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Old 10-01-2014, 09:05   #16
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Cotemar, really dumb question and I apologize in advance, but what do you do with the contaminated fuel that is left in the filter after fueling? Where we fill up there is no disposal place that I know of.
There is no dumb questions here, so no worries.

I fill my boat from a 5 gallon fuel can and have never used a filling filter.

I change my primary and secondary fuel filters once a year.

I check my primary filter for water once a week and have never seen any water in it in the five years that I have owned the boat.

If I were to go to unfamiliar fuel docks or Islands, then I would most likely get a Mr. Funnel and use it when at the fuel dock.

http://www.boattest.com/resources/view_News.aspx?NewsID=4527

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Old 10-01-2014, 11:52   #17
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

We have a 100gal tank, which is not large for most out cruising. Even using two engines (three counting the genset), the return fuel flow and exchange is not sufficient to be considered any form of "polishing". We also don't use the engines for many weeks at a time (months, even) while actively cruising - or use them only for a few minutes occasionally.

For us, it makes sense to have a built-in polishing system consisting of an independent pump and filter. Other views may vary. They are not a necessity, but they are easily constructed and implemented and, like the OP, it has been a big peace of mind for us.

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Old 10-01-2014, 13:40   #18
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

I think the most important part of a polishing system is the ability to have it operate independent of the main engines. Mine has a timer and runs for 12 hours a week even if the boat isn't used. It takes a minimal amount of power, and gives a lot of piece of mind.

The other advantage is that since the polisher is filtering to 5 microns I can run a must finer primary fuel filter (2 micron) than I otherwise would feel comfortable with. I doubt it matters a whole lot, but I like the idea of sending as clean of fuel as I can to the engine. Normally however a 2 micron would clog pretty quickly, but since the polisher does the heavy lifting, I only need to change the primary once a year, and that preventatively.
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Old 10-01-2014, 13:44   #19
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

Does anyone have a diagram, instructions, list, pictures, etc. of how to install one? Where to get the parts and so on. I haven't been able to find much online.
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Old 10-01-2014, 13:59   #20
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Does anyone have a diagram, instructions, list, pictures, etc. of how to install one? Where to get the parts and so on. I haven't been able to find much online.
Maybe this will help.

DIY fuel polisher - Page 2
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:00   #21
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Re: Fuel Polishing system

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Originally Posted by Diesel Polisher View Post
Yes twistedtree is correct, but standard engine filters have very little capability to deal with water or a large lump of diesel bug/sludge. It's always good to have a decent sized pre-filter before your engine filters to catch the bulk of rubbish and water beforehand.

Most pre-filters on the market have limited emulsified water removal properties too. So you should consider what exactly are you trying to polish out of your fuel.
Most of the boats I've seen have Racors before the engine. And most of the polishing systems I've seen use Racors to polish. In those cases, running the engines and running a polisher are pretty much the same. On my Nordhavn, the engine moves about 3x more fuel per hour than the polisher moves.

If all you have is the on-engine filter, then I agree - actually I'd suggest you consider adding a Racor or similar.
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:06   #22
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by sailalfin View Post
I have a Perkins 4-236 (best engine in the world) which is 25 years old and plenty of hours. I have a very good furl filtering system with 2 Racor 500 filters installed so that you can route the fuel in different ways, series, parallel, isolated etc. However, the best thing I ever did for peace of mind was to fabricate a polishing system, very simple and DYS. Now I polish fuel every day while cruising. I have attached the drawing
I'm interested in your solution but I can't see your drawing. Please try attaching it again. Thanks
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:09   #23
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Re: Fuel Polishing system

Racor filters have good debris removal capability but poor water removal. I would suggest that running your engine is not the same as using a decent polishing system.

Decent polishing systems in my opinion will have excellent emulsified water and free standing removal as well as debris. In tests Racor filters are seen to be poor at water removal. Given that "diesel bug" (or for those who don't know and see it only as "sludge"), diesel bug only requires water to water to proliferate. So any decent fuel polishing system must focus on water removal.
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:21   #24
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Re: Fuel Polishing system

If you wanted to go to the trouble, you could create a closed loop fuel circulation system with filtration in line. I think that is a lot of trouble for only 40 USG. I would, first and foremost insure that the fuel going into the tank is clean, run it through a water knockout, debris filter before going into the tank. Make sure you don't allow any water to enter through the fill cap by insuring you have a new O ring every year. If you have the room set up a dual racor filter system, you can make your own for not too much trouble or money. Drain the bowls frequently. Change the secondary filter often, depending on how much you use your boat.
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:28   #25
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

Once you lose your engine out in rough seas. (That is when it happens) You will understand fuel polishing
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Old 10-01-2014, 14:34   #26
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Re: Fuel Polishing system

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Originally Posted by Diesel Polisher View Post
Racor filters have good debris removal capability but poor water removal. I would suggest that running your engine is not the same as using a decent polishing system.

Decent polishing systems in my opinion will have excellent emulsified water and free standing removal as well as debris. In tests Racor filters are seen to be poor at water removal. Given that "diesel bug" (or for those who don't know and see it only as "sludge"), diesel bug only requires water to water to proliferate. So any decent fuel polishing system must focus on water removal.
Maybe we are talking about different Racors? I'm thinking of the 500/900/1000 series that supposedly separate out water. You're saying they don't work well?

What would be a better filter?
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:02   #27
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Maybe this will help.

DIY fuel polisher - Page 2
I really don't like this type of polishing system. I prefer it to be independent of the engine. So mine is in an isolated loop. Basically mine runs from the pump directly back to the fuel tank.

Also instead of multiple manifolds I prefer a six port valve like Groco Fuel Valve 6 Port - Star Marine Depot
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:10   #28
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

I found a real good DYI Fuel polishing discussion. The entertaining part of it was that they use paper towel and toilet paper rolls.

Gulf Coast Filters F-1 fuel filter and water separator
This filter is recommended to be the main fuel filter if it can be fitted in the space. It uses a roll of Bounty paper towels. The element replacement cost of this filter is always attractive, but if you have a very dirty system to clean up, you will appreciate it even more. In addition, it filters in the sub-micron range and will add life to your injection pump and injectors.

Gulf Coast Filter O-1 Jr. If you can't make the F-1 fit, you can use a Jr. It was originally designed as a small bypass oil filter, but can serve very well as a fuel filter.
It comes with a molded-in orifice to restrict the flow in oil bypass work. If you use the filter for fuel, drill out the orifice. I use one on a 180 HP engine.
This unit uses a roll of toilet paper as the element and can be fitted most anywhere in any position. Its drawbacks are that it has less capacity than the F-1 and does not have a water separator. If you use this filter, you must make sure a water separator is in the system.

http://www.trawlersandtrawlering.com/howto/captnwil.html

Diesel fuel polishing system components:
1) Gulf Coast Filter F-1
2) Gulf Coast Filter F-1, It uses a roll of Bounty paper towels
3) Gulf Coast Filter O-1 JR, roll of toilet paper for element
4) Racor 500 2-micron element cut away to show filter depth
5) Walbor 6802 continuous-duty diesel fuel pump.

http://www.gulfcoastfilters.com/fuel_polishing.htm
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Old 10-01-2014, 15:30   #29
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

Reverso has a few DYI Fuel polishing setups.

http://reversopumps.com/fuel-polishing-systems/fuel-polishing-marine
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:33   #30
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Re: Polishing diesel fuel

I highly recommend fuel polishing. I have the Perkins 4-236 and I blew the fuel injector pump due to contaminated fuel and the filter within the pump (not user accessible) becoming clogged. The company that rebuilt the pump did not mention the bad fuel was the cause. Then, while being beaten up at Point Conception, I also lost the fuel injector pump again. I was not very happy.

The solution was fuel polishing in Santa Barbara and a two new Racor fuel filters in line. Instead of having two sizes, I keep both at 5 micron because I know I still have some bad deposits in the fuel tank. Now, I just frequently replace the fuel filters and I have had no problems since then.

Since then the boat has been from California to Hawaii without any fuel issues. My suggestion, have 2 over sized filters in line both with the smallest filters. Replace often and you will never lose an engine at the wrong time again.

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