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Fuel starvation

good day to the forum...I've owned my 2003 SD237 since May...bought it without a motor as it had been powered it with a Merc Optimax...finding that when I run the motor at higher than a 12 gph fuel flow, the motor sputters due to the on motor fuel reservoir being depleted...after some investigation, found that when the motor sputters, the fuel bulb is collapsed...then discovered that's merely symptomatic because I replaced the bulb...but I can't pump it firm, so expected the problem to remain and I was I bought some fuel line and ran it directly into the bulb from a 5 gal can...motor purred like a kitten for over 5 minutes WFO...moved the fuel line to the water seperator intake and it ran great...that leaves the dodad on top of the fuel tank to be the culprit...

first question:  is the dodad the fuel sending unit?

next, anyone have any thoughts and or suggestions on what to do next?


  • FlyingV5
    FlyingV5 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭✭
    Yep, you've found it. Your diagnostic test was spot on, evilgrimace. The doodad on top the tank is the fuel pickup tube, which extends to the bottom of the tank and terminates in a strainer, or filter screen, which is evidently stopped up. If it is just gummed up with residue from running ethanol blended fuel, you can either replace the strainer or remove it and install an inline filter as needed. And never put ethanol in there again. But you should try to get a peek inside the tank or draw a sample to make sure it isn't full of trash. Good luck and happy boating with your new rig.
  • evilgrimace
    evilgrimace Member Posts: 5
    Thank you flyingV5
  • evilgrimace
    evilgrimace Member Posts: 5
    Alrighty...can't seem to get at the fuel pickup!  The inspection/servicing port in the back storage compartment (think it also serves as a live well...anyone retrofit one of those?) allows me to "see" the fuel pickup, but only reach it with one hand...anyone have any suggestions on how to truly service the fuel pickup?  There's an inspection port behind the back cushion as well, but behind it is a plywood mount for the ski tow bar...thought to add an 11x 18" door, but the board is blocking any progress I would have made with the door...