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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009
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Fuel filter setup

I recently bought a 27 Cat and the previous owner warned me that the gas might have sat for a while. Well I put 7 gallons in (17 gal tank) to fill it up and figured it would be fine. Well the motor died after probably 4-6 hours of use, and when I unscrewed the gas filter (some kind of fram) it hissed like it was under a vacuum. So I'm pretty sure the fuel tank needs to be cleaned.

I don't really want to pay $4/gal or whatever they charge to get the tank I just filled empty.

I'm considering putting a second fuel filter on the boat (a Racor 320R-RAC-02) and plumbing it up with a Y valve so I can switch between the cheap filter and the racor and just buy a bunch of the cheap filters and see if I can clean the tank that way. The Y valve is so I can switch to the other filter if conditions won't allow me to safely change the plugged one.

In the event that the fuel filter clogs really fast, I also thought about pulling the electric fuel pump off and re-plumbing it so it recirculates the gas in the tank thru a filter setup, so I can polish it myself. From searching I'm guessing that would save a lot of money, since it seems like I'd be looking at $400-$600 to get the tank polished professionally.

Any thoughts or advice? Where to get the parts? Any recommendations on parts? It looks like from the picture I'll have to buy nipples for the new filter? Should I get a bulb and setup a way to plumb it in, in case of emergency? Any warnings/advice?

BTW I love sailing with no motor running, but when the motor dies and there's no wind and you have some place you're trying to get to... that sucks!
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Old 09-02-2009
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What kind of engine? What kind of fuel tank?
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Old 09-02-2009
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Sounds like a pluged tank vent, is the filter between the tank and the fuel pump??

Or the pump and the carb?
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Old 09-02-2009
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I'm going through much the same thing on my boat....if it's fuel related. What did you find in the filter? Did you check if you had water in the fuel? Are you gasoline, or diesel? Do you have an inspection panel in the tank for cleaning?

You are on the right track with a backup filter, and a valve to divert. But you need to start with a basically clean system, starting with the tank. Then clean filters, and uncontaminated fuel. A day of sailing will be more enjoyable if you know you can rely on power when it's needed. I hate having an engine on a sailboat, but unfortunately we need it.
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Old 09-03-2009
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Good chance it's "stale" gas. Just running it through a filter won't fix that. I would remove all the gas, change the filter and refill the tank with fresh. Hopefully you didn't foul up the carburetor.
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Old 09-03-2009
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It's an Atomic 4 (Gas) with a 17 GAL tank (AL or Steel)

Hose runs from the tank to the fram filter (looks like an oil filter), then to the pump, then to the carb.
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Old 09-04-2009
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Stick a racor in there to serve as a water separator. it will help a great geal. Racor filter's have are treated with aqua block which will not allow water to pass through them. It will collect in the see through bowl below.
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