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Old 03-04-2012, 00:03   #1
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Diesel Fuel Polishing

I want to build a diesel fuel polishing system using a fuel pump from and car or truck to pick up the fuel from my tank and deliver it to a filter/separator and back into the tank. I would like to use my batteries to power the pump. I would run the fuel pump from my battery bank as they are being charged while setting idle in the slip).

I know there are significant issues that I have not thought of as I am not a mechanic nor am I particularly mechanically inclined by nature.

My engine is a 2GM20F 18 hp Yanmar; it has a small Ronco separator/filter in line with the fuel system to the engine. I know the separator/filter must be effective to some extent as the engine runs and I know there is a large quantity of water in the tank along with a lot of debris and all the microbials that inhabit such an environment.

What do you see as the major obstacles to the successful completion of this project and a suggested approach to each, please?

Thank you,
Steve
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:14   #2
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Have you tried the search function?
Plenty of information on this and some done quite recently

Here, fill your boots

Fuel polishing search
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:37   #3
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Thanks for taking the time to make a reply.

I have searched this site for specific answers to my many questions and have discovered none; to include using the reference you supplied-it turned up "no matches."

I believe such a homemade device can be properly built; I believe there is more to completing the project than meets the eye. That's why I am asking if anyone has actually done this successfully.

In an attempt to keep it simple and get started, please help me find a way to answer the following two (2) questions:

1. Assuming I am able to find a proper match between a "salvaged" diesel fuel pump and a fuel filter/water separator, can I power the pump using my boat's batteries while they are connected to a charger and not risk damaging either the batteries or the charger if left to run while the boat sets idle, in the slip, for 3-4 hours a day, for a week.

2. I am familiar with what an inverter does. My question is this: Is there a device which, when connected to 110 volts AC source, will produce DC Voltage that will supply power to the fuel pump?

Thanks again for your studied reply
Steve
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:02   #4
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Fuel Pumps: Oil Transfer Pump, Diesel Transfer Pumps, Gear Pump
DAVCO Technology, LLC

The Davco is way superior to the Racor types (IMHO) (Now before anyone shoots me down go and have a good look at the Davco)
Leave your charger connected to the batteries, run the pump from the batteries, put the pump behind the filter (so it pumps clean fuel)

If you want to make a power supply, all you need is a transformer and rectifier suitably sized. Buy the pump go in to Radio Shack, or similar and ask the geeks. DO use a gear pump for this. Forget diaphragm, and junkyard recoveries.

Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:17   #5
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

what about this?
Anyone tried this?

Parker Fuel Polishing Module - FPM-050
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:28   #6
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Someone I talked with did that very thing. A tiny pump that circulated fuel through a filter whenever the engine was running. He said after a month or so of using his fuel was perfectly clean....
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:01   #7
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

I have bilt two cleaning systems over the years and I am bilding one right now. I start with an 12 volt electric fuel pump, to a Groco saltwater filter with the finest ss filter you can find to a algee X algee killer, to a set of racors with a pressure gauge as you have seen them hooked up im sure! and then a return line to the tank ! with proper 12 volt fuses and switch. turn it on and let it run !! if you have a large tank thats FILTHY with black sludge, you might have to change the filters but it will clean it no problem !! it's a little pricey if you buy all new but if your a trader as I am you can come up with a few items to make it cheaper !! if ya make it portable you Can make a few friends helping them out !! works for me !
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:59   #8
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

My $0.02:

If your tank is clean, you don't need to polish fuel. If the tank is dirty, polishing the fuel won't make a difference.
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Old 03-04-2012, 13:15   #9
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
My $0.02:

If your tank is clean, you don't need to polish fuel. If the tank is dirty, polishing the fuel won't make a difference.
That is such bad advice
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Old 03-04-2012, 13:30   #10
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveebryant View Post
Thanks for taking the time to make a reply.

I have searched this site for specific answers to my many questions and have discovered none; to include using the reference you supplied-it turned up "no matches."

I believe such a homemade device can be properly built; I believe there is more to completing the project than meets the eye. That's why I am asking if anyone has actually done this successfully.

In an attempt to keep it simple and get started, please help me find a way to answer the following two (2) questions:

1. Assuming I am able to find a proper match between a "salvaged" diesel fuel pump and a fuel filter/water separator, can I power the pump using my boat's batteries while they are connected to a charger and not risk damaging either the batteries or the charger if left to run while the boat sets idle, in the slip, for 3-4 hours a day, for a week.

2. I am familiar with what an inverter does. My question is this: Is there a device which, when connected to 110 volts AC source, will produce DC Voltage that will supply power to the fuel pump?

Thanks again for your studied reply
Steve
Fuel polishing is a good adittion to most boats. If you have heavily contaminated tanks you really need to clean the tank, but regular fuel polishing will keep the crud and water out and will eliminate, or at least extented, the need for for these difficult cleanings.
To answer you questions
1. Pumps do not use much power. With out a specific model it's diffult to know what it will consume but 2-3A would be typical. Even if it's greater if you are hooked up to shore power, a small charger will supply enough power.
2. The battery charger will supply 12v when connected to AC power. Even a reasonable small charger will keep up with a fuel pump, lights, fridge etc
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Old 03-04-2012, 14:01   #11
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

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Originally Posted by chris07732 View Post
That is such bad advice
Yes, I have to agree. Of course the best situation is to have both clean fuel and a clean tank. But even if the tank is dirty, polishing the fuel is certainly going to help, and of course polishing the fuel will remove some of the dirt from the tank that has been picked up by the fuel. And moving the polished fuel to a temporary tank will facilitate cleaning the tank.
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Old 03-04-2012, 14:24   #12
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Dump some biocide in the tank and go sailing for an hour or two and shake up the tank and then polish it with something like the one I use our anything you find better and you can make a foul tank shine inside !! it works ! just my 2 cents
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Old 03-04-2012, 14:31   #13
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Building a polishing system is easy. You need a pump for the fuel. Very cheap, small, reliable, long lived and low power consumption pumps are made by Purolator/Facet. You can buy them online, get one of the larger capacity models with the ability to lift the fuel as far as you need.

For filtration you want preferably large filters, a couple in line, 30 micron first followed by something smaller, 10 micron or less, will work very well. I'd recommend you skip the Racors and anything else sold as marine, IMHO you are paying a lot more for nothing better. The world is full of filters for commercial trucks, diesels, etc at a fraction of the price. They will be spin on types, very easy to change.

You want the pump to pull the diesel thru the filters, they will work better that way.

Use the same system for running your engine. All you need is a selector valve after the pump, allowing the fuel to go to the engine or return to your tanks.
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Old 03-04-2012, 14:39   #14
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Fuel polishing is a good adittion to most boats. If you have heavily contaminated tanks you really need to clean the tank, but regular fuel polishing will keep the crud and water out and will eliminate, or at least extented, the need for for these difficult cleanings.
To answer you questions
1. Pumps do not use much power. With out a specific model it's diffult to know what it will consume but 2-3A would be typical. Even if it's greater if you are hooked up to shore power, a small charger will supply enough power.
2. The battery charger will supply 12v when connected to AC power. Even a reasonable small charger will keep up with a fuel pump, lights, fridge etc
+1

To answer the OP's question directly: Yes, it's a feasible plan. Knock yourself out.

One big tip which I am surprised no one mentioned -- for such a system to do any good, the pickup needs to be at the very bottom of the tank. Not like your engine's fuel pickup, which will be intentionally some distance above the bottom of the tank to leave room for water.

Make sure that all the filtration you use is capable of separating water in reasonable quantities. A dual filter on the engine supply line is a really good idea, because it will allow you to change the filters on the fly in case you get into trouble. If you have a sufficient quantity of spare filter elements on board, that is

And, as the above poster said -- fuel polishing is not a substitute for a good clean out of the fuel tank from time to time. It's a PITA but you have to do it. I did it three years ago and am thinking about repeating the procedure.
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Old 03-04-2012, 14:54   #15
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Re: Diesel Fuel Polishing

Heres a cheap method done using bits from a wrecker

How to clean diesel fuel tanks in boats
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