Clogged fuel filter? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-18-2013
Alex W's Avatar
no longer reading SailNet
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,309
Thanks: 2
Thanked 139 Times in 133 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Clogged fuel filter?

Last night my engine quit as I was sailing back towards my marina. More details:

Winds were about 20 knots and there were 2-3 foot wind waves due to a moderate (1-1.5kt) current. It was getting dark and we needed to get back faster than we could by tacking, so we decided to motor.

When I first turned on the engine (Yanmar 2GM20F) I noticed that it didn't seem to want to rev as high as normal. About 10 minutes later after crashing through the waves the engine speed dropped to under 1000rpm. I thought that a crew member had knocked the throttle, but that wasn't the case.

When this happened I turned off the engine and sailed to the inside of our breakwater. After that we limped the long way through the marina at just over idle speed to avoid having more problems.

My guess is that this is due a clogged fuel filter. The waves probably churned up something nasty in my fuel tank and it clogged the Racor primary filter.

Questions:
* How do I verify this? Is replacing my fuel filter and running at a high RPM in neutral (what a waste of fuel) an acceptable test? I'd prefer to test it at the dock rather than having to dock under sail.
* Is there a good way for me to run all of the fuel in the tank through a filter to "polish" it? I know that I can pay for this service, but I'm wondering if there is a DIY approach.
* My Racor filter is ~25 years old and doesn't appear to be supported anymore (it is the old model with a band clamp). What is the appropriate Racor filter system to buy for a 2GM20F? A Racor 120A?
* Are there any warnings of a clogged fuel filter before it happens?
__________________
I'm no longer participating on SailNet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 04-18-2013
Sabreman's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Yeocomico River, VA
Posts: 1,621
Thanks: 3
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Sabreman will become famous soon enough Sabreman will become famous soon enough
Clogged fuel filter?

You have a classic case of fuel starvation. Most likely you don't have to polish the fuel unless its more than a year old. A common cause is not necessarily a clogged filter which is easy enough to check. Rather, there may be a screen at the bottom of the fuel pickup in the tank. When you tossed around in the chop, you stirred up gunk and it may have clogged the screen. When things settled, the junk fell away and the engine started.

Remove the screen and let the Raycor catch the junk. Use a biocide in your fuel. Get a new Raycor that accepts a 2010 Raycor filter, because the filters are ubiquitous.

You may need to empty and clean your tank if it hasn't been done. Polishing won't do this.

Both our Sabres and my sister's Cape Dory had this problem. We cleaned tanks and removed the pickup screens. Never a problem since. If you have no screen, then you probably have a tank full of crud that needs to be emptied and cleaned.

If course, all this presumes that your filters are clean to begin with.
__________________
Sabre 38 "Victoria"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 04-18-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,354
Thanks: 88
Thanked 242 Times in 233 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Sounds like you had the warning.... the reduced rpm was it.

A totally plugged filter would prevent you running at all, but for a smallish engine you may get idle demand fuel through it.. Your symptoms sound also like possible air entrainment.. check all your bleeders and vents in case something's vibrated loose - fittings/connections too.

Change the filter, obviously, fully bleed the system and you should be able to 'test' it at the dock - tie the boat up securely and try it in gear too..

I have 'polished' our fuel - we had some sediment in the tank, I removed it all with a suction oil changing pump/cannister, poured it into jerry cans, mucked out the tank as best we could, then ran the fuel between jerry cans (J cloth in a funnel for the first phase) then through various filter screens before screening it once again going back into the tank. Not a true polish job but we've had no issues since.

btw I put all my fuel through a screened funnel to catch the gross stuff before it can go into the tank.
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 04-18-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 9,506
Thanks: 10
Thanked 159 Times in 145 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Easy to check. Pull the filter and have a look. If they don't make it anymore, I'm guessing you haven't changed it in a while? It is an annual requirement at a minimum.

Another mistake people make is to put too tight a filter as their primary. 20 or 30 microns is fine. Your engine mounted secondary is probably 2 or 5 microns and some use the same on the primary. Not necessary.

The simplest way to clean up your fuel is to drain it all out and put it back through one of those fuel filter funnels. Not exactly polishing, but if it needs more, I personally think you need new fuel.

Once drained, if you have an inspection hatch, I would take a look and see if there is any gunk at the bottom of the tank.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 04-18-2013
Alex W's Avatar
no longer reading SailNet
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,309
Thanks: 2
Thanked 139 Times in 133 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

The previous owner told me that the fuel filter was replaced last summer (we bought the boat in the fall). I took his word for it and had "replace fuel filters" on my mind since then, but haven't made it a priority. I didn't look closely at the fuel filter (beyond seeing that it was a Racor) until last night. I didn't know about that screen either, I will check for that.

Thanks for the ideas on how to filter the fuel that is already in the fuel tank. I'll see if I can find some jerry cans to use. There is about 8 gallons of fuel in my tank right now.

I don't think that my fuel tank has an inspection port, but I will double check.
__________________
I'm no longer participating on SailNet.

Last edited by Alex W; 04-18-2013 at 07:20 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 04-18-2013
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 8,591
Thanks: 2
Thanked 115 Times in 113 Posts
Rep Power: 0
dabnis is on a distinguished road
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Some fuel pumps may have integral filters in them. If everything else checks out, you might want to pull it for a look. Also, make sure your tank vent is not plugged, you should be able to easily blow through it.

Paul T
Faster likes this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 04-18-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 9,506
Thanks: 10
Thanked 159 Times in 145 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
....There is about 8 gallons of fuel in my tank right now....
That's not a lot of fuel. Did it sit all winter without stabilizer or biocide? If so, I would just get rid of it and start fresh. Fuel degrades.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 04-18-2013
Alex W's Avatar
no longer reading SailNet
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,309
Thanks: 2
Thanked 139 Times in 133 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Alex W is on a distinguished road
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

No, it didn't sit all winter. I sail this boat multiple times per week, including through the winter. It has biocide in it.
__________________
I'm no longer participating on SailNet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 04-18-2013
Sabreman's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Yeocomico River, VA
Posts: 1,621
Thanks: 3
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Sabreman will become famous soon enough Sabreman will become famous soon enough
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

On our current boat, I noticed some slightly diminished RPMs, about 100, during the first season. After I pulled the screen from the intake, the engine worked perfectly. When I pulled the filters as part of normal maintenance later in the year, the RACOR was covered in sludge. It's a miracle that any fuel made it to the engine. What happened is that sludge from the tank was sucked to the Raycor and stopped, which is exactly what a filter is for. Since then, the Raycor has been pristine when I change it out.

Let the filters do their job.

PS. I'm not a huge fan of polishing - I prefer to go on a trip and burn the stuff, replacing with fresh. That's much more fun than rigging pumps and hoses and stuff.
__________________
Sabre 38 "Victoria"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 04-19-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,354
Thanks: 88
Thanked 242 Times in 233 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Clogged fuel filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
...
PS. I'm not a huge fan of polishing - I prefer to go on a trip and burn the stuff, replacing with fresh. That's much more fun than rigging pumps and hoses and stuff.
With that thought in mind.. depending on the usage of the boat, a large capacity fuel tank may not be a good thing...
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Clogged Primary fuel filter. L124C Diesel 12 12-19-2010 01:42 PM
Universal diesel Kobuta oil filter is a Fram PH3593A looking for diesel fuel filter dave hirsh Diesel 4 06-07-2010 10:01 AM
Fuel Filter ID? sailak Gear & Maintenance 3 09-30-2009 05:22 PM
Racor fuel filter filter guage Grumpymx Gear & Maintenance 5 08-26-2008 09:10 PM
Fuel line clogged? davidpm Gear & Maintenance 3 05-15-2008 01:04 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:47 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.