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


Thread: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-22-2012 01:56 PM
casey1999
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordofloats View Post
Absolutely! Great advice!
I was pulling my hair out trying to solve my fuel line issues - new primary/secondary filters, manually cleaning hoses and injectors, my Yanmar 3GMF kept quitting in rough weather. Finally, after getting a tip here (it might have been from you, Stu) I checked the intake hose - sure enough, the little screen at the end was clogged with goop and any time rough water stirred up more gunk it stopped up completely. Out with the screen! Tried to get a fuel polish - not a single mechanic in Toronto would touch it. So I got a plastic bin big enough to hold my fuel, took out my oil-change pump and attached a spare secondary-fuel-filter-element and pumped the whole tank into the bin - not a terribly fun job. Removed about 1/2 litre of water as well as the ooze that grows at the interface between diesel and water. Cleaned the inside of the tank with a rag-on-a-wire and filtered the diesel back into the tank. I was completely soaked and stank for a week, but since then I've kept the tank topped up, added stabilizer every season and I haven't had a drop of water show up in my separator or had fuel issues of any kind. I keep the intake screen and the dried up blob as souvenirs of some dicey engine failures.

Pull your screens! You'll be glad you did.
Good advice. Is your oil change pump rated for diesel fuel. I used a drill pump and later found it should not be used for fuel. Drills create sparks which could ingnite fuel vapors. It sounds like you were covered with fuel, so take care.
Regards
Regards
05-21-2012 11:27 PM
gordofloats
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
All of those screens should be removed.
Absolutely! Great advice!
I was pulling my hair out trying to solve my fuel line issues - new primary/secondary filters, manually cleaning hoses and injectors, my Yanmar 3GMF kept quitting in rough weather. Finally, after getting a tip here (it might have been from you, Stu) I checked the intake hose - sure enough, the little screen at the end was clogged with goop and any time rough water stirred up more gunk it stopped up completely. Out with the screen! Tried to get a fuel polish - not a single mechanic in Toronto would touch it. So I got a plastic bin big enough to hold my fuel, took out my oil-change pump and attached a spare secondary-fuel-filter-element and pumped the whole tank into the bin - not a terribly fun job. Removed about 1/2 litre of water as well as the ooze that grows at the interface between diesel and water. Cleaned the inside of the tank with a rag-on-a-wire and filtered the diesel back into the tank. I was completely soaked and stank for a week, but since then I've kept the tank topped up, added stabilizer every season and I haven't had a drop of water show up in my separator or had fuel issues of any kind. I keep the intake screen and the dried up blob as souvenirs of some dicey engine failures.

Pull your screens! You'll be glad you did.
05-04-2012 01:45 PM
casey1999
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
That is one of the most egregious examples of poor design and construction by boatbuilders.

It's a disaster waiting to happen.

All of those screens should be removed.

What a shame that builders kept doing it. Think about it: inaccessible, usually unknown to skippers, a completely stupid move even before any questions about fuel stability ever surfaced.

Any submariner coulda told 'em: DON'T do it!

Dumb.

Wanna know how I really feel about it?
Agree that in tank fuel strainer is a crazy idea. Other problem with the strainer is that it is the same size as the fuel suction tube in the tank. Most suction tubes seem to be about 1/2 inch diameter. The tank manufacturer installs a fine screen on the end of this tube which means you have a wopping 0.2 square inches of screen surface area- does not take much dirt/sediment to clog that.

I have left mine on for now only because I can look into my 20 galloon tank and see what is in there and I can also see the screen on the suction tube. Also, nut quite sure how to get the screen off. Tank is Moeller. If I try to pull the suction tube out, it stops at the screen. I could try just pulling- maybe the screen would fall off, but did not want to damage the fitting by trying this. Tank opening is too small to try to remove from inside.

At least with car fuel tanks they use a much bigger screen area than just the end of the suction tube.

Regards
05-04-2012 12:56 PM
albe1066
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly - - What about a fuel purification system?

Hi,

Thanks for the feedback. RCI states they remove small amounts of stuff. I don't remember the exact size of the sediment but it was about the same as my racor filters. They sell these devices for commercial marine, rec boating among other applications. They have a few different sizes. I saw the small (the size for our 75hp engine) device in action and it is quite impressive. I guess the real test is to install and see if there is any sediment in my racors after running a tank or more of fuel through it. We cleaned our tanks before re-powering so we don't have much stuff in our fuel other than maybe a bit water.

I think the magnets are a little strange. The person I spoke with at RCI did not mention magnets.
05-04-2012 12:31 PM
pdqaltair
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly - What about a fuel purification system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by albe1066 View Post
Hi,

We have a dual racor system on our sailboat but I am adding this device to provide fuel purification. They sell a system for fuel polishing. I plan to install the device before my racor system.

Fuel Purifiers, Fuel Purification, Filtration Systems for Engines: RCI Technologies: San Dimas, CA

We were on a friends boat returning from the Bahamas, topped off the tanks and ran into fuel problems shortly after. We had a dual racor system on the boat, but ran out of filters due to dirty fuel. We lost our engine when we ran out of filters. I am told filters save your engine by starving it when they clog with sediment and purification systems are designed to to keep the engine running.

With the RCI device, no filters to replace. Only maintenance is to drain water and sediment. It has a sensor to let you know when it needs to be drained.

Has anyone used a fuel purification device?

It's just a low energy hydrocyclone. Yes, I have used very similar devices in industry for years, and they only remove gross contamination; they have their uses on large systems, but not so much for rec boaters. Not in the same leage as a good marine filter separator, though it could keep a huge slug of water out if placed in front of it. In reality, if your tank is well maintaned, it will do nothing, ever. Don't expect it to do anything with fine water or solids.

They also sell fuel magnets. What does that suggest? Wanna buy a bridge?
05-04-2012 12:06 PM
albe1066
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly - What about a fuel purification system?

Hi,

We have a dual racor system on our sailboat but I am adding this device to provide fuel purification. They sell a system for fuel polishing. I plan to install the device before my racor system.

Fuel Purifiers, Fuel Purification, Filtration Systems for Engines: RCI Technologies: San Dimas, CA

We were on a friends boat returning from the Bahamas, topped off the tanks and ran into fuel problems shortly after. We had a dual racor system on the boat, but ran out of filters due to dirty fuel. We lost our engine when we ran out of filters. I am told filters save your engine by starving it when they clog with sediment and purification systems are designed to to keep the engine running.

With the RCI device, no filters to replace. Only maintenance is to drain water and sediment. It has a sensor to let you know when it needs to be drained.

Has anyone used a fuel purification device?
05-04-2012 12:04 AM
Stu Jackson
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post

When I bought my boat two years ago I had all kinds of fuel issues due to filter clogs. Even the fuel strainer in the tank was clogged.
That is one of the most egregious examples of poor design and construction by boatbuilders.

It's a disaster waiting to happen.

All of those screens should be removed.

What a shame that builders kept doing it. Think about it: inaccessible, usually unknown to skippers, a completely stupid move even before any questions about fuel stability ever surfaced.

Any submariner coulda told 'em: DON'T do it!

Dumb.

Wanna know how I really feel about it?
04-30-2012 06:29 PM
casey1999
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by newportermike View Post
I just bought a lovely Pearson 303, but it had been sitting in the yard for the last two years, and I was more than a little concerned about the diesel, as I have to sail her from Boston to Newport. After many phone calls I finally got a company to come to the boat, take all 14 gallons out of it, they cleaned the inside of the tank after the fuel removal. $275 all in, but at least I have peace of mind now!
Good move. I would fill with new clean fuel, run the engine at the dock in gear (boat tied down good), for say 1/2 hour then change all filters and bleed fuel system. Then run again for 1/2 hour to make sure all is good.
Good luck
04-30-2012 05:59 PM
newportermike
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

I just bought a lovely Pearson 303, but it had been sitting in the yard for the last two years, and I was more than a little concerned about the diesel, as I have to sail her from Boston to Newport. After many phone calls I finally got a company to come to the boat, take all 14 gallons out of it, they cleaned the inside of the tank after the fuel removal. $275 all in, but at least I have peace of mind now!
04-11-2012 02:59 PM
hellosailor
Re: Replace Diesel Fuel Regularly

"They recommend at least every couple of years to drain all the fuel from your tank and start with completely fresh fuel."
Well, most "pump" fuels are designd to be used within 90 days of being pumped out, after that some fractions evaporate away (heptane and butane among them in gasoline) while others break down.
I can't see buying "a couple of years worth" of fuel or leaving it in the tank that long. Or if you think it might sit, at least add Satbilant or a similar product to the tank. But sure, if it has been sitting for a year or longer, you might want to take it to a service station, put it in the oil waste tank, and let it become heating fuel instead of trying to run your engine on it. 'Use it or lose it".
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