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Old 23-06-2014, 22:18   #31
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
If it requires two independent systems, I'll owe you lunch (at my choice of fast food joints).
It depends where you put the transducer and in what kind of system. In a constant flow or common rail fuel injection system, it's easy to put the transducer after the fuel pump so it reads just the fuel being sent to the injectors. In a system like the one on my Perkins with a Cav pump and many others, there is no place to put a transducer that could read just the fuel being sent to the injectors.
I'm thinkin you owe a couple of Big Mac's
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Old 23-06-2014, 22:42   #32
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

In my K41 I had a 9 gallon day tank. At .5 gal/hour
that was 18 hours of motoring. When I pumped the
main tanks dry (90 gallons) I knew I had only that
much motoring time left.

Other benefits of day tanks: They can be above
the engine and gravity feed the engine. Makes
bleeding a cinch or even unnecessary. Never used
the electric fuel pump either.
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Old 24-06-2014, 01:09   #33
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

Generally the top of the diesel fuel tank is accessible somehow as the vent, fill and return hoses all need to be serviced. On my built-in fiberglass tank there is a steel plate with pipe fittings for the hoses to attach. Additionally there is a "Gate valve" with a plastic pipe plug in it. Removing the plastic pipe plug and opening the gate valve allows straight through access to the tank. I use a brass rod that is a little longer than the tank is deep to measure the level of the fuel in the tank. Using a metal rod rather than a wooden one allows you to wipe the brass rod dry with a cloth and not have a diesel fuel smell.

For judging when the fuel tank is full and to save tens of thousands of dollars in fines - I moved the fuel tank's vent from the outside of the hull and installed it in the cabin top side wall. I have a raised cabin top with near vertical side wall. To the inside of the newly located diesel fuel vent I attached a Racor Lifeguard LG100 Fuel / Air Separator which is a plastic device that allows air to vent into and out of the tank but shuts off when fuel gets to it. It is available in two sizes.

When fueling with this system air escapes through the vent under which I have positioned fuel absorbing pads - until the tank is full. At this time the fuel backs up the vent hose and the Racor LG100 shuts off the vent preventing any fuel spillage. However, now the fuel will back up the main filler hose and it is not difficult to hear that happen. I have also positioned absorbent pads around the filler hole. Most fueling stations that I have been to have the automatic shutoff nozzles that sense the fuel backing up the filling hose and automatically turn off the nozzle. But I do not trust them much and put my ear down to the filler hole and shut off the nozzle when I hear the fuel backing up the hose.

With this system I have not had one drop of diesel go "over the side" into the water. And an additional plus by the moving of the fuel vent to the cabin top, I have not had any sea water make its way into the fuel tank when I am heeling over with the "rail in the water" kind of thing or waves are cresting over the side decks.
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Old 24-06-2014, 02:33   #34
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

My tank is under my cockpit seat and I have installed a clear plastic hose from the fuel feed at the almost bottom of the tank back into the excess fuel line at the top of my tank level can be seen at a glance.
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Old 24-06-2014, 02:55   #35
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I don't know the product name, but there is a whistle you can buy that you install in the vent line close to the fuel tank. as soon as fuel hits it it stops whistling and you know to stop fueling. Edit: I have a fuel gauge and a sender that's not working does anyone know what voltage I should be reading at the fuel gauge when its full so I can determine If it's the sender or the gauge?
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Old 24-06-2014, 03:13   #36
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

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My tank is under my cockpit seat and I have installed a clear plastic hose from the fuel feed at the almost bottom of the tank back into the excess fuel line at the top of my tank level can be seen at a glance.
If you do that, make sure that you have cutoff valves at the ends of the sight hose and only open them when checking the fuel level. Otherwise a ruptured hose or even worse a fire near the tank can be a major disaster.
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Old 24-06-2014, 05:07   #37
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

Getting back to the issue of flowscans, I've also been looking at this Maretron system, which seems to do the same thing at a (slightly) lower cost. You still need two sensors, supply and return.
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Old 24-06-2014, 05:14   #38
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

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I use a dip stick made by adding 6 gallons & carving a notch. Truly moron-proof.
On aircraft most people "stick" the tanks. One thing I learned early on, make sure the stick is long enough so that if dropped, it can't go all the way into the tank
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:06   #39
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

osi--TN has that same vent separator.
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:17   #40
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

We've owned and operated 6 boats with resistor float type fuel gauges in the 10 years we've been here. Five of them failed within two years of new. I don't think anyone around here with a lot of boating experience puts much faith in gauges. Nobody bothers to replace them after the first or second one.
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Old 24-06-2014, 07:22   #41
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

The fuel gauge on my former boat stopped working. That didn't bother me much because it was so inaccessible, I didn't use it much anyway. It was at the bottom of a storage compartment under the middle of a quarter-berth.

I simply noted the engine hour meter whenever I filled the tanks and kept a rough idea of how much time I spent at low-speed to charge the batteries (0.2gal/hr) vs at cruising speed (0.6gal/hr) to estimate fuel usage.

In 14 years with that boat I only ran out of fuel twice. The first time I was 100 yards from the fuel dock preparing to fill-up. The second time was after my intended fuel dock was out of diesel.

The previous owners had mounted a teak board on the forward side-deck for lashing jerry-cans of extra fuel and water. I suppose if I were very worried about running out, I'd have kept an extra 5-gal there.
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Old 24-06-2014, 08:41   #42
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

Find the fuel vent hose, follow it to the tank. Hopefully, it is located where you can get to it. Remove the hose and fitting. Replace the fitting with a tee, install a hose barb in the horizontal section of the tee, and a plug in the vertical. Buy a section of a wooden dowel to use as a dip stick. Remove plug, dip stick. Eventually, when the tank is empty, refill in increments and notch the stick at five gallon increments. Or, drill tank and install a standard fill gauge.
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Old 24-06-2014, 08:43   #43
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

Vent fittings are rarely in the top of the tank--usually in the end.
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Old 24-06-2014, 21:19   #44
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

Day tank is 70 gallons. Four other tanks total the system to 380 gallons. I have a person on deck with the fuel nozzle in contact by VHS hand-held while I stick the tanks. Call for cut-off with a few inches to spare. The resistance gauges are junk. The manometer feed-back is maybe the most reliable other than a stick. My stick is notched in 6 gallon increments & labeled.
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Old 24-06-2014, 21:46   #45
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Re: No Fuel Gauge -- What Approach Would you Take?

I'll third the Hart Tank Tender
Nothing better or more accurate

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