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Old 29-08-2012, 09:07   #16
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Re: Fuel filtering on tank fill-up

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Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
You need a thing that used to be call a "Baja Filter"..Independent tests showed that the best one is from West Marine

WEST MARINE 006_180_003_517 at West Marine

Used that west marine filter for all, but maybe 10 gallons, since I bought Mildred Rose 4 years ago. Never had a drop of water in my Racor filter in hundreds of hours motoring. Filters looked as pristine at the end of the season, as they did when they were replaced.

This spring, I opened the fuel tanks to clean them out (ran the tanks next to dry last year). Pris-freaking-tine. was able to clean it with one paper towl.

Either I get insanely clean and water free fuel (from a very popular non-marine gas station) or the filter works.. or both.

It IS slow, but I found if you add the fuel to the filter, pump angled sideways, and try and create a 'whirlpool' effect, it drains a lot faster..still slow though..

All that being said, I also can't remember seeing any significant sediment or water in the sump of the WM filter either. I do wipe it out after using it, and the paper towel does get some fine black particles on it, but haven't seen a trace of water. Most likely the station goes through so much diesel (they get a fillup once a day) that there is no time for condensation to form in their tank. Don't know.. still going to filter it.

the 5 minutes it takes to fill the jug(s) is worthwhile compared to the 5 hours waiting for a tow!

The Mac Boring diesel class I took scared me into being obsessive compulsive about buying fuel!! I am just scared to death of getting water in the fuel. So I will take the time to bring 2.5 - 5 gallons of pre-filtered diesel down a few times a season. In a pinch, I have bought it from my marina (which goes through a huge volume as well).

I don't think you could ever over-filter diesel.

side note..no one told me (this is my first diesel) that they dye the fuel at the marina. I put a few gallons in from a jug from the marina..I thought they gave me gasoline, as it was pink/redish! As I am just used to the clear/yellowish diesel from the truck stop station!
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Old 29-08-2012, 09:33   #17
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

When I built my boat, 30+ years ago, I installed a big white Fram FCS21 filter at the bottom of the fuel fill hose, just above the tank. This is the same filter that the fuel dock uses when transferring fuel from its underground tanks to the dockside pumps. Since my fuel fill was located on the cabintop, to give maximum height, it meant that the fuel was under a couple of PSI from fuel weight times height, alone. The system worked well enough, but the rate of flow was slow enough that I eventually removed the unit. Had I a means to increase the fuel flow pressure, it would have been a greater success. Today I use a precursor to the Baja Fuel Filter (no longer in production, sadly) which is a series of stainless chambers, each divided by stainless screening. One can also add a piece of chamois leather to remove the water that might be present.

Local US fuel suppliers that handle large quantities of fuel are very clean. But, the guy at a rotting fuel dock in Turtle Bay may be transferring fuel that has been sitting in old, rusty drums that did't have the caps screwed down, allowing rainwater to leak in and settle to the bottom. The result, since we take the fuel from the bottom of the drum with a transfer pump, is this chunky, muddy soup that contaminates the boat's tank. That quickly makes its presence known after one gets away from the dock. Then, the only solution is to completely drain the contents of the tank, hand clean the tank itself, and filter the fuel before it goes back. This isn't what "fuel polishers" do, as a rule.
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Old 29-08-2012, 09:36   #18
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I think a good fuel polishing system is the best way to go (not the one from Racor/Parker). You need one with a high flow rate. Polish your fuel immediately after filling your tanks and regularly (weekly?) after that.
Deep, I'm all for polishing my diesel now & then, but I've got a life to live, cruising to do & oceans to sail. I polished my fuel in Tonga in 2004, & I'd do it again now if I had the equipment, but every week seems a bit excessive.
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Old 29-08-2012, 09:52   #19
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

Can't clean a dirty tank with fuel polishing, and a clean fuel system doesn't need to be polished. Never understood the rationale behind polishing.
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Old 29-08-2012, 10:00   #20
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

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Can't clean a dirty tank with fuel polishing, and a clean fuel system doesn't need to be polished. Never understood the rationale behind polishing.
yup, prefer to physically open the tank(s) regularly and manually cleaning all surfaces well.

polishing seems to address the symptom, not the core problem (dirty tank)
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Old 29-08-2012, 10:13   #21
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

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Can't clean a dirty tank with fuel polishing, and a clean fuel system doesn't need to be polished. Never understood the rationale behind polishing.
I got my fuel polished a couple of years ago. The full tank was pumped into the polisher's boat going through a few filters. Then my tank was hosed down with the clean fuel and the fuel pumped out again. Then the tank was inspected and wiped clean, then the clean fuel was pumped back into the tank. Well worth what it cost.
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Old 29-08-2012, 13:43   #22
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

I spent 8 years in the Caribbean and never got a bad batch of fuel(knock on wood), but in many parts of the world I think a BAJA filter or modern equivelant is needed. Another way to make your diesel love you is having a DAYTANK. A small tank that holds about a day and a halfs fuel supply that has no deck filler. you fill with an electric pump from your main tanks, through a good filter system. It would also have a filter between the daytank and the engine. Any crud that was pumped into your main tank would not reach your daytank or your engine. The engine can also be plumbed to run from the mains and keep your day tank as an aux tank for an emergancy. This system is used on larger yachts, but there is no reason not to set it up on a smaller boat(except cost) and have improved reliability. Just something to think about._____Grant.
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:53   #23
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

Wow... a lot of good replies... I think at this point I'm going to check the fuel coming from the pump (into a 5 gallon jug or something) and see what lies in that. Then I can decide to fight it onboard or before. Rick S/V Black Diamond Hylas 49-057 Portsmouth, RI
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Old 29-08-2012, 20:18   #24
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

Pump some fuel into a clear glass jar. Let it settle for a few minutes. You will soon be able to see what you have. This is a good way of telling what the fuel is like at the pump before you fill your tank as well. Might upset the pump jockey but hey, who is paying for the fuel.

Baja filters are great for small amounts of fuel but for larger tanks and amounts you need something that will filter much faster. A good fuel polishing system installed properly and plumbed into your tanks so that you can run it for several hours after filling the tanks will help to keep your tanks clean and your fuel polished, no matter what the nay sayers may say.

Perhaps if used on the commercial boats mentioned above they wouldn't have had engine problems.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:11   #25
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

Looks like the Baja filter from worst marine has a 100micron filter. Is it replaceable ro do you just buy a new Baja filter? How do you know when it is done, stops flowing like any other clogged filter?
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Old 30-08-2012, 21:50   #26
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

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Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Looks like the Baja filter from worst marine has a 100micron filter. Is it replaceable ro do you just buy a new Baja filter? How do you know when it is done, stops flowing like any other clogged filter?
The filter is staring you in the face so it's pretty evident if it's getting clogged up. The only downside to the filter is that it (purposefully) retains maybe half a cup of diesel below the filter element, allowing for heavier objects and fluid to settle (if any are present).

So when done fueling you have the options of:

a) dump the crud into your tank, thereby defeating the purpose of filtering.
b) dump the crud back into a jerry can, thereby contaminating the fuel.
c) dispose of it "properly", which of course you probably don't have reasonable access to.

d) toss it in the water.

You can probably guess which one happens the most.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:47   #27
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

Another alternative is to pour it in a plastic jar, store it with your plastic waste, then when you get to an appropriate spot, dig a hole in the ground, burn the whole mess in one quick shot transforming it into CO2, a small amount of toxics that break down over time in soil without having a significant effect on the water table or critters. Or, you could throw it in a big landfill with tons of similar waste and really see a return on investment. It also solves the issue of what to do with waste motor oil, bad gas, used paint thinner, etc. when you are hundreds of miles or more from the recycling facility. We need to be a little realistic here. What's the least damage we can inflict to resolve a real issue? Now, where did I stick those plutonium fuel rods?
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:19   #28
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

It is very difficult to dispose of old diesel when on land. I have called various local transfer stations and they all say they won't take it. I think the best solution, which may or may not be totally legal depending on where you are, might be to spread it on a bonfire before igniting and let it go up in smoke. That is what we did when in some remote parts of the Caribbean where your trash taken to the local town to dump was then redeposited back into the harbor by locals picking through it.
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:46   #29
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

The original and still used by some folks Baja filter.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ape-86532.html

What Worst Marine calls a Baja filter.

WEST MARINE 006_180_003_517 at West Marine

I have both. The plastic mrfunnel.com version works great but it does leave some fuel in the bottom as Rebel Heart posted.

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Old 31-08-2012, 11:48   #30
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Re: Fuel Filtering On Tank Fill-up

We have been cruising for 17 months in Mexico and Central America with no fuel problems. I try and top the tanks everytime I saw a fuel station. Our Racor 500s have never had water in them and I finally clougged one filter after about 550 hours of use.

With that said a couple of times I heard through the Coconut Telegraph that certain marinas were selling bad fuel and would Baja Filter it into Jerry Jugs. It is a very slow process and each time I found the fuel very clean with no water. Better safe than sorry I guess.

Then I got to Costa Rica and one day the rain came down so hard my RIB totally filled with water in about 25 minutes. The fuel vent was open on the gas tank and water entered the tank. Of course I didn't realise this until the outboard died on the way back to my boat :-(

I drained the dinghy gas tank into one of my empty Jerry Jugs using the Baja filter and separated out about two cups of water from about three gallons of gas. I also Drained the carberator and fuel line.

I poured the gas back into the fuel tank and the engine ran fine...

It made me a believer in Baja Filters.

As a side story, I drained the water contaiminated fuel into an old mayonnaise jar. Later, one of the locals came out and trade me the contaminated fuel for some vegies... Said he was going to use the fuel for clenaing tools... Go Figure!
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