John Deere 3032e dying, starving for fuel, stuff growing in the fuel tank

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,941
SW Virginia
I just thought I'd post this for anyone else that has this problem.
My JD 3032e started dying intermittently, would restart, run well for a while, then die again. I cleaned the fuel separator, installed a new filter, and added some diesel fuel treatment. This helped for a few months then the problem got worse. I knew already that microbes can grow in diesel so I suspected that they were clogging the tank pickup tube. I'd noticed some sort of slimy mass in the fuel separator when I'd cleaned it before so this seemed to make sense. I started to pull the pickup from the bottom of the tank but it looked pretty daunting so I took a look inside the tank - too much fuel to see through. I removed the inlet hose at the fuel separator to drain the tank but got little flow. I blew compressed air back through the tank and then got good enough flow to drain the tank. I took another look into the fill port of the tank and could see a slimy mass in the pickup area and in another low portion of the tank. Although the stuff looked fragile I was able to use a mechanic's pickup tool to remove both masses from the tank (photo below). I've read that this stuff grows at the interface between fuel and water. I'm pretty careful about my fuel quality so I'm not sure how I got water in there other than from the air.
She's running great now.
I read on another site where someone paid a JD dealer $600 to pull the tank and clean it for the same problem. I hope this post saves someone that aggravation.

PXL_20210102_172447213.jpg
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
486
Perryville, Mo
Looks like you algae in the tank. Probably best thing to do is drain tank, clean out all fuel lines possible and new fuel filter. Then treat fuel. I think they make a treatment for that. Also check your fuel containers for same thing.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
486
Perryville, Mo
I worked on a kioti tractor years ago with the same problem. It takes time to take everything apart and give a good cleaning. I remember removing the fuel tank and cleaning it out with gasoline.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,941
SW Virginia
Looks like you algae in the tank. Probably best thing to do is drain tank, clean out all fuel lines possible and new fuel filter. Then treat fuel. I think they make a treatment for that. Also check your fuel containers for same thing.
Thanks.
I've done all that except removing the tank which looks to be a heck of a job. I got it pretty clean on the tractor.
Based on some more research it doesn't appear to be algae. Algae require sunlight to grow and my tank is black. Apparently, it's either bacteria or fungi.
Two good articles from DOW Chemical and Wikipedia here on microbial growth in diesel:
 
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,941
SW Virginia

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,365
Northern Maine
Thanks.
I've done all that except removing the tank which looks to be a heck of a job. I got it pretty clean on the tractor.
Based on some more research it doesn't appear to be algae. Algae require sunlight to grow and my tank is black. Apparently, it's either bacteria or fungi.
Two good articles from DOW Chemical and Wikipedia here on microbial growth in diesel:
In over 40 years of being around diesels in many configurations I've never once heard of the sunlight thing. I'd love someone to explain the 500 gallon underground tank for the genset at the fire station having a severe algae problem.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,941
SW Virginia
In over 40 years of being around diesels in many configurations I've never once heard of the sunlight thing. I'd love someone to explain the 500 gallon underground tank for the genset at the fire station having a severe algae problem.
Because what's in those tanks is not algae. It's either bacteria or fungi.
Did you have a look at the info at the links above?
 
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