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Author Topic: IN Line Fuel cutoff  (Read 4236 times)

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bhatter

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« on: October 11, 2004, 06:49:38 AM »

Does anyone have an in line cutoff valve for their fuel.  I keep thinking if I needed to cutoff the fuel line in an emergency, I would have to remove items from the lazerette to get to the access port to finally cutoff the fuel.  Would installing a cutoff in the line just before it reaches the racor compromise the fuel line system? It would seem to make it easier when changing fuel filters etc.

Bill Hatter
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Ted Pounds

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 10:13:24 AM »

I added an inspection port in the fore and aft bulkhead in the aft cabin.  It allows quick and easy access to the fuel cutoff without going through the cockpit locker.  Easy to install - just remove the bulkhead; cut a hole; screw on the port; and reinstall the bulkhead.  No need to mess with fuel plumbing that way.
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Ted Pounds
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john meyer

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 10:59:49 AM »

I moved my racor into the engine compartment and mounted it on the port side.  At the same time I added ball valves on the in flow and out flow from the racor.  It's location and the shut off valves allows me to change out the fuel filter very quickly.
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Stu Jackson

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2004, 11:31:00 AM »

Bill

Lots of ways to do it as mentioned.  Adding another valve on the line will not compromise the operation.
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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)

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SailDan

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2004, 03:57:07 PM »

Bill,
I put an in-line shutoff (cutoff) valve in  my fuel line just before the Racor filter as you described.  I did it for exactly the reason you mentioned; cut off fuel when changing my Racor or emergency fuel filter (see below).  It works great.  

By-the-way, I carry a couple of "automotive" in-line fuel filters ($2-4 at Car-Quest, NAPA) for emergency use.  I've had  to use these "temporary" filters several times when my Racor plugged up and I did not have a spare available immediately; most recently this last summer in the middle of Lake Michigan! They may not be 2-micron filters but they work in a pinch.  BE SURE to get the type with a "clear plastic housing" rather than the solid metal housing.  The clear plastic type will allow you to see accumulations of debris, water, air bubbles, etc. in the filter housing.
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Dan
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Ron Hill

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2004, 08:13:11 PM »

Bill : The easiest way to add a cut off in to connect a ball valve to the inlet of the Racor filter housing.  Then you can turn it off when you change out the filter and stop any siphoning.  Much easier to get at than the one on the top of the fuel tank.

Be careful of using inline "auto" filters.  I looked into this a few years back and found that gasoline inline filters are NOT suited for diesel (according to the Purolator engineers)  I was surprised!!  The only inline 3/8" diesel filter that I was able to find was a Kubota filter.  Think I wrote an article/tip on this very topic.  :!: [/b]
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SailDan

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2004, 04:06:08 PM »

Bill,
Location of shut-off valve: I agree with Ron (Apache) regarding the placement shut-off valve on the inlet side of the Racor filter.  That’s where I put mine.  However, because I also use my shut-off valve in emergency situations to install a temporary in-line filter, I do not attach it directly into the Racor filter housing.  Rather, I cut the rubber fuel line 2-3” from the Racor filter and install it there.  That way I have a length of rubber hose to use to attach the in-line filter to the valve (see set-up below below).  

Use of automobile in-line fuel filters: Concerning the response generated to my suggestion of using “automobile” in-line fuel filters when the Racor plugs up…. I specifically stated that these filters were for “temporary” use in an “emergency” situation.   I never implied these filters were permanent replacements for the 2 micron Racor.  If you prefer, think of it as “jury rigging” of the fuel system.

In deed, I have had to use these automobile fuel filters 3 times in the last 4 years in very rough seas while trying to make port under power with fuel sloshing around in the tank causing water and slime / debris to plug the Racor and killing my engine.  If you want an interesting experience (and maybe you’ve already had it), try spinning off a Racor, filling the replacement filter with fuel, spinning it back-on, priming it with that little plunger, and then bleeding and starting the engine in foundering seas.  Not easy, especially when working in that tiny “filter compartment” under the sink in the head.  If you’re not sea sick before you start, you will be after inhaling the fumes of diesel fuel that inevitably spills during the changing process.  The installation of an in-line automobile filter under these conditions is by comparison easy and fast.  Furthermore, I have NEVER had a problem with using an in-line filter in these emergency situations.  However, in each instance, I replaced the filter with a Racor after getting into a safe harbor.  

Guys / Gals … Remember this is a temporary fix in an emergency. I stand by my original suggestion and will continue keeping a few of these on board for emergency use.

Shut-Off Valve Set-Up
a. Standard set-up: Fuel tank => hose => Racor (primary) fuel filter => hose => secondary fuel filter => engine.
b. Shut-off valve set-up: Fuel tank => hose => shut-off valve =>hose => Racor (primary) fuel filter => hose => secondary fuel filter => engine.
c. Emergency in-line filter: Fuel tank => hose => shut-off valve => hose => IN-LINE fuel filter (replaces Racor) => hose => Secondary fuel filter => engine.
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Dan
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Mike Vaccaro

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2004, 04:06:53 AM »

A couple of thoughts:

1.  If you have a fuel shut-off valve and intend it for anything other than filter or fuel system maintenance (e.g., emergency engine shutdown), it should be located as close to the engine as practical.  Catalina does install a valve at the tank, but depending on the length and size of your fuel line and filter, your engine may continue to run for quite some time after shutting the valve.

2.  Changing filters underway.  The best answer is to pull the tank and thoroughly clean it at regular intervals, thus avoiding the problem in the first place.  Another option is to have the fuel "polished" (a process where it is cycled [pumped] out of the tank and filtered to remove contaminants).  It is possible to build a polishing system in your boat (there was an article in the Mainsheet a while back with a good example).  Additionally, it's practical to add a vaccum gauge to the sytem "upstream" of the primary filter to monitor filter status.  Another option is to replace the spin-on type filter with a drop in filter.  These Racor filter assemblies are initially more expensive, but the filter elements are only 5-8 dollars so it will pay for itself in the long haul.  This type of filter may be fitted with a vacuum gauge to monitor the status of the filter element.  The drop in filter is easier to change in a seaway.  If nearly 100% reliability is desired, then the correct answer is TWO filters with the proper valving to allow bypass underway (i.e., shunt the fuel flow through one filter while changing the other filter).  A good compromise is to clean the tank regularly and replace the spin-on filter with a drop in type with a vacuum gauge and installing a simple filter bypass circuit.  In an emergency, you can bypass the primary and send fuel from the tank directly to the engine-mounted filter.  

There's been some good discussion on this board about removing the fuel tank, which is not a big job (fortunately!) in the Catalina 34.

Cheers,

Mike
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SailDan

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IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2004, 09:30:39 AM »

Cleaning fuel tank: Mike is right, pulling the fuel tank is relatively easy. I did it a year ago and had the tank steam cleaned.  However, after 14 weeks of sailing and fueling up in backwater marinas, I picked up some bad fuel... thus the clogged Racor this last summer.  I plan to pull the tank again next spring before our trip from Lake Michigan to the Bahamas.

Fuel Polishing System: I asked about the article Mike is referring to on this forum a few weeks ago. I finally tracked it down in my August 2000 issue of Catalina Mainsheet, pages T15-T16 of the C-34 Technical Section.  The article was by Bill Nuttall. Its also on line at this site: http://www.c34ia.org/mainsheet/pdf/0800.pdf

In response to my question about Fuel Polishing, Ron (Apache) said, “…. I've recommended that you run your engine all the time, with the bleed valve cracked 1/4 to 1/2 turn ON. That way you'll circulate fuel thru the Racor and the excess back into the tank. Westerbeake calls that procedure a self bleeding system.”  I plan to follow Ron’s suggestion.
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Dan
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RayTrask

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Re: IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2021, 06:45:38 PM »

My '91 has an inspection port in the forward bottom of the port side lazaret that allowed me to turn off the fuel valve there.  I did not lose too much fuel when changing the filters after doing so.
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Ron Hill

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Re: IN Line Fuel cutoff
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2021, 03:16:16 PM »

Ray & Guys : ALL C34 Catalinas have that Beckon port in the port side lazerette so you can get at the fuel cutoff on the top of the fuel tank AND use it if you ever need to install a new fuel gage sending unit!!

With that said - most of us have installed a ball valve near the Racor filter under the head sink.  Just for the ease of having a cuttoff that you can easily reach without emptying that lazerette!!

A few thoughts
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