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Author Topic: Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story  (Read 10752 times)

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Stu Jackson

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« on: June 30, 2002, 10:49:57 AM »

Last week IA C34 member Gary Solari in Bellingham, WA, and I had an off line email chat about fuel filters.  He had lost engine power and traded out his secondary filter under sail to get some power, but ended up sailing back into his slip.  I had to do the same thing on Friday.  Our first thought on Friday was that it was a prop problem.
 
 I remembered that there is a fuel filter in the bowl of the electic pump.  Don't forget that one when you change your fuel filters.
 
 Yesterday I replaced the fuel filters.  There was so much GUNK in the electric fuel pump filter bowl that I'm surprised the engine ran at all for the last six months!  
 
 It really is silly how they pipe the tank to the pump first, and I scoped out a way to rearrange the existing hoses to feed the Racor first, then the pump.  
 
 This is recommended by all sorts of "authorities" including Racor in their filter manual.  The electric pump would still work to suck fuel through the Racor and prime it after you "correct" the hoses, so it shouldn't be a problem to rearrange the hoses.  
 
 The hand pump on my Racor wasn't very cooperative, and I got a blister on my right thumb trying to get it open, the hand pump.  Then the little light bulb came on and I used the electrical pump.  Bleeding downstream was easy at the bolt on the top of the secondary filter housing and the injector knob.  Started right up.  Extra bonus was that I cleaned out half of the port locker, since the plate in there is to give access to the fuel line shutoff valve.
 
 Today I'll take her out for a spin and see how it goes.  I'm pretty sure now that it's not a prop problem.  
 
 I also changed the transmission fluid, a nice stand on your head project if there ever was one.  Used one of those turkey basters and a length of small clear plastic tubing, duct taped the hose to the baster to suck the old stuff out, accessed through the big hole under the aft cabin cushions.  New fluid went in through another hose from the top.  There has been some input written on the C34 website to NOT use the bottom drain on the transmission casing.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Pickup Screen
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2002, 08:32:14 AM »

Stu,
 
 Thanks for reminding everyone of the fuel issue and re-routing the pump and filter...
 
 If anyone checks the archives, they will see I had a long battle with the same problem last year...
 
 And just when I was comfortable I had the problem licked, it reared it's ugly head again last weekend...Lost the engine twice due to fuel starvation...
 
 First thing I did was to check the tranfer pump screen, it was clean---in the heat of the moment I forgot I re-routed the hoses to prevent that screen from clogging...Then I commenced in changing the Racor filter (all while underway in a busy harbor)...Installed the new filter and couldn't get the pump to prime/fill the filter on it's own...And it didn't take long to figure the real problem was in the tank...
 
 I then removed the line coming from the tank and blew back through it...After reconnecting the line, the filter primed and filled within 30 seconds, and we were up and running a few minutes later...
 
 Once we were safely at the dock, I finally pulled the pickup tube from the tank---something I neglected to do last year...I found the pickup screen was completely jammed with hard growth and/or corrosion...I don't see how any fuel was able to get through it...I touched the screen and it pretty much crumbled...I removed all the screen pieces from the tube and re-installed...
 
 Just to be safe, I circulated the fuel through the Racor and back to the fuel fill for 4 hours and didn't see any noticeable junk in the filter or reduced flow from the return hose...
 
 So I think my fuel is still clean, but just had 16 years of growth/corrosion on the pickup tube...
 
 Given my experience, I'd highly recommed the removal of the pickup tube screen in addition to re-routing the fuel lines...
 
 Once the screen was removed, the transfer pump had no problem pulling a suction through the Racor filter, thus priming itself...If priming is an issue for you guys, CHECK THE PICKUP TUBE FOR BLOCKAGE!!!
 
 Tom
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Ted Pounds

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Fuel Filtration
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2002, 12:26:42 PM »

Just bought a new fuel pump at the local auto parts store.  The info that came with it was very explicit: a good filter (i.e. the Racor) is required between the tank and the pump.  In fact not having it plumbed like that voids the warranty on this particular pump.  Switching the hoses around to put the Racor first was very easy.  And Stu's method for bleeding the system works like a champ.  
 
 Ted
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Ted Pounds
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PAUL T.

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FUEL PUMP
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2002, 04:48:23 PM »

Ted I see you bought a fuel pump at an auto parts store. Could you please give me the make and part number? I assume its for the 25XP. THANKS so much.PAUL.
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Stu Jackson

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Fuel Pump Model Number
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2002, 05:08:16 PM »

Paul
 
 The Universal model number of the fuel pump is 1 (I think that's the quantity) - 301385, manufacturer is Facet.

See: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,2515.15.html
 
 You should be able to have them do a comparison at the auto parts store, rather than paying marine prices.
 
 The comparison is probably like filters or windshield wipers.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 10:01:10 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ted Pounds

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Fuel Pump
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2002, 09:46:43 AM »

Paul,
 
 I'm not sure of the part number;  all the info is on the boat.  However it's not the exact same pump as was on the boat.  I took the old pump in and showed it to the guys behind the counters at three different stores including NAPA and AutoZone.  They each came up with a universal diesel pump.  They were all intended for truck/automotive applications.  I bought the one with the bracket that matched the mounting holes for my existing pump (Which I don't think was the original)  It was $115.  I think NAPA had the same one, but there were none in stock at the store I went to and the NAPA that did have them was too far away.  Anyway, I think you can go into any autoparts store and ask for an electric diesel pump and get on that'll do the job.  Apparently 3/8 inch ID fuel hose is the standard there too.
 
 Ted
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Ted Pounds
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Stu Jackson

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2003, 04:47:51 PM »

Fuel Pump
 
 Just a reminder and a re-post of fuel filter numbers, pertinent perhaps to Arnold's recent post.
 
 FUEL ELECTRIC PUMP   Facet 1 - 301385 (Universal model number); NAPA # BK610-1011 About $100 3/03
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Jkar

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2003, 09:29:48 AM »

EEEKS,
 
 OK I thought you guys in saltwater had more problems then us fresh water guys.  I don't think that anymore.  At the point of sounding foolish, I have a DAHL filter as the first filter on my '87 #332.  I am assuming that I should have this re-routed as you guys have?  I found out yesterday how disconcerting loss of power is.  I was motoring up the river at 2500rpms when all of a sudden, the engine just choked itself off and died.  I was able to have it re-started and it died at 1800, slowly going to where it wouldn't start.  I changed the first Dahl filter and it started up and ran for about 45 minutes before quiting again.  After a tow to gas dock a full fillup on Diesel(only half tank) I was able fill the filter bow and the engine ran again.  At the dock it ran for 45min fine, in neutral, up and down the spectrum of rpm's.  As soon as we left to continue the journey and hit the river, it started to choke and die.  Anything above 1500rpm upstream would kill the engine, if going sideways or downstream it was better, but not right.  I pulled back in tied up and have a mechanic looking at it today.  I am starting with him replacing the fuel pump, while he is at it, I am thinking replace injectors and fuel filter one more time.  In addition to re-routing the fuel filter/pump config, is there anything else anyone can think of?  Thanks, Joel
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Ted Pounds

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2003, 12:33:44 PM »

Joel,
 
 I don't think you'll have to replace the injectors as it sounds like the filters are doing their job.  Did you replace the secondary filter too?  That may be the problem.  A powerboat neighbor of mine had some rust particles get through his primary filters (they basically punched holes in it) and were stopped by his secondaries (plural because it's a twin engine boat).  Also I recall reading on this board something about fuel lines degrading and collasping inside when they're old.  You might consider replacing all the fuel lines when you re-route to put the primary filter before the fuel pump.  How did the filter look when you changed it?  If you've got a crud problem you may go though a couple of filters sucking that stuff off the bottom of your tank.  If the filters keep clogging you might consider a new fuel tank or cleaning the old one (I think a new one is cheaper, it cost me $400 to clean mine).  Also it may be your pump is clogging up.  I believe the original pumps had some sort of filter screen in them.  Also check for the filter screen on the pick-up tube.  If that's there you need to remove it as it easily clogs.  You might find some more hints by searching this message board.  Good luck.
 
 Ted
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Ted Pounds
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Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2003, 12:34:07 PM »

Joel,
 
 Seems to me you are going to throw an aweful lot of money at your engine problem without actually knowing the problem...Sure, enough money and parts later you should be fine, but for how long???  You need to know the real problem and fix that first!!!
 
 What you described is close to how my engine acted with dirty fuel; loose RPM's, then engine quits...Engine re-starts, but soon loose engine again...May start a third time, but no RPM's...Fourth try, won't start...
 
 Running at the dock in neutral is not a good test of anything...In neutral the engine is not loaded, so very little fuel is needed to keep it running at any RPM...
 
 I'd start with the "dirty fuel" assumption before I started changing fuel pumps ($$$) and injectors ($$$)...You should be able to look in the electric fuel pump screen, and your fuel filters to see if you see ANY LITTLE BIT OF TRASH or GROWTH...
 Fuel line routing:
 1.  Start at the fuel tank; remove the pickup tube and be sure the little screen at the end has been removed...Should be a straight, open tube to get fuel from the tank...
 
 2.  The fuel should come out of your tank and go to the External Filter...
 
 3.  Then to the electric fuel pump...This way the external filter clogs before the electric fuel pump does...
 
 4.  Then goes to the filter on the engine...
 
 Originally, the electric fule pump was before the external filter; this is what must be changed...Alone with removing the screen on the pickup tube in the tank...
 
 If your diesel sat in the tank for any length of time (several months?), and you didn't add any fuel additive to prevent groowth, my bet is you have dirty fuel...
 
 Or, if your pickup tube still has the screen on it, it has finally decayed and is blocking flow...
 
 After removing the pickup tube screen and re-plumbing the external pump and filter, I bought 12 feet of fuel line and hooked one end to the output of the electric fuel pump, and put the other into the fuel filler neck...Turned key on and let it circulate...After about 20 minutes, I clogged a filter...Replaced filter and circulate again...I did this over and over for approx 8 hours total...Clogged several filters, but now have clean fuel (fuel output at tank fill slowed greatly when filter was clogged...At the beginning of the process, I also added "Bio-Guard" fuel additive to eat away at the growth in the tank...
 
 My fuel is now clean...Also use Bio-Guard at every fill-up...And if fuel sits in the tank for a long while (2-3 months), may add more bio-guard later too...I mostly race, so I don't burn much fuel...
 
 The key is to re-plumb the electric pump and filter, AND REMOVE THE PICKUP SCREEN!!!!
 
 I also use a 20 micro external filter (vice 10 micron)...I understand the engine filter is also 20 microns, but I'd rather stop as much as I can at the first filter; easier to change when underway...
 
 Even after removing ALL filters and pump screen, it should only tak about 1 to 1.5 minutes to bleed the system...Any more time than that, I beleive you have a growth/clogged line problem...  
 
 have your mechanic check these things FIRST!!!  Could save you big $$$ and time...
 
 Good Luck!
 Tom P.
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Ted Pounds

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2003, 12:55:58 PM »

Tom,
 
 Are you sure you don't mean 2 micron filter?  The smaller the number the smaller the particles it catches.  My Racor primary is a 2 micron and the secondary is a NAPA 10 micron.  By the way, that's a good idea for cleaning the fuel.  It would've saved me a buch of money.
 
 Ted
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Ted Pounds
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Jkar

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2003, 02:43:20 PM »

Thanks for the replies, you re-iterated what I had found, I just needed to hear it again.  I did find a deal on injectors, Carver equipment I figured if the filters and pump weren't the problem I would have the injectors on hand for the mechanic. If anyone is looking they are $50/piece new.  Anyway the price at this point is not the problem, it is getting it fixed this week so I can go racing (Bayview Bacardi Mackinac), thanks for trying to save me money.  Heck, I am feeling good and when the fuel delivery issue is solved and I win my class, I will sell the injectors at cost !
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Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2003, 07:53:37 AM »

Clarification...
 
 Sorry about the sloppy post above, I was in a hurry to get out of the office...
 
 As far as filters go; yep I meant 2 microns for the external filter, not 20...And the main filter (located on the engine) is a 10 micron...
 
 This is the only area concerning the fuel system that I disagree with Ron...
 
 I prefer to have a 2 micron filter at the external filter location...My thought is obviously it's going to clog first, but it will also stop more trash from getting in the lines between the filters as well as to the injectors...Not to mention I can remove, install, and bleed the external filter in less than 5 minutes if/when it clogs (loose engine)...The external filter is easy to change since you don't have to lay on the deck, reaching all over a hot engine, and you should have a lot less fuel spillage too...
 
 Yea the external filter costs $25-$30 depending where you buy them...The main filter costs about $10...BUT, I'd rather spend a little more $$$ each year to stop as much trash from getting to the injectors as I can...
 
 Is this overkill???  Maybe, but it gives me a better since of security and makes me feel better...
 
 I carry 2 spare external filters and one main filter onboard at all times...I change the external and main filter the begining of each season...Then change the external filter about mid season if/when I start to see trash forming on the bottom of the filter bowl...I don't wait until bowl is very cloudy...
 
 I found the best method of changing the external filter is as follows:
 
 1.  Loosen bottom filter bowl using filter wrench (if necessary) until it is hand tight, then loosen main filter until it is hand tight as well...You shouldn't spill hardly any fuel at this point, usually none at all.
 
 2.  Slip 2 gallon ziplock bag under filter bowl and all the way up all sides of the filter; let excess bag go above filter where possible...
 
 3.  grip bag with one hand and spin main filter off mount with the other hand, using short turning motion (as to not completely disturb bag).
 
 4.  hold top of bag and let filter and bowl fall into bag, catching all spilling fuel...
 
 5.  Place bag w/filter into small bucket...In same motion, place fuel absorbant cloth under filter mount...
 
 6.  Grip filter and filter bowl THROUGH BAG and remove bowl; again, bag catches all spillage...Bucket catches anything if you got sloppy...
 
 7.  Remove filter bowl from bag and install bowl on new filter (hold items over bucket during this step)...Install new filter to mount...Tighten filter bowl by hand first, then turn main filter another 1/4 turn (use wrench if necessary)...
 
 8.  Place fuel absorbant cloth in bag to soak up excess fuel in the bottom of the bag...
 
 9.  Open bleeder valve and turn key on...Watch filter bowl to ensure it is filling up, also look for leaks...System usually bleeds in less than 1 to 1.5 minutes if there are no blockages in fuel line...
 
 Another way to insure a speedy filter change is that I store all required items together, in a convenient location...The bags, absorbant cloth, small bucket, filter wrench, and filters are all stored together in the bottom drawer of the port V-Berth cabinets...This insures a quick and clean operation if needed to be performed underway, when the engine dies...
 
 the above steps, in addition to using 'Bio-Guard" fuel additive, has kept my fuel VERY clean for over a year...
 
 Tom
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aaron

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2003, 07:20:22 AM »

WHAT ARE THE EXACT STEPS TO EASIEST REMOVE THE PICKUP SCREEN.THANKS
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Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86

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Complete Fuel Filtration - Another Little Story
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2003, 08:20:42 AM »

Aaron,
 
 I removed the port bulkhead in the aft cabin; many small screws; only took about 15-20 minutes...
 
 With the bulkhead out of the way, you have a clear view of the side of the tank and a decent view of the top of the fuel tank...
 
 Looking forward, you should see the pick-up tube and shutoff valve (pet-cock) screwed into the top of the tank...
 
 Remove the rubber hose from the shutoff valve (hose which goes from the tank to the filter; or electric pump if you haven't changed the plumbing) by loosing the associated hose clamp...Be ready with a rag or oil absorbant cloth since you may get a little fuel out of the hose...Also be careful to not let the hose fall down forward of the fuel tank which may cause a little more fuel spill...
 
 Next, use a wrench to unscrew the portion of the pickup tube which goes down into the tank...This should be a pipe thread arrangement which screws directly into the top of the tank...
 
 Once that is loose, you will be able to lift out the pick-up tube out of the tank...The pick-up tube assy is made up of a solid metal tube 6"-8" long(?), a 6"-8"(?) rubber hose attached to the tube, then a 1/2" screen attached to the rubber hose...
 
 I kept a 2 gallon zip-lock bag handy to put the pick-up tube in once I cleared the tank; didn't want even a drop of diesel fuel in the aft cabin...
 
 If memory serves me correctly,  the screen was crimped onto the end of the rubber hose...My screen was a wad of solid, hard crud...It literally fell apart in my hand when I squeezed it with my fingers...I broke apart the remaining screen using pliers, then used a small screwdriver to remove the portion of screen which may have been up inside the rubber hose...
 
 Once all screen was gone, I reversed the above removal procedure...I did not see a need to replace the rubber hose which goes into the tank, looked to be in excellent condition...
 
 Once everything is back together, bleed air out of system by opening the bleeder valve and running the fuel pump...Make sure you did not accidently close the fuel shut-off valve at the tank during the job or else you will never get fuel to the engine...  
 
 If you haven't already rearranged the fuel pump and filter plumbing, I would highly recommend that as well!!!
 
 Good Luck,
 Tom
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