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Old 31-08-2015, 06:48   #31
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
----
I still haven't seen anyone present experience of a primer bulb failing, ----
See post #23.
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Old 31-08-2015, 07:27   #32
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Coast Guard only matters if being used commercially. ABYC is full of half-baked, and even questionable, suggestions. While it is good to view them in relation to safety, it is also good to view them in relation to context and applicability.

For example, while our fuel bulb may not conform to their suggestions (although it does have a shutoff valve before it), our engine installation does.

Our engines are installed under our berths with a 3/8" plywood board under a 6" foam mattress. Wood frames support this. In case of a fire in the engine compartment, it seems silly to worry about the primer bulb.

Likewise, very many boats have their engines installed such that in the case of a fire, a primer bulb would be the last thing to exasperate the problem.

I still haven't seen anyone present experience of a primer bulb failing, while many people here have described very old bulbs still working fine. And several have described failed electric pumps.

But this is CF, after all - where inexperienced theory trumps practical experience every day!

Mark
I only share simple facts on this or any other site.

Fire on a boat is a pretty serious issue and worthy of mention - ABYC and USCG believe so.

FYI, Plywood depending on thickness is 10 to 20 minute burn through and obviously wouldn't add fuel to a fire. I won't guess how many seconds a bulb would last.

Bona fides: 100T license, with offshore, sail and tow endorsements. Commercial experience on 30', 50', 70' and 100'+ fishing boats. Presented only as I am quoted and mentioned as inexperienced.

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Old 31-08-2015, 07:33   #33
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

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Any thoughts on including a primer bulb in line after the tank and before a Racor?

The mechanical lift pump on my engine will pull from the bottom of the pick-up tube in my fuel tank but will not get me up to where I would like to install my Racor filters.

I had the thought of putting a primer bulb in line but maybe less stuff to fail if I skip it and just rely on the manual pump within the Racor?

Thanks!
I've done that for 4 years and it works for me on my diesel. It makes priming easy. Chandlery shops sell them for about $20. I think there are 2 different hose diameters available.
I wouldn't raise the filters above the tank myself as you will be fighting gravity to prime. I would think though once it's primed it will siphon up to the filter and down to the engine OK.

To make my filter easier to change I mounted it to a bulkhead and lower than the tank, using long captive bolts like studs. I used wing nuts to hold the filter body in place against a couple of locknuts. I made the flexible fuel lines long enough to be able to remove the filter out to where there is enough space to easily change the element still attached to the fuel lines.

You could optionally install an electric fuel pump near the tank and continue using the mechanical pump or remove the mechanical and blank off the opening for it.
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Old 31-08-2015, 08:22   #34
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Any thoughts on including a primer bulb in line after the tank and before a Racor?

The mechanical lift pump on my engine will pull from the bottom of the pick-up tube in my fuel tank but will not get me up to where I would like to install my Racor filters.

I had the thought of putting a primer bulb in line but maybe less stuff to fail if I skip it and just rely on the manual pump within the Racor?

Thanks!
An electric lift pump is the most common approach.

Most mechanical lift pumps dont have the capacity to cope with the pressure drop imposed by a good vacuum side filter system.

Another option is to feed the lift pump from a high mounted day tank. You'll still need an electric lift pump to fill the day tank.

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Old 31-08-2015, 09:17   #35
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I have an electric pump in line after the recors. It is hooked up to step switch and a normaly open pressure sensor on the oil pressure side. This gives me a number of options. If I need to prime the system I turn on the electric Pump and priming is a breeze. For normal operation I click the switch and the oil sender triggers the pump. This has the safety feature of the pump stopping when the engine stops. This was an intirim measure when my mechanical lift pump was failing. How ever this caused the engine to "mAke oil" as the electric pump was pushing drizzle past the pump diaphragm and into the crankcase. I still have all the components in place but have disconnected the oil pressure sensor and now only use the system manually for priming. Have replaced the manual lift pump , and have a spare. Not gonna have fuel issues again.
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Old 31-08-2015, 09:29   #36
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pirate Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

Have fitted these on every inboard engine boat I've owned..
Also I like to fit the small push on in line car fuel filters between the Racor ond the engine filter.. at one euro a pop for 10 and 5 micron filters they save a long messy job at much less the cost
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Old 31-08-2015, 09:52   #37
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I put a bulb in the line when I installed my new engine, just to make sure that everything was bled properly. However i took it out 6 months later, when it was clear that it wasn't needed. I just figured that there were some downside (fire, splitting, ABYC sureveyors) risk and there wasn't any benefit to having it. Reading this thread, I think I would reinstall it, as it would work well for flushing the goop out of the strainer bowl in a Racor.
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Old 31-08-2015, 10:12   #38
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I have used a squeeze bulb. It works. I had one that got soft with diesel though, so not sure which one to recommend.
I have also use an electric pump, purchased at NAPA auto parts.... which is very nice when changing filters etc.
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Old 31-08-2015, 15:48   #39
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

In the US at least, there has been a change about 5 years ago. Previously the rubber used with fuel hoses and primer bulbs was somewhat permeable, which might reasonably be expected to shorten the life (although my bulb lasted decades). Currently all marine fuel hoses and primer bulbs are low permeability, which I would expect to hold up even better - time will tell. In any event I always carried a spare bulb - very cheap insurance. I also carried spare Walbro pumps for the heater - not at all inexpensive. Being mounted above the tank, a bulb can only let air into the system (not good, but...) and not dump diesel out of the tank to feed a fire - thus not an issue.

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Old 31-08-2015, 16:07   #40
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

The bulb I had went bad by getting spongy, black residue coming off on your hand also. I would imagine this black "wet powder" was going into the filters etc also. I have seen one case of the bulb sucking together also ("deflating" if you will), probably not the bulbs fault... but still.
Thinking further about this, it seems the electric pump at not much more money is the best option maybe... In theory (in the US) the fuel line should be of approved hose. I doubt the bulb is.
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Old 31-08-2015, 16:33   #41
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I have redundant Facet lift pumps with a changeover switch and a manual lever pump I got with a Deutz engine I had years ago to fill the dual 9000 series Racors. I can switch filters instantly with a ball valve and change pumps with the flip of a switch and I can gravity feed from the day tank if necessary. I wouldn't have a squeeze ball anywhere near my engine.
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Old 31-08-2015, 17:16   #42
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

Well, these bulbs are certainly ABYC (and other agencies) approved for use in gasoline systems. I will leave it up to the individual to gauge the solvent characteristics of gasoline vs. diesel.

I spoke directly to Attwood and Moeller and both told me that their bulbs would not be effected by diesel in any way.

Baldwin sells primer bulbs for use with diesel, as does Wawa. Many older diesel automobiles and equipment used primer bulbs as standard. Some current ones still do.

As I mentioned earlier, our boat came from the factory with these fitted. Endeavor was another manufacture who did likewise. I'll bet there were others.

One is carefully and precisely splitting hairs in making an argument that in the event of an engine fire, in a common boat engine installation, a primer bulb is the dangerous part of the whole wood, plastic, foam, etc amalgam.

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Old 31-08-2015, 18:59   #43
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

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As I mentioned earlier, our boat came from the factory with these fitted. Endeavor was another manufacture who did likewise. I'll bet there were others.

Mark
Ours (EndeavourCat 36) were removed by the previous owner after his purchase survey noted they were not ABYC compliant. They just coupled the fuel lines together where the bulb used to be. I have considered putting a bulb back in, but the fuel tank is higher than the filter and all that is really needed is a little patience when changing filters.
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Old 01-09-2015, 00:46   #44
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I feel a boat owner should use whatever they're most comfortable with based on their own research and experience.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:25   #45
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Re: Diesel Primer Bulb In Line?

I have a 12v generator. I have put a fuel bulb on this system.

This same bulb can be used to prime the generator or the main engine filter. The latter by forcing fuel backwards into the filter. If you have a generator this is worth considering. It keeps the fuel bulb completely out of the main engine fuel line so an air leak, blockage or split in the bulb will not compromise the main engine, but the main engine filter can still be primed using the bulb.

The system in the diagram will also run the main engine from the generator fuel supply in the case of a blocked main engine primary filter
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