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Old 12-02-2008, 08:50   #1
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Fuel tank pick-up tube

Hey Folks
I am in the process of redoing the electrical system on a 76 Tartan, and with all things old and abused I am diverted to the fuel system. I have 1 -75 gallon thank that is functioning and 1 that is partially installed (set in, not plumbed). I need a pick up tube fitting. The boss on the tank is female 1/2 inch NPT. I need a tee or ell that has a pickup tube extending thru the male NPT threads. Y'all seem pretty sharp here. Any suggestions?
Thanks
Ed
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:16   #2
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You will most likly need to make something. A copper tube soldered into the end of the fitting, small enough to go through through the hole. But at only 1/2"NPT, I suggest you might be getting a tad small for the amount of fuel the engine is going to be requiring. I suspect that being 76', you will have a decent Donk down in th engine room.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:33   #3
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Alan, I think he meant it was a 1976 Tartan. Also, don't use a copper tube or copper/bronze fittings if the tank is aluminum. I just put new pickup fittings on my tank. They were aluminum male NPT elbows with a barb on the end of the threaded end. A plastic tube fits over the barb as the pickup tube and is cut to size. I got the fitting from a tank manufacturer, so don't know who makes it. But these fittings do exist.

Mark
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:44   #4
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Sorry for the confusion. Yes, it is a 1976 Tartan (41 feet). Thanks for the insight. I will contact a tank fabricator and see what they may have. The already plumbed tank has bronze fittings, so I guess I better get two sets. Huh It's always something. Anyway thanks again for the help.
Ed
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:49   #5
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just a small hint, if your tanks dont have drains in them install a second takeoff that goes to tank bottom to allow you to clear any water or sediment occaisionally
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:52   #6
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OH! GOOD IDEA!
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Old 12-02-2008, 14:14   #7
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Well I spoke with Bruce at Action Welding out of Cape Corral FL. He said no problem. If the tanks are less that 16 inches deep they have a cut to fit unit. If they are deeper than 16 inches then he has to make them up.
Thanks for the help fellas
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Old 12-02-2008, 14:14   #8
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Better yet fashion an access plate if there's not one there already. Make it big enough to stick your arm in the tank to clean it out. They all need it eventually... wish I had this on mine already.

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Old 13-02-2008, 21:09   #9
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
You will most likly need to make something. A copper tube soldered into the end of the fitting, small enough to go through through the hole. But at only 1/2"NPT, I suggest you might be getting a tad small for the amount of fuel the engine is going to be requiring. I suspect that being 76', you will have a decent Donk down in th engine room.
No offense Wheels but I have to disagree on the use of copper here. I did this same thing on my old Tartan Blackwatch with disasterous results after adding VALVTEC diesel additive. While leaving the harbor, the engine quit. We look like 2 monkey's #+*% a football trying to get the sails up and clawing off a lee shore. Upon examination, it was discovered the additive ate at the copper and created a black cyrstaline material blocking the pick-up tube. We did bench tests off site with the additive and diesel...same results. I called Valvtec and they would not return my calls.
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Old 14-02-2008, 01:00   #10
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Yeah I remember that story. Not good. But the issue isn't with the copper tube, it is the Valvtec product. Copper is common in many fuel lines as either tubing or washers and should be considered safe. It only adds strength to my comments about having to be very careful using additives.
I would be very interested in knowing what the black crystals were. That is a serious chemical to react with copper like that. And I can't think of a thing that has the apperance of black crystals when reacted with copper.
How long does it take for the crystals to appear??
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Old 14-02-2008, 09:36   #11
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Yeah I remember that story. Not good. But the issue isn't with the copper tube, it is the Valvtec product. Copper is common in many fuel lines as either tubing or washers and should be considered safe. It only adds strength to my comments about having to be very careful using additives.
I would be very interested in knowing what the black crystals were. That is a serious chemical to react with copper like that. And I can't think of a thing that has the apperance of black crystals when reacted with copper.
How long does it take for the crystals to appear??
It ws quite some time ago but as I remember, from the time I added the VALVTEC product to the time of the incident was a few months, maybe less. I did a bench experiment with dishes of different diesel and VALVTEC mixtures and copper pennies. They all turned black within a few days except the dish with pure diesel.
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the USCG does not recommend copper in tanks but I could be wrong. I replaced the copper tube with brake lining steel tube and problem solved.
My guess on the black crystals would be cupric oxide. Very hard, very sharp. I think they actually use cupric oxide for sand blasting.
If anyone has this product, perhaps try the same test I did to see if the formula has been changed.
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Old 14-02-2008, 12:21   #12
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It is possible it is Cupric oxide or Copper(II)Oxide=CuO which is a black'ish crystal and yes very abrasive. Often used in very fine grinding powders used for polishing optics etc.
But the perplexing thing is the chemical action required to cause this to form, I find very hard to believe could be found in a Diesel Additive. Now obviousely it is, as you have it. But just how remains a puzzle. The only possible way would be for pure Oxygen to be present in a "free" form. Anything else that causes copper to corrode will create Copper(I)Oxide, which is a Red crystal. My biggest worry is that anything producign Oxygen in such a form will also cause steel to corrode badly.
To test if this really is cupric oxide, get hold of some acid, any mineral kind like sulfuris, nitric or hydrochloric, and drop a few drips onto the crystals. The cupric oxide will readily dissolve in an acid. It won't disolve in water.
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Old 14-02-2008, 15:44   #13
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I just put new pickup fittings on my tank. They were aluminum male NPT elbows with a barb on the end of the threaded end. A plastic tube fits over the barb as the pickup tube and is cut to size

Mark
These do exist, and are a headache to me. The hose becomes loose at the barb and then the engine sucks air.
It's better to weld in a piece of aluminum tube to an aluminum Ell. Then cut the end of the tube to size. 1/4" is good for under 50hp, 3/8" for over 50 is my rule.
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Old 14-02-2008, 17:35   #14
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It is possible it is Cupric oxide or Copper(II)Oxide=CuO which is a black'ish crystal and yes very abrasive. Often used in very fine grinding powders used for polishing optics etc.
But the perplexing thing is the chemical action required to cause this to form, I find very hard to believe could be found in a Diesel Additive. Now obviousely it is, as you have it. But just how remains a puzzle. The only possible way would be for pure Oxygen to be present in a "free" form. Anything else that causes copper to corrode will create Copper(I)Oxide, which is a Red crystal. My biggest worry is that anything producign Oxygen in such a form will also cause steel to corrode badly.
To test if this really is cupric oxide, get hold of some acid, any mineral kind like sulfuris, nitric or hydrochloric, and drop a few drips onto the crystals. The cupric oxide will readily dissolve in an acid. It won't disolve in water.
I'm afraid my chemistry is limited to Chemistry class in school. Even then I was more interested in the chemistry between myself and my female class mates. I do remember O2 can be produced through chemical reaction. I was so pissed off with the way VALVTEC had handled the incident that I would refuse to pay 2 cents to experiment today. Perhaps if some of our readers are interested, they could try the experiment.
Also, I made sure I did the same experiment with steel brake lining with no ill effects. Just the same Wheels...I'm with you on additives. I feel its better to filter than treat. I know have a 15 gallon 'day tank' that I use as not to store diesel too long. I have 2, 40 gallon bilge tanks that feed the day tank when needed. They run through dual filters going to the day tank. Then from the day tank to a Racor with 10 micron filter, then to the primary which I hope is 5 micron. This really negates the need for treating....I hope!
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Old 15-02-2008, 00:52   #15
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These do exist, and are a headache to me.
Pat there is a system called Pushlock. It is a special hose and barbed fitting made for fuel and oils. Hydraulic specialists will have it. I worked for Parker which was a US Parent company. So I expect it to be available over your way. Once you have pushed the hose on, which is not too hard, you will never get it off and it will never leak. You just push it on, no hose clips. Hose clips will actually damage the hose as the barbs are sharp edged. A plastic shoulder covers the end of the hose.
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