rolls down hill - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-15-2019 Thread Starter
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rolls down hill

I have had a series of interesting (a little scary, frustrating, stupid...) events this fall. A while back, I forgot to open the engine water cooling valve, and overheated my Westerbeke 27. The only obvious damage, was a destroyed impeller. Changed the oil, and didn't find any metal chunks. Engine sounded OK, so I proceeded with moving my boat to it's winter storage 100 miles away. On the way I clogged the fuel filter. Initially, I assumed the two events were unrelated. However, after looking into this, it is possible they may be. When I overheated the engine, I also overheated the fuel. The level of fuel in the tank was a little less than half. As the engine overheated the temperature of the return fuel got warmer, and quickly heated the smaller amount of fuel in the tank. Apparently, higher temperatures can make asphaltenes coagulate in the fuel. For some reason the PO had a 2 micron primary filter. It took about half a day of motoring to clog the filter. It may not matter much now, but, do you think my forensic evaluation is plausible?

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-15-2019
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Re: Sh!t rolls down hill

Could be, But I suspect that there's junk in the tank, with less than 1/2 tank it sloshes around more and gets in to lines, a 2 micron is too fine as a primary IMHO, I use 10 on the same engine. I might look into getting your tank cleaned and going to a 10 micron primary.
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Re: Sh!t rolls down hill

Unless your tank is exposed to the engine compartment, I doubt the return fuel was all that much warmer, when it got back to the tank. Let alone warm enough to materially change the tank temp. The sludge theory seems more plausible.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Sh!t rolls down hill

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Originally Posted by tempest View Post
Could be, But I suspect that there's junk in the tank, with less than 1/2 tank it sloshes around more and gets in to lines, a 2 micron is too fine as a primary IMHO, I use 10 on the same engine. I might look into getting your tank cleaned and going to a 10 micron primary.
For sure, I'm going with a 10 micron on the primary. I also got a vacuum gauge to help give me some forewarning.

My tank is wedge shaped on the bottom. I think I would only have (fairly poor) access to the deep part of the tank. Think that would be sufficient, since most crud would flow downhill? I must admit, I haven't crawled down there deep enough to see if there is a clean out port on the bottom of the tank.

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rolls down hill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Unless your tank is exposed to the engine compartment, I doubt the return fuel was all that much warmer, when it got back to the tank. Let alone warm enough to materially change the tank temp. The sludge theory seems more plausible.
I don't really know how my engine is plumbed, but, I think in a lot of diesels, the returning fuel is actually used to cool the injectors and for lubrication, thus returning to the tank warmer than when it left. I doubt the injectors would be any hotter if the engine is overheating. Not sure if a hot engine block would have an effect. Just in case, I am going to weld cooling fins onto my tank... just kidding.

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-15-2019
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Re: rolls down hill

In any case, it seems to me that your boat is talking to you. It's saying that there is somthing gumming up your filter. Polishing your fuel is a reasonable precaution. In some places there are services that can come to you to do this. It is also fairly easy to make your own polisher. Either way, it seems fairly easy/inexpensive. You might consider this as a preventative maintenance opportunity.
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Re: rolls down hill

I'd go with grime in the tank too. When I converted to Electric Propulsion in 2008 I started to convert to old diesel fuel tank for my Westerbeke 27 to a fresh water wash down tank. I was surprised what grime was in the bottom of the tank as I started to clean it: https://biankablog.blogspot.com/2011...-of-grime.html

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post #8 of 8 Old 10-15-2019
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Re: rolls down hill

Starting with and knowing your tank is sparkling clean will eliminate unending mind bending assumptions and guessing in the future. Solid control point.
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