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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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  #1  
Old 07-01-2011
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Diesel Tank Replacement

Hi all,

I'm looking for input here -- after 35 yrs, one of our steel diesel tanks has developed a fairly significant leak.

I'm presently working on dismantling the galley/saloon to gain access to the tanks for removal. Slow, deliberate project as I'd prefer to keep the sole and cabinetry as close to original as possible.

The tanks are not small -- about 55 gal each. Given the size, I'm fairly convinced they will need to be baffled. For this reason I'm leaning towards aluminum replacements.

Here's what I'd love to hear -- what design characteristics should I keep in mind as I move forward on this? I'll need to integrate clean-outs and a fuel manifold, and intend to include additional supply/return fittings for a polishing system.

We're dreaming on paper here, so let the ideas commence. I'd hate to be looking back a few years from now after the job's been done and think "gee, I really wished I'd done this..."

Appreciate the suggestions,
PF
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Old 07-02-2011
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I just went through replacing my fuel tank last year, although it was a lot smaller than yours. From my limited experience all your ideas sound good the only thing I can add is to think about how accessible your inspection hatches are. I look in my fuel tank a couple times a year now and drain / wipe it clean once a year, and if the hatch was in a bad location this would be pretty tough to do.

Also, you may want to consider not tapping the tank for the extra fuel polishing system fittings. Logic being more fittings = more points of failure. If you really need to polish the fuel you can setup a portable fuel polishing system that has two hoses you just drop into the tank through the fill hole. I have a coarse polishing system like this that attaches direct to my battery and I remove it when done, easy although a little messy. Personally if the fuel is old in my tank I just remove it and replace with new ... but I'm only talking maybe 12 gallons.
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Old 07-02-2011
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Lightbulb Tanks... for the memories

Opinions are free here, and worth every penny...

I had a custom aluminum diesel tank built just a few seasons ago, by Coastline Tanks in Bellingham, WA. Coastline Equipment, custom marine tanks.
Excellent quality and reasonable price.
I have a smaller capacity tank than you need, so I had only one baffle and one cleanout port over each half of the tank.
They installed the sender for the gauge and all the usual in's and out's fittings.
And, they followed my drawings very closely.

The one fitting I forgot to ask for was a capped future-outlet for a furnace someday. Oh well.

email me back channel if you want the link to my tank project.

LB
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Old 07-02-2011
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An inspection hatch should be in each section if the tank is baffled.
Fuel polishing should be allowed for with the proper fittings as portable is messy. If the polishing system is permanent it will be used more often.
The polish suction should be as close to the bottom of the tank as possible and its dedicated return should be away from the polishing suction and also deep in the tank to prevent frothing.

Here's Maine Sail's descriptive article on tank replacement and fuel polishing.
Replacing A Fuel Tank Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 07-11-2011
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I had a custom tank built by speedytanks.com in New Jersey and I'm very pleased with it and with their service.

It's an epoxy-coated aluminum tank. I mounted it on Dry-Dek so that it wouldn't be resting directly on the marine plywood of the engine compartment.

Clean out ports are nice, and I wouldn't worry about having too many fittings on the top of the tank because your failure points will be corrosion where water sits. More fittings allow for more options, so get some extra. Just remember not to use bronze or any copper-alloy fittings in contact with the aluminum. Speedytanks will make you all of the aluminum fittings that you need.

Good luck,

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking for input here -- after 35 yrs, one of our steel diesel tanks has developed a fairly significant leak.

I'm presently working on dismantling the galley/saloon to gain access to the tanks for removal. Slow, deliberate project as I'd prefer to keep the sole and cabinetry as close to original as possible.

The tanks are not small -- about 55 gal each. Given the size, I'm fairly convinced they will need to be baffled. For this reason I'm leaning towards aluminum replacements.

Here's what I'd love to hear -- what design characteristics should I keep in mind as I move forward on this? I'll need to integrate clean-outs and a fuel manifold, and intend to include additional supply/return fittings for a polishing system.

We're dreaming on paper here, so let the ideas commence. I'd hate to be looking back a few years from now after the job's been done and think "gee, I really wished I'd done this..."

Appreciate the suggestions,
PF
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