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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Help, pump not getting fuel!
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Thread: Help, pump not getting fuel! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-10-2008 10:02 PM
sailingdog SailorMed sounds like a problem case...if he's on your crew.... keelhaul him.
07-10-2008 09:41 PM
Stillraining Thanks for posting SailorMed...er...MedSailor
07-10-2008 06:00 PM
MedSailor Now that I know how to post photos, I'll post pictures of my diesel tank after I emptied out 40gallons of diesel, a gal or 2 of water, and probably a 1/2 gallon of algae.

What's left is the scum stuck to the sides which was quite tenaciously clinging to the sides and bottom of the tank (but curiously NOT to any of the baffles which were also stainless). I'm sure that though it clung tenaciously to the sides of the tank all the critters would at the first sniff of fear from the captain all jump off together and swim towards the filter in unison clogging the filter at the most inopportune time.

Sorry the images are poor and I didn't think to take any of the shiny tank after I was done. It was polished clean though except for some bits hiding in the weld beads.



MedSailor

/img>
07-10-2008 05:38 PM
MedSailor
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Picture is what we are asking for...
And a picture and an explanation you shall receive.



Here is a link to the parts and an explanation of their usage:
Racor Vacuum Gauges

The gauge and adapter in the left of the photo are 11-1676 and the adapter is RK11-1669.


In the photo, on the Racor 500 filter housing there is a "T-handle" on the top of the unit. This handle unscrews by hand to remove the top of the housing and change the filter element. The gauge and adapter in my hand in the left of the photo is meant to replace the T-handle. Unscrew the T-handle, add the gauge and it's converter and presto! you can now watch your filter clog by numbers with a glass of iced tea in hand, or so the expert at the store (reputable guy) told me.

After MUCH frustration in trying to bleed my engine post filter change (months ago) I was unable to get any fuel to be pumped by the lift pump. The newly installed gauge read high into the red indicating fuel supply obstruction.

The reason I figured fuel contamination was to blame goes a little like this.... There was once someone who shall remain nameless (we'll call him SailorMed) who wanted to buy a ketch. After a successful sea trial SailorMed (not his real name) attempted to operate all the systems of the boat. It was found that water was not present in the tanks, inhibiting Mr. Med's attempts to prove that the fresh water system worked. Mr. Med went outside, noted the location of the water tank fill, went down the dock to retrieve the hose, and began filling. After filling for a few seconds SailorMed noticed that there was an identical bronze fill port 1ft further aft of the one he was using. It was labeled "water". Mr. Med then noticed that the fill to which he was adding water was labeled "diesel".

So I assumed I had a tank contamination issue.... And... I wasn't wrong.

Anyway, after drilling holes in the tank, pumping out the diesel (and about a gallon of water) and fist-fulls of algae, fitting new inspection port hatches, filling with clean fuel and changing the filters again, I still couldn't get fuel to the lift pump.

The admiral suggested removing the gauge as it was one of the few things that had changed in the process and was easier than changing all the lines. Sure enough when the gauge was removed and the regular T-handle was replaced fuel flowed. To troubleshoot I installed the gauge again. No flow. T-handle = flow.

Why? I'm not sure. I did notice that the threads on the gauge adapter are significantly longer than those of the T-handle. Perhaps this occluded the central canal of the filter? I find it amazing though since these are all Racor original parts, recommended by experts and while they were installed by a monkey, the installation (screw on) was pretty monkey-proof.

Now that the fuel flowed I bled the engine with the help of a fantastic local Perkins shop who was happy to talk me through it over the phone for free and presto. Now we have an engine again.

So all the while it was really the gauge to blame, not contamination. However I don't begrudge the little gauge since it made me get off my lazy butt and fix the problem I had created, which was sure to cause bigger problems down the road. The contamination was REALLY bad. Now the tank is polished clean, the fuel is clean and new (not 3 years old) and I have inspection ports for next time...

MedSailor (no relation to "SailorMed")
07-10-2008 01:52 PM
SteveInMD How did to block the fuel flow? Was it installed correctly?
07-09-2008 11:45 PM
artbyjody Picture is what we are asking for...
07-09-2008 11:25 PM
brak how did you realize you had fuel contamination issue in the first place?
07-09-2008 11:05 PM
Gary1 The adapter is a widget that you use to put a vacuum gauge on top of the racor filter. The theory being that when the output side of the filter has too much vacuum on it, the filter is clogged. They work. I never had much luck with the o-rings they sent, though. Replaced them with a little fiber washer that I greased up liberally with vasoline.
07-09-2008 07:59 PM
Stillraining What is a T handel adaptor?
07-09-2008 07:23 PM
MedSailor Found the problem! It was being caused by the new Racor vacuum gauge. I bought the T-handle adapter and gauge (genuine) Racor. At the recommendation of my lovely Admiral I changed it back to the original T-handle as it was one of the only things that changed and now it works.

Thanks for everyone's help. Now I have to bleed the thing.....

MedSailor
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