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Author Topic: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube  (Read 4272 times)

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Ron Hill

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Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« on: April 28, 2011, 06:30:08 PM »

Guys ; A week or so ago I made a post on this topic that seems to have disappeared, but anyway it's a Critical item to check !

There are only a few absolute critical items to check on a C34 :
1. Wiring Harness - if not changed you can have a FIRE on board!!
2. Old Style Alternator Bracket - if you have an M25(21hp) engine with the old style alternator bracket (over the top), that bracket will break, puncturing the oil filter RUINING the engine and alternator !!
3. Screen in the Fuel Pick-up Tube - eventually that screen will become clogged and the engine will STOP from fuel starvation !!

I keep bringing these up because year after year because I keep seeing pictures of boats on this message board that show that critical items 1 & 2 have NOT been done and have to be pointed out to the owner!!

In the case of the pick -up tube screen, there will never be a picture for any of us to point out to that owner and it isn't an obvious thing for a mechanic to check.  After a mechanic has spent a few hours @ $$$/hr on why the engine isn't getting any fuel, he will finally check for that screen $$ later!!

Here's the problem that I described back in the early 1990's:
Catalina procured their fuel tanks from a manufacturer that put screens in the pick -up tubes for mainly gasoline applications.
That tubular VERY VERY fine mesh screen fits inside the 3/8" fuel hose.  It is crimped at the end and sealed with a fuel resistant sealant. Then that screen is inserted in to the fuel hose leaving only a half inch or less of surface screen exposed to filter the the diesel. 
As we all know microscopic water particles in the diesel fuel tend to grow algae in diesel.

The bottom line is to remove the screen and let your Racor filter do it's job, because the screen will get clogged with that algae and the engine will quit at the most inopportune time - guaranteed!!
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Ron, Apache #788

hump180

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 05:28:20 AM »

Ron, any practical advice on how to access this screen? I chage my racor every season and keep a spare on the boat. All of this would be for not if that screen gets clogged, so I think your idea of removing it sounds like good advice.
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Bill, Grace Under Pressure, 1990, M-25XP #1026
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Ken Juul

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 08:11:25 AM »

It can be done without removing the tank.  First empty the forward half the the cockpit locker under the port seat and remove the cap to the beckson port, then remove the port bulkhead in aft cabin.  Disconnect the fuel line from the shut off valve, then unbolt the pickup up tube from the tank.  When all the bolts are out lift straight up and out through the cockpit locker.  Once the pick up tube is out of the tank, remove the rubber tube from the end and use a coat hanger or something to ensure the inside of the rubber tube is clear.  Reassemble in reverse order.  While the bulkhead is down it is also a good time to check the clamps on the vent and intake lines and give a good look for any other problems.  I used a sharpie to annotate on the tank that the screen has been removed for future reference.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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scotty

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 11:26:20 AM »

Thank you, Ken, Ron, and others.  I'm working my way through the critical upgrades now.
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Scotty

Ralph Masters

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 11:36:50 AM »

When I replaced my tank I checked and the new tanks do not have the screen installed.  Seems someone is listening.

Ralph   :clap
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Ron Hill

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 07:02:58 PM »

Guys : Follow Kens instructions on how to get at the pick up tube.

So this drill makes more sense -- the metal pickup tube ends about 2/3"s from the bottom of the tank.  The there is a short piece of flexable 3/8" fuel hose (about 4" long) attached to that metal tube.  The flexable hose then bends and literally lies on the bottom of the tank.  The screen to be removed is sticking out of the end of that fuel hose.

I believe that the screens are in all fuel tanks thru about the 1992 production year.  If in doubt -- checking will be worth you while. 
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Ron, Apache #788

scotty

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 07:33:09 PM »

Will I have to bleed the line afterwards?
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Scotty

Stu Jackson

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 07:39:12 PM »

Easiest thing to do:  turn on your fuel pump, turn the knurled knob open a bit, close the knurled knob again, you're done.  The M25XP is "reported" to be somewhat self-bleeding, but this should do it for you.  This is what I'd do if it was my boat.  You may not even get any air in the hose.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 07:40:23 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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

scotty

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 07:46:34 PM »

Thanks Stu.  My wife drove me down to the boat today.  I wanted to be sure nothing came loose in the wind.  It was really blowing today.  Hopefully I can go down tomorrow and sit in the cockpit for a bit!! 
Foot surgery wet well.  Recovery is underway.
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Scotty

Ron Hill

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Re: Screen on the Fuel Pick-up Tube
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 06:00:30 PM »

Scotty : With your engine, always bleed after you nhave worked on any part of the fuel system!!
If you leave the knurled bleed valve OPEN 1/4 to 1/2 turn (after bleeding) -- you will have a self bleeding system!!  a thought
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 06:10:40 PM by Ron Hill »
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