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Old 06-11-2016, 02:02 PM   #61
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Ricky,

Not to be a pest, but did you try opening the fuel filler cap on the tank corresponding to the engine you are having the issue with? I have had a clogged fuel vent cause the same problem on two different boats over the years. Corroded screen the first time and a wasp nest the second.

A vacuum gauge and clear sight glass or clear tubing are excellent ideas as proposed earlier by others.

Good luck
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:53 PM   #62
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Ricky,

Not to be a pest, but did you try opening the fuel filler cap on the tank corresponding to the engine you are having the issue with? I have had a clogged fuel vent cause the same problem on two different boats over the years. Corroded screen the first time and a wasp nest the second.

A vacuum gauge and clear sight glass or clear tubing are excellent ideas as proposed earlier by others.

Good luck
I did not open the filler cap but I went to tank fittings & disconnected the fuel vent copper line & was able to blow long & hard & suck & flow is great. Did that to both tanks. It seems the fuel & tanks are dirty. Mechanic used a submersible camera thing & went through removed fuel pipe & could see stuff & thinks there is something in there that actually plugs up draw tube bottom.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:59 PM   #63
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cat sells clear sight tube for t/s air in the fuel. if you can get your hands on one it would rule it out pretty fast. other things to check would be fuel transfer pump failing and double check the racors lids. i have seen a few guys get the lift tabs stuck under the lid seal.
Thanks for the clear tubing idea that is great & I will do that when & if I ever get this boat home. Not being a diesel mechanic, it seem to me it would be nice to have a type of clear "accumulator" before Racors to be able to bleed all air out & then to be able to see if air ever enters it by sight. With out it I don't know how to tell if air got into top of racor with out taking lid off & seeing if fuel is up to top. Thanks
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:03 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by RickyB View Post
I did not open the filler cap but I went to tank fittings & disconnected the fuel vent copper line & was able to blow long & hard & suck & flow is great. Did that to both tanks. It seems the fuel & tanks are dirty. Mechanic used a submersible camera thing & went through removed fuel pipe & could see stuff & thinks there is something in there that actually plugs up draw tube bottom.
Sounds like it could very well be Asphaltenes...

Asphaltenes and Fuel Filter Plugging

Some discussion of this in my Funky Fuel Filters thread:

Funky Fuel filters....>>
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:11 PM   #65
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Also change the on-engine filters when you change the Racor to eliminate filtering as an issue. Had a similar new to me boat problem, Racors were dirty but not filthy. On-engine filters were nasty.
I did change the Secondary on engine because there was new on on board. I went on internet yesterday & bought 6 secondaries & 8 oil filters because each engine uses 2 oil filters. I hate that the oil filters mount upside down cause I always pre-fill with new oil when installing. I will keep everyone posted what happens when mobile fuel polishing guy gets here Monday.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:21 PM   #66
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You had one Perkins secondary filter on board. Did you change that onto the port engine before running?

-Chris
Absolutely. It ran like a top for 3 hrs. I was in 7th Heaven until it started slowing down. Also found out the boat had not been run in a couple years which of course is opposite of what marina manager told me. The yacht broker fould a listing from 2-3 years ago with the engine hours at the 160 hrs as the current listing says. It just kills me that so few people can be honest!
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:27 PM   #67
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Thanks for the clear tubing idea that is great & I will do that when & if I ever get this boat home. Not being a diesel mechanic, it seem to me it would be nice to have a type of clear "accumulator" before Racors to be able to bleed all air out & then to be able to see if air ever enters it by sight. With out it I don't know how to tell if air got into top of racor with out taking lid off & seeing if fuel is up to top. Thanks
Hang in there you will get it sorted out. i know all to well how frustrating it can be. there has been a bunch of times i had to take a few steps back and come back at it with a fresh pair of eyes and a clean slate approach to the issue.

you may very well be onto the issue with something floating around in the tank. it might not be a bad idea to pump the fuel out into some 55gl drums so you can get a better look at the tank/fuel. also if it were my boat i would be putting in fuel psi gauges.

as for seeing the fuel flow i forgot to mention dwyer has some real nice ones also.

Series SFI-100 & SFI-300 | MIDWEST Sight Flow Indicator | Dwyer Instruments
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:30 PM   #68
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When I installed my Floscan system they were very insistent about greasing the seals on the Racors. I didn't think it mattered but was getting some really crazy readings on the port engine. next time I changed the Racors I did grease the seals and the readings are now rock steady. Never seemed to bother the FL but there was apparently air getting into the system.
When we stated out with Flo Scan connected I saw readings all over the place at times. Since I had never see a Flo Scan operate anywhere else I didn't know what to think.
The old mechanic that came out said the first thing to do is take them out of the system, both supply & return. He said he has more problems with boats that have them. "Just take them out & LEAVE them out. Thats my intent
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:36 PM   #69
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Sounds like it could very well be Asphaltenes...

Asphaltenes and Fuel Filter Plugging

Some discussion of this in my Funky Fuel Filters thread:

Funky Fuel filters....>>
Wow, I never heard anything like that. Thanks for help. The last sentence was to use a water dispersent. I thought you were not to desolve the water so it would stay water so the racor coud remove. I thought if you dissolved the water then it would get to injection pump etc & hurt it. Thanks
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:43 PM   #70
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had similar symptoms once, even with new, clean filters. Turns out there was a clog in my tank pick-up tube, likely at the lower screen. A little shot of compressed air from the distribution valve back to the tank cleared it and has been good since..

I diagnosed it by switching tanks and finding the other feeding just fine..
Finally got draw out & it was clean as can be. No screen. I've looked but cant see to find any other valving that a shut-off that looks like it connects port tank fuel to stbd tank fuel in engine room. There is no shut-off valve at tank that feeds Racors. There is a shut-off just before Racor inlet & nothing after Racor to engine. Whenever I get this home I will have the best Fuel system/filters as possible
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:50 PM   #71
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Hang in there you will get it sorted out. i know all to well how frustrating it can be. there has been a bunch of times i had to take a few steps back and come back at it with a fresh pair of eyes and a clean slate approach to the issue.

you may very well be onto the issue with something floating around in the tank. it might not be a bad idea to pump the fuel out into some 55gl drums so you can get a better look at the tank/fuel. also if it were my boat i would be putting in fuel psi gauges.

as for seeing the fuel flow i forgot to mention dwyer has some real nice ones also.

Series SFI-100 & SFI-300 | MIDWEST Sight Flow Indicator | Dwyer Instruments
Thank you for looking that up for me. I have Dwyer stuff for HVAC. Sure seems like a good idea. On a similar note someone suggested that Cat sells clear sight tube for T/A in the fuel. I assume the T/A means trash/Air.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:56 PM   #72
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Thank you for looking that up for me. I have Dwyer stuff for HVAC. Sure seems like a good idea. On a similar note someone suggested that Cat sells clear sight tube for T/A in the fuel. I assume the T/A means trash/Air.
yup see post 49 for part# and aprx. cost.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:09 PM   #73
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Try and find the manual for your engine and see what Perkins recommends for your primary fuel filters. Most likely your Racors are not in series but are setup parallel so you can run one or the other, or both simultaneously. Chances are the PO had the right filters in there. I would replace those with the 30 micron filters until you can find a manual.
There is no manuals with boat but I did download a big User's Handbook from Boatdiesel.com. It helps. When I get home I'll get every manual for it so I can take really good care of everything. This is my retirement boat but it just might do me in with stress before I retire at end of 2016. If I was home in Detroit & tied up I could get into the tank & do whatever I have to but I'm hundreds of miles from home & have mobile fuel polisher arriving Monday. BTW there is only 1 Racor filter per engine before secondary one on engine. That will change when I get home & get some professional adivise on what / how to install. I have that the Racor 500 series elements are so small.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:23 PM   #74
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The T-handle vacuum gauge is a good idea, but you may have to cut off 2 threads to make it fit your 500 series Racors. It's designed for the other models.
I planned on converting my T handle at work to hold a vacuum gauge. I plan on getting I think the man800 Racors or some number similar. The elements are much larger than my 500 series.
I also thinking of using my now 500's & installing 10 or 2 micron elements in them. I just want to do the best possible & the mechanic was saying that having gauges & see-through tubing & stuff is best. You can see the gauge for restriction & see-through stuff for air getting into inlet of Primary.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:30 PM   #75
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Thanks to All

I've been reading all the posts & trying to answer everything that I may have omitted. I don't think the average person can understand how much it mean to me to have so many people that I don't know try to help me out. Since this started about 4 days ago I've been so nerved up & constant butterflies in my stomach that it's difficult to focus.
As for getting a 6 gallon tank & running to engine directly is super idea. I thought of something similar. But the engines run at 2000o-2200 rpm for atleast a couple of hours before anything bad happen. The old mechanic (old I mean experienced for decades for Cat) thinks when tank level gets to a lower level something strarts to block port draw tube.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:31 PM   #76
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There is no manuals with boat but I did download a big User's Handbook from Boatdiesel.com. It helps. When I get home I'll get every manual for it so I can take really good care of everything. This is my retirement boat but it just might do me in with stress before I retire at end of 2016. If I was home in Detroit & tied up I could get into the tank & do whatever I have to but I'm hundreds of miles from home & have mobile fuel polisher arriving Monday. BTW there is only 1 Racor filter per engine before secondary one on engine. That will change when I get home & get some professional adivise on what / how to install. I have that the Racor 500 series elements are so small.
Ok, I see. Consider those T-handle vacuum gauges then. Put one on each Racor and change the filter when the vacuum starts to climb. Even after the fuel polishing you are like to stir up crud while under way.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:31 PM   #77
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Change the secondary yet? Not clear if so. I gave part numbers for NAPA version, should be find-able if there is a good autoparts store.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:37 PM   #78
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A couple thoughts from way back when I worked at a yacht yard....

The boats that sit around have phantom issues. They come and go. Yours sounds like one. I bought my boat two years ago with the same amount of engine hours as 5 year old ads. And got the same song and dance about how 'she was used just last year....'

Totally eliminate the issues one at a time (starting with the cheapest issues) Fuel line is pretty cheap compared to having someone come down and muck out your tank. You can't always tell if fuel line is collapsing from a visual look. It's more an internal collapse. Get Marine rated fuel hose (not auto zone).

I would measure the fuel line. Replace one side. From dip tube to filter. Then from filter to block. See if this helps. It is likely that a hose is collapsing inside.

Since you have found the dip tube itself to be clear, I would suspect the hose collapsing. It is not unheard of (but again, not on both tanks at once) that the dip tubes crack up the pipe, allowing air to get in. But this doesn't sound like your issue because the engines just die, and aren't air bound (at least not reported here)

You mention a mechanic came aboard. Did they confirm the correct amount of fuel pressure after the lift pump, before the injection pump?

Your issue probably isn't BOTH lift pumps going at once, but..........

One good thing about this. You will be an EXPERT at bleeding your engines after this. A previous comment made by someone was REALLY a good one. If you don't have one, get an electric lift pump installed in each side, with a Tee in the line so you can completely suck out the fuel line and racors of air after a filter change. Makes life a breeze when doing filter changes. I only have to bleed the injectors after I do the on the block secondary filter now. These pumps cost about 30 bucks apiece, and require an extra tee, and a good quality valve.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:12 PM   #79
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A couple thoughts from way back when I worked at a yacht yard....

The boats that sit around have phantom issues. They come and go. Yours sounds like one. I bought my boat two years ago with the same amount of engine hours as 5 year old ads. And got the same song and dance about how 'she was used just last year....'

Totally eliminate the issues one at a time (starting with the cheapest issues) Fuel line is pretty cheap compared to having someone come down and muck out your tank. You can't always tell if fuel line is collapsing from a visual look. It's more an internal collapse. Get Marine rated fuel hose (not auto zone).

I would measure the fuel line. Replace one side. From dip tube to filter. Then from filter to block. See if this helps. It is likely that a hose is collapsing inside.

Since you have found the dip tube itself to be clear, I would suspect the hose collapsing. It is not unheard of (but again, not on both tanks at once) that the dip tubes crack up the pipe, allowing air to get in. But this doesn't sound like your issue because the engines just die, and aren't air bound (at least not reported here)

You mention a mechanic came aboard. Did they confirm the correct amount of fuel pressure after the lift pump, before the injection pump?

Your issue probably isn't BOTH lift pumps going at once, but..........

One good thing about this. You will be an EXPERT at bleeding your engines after this. A previous comment made by someone was REALLY a good one. If you don't have one, get an electric lift pump installed in each side, with a Tee in the line so you can completely suck out the fuel line and racors of air after a filter change. Makes life a breeze when doing filter changes. I only have to bleed the injectors after I do the on the block secondary filter now. These pumps cost about 30 bucks apiece, and require an extra tee, and a good quality valve.
Thank you CAPP208. No one checked lift pump pressure. The mechanic noted that the hose was marine labeled or something. I plan on installing the Racor MAN800 or some number close. I want to do the electric lift pump thing when I get home & learn what to do. I also read that some boats have small polishing pumps installed on them. Some are on timers etc. sounds great. Take care.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:14 PM   #80
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When we stated out with Flo Scan connected I saw readings all over the place at times. Since I had never see a Flo Scan operate anywhere else I didn't know what to think.
The old mechanic that came out said the first thing to do is take them out of the system, both supply & return. He said he has more problems with boats that have them. "Just take them out & LEAVE them out. Thats my intent

That's just ridiculous!

Flo Scans are great devices and I've never seen them cause an issue when properly installed.
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