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Old 02-03-2008, 19:08   #16
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Originally Posted by Amfivena View Post
Of course this is coming from someone who has burned less than 40 gallons of diesel in his life. <g>
Well, for this discussion, that gives you a right to talk.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:30   #17
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Wow, this topic got going fast.

Plenty of food for thought, perhaps a bit of indigestion at first look.


The diesel was given to us from a deseased estate. A chap who worked for a fuel company had it stored for a year at home in sealed 44 gal metal drums (full). Then they sat for a year after he died, then we were given them and we had to transfer the fuel into 20lt containers to transport them, then we put the fuel back in the big metal drums and they have been in there for about 18mths. The fuel did have some jelly in it when we first emptied the drums 18 mths ago.

We have two filters in the system, first is a CAV cannister with water trap, then there is a spin on filter on the engine.

As for burning it in our central heating. I thas been 20 years plus since I have seen an oil heater or furnace in Oz, and we live in one of the colder parts of the country.
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Old 03-03-2008, 13:11   #18
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OK, I have never done this and I'm just theorizing. Don't try this unless it sounds like a good idea to you. Better yet, wait and see if some other people in here blow big gaping holes all in this.

You want to try it to see if it the fuel is OK, right?

So, filter it good from drum to drum (someone above suggested the right filters to use).

Empty your Racor and fill it with the newly filtered fuel. If it runs OK, you're golden. If it diesn't run at all, you got some lines to flush and prime. A pain, but better than a tank full of bad fuel. If it runs, but just not up to snuff, mix it in your tank with new fuel. 50/50, 25/75, whatever seems right according to the performance you got.

While testing, remember, it takes a while for the fuel from the filter to get to the engine, probably different for every engine. If you put the fuel in the tank, at idle it could take an hour or more for the fuel to get through the Racor and to the engine, depends on how many GPH you burn. I had my mate accidentally shut the fuel off on one engine. We were almost a mile from the marina before it cut out. (That's twin 3208Ts which suck fuel compared to a sailboat powerplent)

If it was me, I'd rig up a fuel polishing system and pump it back and forth between drums until the filters ceased to clog, and then mix 50/50 in the tank, but that's me taking the risk, not you. I wouldn't do it to someone elses boat.

OK folks, tell me where the flaws are...

-dan
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Old 03-03-2008, 13:41   #19
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Just adding to the other comments regarding recovering the fuel I think something I would like to assure myself of is that the diesel has not lost its lubricity during storage. Diesel gets its lubricity not just from its viscosity but also from other compounds that exist within it - these may have deteriorated.

Loss of lubricity may lead to accelerated fuel injection pump, etc wear but given the small quantity of fuel involved (compared to the volume of fuel that would go through the engine in its whole life) maybe it is not an issue. Maybe mixing it with fresh fuel also would solve any possible problem - I don't know.

Never needed to check lubricity so can't suggest where to start (well apart from Googling ).
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Old 03-03-2008, 14:27   #20
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So for now, I guess we will work on the basis of filtering the fuel before it goes into the on board tanks and when it does we will mix it with fresh fuel. We will also test some straight (ust a little) to see if it works by itself just to ensure it is still functioning as a fuel by itself. We will continue to mix it just to ensure the engine is getting lubricated.
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Old 03-03-2008, 15:03   #21
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It looks like a case of too many "if's" and not enough knowns. I would not find it worthwhile going through all that filtering for $350 worth of diesel....even if it was guaranteed that it was 100% safe. Where are you going to do this and it is 100% legal? I know that in California you cannot transfer large amounts of fuel between the shore and a boat without the proper permits. I know this because tanker trucks have to have permits to pump fuel aboard larger vessels. I am wondering if a marina owner is going to let you take a 55 gallon drum filled with diesel down onto their docks as well.

Whether the fuel is good or not is not so much of a question as the practicality of doing this.
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Old 03-03-2008, 19:08   #22
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When we cruised in Australia, there were people who cleaned their diesel tanks with external pumps and filters mounted on a stand. They Put an intake line in the bottom of their fuel tanks, ran it through the outboard pump and giant filters, and then ran it back into their tank. They exchanged the fuel several times until the fuel was clear.

This outboard filter system was a rental unit that people used to clean their tanks and fuel of contamination.

You could probably do the same thing with your fuel. Just run it through the outboard filters until it was crystal clear and then transport it to your boat in jerry cans.

I have had diesel fuel stored in my own tanks for as long as two and a half years without a problem.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:46   #23
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I remember seeing a "Scrub a Tug" in Sydney harbour that does that fuel scrubbing service.

As our fuel tank on the boat is currently 50lt I doubt that we will be on the wrong side of the rules filling up with gerry cans.

There is no doubt that in the US, fuel is a lot cheaper than herre in Oz. The two drums have about $510 US of fuel in them (diesel is about $1.39AUD Lt here.
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:20   #24
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Quote:
When we cruised in Australia, there were people who cleaned their diesel tanks with external pumps and filters mounted on a stand. They Put an intake line in the bottom of their fuel tanks, ran it through the outboard pump and giant filters, and then ran it back into their tank. They exchanged the fuel several times until the fuel was clear.
We have a service that does this. They use a 400 gph fuel pump and cycle the fuel with a large canister filter with an external wrap of filter paper about 24 inches square. They monitor an input and output pressure gage to determine when the filter is full of junk. It works best when the fuel level is low. You need to cycle the tank about a dozen or more times to effectively clean out the junk. The output is used to essentially power wash the inside of the tank. This works best when the fuel level is low. The process is more to clean the tank not the fuel.

They charge a fee of $50US/hour with a minimum charge of $240 US. Just cleaning the fuel is probably not worth the effort.

In a sealed drum a sample could determine the quality of the fuel and you would be done. You won't really need to clean it up if it was good to begin with.

Moving it to jugs may be the larger expense. If you could transfer a few jugs from the first drum to the tank then store the remainder in jugs, then leave the second drum sealed it may be cheap enough. Moving all the fuel to jugs is going to cost more in jugs than the fuel is worth. You sure can't heft around 44 gallons of fuel and you can't load the drum aboard. Unless you are going to assume the fuel is OK this isn't something that is going to save you any money. Maybe let someone else have the the free fuel or make some friends and fill a few tanks.
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Old 04-03-2008, 17:32   #25
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Moving all the fuel to jugs is going to cost more in jugs than the fuel is worth.
I guess I interpreted it a little different. I thought when he was talking about filling jugs, he meant 1 or more at a time just to take it to the boat. Like maybe have the drums in the back of a truck in the parking lot. Two 5 gallon jugs would be 10 trips for 100 gallons... Me, I'd hate that. It's a quarter mile walk down the docks to my boat. Literally 1/4 mile. But for $35 of fuel for each trip, I'd do it.
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