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Old 03-10-2009, 17:36   #1
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Fuel Polishing Systems - Need Help!

The Fuel Polishing Systems that are on the market are pretty expensive.
I am thinking to buy the components and build one for less $$$.
Which pump? GPM? should I get?
12Volt or 110Volt?
Filter/Waterseparator?
I have 2 x 100 Gal tanks that are connected with each other. So, I was thinking to pump from one tank, polish and return to the other tank.
Would that work?
Any other ideas?
I would appreciate any input.
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Old 03-10-2009, 19:02   #2
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Any other ideas?
.
Is it really necessary?

We have been in some wild places - Pacific, Indonesia etc and had no problems with the engine drinking blak fuel.

If you have 2 tanks and 2 engines couldnt you just fill each tank seperately and run an engine off each? Then the chance of anything occuring to both engines on one leg would be negligable?

We do use a biocide each fill.
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Old 03-10-2009, 19:14   #3
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Ditto for Mark J comments. If you ever have a problem in a tank, you can find at most places world wide where someone can "scrub" your fuel, then you can just treat with biocide. If the problem continues, you just keep treating with biocide and change filters more often. I had a problem that developed because the boat sat too long with the tank only partially full, and that is how I fixed it!

The way you describe the proposed system, you would have to have one empty tank available just in case you had a problem, and that is a waste of a good tank!
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Old 03-10-2009, 19:30   #4
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Some good info here.

I will be following the advice on the first link and using Walbro pumps and Racor 500fg Equivalents which I purchased in Thailand for the right price, but they are these ones here.

500FG equivelant

We stripped them down alongside a genuine Racor 500fg, swapped parts around and they are the same.

They were cheap, so I got 2 for each motor, for a bit more than the cost of one in Oz.


Ariel - Cape Dory 36 - Projects - Fuel Schematics

diesel additives

Captn Wil's Fuel Polishing System: Trawlers & Trawlering How To

Diesel Panel
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Old 03-10-2009, 21:04   #5
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You need a polishing system when you take a lot of fuel and take a long time using it up in remote places. It's been years since we tanked!!

Here's the system we built: s/v Jedi: A new fuel system for Jedi (English)

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 03-10-2009, 21:15   #6
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- - Walbro is the UL listed diesel fuel pump most used in boats. I built a fuel panel with the fuel entering a Racor Filter then exiting to a tee-fitting; one branch going to the engine and the other going to the Walbro Pump. A ball valve allows me to turn off the direct line to the engine forcing the diesel to the Walbro.
- - From the Walbro output another Tee-fitting branches back to the engine and to the engine return line to the fuel tank. Two ball valves downstream of the tee allows me to select the Walbro output from the Racor filter to either the engine or back to the fuel tank (polished fuel). Simple system using only on-off stainless ball valves and a few tee's.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:09   #7
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My gen returns about 20 times the fuel as my yanmar. I wait until the boat is in rough water for a while and run the generator for a bit, with regular additives to keep the junk dead, the gen cleans the main tank. Both engines or on the same tank and I do use the gen about 500 hours a year. The yanmar has never had much in the filters, but I get chicken and change it every time I change the gen filter. Any time that tank is bouncing around with about 1/3 to 2/3 full is a goot time to polish.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:49   #8
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Keep it simple and inexpensive!
A good filter like the Racor 500, a Walbro pump, and a tee connector to switch between the engine and the fuel return line.
This gives you regular use, polishing, and a backup fuel pump in case the one on the engine dies.

If you hunt around you can get it all for under $250 like I did.

My motto is get the best bang for the buck.
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Old 04-10-2009, 19:00   #9
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Thanks for all your input.
Is it really necessary? I don't know. I really never had a fuel problem and I am using a biocide as well. I am holding 200 Gal of Diesel in both tanks and try to keep them filled up all the time. I am using the engines only to get in and out of an anchorage.
I am sitting here in Luperon and everybody is talking about polishing fuel. The guy that is selling and building the "Filterboss" is here in the anchorage and I was thinking to buy his system but could not justify the cost of US $1,5000.
I like it simple and inexpensive too so the idea to stay under $ 250 sounds good to me.
It looks like the Walbro pump and Racor 500 is the way to go.
What is the GPM rate on the Walbro pump I should use?
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Old 04-10-2009, 19:34   #10
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What about better filtration? I plan to use a system similar to the one promoted by sbmar.com. They have several articles on filtration. I have no affiliation with the company. Cheers.
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Old 04-10-2009, 19:40   #11
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The guy that is selling and building the "Filterboss" is here in the anchorage and I was thinking to buy his system but could not justify the cost of US $1,5000.
Yikes! Good decision! For $1,500 you could pay a mechanic to fix the biggest dirty fuel problem if it ever occured.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:34   #12
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What is the GPM rate on the Walbro pump I should use?
Looks like the max rate for the marine (FRB) pumps is 43 GPH.
Thats ok for my 25 gallon tanks, but maybe not for your 200 gallons.

http://wem.walbro.com/distributors/frpump.htm
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:40   #13
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If you have an old boat and are going offshore by all means polish your fuel. Once that's done do you really need an onboard system? Seems you ought to be using your fuel faster than that. Maybe consider not filling one tank after it's polished and empty. Only fill it before you make a real long trip like Panama to the Marquesas. Just a thought.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:43   #14
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Being a MK in the CG a while back we had pulled into Tampico Mexico and recieved about 200 gallons of water for the cutter, granted it was mixed in with about 25k gallons of diesel. It was so bad that our Fuel oil purifer wouldnt even keep running while trying to transfer it to the day tanks. We wound up using a Jabsco to suck out most of it.

It sounds like KatKokomo wants to use one tank as a day tank and the other tank as storage. Thats exactly how its done on cutters albeit we had the ability to recirculate both the storage tank and day tanks, or transfer while purifing (polishing) to the day tanks.

It would work... just as long as anything you put in your day tank was run through the filter as not to contaminate it. Maybee even have the ability to recirculate the tanks too.

Just my .02 from a sailing newb.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKokomo View Post
The Fuel Polishing Systems that are on the market are pretty expensive.
I am thinking to buy the components and build one for less $$$.
Which pump? GPM? should I get?
12Volt or 110Volt?
Filter/Waterseparator?
I have 2 x 100 Gal tanks that are connected with each other. So, I was thinking to pump from one tank, polish and return to the other tank.
Would that work?
Any other ideas?
I would appreciate any input.
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Old 05-10-2009, 14:13   #15
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- - Here is the simple system I use utilizing a Walbro UL listed diesel fuel pump. There is only one model Walbro but it comes in 12VDC and 24VDC flavors.
- - The level of the fuel tank does not make any difference in the system. Normal diesel fuel systems operate by an engine mounted "lift pump" that sucks fuel from the main tank through the Racor filter and then supplies it to the engine systems. The engine "lift pump" can suck fuel from a tank well below the level of the engine or above the engine.
- - The idea is to maintain the original fuel path from tank to engine. So the first "Tee" is put into the fuel line exiting the Racor filter on its way to the engine lift pump. Downstream of the "Tee" is the ball valve. This ball valve shuts off the flow directly to the engine and now the "lift pump is sucking fuel from the tank through the Racor and now also through the Walbro pump.
- - The fuel line exiting the Walbro has a Tee installed with a ball valve on each leg of the tee. One leg of the tee connects back into the fuel line going to the engine lift pump. This is like an alternate routing for the fuel and should the engine mounted lift pump fail, the Walbro can now replace it and pump fuel to the engine systems. Additionally this alternate path with the Walbro turned on will allow you to "bleed" the engine fuel system of air without having to crank the engine.
- - The second leg of the tee downstream of the Walbro connects to a "tee" in the return line from the engine back to the fuel tank. By closing both ball valves that direct fuel to the engine life pump and opening the ball valve to the return line you now have a recirculation system of fuel from the tank to the filter and back to the tank. Additionally this loop back to the tank allows you to open the Racor fuel filter, change the cartridge, close the Racor and then activate the Walbro pump to suck all the air out of the Racor fuel filter.
- - There is only one size Walbro fuel pump but it comes in 12VDC or 24 VDC models. The Walbro runs my 140 hp 6 cylinder engine fine and will recirculate (polish) the diesel fuel in my 300 gal fuel tank.
- - To recap the minimal system needs one Walbro Pump; 3 - Tee's and 3- ball valves. Plus wiring, fuse/cb; and switch for the Walbro.
- - For duel tank systems (day tank and main tank) there is normally a selector valve before the Racor fuel filter that allows fuel on one tank or the other to enter the Racor Filter. You would normally only be concerned with polishing the fuel in the main tank when is then fed into the day tank. But with additional valves and tees you could also polish fuel in the day tank.
- - Water separation is normally done within the Racor 500 or bigger filter system or my a separate water filter both of which are "upstream" from the Walbro.
- - The system I described allows the Walbro to do the following: polish fuel; replace the engine lift pump; supply fuel pressure to bleed the engine fuel system; and bleed air out of the Racor filter after changing a fuel filter.
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