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Old 12-25-2015, 11:34 AM   #1
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flow scan

We bought an older boat that has a single 5.9 Cummins 210 HP. This boat came with a flow scan, which appears to not be operable. My question is: Is a flow scan worth the trouble and money to repair? Never had one before and do not know how it would help me that much.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:54 AM   #2
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Had one on a gas boat and extremely accurate, and can be calibrated on rear with little switches. On a diesel engine there are two sending units, one is the supply and one in the return lines. Either of those may not be working or it may be the gauge itself. Possible you may find a troubleshooting guide for FloScan on line
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
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They are an easy company to work with - give them a call Monday.

Floscan Instrument Co. Inc.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:35 PM   #4
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I have that exact same engine and a FloScan as well.
My sender failed and I called FloScan to order another.
They told me to try connecting a wire from the case of the sender to ground.
It worked! Give them a call and see if there is a cheap fix. If not, buy a new one. It's worth it.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:40 PM   #5
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Gotta love those Floscans. Once properly calibrated they are much more accurate than fuel gauges, give you best MPG or GPH in real time etc etc. Not a necessity but are sure nice to have.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:00 PM   #6
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Depends, if you run your boat at 7 knots it will not be very useful. If you run at 12 knots you may find it more helpful. I had one on a boat with a 454 gas engine and it was very helpful.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:39 PM   #7
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I have one pulled off the old engines during refit. Oddly, although used on a diesel it had only one sender. There was no return fuel line sender. The mechanics removed it, and it must have been installed after the fuel return. I think it might have been a gas (petrol) unit. But it worked really well the way it was installed. I really ought to sell it, if anyone in Australia is interested then PM me.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I have one pulled off the old engines during refit. Oddly, although used on a diesel it had only one sender. There was no return fuel line sender. The mechanics removed it, and it must have been installed after the fuel return. I think it might have been a gas (petrol) unit. But it worked really well the way it was installed. I really ought to sell it, if anyone in Australia is interested then PM me.
I'd love to know how that could work, those are pricy units with two senders.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #9
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I'd love to know how that could work, those are pricy units with two senders.
Yes, we were surprised. But the mechanic was looking for a second sender during removal and did not find it and I searched after the engine was out as well. I agree, it doesn't seem right.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:22 PM   #10
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If my boat had one I would certainly look into repairing it. I think knowing actual fuel consumption would be much more useful than two needles bouncing around on the dash.


I don't use enough fuel to make a new installation cost effective or I would do it.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:28 PM   #11
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The Flow Scan monitoring system is like a two pronged fork. The good side of it is that you know exactly how much fuel you're burning. The bad side is that you know exactly how much fuel you're burning.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:33 PM   #12
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Although the FloScan can be very accurate, calibrating it is not as simple as is implied here. I've had two FloScans in the past & getting them to agree with what I took on at the pump, vs, what they said I burned, was no easy matter. I never did get them to agree with what I had actually burned. I have no ax to grind with the FloScan people.....I would prefer a fuel monitor that is much easier to calibrate.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:14 PM   #13
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I don't recall having to calibrate mine, but I installed it more than twenty years ago. I might just not remember doing it. Mine was very accurate. If it said I'd burned 50 gallons I'd put back within a gallon on either side of fifty. It finally gave up a couple of years ago and a new one is on the list.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:30 PM   #14
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Codger2: "Although the FloScan can be very accurate, calibrating it is not as simple as is implied here. I've had two FloScans in the past & getting them to agree with what I took on at the pump, vs, what they said I burned, was no easy matter. I never did get them to agree with what I had actually burned. I have no ax to grind with the FloScan people.....I would prefer a fuel monitor that is much easier to calibrate."

I also struggled with the calibration issue - they recommend 3 tank refills in order to make the system accurate. Didn't install for 4 years after purchase, so my fault to start with.

After install, couldn't get the system to work. Had to buy a new meter. After 2 refills, the other meter quit. After re-install, got through 3 refills and found the calibration settings were not sufficient (they only adjust to 8%?). Took the meters/gauge into FloScan, ended up buying a new meter. After 3 more refills, was able to get the system calibrated and it was very accurate for about 18 months.

Then it stopped, and was advised that a meter needed to be replaced, and that it would not work with the other meter, so would need two new meters.

So - After 10 years, $1300 and a large number of hours, I gave up on it. However, I was able to record very accurate consumption rates at varying speeds that serve me well today. 6BT5.9 210hp.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:52 PM   #15
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Awesome support - I had mine rebuilt a few years ago, very convenient behind U Village in Seattle.


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Old 12-26-2015, 02:53 AM   #16
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I have two fitted to Liberty, that were on it when we purchased her. I am like Codger2 , they just don't make sense, and fuel usage is well and truely overstated. May be they require re calibration?. I have done enough miles now , and with that some long legs, so have a close idea from our logs exactly what we are burning on a selected RPM and speed over ground, so probably won't worry about replacing them. I have heard mixed reports regarding the flo scan units, much the same as this thread.
Any way that's my experience for what it is worth.

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Old 12-26-2015, 06:54 AM   #17
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After the initial setup , the calibration is simple.

The tank is refilled and the gauge gallon readout is matched to the actual fuel burn

A little rotary switch on the back of the gauge usually will get you Almost there.

After another tank fill 80 to 200+ gal , not 10 gal the process is done again.

3rd time the gauge will frequently be so close you wont care.

If you have a mechanical sender the included tach is very accurate.

The flow scan is very useful if you care about fuel use , as you can ,with a GPS make a simple chart of MPH vs GPH .

Speed cost money , even at the trawler crawl .

The newest units have a GPS hookup and will readout in NMPG as you wish.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:23 AM   #18
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When I installed one the problem was air bubbles getting in will mess up the readings was hard to track down wear the air was getting in
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #19
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When I installed one the problem was air bubbles getting in will mess up the readings was hard to track down wear the air was getting in
Air bubbles mess up the reading? Enough air and you fill a filter and kill the engine. Getting rid of air is critical.


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Old 12-26-2015, 09:08 AM   #20
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Which reminds me, my calibrated sight tubes never need recalibration. Even worked well on a 30' SeaRay.
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