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Old 29-05-2015, 12:33   #1
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2 tanks full with 6 years old diesel

I am buy sailboat that was stay 6 years in the marina without use.

I have 2 tanks 2 x 50 liters of diesel that is 6 years old. We are change fuel filter (totally dirty inside) and clean fuel injectors (was require cleaning as white smoke happen; after we clean and adjust injectors all is ok).

I dont know is it all dirt from filter from that fuel (as old owner was run engine from time to time), but any way for sure fuel have separated water and some dirt. I am plan pump out diesel and clean tanks.

My question is: what with diesel? I cant put in 'trash' 100 l of diesel. Most logical is somehow filter diesel and back than to tanks. Have I right?

Any advices what to do it? How manage old diesel that be again enough good? Any advices here
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:37   #2
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Where are you located? Answers will vary depending on location and resources available.

Not knowing those things I would personally filter it and probably mix it with my home heating oil as not to risk running it through the boat engine.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:41   #3
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Sell it to a powerboat owner who has a fuel polishing system. Don't expect any money, but you'll be able to safely rid yourself of the problem.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:50   #4
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

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Where are you located? Answers will vary depending on location and resources available.
Croatia based
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Old 29-05-2015, 17:53   #5
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

My current vessel sat 6 years w/o running. I added Algae-x (but there are others) to the fuel to absorb the water and kill the microbes. I added about 20% new diesel and I had no engine starting problems with Detroit mains and Perkins & Onan generators. I changed all the fuel filters and took a few cases of fuel filters with me for a 20 mile test run. No problems, no plugged filters, checked fuel filters, topped off the fuel and brought the boat home.
I would use the fuel with an additive. If you're near the Columbia River you can pump it in my boat. Probably any commercial operator would be happy to have the fuel.
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Old 29-05-2015, 18:07   #6
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Pump out the fuel into containers! I used an old Jabsco water pressure pump. Make sure you do not agitate the fuel in the bottom of the tanks. Try to make sure you can see the fuel being pumped out (Clear hose) have the inspection plates out/off. I made up a wand with a piece of copper pipe. Clean the tanks! Set up a filter system outside the boat like a Racor with a 10 micron filter! Pump the fuel back in the tanks. Add some cetane booster, and biobor. Happy motoring!!!!
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Old 29-05-2015, 18:17   #7
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Do you have a oil recycler near you? Maybe they will take it. As ontherocks83 posted above, it depends mainly on the resources at you location.

I personally would let is stand for awhile, drain off any free water, filter it and if it looked and smelt OK, reuse it by adding it back in small amounts, say 20% at a time.

Or try the local fire station, they might use it for training...
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Old 29-05-2015, 18:40   #8
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Clean/filter the diesel, If It looks clear, mix with fresh. use it.
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Old 29-05-2015, 19:09   #9
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

In the states we would say the fuel needs "fuel polishing" which is a process of running it all through a more sophisticated filtering system. There are companies that will come around and do this for you, or you can build the necessary equipment into the boat's system. You might wish to find a price for commercial "fuel polishing" compared to the price of replacing 100L of fuel.


And then in any case, if the boat was left for six years, you would probably want to empty the tanks completely, and have them cleaned out as well. Often there will be sludge in the bottom and bio-matter sludge on the tank walls and baffles, and this will fall off and clog your filters during a rough passage, when you need the engine most.


It may sound like an expensive nuisance, but you are gaining a reliable fuel system, and that's worth a great expense.
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Old 29-05-2015, 19:23   #10
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

You might try borrowing a clean oil drum from a petrol wholesale business. Get an electric fuel pump either new or from a junk yard and a good filter like a Racor (and a LOT of filter elements) then pump all the fuel from the tanks into the drum with out going through the filter. Clean the tanks. After the fuel has settled in the drum for several hours pump the fuel out of the drum without getting the intake within 6 inches of the bottom of the barrel ( or the top of the contaminated fuel) . It would be a good idea to also use a "Baja filter " also.
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Old 29-05-2015, 19:32   #11
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Another possibility is to install a day tank (say 10 or 12 gallons) with a second filter and electric transfer pump. Pump fuel from main fuel tank into the day tank through filter (perhaps 10 micron). Then feed primary filter (30 micron) from day tank and on to secondary filter on engine.

Not for everyone, but for some it works well.
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Old 30-05-2015, 08:54   #12
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Sell it to a powerboat owner who has a fuel polishing system. Don't expect any money, but you'll be able to safely rid yourself of the problem.
Good suggestion.

Also, hire a fuel polisher if available but it may not be worth the cost for 100L.

We acquired our boat with 280 Gallons of old diesel aboard. I pumped it of into 55 gallon drums through a Baja filter and gave it to the yard owner for his truck. Amounted to some good will. My tanks were massively in need of manual cleaning inside. The main tank had 3 inches of sludge on the bottom. If I had not started over & clean, we would probably have been in for a big repair bill.
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Old 30-05-2015, 09:33   #13
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

I SECOND THE IDEA OF USING OLD FUEL FOR HOME HEATING. BUT, IF THE FUEL IS SO OLD THAT IT HAS A VARNISH SMELL, IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T BELONG IN A BOAT, AND PROBABLY NOT IN A HOME HEATING SYSTEM.
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Old 30-05-2015, 10:07   #14
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

A friend bought a boat that had 15 year old diesel. Used it and kept clogging filters. Brought it to a marina that polished it, and it was fine after that.
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Old 30-05-2015, 10:12   #15
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Re: 2 tanks full with 6 years ol diesel

Cost of fuel polishing will be more than cost of fuel but will be worth it because will agitate sludge from bottom and filter it out. Not a substitute for manual cleaning but for minor sludge may be enough.


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