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Old 27-02-2009, 22:54   #1
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fuel???????

So i got this boat (catalina 30) that has been sitting on the hard for about a year in new england to give you an idea of climate

it was recently refitted with a m25xpb has 240 hours

it was left with about a gallon of off road diesel in the tank (aluminum 17 gallons) and a crappy dahl 101 fuel filter with no fuel pump or priming bulb before the filter to bleed the system there is a electric lift pump on engine few feet away and two bleed screws, one on secondard filter and one on the injector pump.
this spring i intend on putting it in the water for the first time
before i do, i plan on changing to a racor 500 and installing a fuel bulb for
Ez bleeding. along with new impeller, zinc's, packing, new battery's and ext.

Should i empty the old fuel from the tank and/or try cleaning the fuel tank?
Is a priming bulb a bad idea? Is there a better way?
or am i just over thinking the hole thing?

i did think of putting a tank selector then a cheappo electric fuel pump then tie it beck to the main fuel line for fast bleeding. Good idea or bad idea?
are all brass fitting fine for fuel applications?

thanks in advance
beetle
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Old 28-02-2009, 20:11   #2
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no one has anything to say WOW never thought i would see the day
this is the sailers forum right??
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Old 28-02-2009, 20:33   #3
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Drain the tank and clean it. May not need it but you wont know until you look. You don't say how old the boat is so inspect the aluminum tank very carefully. A dual racor 500 filter if you can afford it. That way if the filter gets clogged you can switch to the clean one. Make sure you have a vacuum gauge on the filter or between the lift pump and the filter.

A small fuel pump for filling the system isn't a bad idea. It should pass fuel when not activated so the valves wont be necessary.
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:07   #4
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Yeah! Dump the fuel (1 gal.- no loss) and clean the tank. Add a decent filter with a see-thru bowl (Racor is excellent) and a fuel pump or priming bulb would be a good idea.

I have an electric fuel pump and a three-way valve, which allows suction from the tank, pressure from the pump or an off position (for the thieves that may try to steal the boat using the motor ).

A 5 micron () filter should be OK. I run a 3 and carry an extra filter. If you go with a pre-filter it could be a 10 and then a 3 for the second.

And brass or SS fittings is recommended, don't use galvanized fittings.
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:16   #5
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how should i go about cleaning the tank
it is old aluminum 1985
and little to no inspection port
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlejuice30 View Post
how should i go about cleaning the tank
it is old aluminum 1985
and little to no inspection port
Humm! It's time to put in an inspection port. Covers/ports can be found at marine supplies. Once you do the cut-out for the port you'll know what you have. Fisheries Supply
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Old 28-02-2009, 23:50   #7
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humm!

heres the thing i can get a new tank for like 300 i think i would be better off
17 gallon tank from catalina direct

but until then, i dont wont to start cutting holes into the tank.
i think i can remove the sending unit and have about 2 inches to work or so
would flushing it with more diesel or ethanol work?
or should i just leave it alone and keep the crap at the bottom of the tank where it is and just carry a few more fuel filters
thanks for your input
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:13   #8
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There are a couple things you may find in the bottom of your tank. A black sludge which comes from the break-down of the diesel with bacteria from water, or just water and crud. You don't want to stir up the sludge unless your going to clean it. It'll plug your filter for sure.

If it's sludge you'll most likely want to remove for cleaning or replace the tank. Water/crud can be extracted using a siphon or suction tube.

I run a fuel scrubber thru the inspection hole every spring needed or not and that picks up any junk that may have accumulated during the year.
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:25   #9
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fuel bulb & cheappo electric fuel pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlejuice30 View Post
......and installing a fuel bulb for
Ez bleeding. ..... then a cheappo electric fuel pump t
I did the "bulb" thing. I thought I was so clever. Don't do it. It didn't hold up with diesel.

And "cheappo" electric fuel pump? Again, it has to be made for diesel and I would get one that gives you the right pressure to do more than just bleed the system. You might later want to use it as your lift pump.
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Old 01-03-2009, 00:29   #10
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thank
I am riddled with anticipation to see if it is sludge or water/ crud
it will be like x-mas
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:00   #11
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If you have sludge on the bottom don't leave it there. It is probably not just bacterial but also precipitates of tar (a natural byproduct of diesel). It may not just plug your filter but also your fuel line. That happened to me between Cuba and Mexico in some rough water. It might just lie there in the bottom of your tank until you really need your motor, and then get stirred up do the damage. Not a great thing to have happen to you.

You can use a plastic scraper to clean it off, but you will need access.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:51   #12
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If you only have one gallon in there I would just fill the tank. You dont need all the bells and whistles a world sailor does. One racor would suffice. The pump is a good idea, but I have used a bulb. You could just pump out the old oil through a small tank opening before.... a gallon should come out quick. Brass fittings should be fine.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:01   #13
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OK, right up front. I am a power boater.
My fuel tank has never collected sludge or water.
Why? The engines run a lot! Fresh fuel, Fresh filters, No problems!
I have even pulled a fitting out of the tank and siphoned fuel out from the bottom, clean!
A diesel needs to run, whether in a power boat or a sail boat.
Back to the original question. The surest way is to replace everything but also the highest cost.
My choice would be to use a fuel polishing service. Pull a couple of fittings out and use the return stream like a power washer to clean the tank. You can add something to improve the fuel's solvency like Pri-D or even some Biodiesel. A few gallons of fuel wouldn't hurt either.
The Racor does not need to be any finer than 30 micron. The secondary filter on the engine should be finer- 10 micron.
The most important thing going forward, run the engine at least once a week at 80% output for a half hour or more. I see sailors running at idle to exersise the engine, this doesn't get the oil up to temp.
Buying some fuel is cheap compared to a new tank and engine.

Burn as much fuel as you possibly can! Yes, I am laughing as I write this.

Carl
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