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Surveyor

Mushrooms in deisel

Question

I have just read the Land Rover Monthly and they mention that if deisel are not run regularly that mushrooms can grow in the filters tank and lines.

Has anyone any experience of this?

Any suggestions on how to stop or treat it? Just filled the tank before engine siezed still trying to get it sorted

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A fungus can occur in the system, never seen or heard of mushrooms in a diesel tank. The fungus is a black slime and can occur on the clean side of the filter and contaminate the injection pump.

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IT has been known for awhile that fungus and bacteria can form in diesel fuel and shows up as a black sludge in the bottom of storage tanks

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Posted (edited)

Any way apart from flushing to deal with it and how to tell, I don't have a filter at the tank as far as I can see

Also how do you tell?

Edited by Surveyor

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Posted (edited)

The bacteria can form if you have water in your tank in a thin layer of air between the water and diesel. It is jet black and can block a new filter in less than an hour. Usually occurs in storage tanks. There are additives you can add to the tanks when filling. 

We had this problem in a storage tank and never did get one tractor running to full power again.

Peter.

Edited by peter75
Change fungus to bacteria.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2018 at 8:16 PM, Surveyor said:

Any way apart from flushing to deal with it and how to tell, I don't have a filter at the tank as far as I can see

Also how do you tell?

Flushing will not remove the black slime bacteria, have to use specific chemical treatments to remove it,  never use diesel fuel from an unreliable source, above ground storage tanks etc, its where the bug is most likely present. ..your engine seizing would not have any connection with this fuel bug,  the engine stops just from lack of fuel caused by the bacteria blocking the fuel filter and injector pump

Edited by Nick Johns

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Posted (edited)

I was always told, keep tank full, especially in winter. Back in day when you had to put petrol or parrifin in to prevent waxing, or have two jerry cans in the muck heap overnight to keep them warm during winter Though on one memeorable occasion a bottle of cheap gin wemt in, it actually worked! . . 😀

Edited by Tony B
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Diesel "bug" is not an uncommon problem.  The bug lives in the inversion layer between water and diesel fuel and will clog filters very quickly.  If it gets as far as injectors then your in deep Sh.t!  When the injector nozzle heats up during ignition, the bug turns to varnish and seizes the nozzle needle and your injectors are now destined for the scrap metal bin.

There are treatments available to kill the bugs, but by far the best approach is to remove your fuel tank, drain completely and wash out with the biocide that you would use to treat the bug.  Drain ALL fuel lines and flush carefully with biocide.  In all honesty I have actually used flexible rifle pull throughs to clean fuel lines!

Reassemble and full your system with clean fuel.To prevent reinfection, ensure you refill your fuel tank regularly but especially after a longish run.  This is VERY important if you have Cummins or Detroit Diesel type unit injectors as the fuel returns to the fuel tank and warms the fuel in the tank.  As the warm fuel contracts it draws cold air into the tanks, along with the moisture in the air.  Over time the moisture builds up and hey presto, perfect conditions for the fuel bug.

 

If you have had an infection, and follow the above advice, I would strongly advise you to also dose your fuel tank (s) regularly with biocide to prevent reinfection, especially if you have bulk storage and/or you have vehicles that do not run often.

 

Don't bother asking your service station (Gas/petrol station) for advise, they will not have a clue what your talking about, and even if they do they will usually deny the existence of the bug as they want to avoid any liability.

 

Cheers

Ian

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I have heard of the 'black kiss of death' ,   never experienced it.  I have stale DERV in a LR tank where the engine has not been run for two years.  It is a side-fill 109"  S2A but fitted with a 2.5na.  I intend removing the tank for a thorough internal inspection.    People running with re-cycled frying oil , & various DIY blends , Mazola etc.  I would expect veg. oil mixed with kero or white spirit / petrol etc. would be at a greater bio risk - however from the little I know of the local offenders - they run with impunity  ?

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Be aware that this issue will only get worse in future as the bio-fuel content in fuel increases. 

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3 hours ago, Grasshopper said:

Be aware that this issue will only get worse in future as the bio-fuel content in fuel increases. 

Interesting point

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Gladys will also eat metal, it’s been a known issue in Aircraft for decades.

and it stinks....

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I work on the railway and we had a massive issue with biological growth in our fuel. We now have a rig which treats all incoming fuel deliveries (automatically) with a biocide. The issue became more prevalent when the sulphur content of fuel was reduced, as this kept the bio in check. Lets not forget that oil started out as organic material.  

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