Red Dyed Diesel Fuels

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by UNISCAPER, Mar 7, 2006.


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    I got a weird one here. We took delivery on a 301.8 in December. It was all ready to go from the dealer, and it had sat on line for a few months because they overstocked that model.

    It got low on fuel, so, I opened the cap, stuck in the nozzle and got a lap full. It seemed the pre screen in the fuel neck had a red colored substance almost looked like fiberglass resin and was accumulated right about where a full tank of fuel would be sitting. Everything ran fine but I called my sales rep, who used to be the serive manager at my Cat dealer. He came out and wanted to see what it was I was talking about, becxause much like many of you might be thinking, he had never seen it before. We arranged to have CAt pick the machine up and they gave me a loaner, where after 3 days, they had disassembled every part in the fuel system, changed them out and sent them back to Cat for an analysis. Everything is and always has run fine.

    I go to the job yesterday to fuel the machines and check progress and I get yet another lap full of fuel....

    The Red stuff is back...The only thing I can pin this on is red dye fuels. Has ANYONE ever heard of, or seen this phenomenom before? It's a new one on me, and my obvious concerns are that if it is gumming up a pre screen, it will prematurely clog filters, lines, and so fourth, and, even tually, this can't be good for an injection pump or injectors.

    Any thoughts?
  2. emg35

    emg35 LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 18

    We have dyed fuel here. Basally it is for off road use. We put it in our tractor, the reason for it is you don't pay road taxes ect. on it. But don't get caught with it in truck as it will cost you much $$$.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Do you use your own transfer tank? Perhaps there is debris in the tank picking up the colour of you fuel?
  4. Canon Landscaping

    Canon Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I have a d3 that we use very little so it takes a long time to run a full take out and the dozer sits for extended periods of time and we have had that problem the dye seems to settle out and form a gel and it coated the inside of the tank and we went through about 4 filters then decided to remove the tank and pressure wash it out after all that we put road diesel back in it and havent had any problems since.
  5. mastercraft

    mastercraft LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I've never heard of the dye settling out of off-road fuel, but it is possible to have an infection of alge, or some sort of bacteria, that grows in diesel fuel. There is an additive that will clear that condition up. Good luck!
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    The bacteria or algae was my suggestion as well. I have never heard of the dye settling out of diesel fuel but I have heard of Alge problems. Do you have a filter on your transfer tank? If not that might be a good idea until whatever it is is cleared up.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Yep. Everything is filtered. Thanks for the inputs. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. Maybe I can get them to shim the injection pump out another notch and make 23 HP....:)
  8. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Bill, my first thought was that you are sucking debris from the bottom of your fuel tanks. I've never seen off road fuel clog a screen like that before. What does the material that's clogging it look like????

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    This material looks like when you mix a batch of fiberglass gel coat in ruby red color and let it harden. It is as hard as gel coat as well. At this point, my dealer has the entire fuel tank, lines, pumps and injection system assembled on a bench connected to a injection flow tester. Essentially, it's a model of how the fuel system works so they can watch what is going on from a bench. So, we shall see what happens next week.
  10. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Wow, you'll have to keep us updated on this one Bill.....:dizzy:

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