water in the bottom of the bowl

big john's picture

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Mon, 2020-05-11 14:36

 Haven't filled it from a 44 gallon drum have you?


WA based manufacturer and supplier of premium leadhead jigs, bucktail jigs, 'bulletproof' soft plastic jig heads and XOS bullet jig heads.

Jigs available NOR at Shorecatch, Bluewater Joondalup/Myaree or online in my web store!

scotto's picture

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Date Joined: 21/04/08


Mon, 2020-05-11 14:52

but I've been keeping it full lately, due to 77c p/l unleaded!


yep, I'm going to inspect the tank this afternoon. its a poly tank, and its got a removable cover/deck, so access isnt an issue.


Ive just been looking at the high pressure pump and filter. looks like a right cunt to get to, but definetely needs to be checked and cleaned. could be tomorrow's job...



ROCKPOM's picture

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 Seen this a few times now

Mon, 2020-05-11 14:50

 Seen this a few times now with a few peoples Suzis.

If you find water when draining the hp fuel pump

You will possibly need to pull the hp fuel pump out and change the finlet and outlet filters inside the pump housing.

The pump may be corroded and the corrosion will block the inlet filter then loss of fuel pressure equals loss of power.

The brown muck in the glass fuel bowl will be rust from inside the  screw on fuel filter.

Try using meth sprits to help burn the water out of the fuel tank as it hydroscopic i put a liter in before refueling a full tank.

abrohlosorbust's picture

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Date Joined: 08/06/12

Fuel water not good....

Mon, 2020-05-11 15:06

 After being through the same thing just over a year ago the only reliable fix i could obtain was to drain and remove tank. It was a pain in the arse however it highlighted a bigger problem. Water at the bottom of the tank below the pickup still accounted for several litres of water that i was able to remove. Loss of power and warning alarms alerted me before i even identified water in the filters...

It was a big job but it ensured no water remained and i installed new filters and have had no trouble since. Like others i tried all the aftermarket fuel additives to try and avoid the innevitable but none of these products would have removed the amount that had accumulated in my tank.

My tank was 460+ litres and i removed a solid 8 litres of water/gunky non fuel. No idea where it had come from as i didnt own the boat from new but now a lot more comfortable taking the boat for a spin.


 Getting wet is part of the Fun

Boston Whaler 235 Conquest

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Cheats Way

Mon, 2020-05-11 16:07

 A cheats way is to drain the VST via the drain plug, that might be a clue as to whats in there before removing the pumps for potentially no reason, but I doubt it :( 


timboon's picture

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 77c a litre WTF?? Thats

Mon, 2020-05-11 19:18

 77c a litre WTF??


Thats crazy cheap, no wonder they are throwing in a bit of water free of charge...

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Yes for that price it must be

Mon, 2020-05-11 19:49

Yes for that price it must be watered down  

Alpha's picture

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Mon, 2020-05-11 20:20

 Are you filling your boat up at the same service station everytime? Would it happen to be the service station at the woodman point boat ramp?

There was a post on here a while back and I'm sure that my recollection is correct, although I'm happy to be corrected, that they suspected their boats picked up water from that particular service station. 

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Mon, 2020-05-11 20:26

 Hss been mentioned many times, not sure if its true as I wont go near it !

Mitta79's picture

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Mon, 2020-05-11 22:26

I had a similar issue last year and it ended up being the fuel filler cap with the inbuilt breather taking in water when washing the boat, rain and salt water when running from waves & spray. I had the sludge & rusty flakes coming from the fuel filter starting to rust too. 
I ended up putting a new fuel filler and seperate bigger breather and touch wood no dramas since then. 

Swompa's picture

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Yep, my tank had water

Tue, 2020-05-12 06:46

Yep, my tank had water ingress and bits of flakey rust/paint from the same thing. Bit of a design fault!


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Date Joined: 19/06/14

Faaark me

Tue, 2020-05-12 05:50

That first picture looks like a good start to making balsamic vinegar dressing. I'd be pulling the entire fuel system down and going through with a fine tooth comb and cleaning it all. Dual racors perhaps? 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


scotto's picture

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Date Joined: 21/04/08


Tue, 2020-05-12 07:18

so access to the tank is not as easy as first thought, and I'll have to break all the mastic/silicone seals to move the cover off the tank, which I'm choosing not to do at this stage. The boat sits on a rear facing slope, so I removed the fuel filler hose, and inspected the tank with a torch... 


I could see more of the sludgey water at the bottom of the tank, so I set up a clear plastic tube taped to a 500mm long stainless steel rod, and proceeded to siphon the shit out..... I ended up with about 1L of brown shitty water in the bottom of a 20L bucket, and about 4L of fuel on top.


my belief is there is not a leak in the tank, its probably just an accumulation of condensation/water vapour/etc coming from breathers, salt spray, etc from the 10 year old boat/tank. I am the 3rd owner of this boat, and I know the previous guy didnt use it very much in the 5 years he owned it. ther's only 300 hours on the motor. I generally fill it up at the same servo, and trust their fuel. 


I will order the high pressure fuel filter today, and look at removing the VST/HP fuel pump/manifold/etc on saturday. I'm hoping the pump and Vapour Seperating Tank (VST) will just need a good clean, otherwise that's looking like costing a grand or so. 

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 I had the floor out of my

Tue, 2020-05-12 07:43

 I had the floor out of my last boat not long after buying it so tank was exposed. Had cleaned the tank out and was bone dry. 
Then went away to work for 2 weeks. Came home, put the floor back in, topped up the tank, drove straight to gero and put boat in for trip to abrolhos. Water alarm straight from the ramp. 

Turns out the top of the fuel tank was concave and it rained while I was gone so water just sat on top and slowly leaked through the sender. Pulled a litre of water out. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Tim's picture

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Tue, 2020-05-12 21:56

Just dealt with this same issue on the Striper. Ended up getting a new ally tank made

carnarvonite's picture

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Tue, 2020-05-12 08:45

 When you fill the tank add some metholated spirits to it to absorb what water that is left in the tank.

sea-kem's picture

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 But not too much. I remember

Tue, 2020-05-12 13:04

 But not too much. I remember my old boss at the servo I worked at recommend this to a guy with a Triumph Dolomite. He tipped a whole litre into the tank lol. Car ran like a sewing machine after that. 


Love the West!

davewillo's picture

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 Any suggested amount or

Tue, 2020-05-12 16:13

 Any suggested amount or ratio?

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Date Joined: 28/11/16

As suggested add some but be

Tue, 2020-05-12 16:45

As suggested add some but be careful not to add too much  

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Date Joined: 14/05/13

 I had suzi 140 that rusted

Tue, 2020-05-12 18:35

 I had suzi 140 that rusted the hp filter. 

Crud got into the injectors. 

Not the same as you but this is what I did. 

Replaced hp, lp and external filters.

Dropped the vst and cleaned the hp pump filter. 

Had to remove injectors and flush fuel thru the system.

Had to flush the injectors but did it myself by pressuring fuel backwards on the injectors nozzle and pulsing with a battery to reverse flush them. Worked well and saved me lots of dollars on replacing them.

Had worked sweet since. So is an option if somehow the crud had got thru to the hp system.