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Old 08-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #21
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

FF says may not be worth it if 20% to 30% of the crud is left, but that means to me that 70% to 80% has been removed. Crud and algae in the tanks usually is not a big problem until it gets rough and the stuff is stirred up and drawn into your filters. Of course that is the worst time to have to get in the ER and change them! a major plus is to get out any water that has collected at the bottom of the tank. One of my tank cleaning guys showed to me an empty aluminum fuel tank with obvious corrosion on a few spots on the bottom where water had been sitting.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:44 PM   #22
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

This photo is of a customers fuel tank where we had to cut holes in order to clean the tanks. His issues were that when he got under way the port engine would shut down. A 62' vessel with two hugh Detroits, four fuel tanks and a fuel problem. I am showing the inside of the problematic tank before we started cleaning, notice no crud hanging on the walls or pickup tubes.

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Old 08-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #23
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

So you didn't have to clean it?
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:43 PM   #24
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

I had a friend with an intermittent problem of the engines shutting down at times when drawing from a particular tank.* After much money and time, it was found that a piece of cloth had come off a cleaning rag when the tank was built.* It would at times work it's way up the pick up tube to a place where it narrowed and then stopped the flow.* When the engines stopped it would fall back down and not cause a problem for a few days.* It was very frustrating for all concerned.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:51 PM   #25
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
So you didn't have to clean it?
The point is the crud WAS not hanging on the wall but on the bottom of the tank. This is so typical of the interior of aluminum fuel tanks.

We did have to clean the tank, this was the problematic tank that kept clogging his racor. The trash/crud we removed from the bottom of the tank was very severe. As I posted earlier, you have to get to the bottom of the tanks and agitate the HE77 out of the 'growth'.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:13 AM   #26
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
It's time to start researching the process of cleaning Skinny Dippin's fuel tanks. I'm fairly sure they are gunked up, and while I am getting low on fuel, I am considering the project.

There are two fuel cells directly port and starboard of the single Perkins 6.354M. Both tanks have round inspection plates on the SIDE facing the engine and are about 12" in diameter with a dozen or so nuts holding them on. Not the easiest place to get to, but I might can make it work. I also have a fuel scrubbing system with a 1/4hp 60gph pump (for sure I will be able to xfer fuel from tank to tank... which is nice).

So, here are my initial questions:

1) What should I expect to find in there?

2) What supplies do I need to get to prep for the job? Scrapers, buckets, gloves, respirators, cleaners, shop-vac? Is this going to be a toxic job?

3) My most pressing question is how to seal the inspection plates after removal and what sealant should I use? A poor choice here will cause a major fuel spill and I won't find out about it until I goto fill the tanks. By then, it will be too late, so I need to get it right the FIRST time.

4) I wonder if I can utilize my scrubber pump to blast the inside of the tanks and knock off some of the build-up BEFORE I pull the inspection plates. I would just set it up with a bendable wand that I could direct the flow around the inside of the tank. However, I don't know if there are baffles that would block that process.

5) As a follow-up to #4, what if there are areas I can't reach? It's only a 12" hole (maybe) and I don't think Inch High Private Eye is in the diesel biz. Can I use a power washer as long as I thoroughly dry it afterwards?

That's it for now, but I'm sure there will be more later. Thanks y'all!

Tom-

*PS* Picture of scrubbing pump attached to only show that tapping into the system would not be that hard.

Tom

May I suggest you closely review most portions of Soltron fuel additives website http://www.soltron-gtr.com/english.htm *Via searching, there are other good sites about Soltron.* It keeps tank insides, fuel in the tanks and fuel lines consistently clean.* My filters and the gas in the filters is checked every 50 hours operation.* I pour the gas into large glass container each time and due to no particles or discoloration I pour it back into the filter or into a new filter and carry on.* Soltron is highly recommended for diesel and gasoline.* In my opinion, discussion with other boaters, and from practical experience, the best, most inclusive 24/7 ongoing process to clean fuel tanks, fuel and fuel lines and to keep em clean is to use Soltron.*

For initial clean out: Filters should be checked every few hours operation.* I found my filters full of junk with vile color gas during first four close schedule filter changes... then for next few checkups the junk in filters diminished and gas color cleared.* Within short time after the fuel became very clear and has remained so.* Soltron actually turns the in-tank build up into a liquid combustion product and it gets burned as fuel.* Luckily my aluminum tanks are in stellar condition and werent too gummed up... no seepage holes became apparent after internal cleaning with Soltron.

A Word of Caution: If you have old tanks that may have porous areas or splits that the gunk is currently keeping sealed, and will need repair once cleaning is completed, then Soltron may not be the way you should clean them out.* I appreciate and trust Soltron!* Inexpensive too... minimal amount required at fill ups.* Its sold on the web, Napa auto stores, and other locations.

Good Luck and Happy Boating - Art **

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:47 AM   #27
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

"Of course that is the worst time to have to get in the ER and change them! "

And since hose is an accepted hook up to fuel systems , why have then in the engine room?

Someplace low where gravity will refill after changing and easy to get to is not THAT hard to find.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:04 AM   #28
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

Hmmmm... A lot to think about. I suppose that the first thing really needs to be to probe into the tanks thru the filler cap and see if there is a need to step up to pulling off the inspection plate. I don't really know for sure that my tanks are gunked up. I only suspect it because I find myself changing filters pretty often. I don't have any point-of-reference for what a clogged filter looks like or when to change it (I usually change them when the idle can't hold at a steady rpm). I suspect that a vacuum gauge at the small pressures I am dealing with here would be about useless. The gauge just doesn't seem that accurate, but again... no point of reference. I hardly understand what is going on with the gauge on the high pressure scrubbing filter. However, if y'all think it will help, I will get one for the primary Racor 500 too.

Is there an online service for fuel sample analysis? Moreover, anyone know of one in Eastern NC? Would something like that even help understand what is going on in there?

Thanks for the replies so far!
Tom-
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:11 AM   #29
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

Put a gauge on the Racor for reference. Open up the tank, try to get a visual and sample off the bottom. Local oil jobbers in your area should be able to analys the sample for you.
You may be sucking some air before your filters get loaded up. A 30 micron Racor 500 filter will have some visable gunk on it when it's plugged.
Report back.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:18 PM   #30
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Fuel Tank Cleaning

If you haven't found these before do yourself a favour and read them. The first is from Boatdiesel Articles (www.boatdiesel.com), the second from Seaboard Marine (www.sbmar.com)

http://boatdiesel.com/Articles/Artic...ion.cfm&Y=2006

http://www.sbmar.com/Articles/Marine...troduction.php

Both are written by Tony Athens and are excellent information.

At least read them.

I know you built and installed your polishing system and are concerned with dirty tanks.* I've not had to do mine but have seen what several people have had to do in their boats and it was a big job, of course do-able.

Many people have followed Tony's suggestions and have avoided major problems with dirty fuel reaching the engines and the consequent expense and shutdowns.*

*You may still wish to open and clean the tanks but consider adding filters first, LARGE filters, with lots of crud capacity.*They are cheap.* Even if you* go for the cleaning the extra filter capacity will protect you and give piece of mind.

If water is the concern then while the fuel is down it may be worthwhile emptying the tank and installing a drain or a diptube so water can be removed from time to time.

*A polishing system* will help clean fuel overall* but won't protect the engine if you get a slug of crud and then run soon after, which for most of us is the case.*

Many boats have itty bitty filters that will flow the engines required fuel but have very little dirt or water holding capacity.*** You can install a large crud collector ahead of the existing setup and help you system out overall a lot which is suggested in the articles above.

A*vacuum guage with a telltale needle can be very usefull.

You need not dispense with*your existing Racor, just add the crud capacity ahead of it.

Anyway just another suggestion.**


-- Edited by C lectric on Friday 19th of August 2011 05:19:53 PM
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:38 AM   #31
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RE: Fuel Tank Cleaning

"I suspect that a vacuum gauge at the small pressures I am dealing with here would be about useless. The gauge just doesn't seem that accurate, but again... no point of reference. "

A vacuum gauge is too coarse , mostly tells when plugged.

Murphy sells a differential pressure gauge that connects to either side of the filter and reads the loss because of plugging.
Sold as an alarm gauge if desired.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:44 PM   #32
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Hi Larry,
It looks like you have a 42 Krogen hull #120. That seems like it would make it '86-'87 vintage, is that right? Do you have the original black iron fuel tanks or have they been replaced?
Thx,
KapnKarl
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