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Old 10-05-2014, 04:19 PM   #21
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Polishing systems only work if you can "stir" the tank. Access is by far the best approach. If you can see that its clean it probably is clean.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:02 PM   #22
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Here is a good article on fuel polishing systems:
Fuel Polishing Systems Explained | Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting

I think this is an important point: "In order to work effectively, polishing system pickup and return plumbing must be plumbed to opposite ends, and always to the bottom, of a tank."

This will usually mean modifications to existing fuel tanks.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:02 PM   #23
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I always read the fuel polishing post. I am sure opening and cleaning a tank is best, but I also feel that fuel polishing is of value. I also am curious about the fuel/ oil filters that use paper towels and or TP as a filter medium?
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:13 PM   #24
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Here is a good article on fuel polishing systems:
Fuel Polishing Systems Explained | Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting

I think this is an important point: "In order to work effectively, polishing system pickup and return plumbing must be plumbed to opposite ends, and always to the bottom, of a tank."

This will usually mean modifications to existing fuel tanks.
Ron, thanks for posting that it was a great article to read.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:15 AM   #25
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>Why does it need polishing???

If you run on low tanks most diesels recirculate fuel fast enough to "polish " it free.<

This depends on the engine selected.

A DD runs huge GPH 25+ thru the engine filters every hour , so eventually the fuel IS polished.

Many other injector schemes return minor fuel, basically internal fuel pump leakage , so do a very poor job of cleaning any fuel except what is consumed.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:45 AM   #26
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If you have the room the Gulf Coast Filter - 1 which uses Bounty paper towels is great. Matched with a Walbro 40 gallon (Us) per hour pump and it will do wonders.

If you are short on space many cruisers use the toilet paper roll filter from Gulf Coast.

The larger filter is made for the North American diesel truck market.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:20 AM   #27
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look at the Tony Athens fuel filter set ups as well. The double with the squeeze bulb pump will solve a lot of problems. Filters available anywhere, water drain and multi level filtering.Seaboard marine, sbmar.com
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:32 AM   #28
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Diesel is an unstable product. The best thing is to burn it other wise it tries to return to it's natural before refining state. The other problem is that most older boats have tanks that are at the end of their useful life. The big question is where does the water come from. Some x spurts say it is atmospherics, some say not enough in air to worry with, In 40 years of working on diesels on land 99% of contamination I saw was bought at the pump. Since the first Gulf war the Feds have not required tankers to clean out the tanks between loads. Go figger. I have tried to find the article that was in a boating mag about how moisture gets in fuel. and explaining the full tanks myth. Have not found it.
Here are some ideas and findings you may find useful.


This site has a lot on fuel polishing and Gulf Coast Filters. He was sued by alge X for exposing their product
SENTOA.org

Here is our experience with Chinese tanks on our boat:
@ TheOffice: September 2013

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:24 PM   #29
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look at the Tony Athens fuel filter set ups as well. The double with the squeeze bulb pump will solve a lot of problems. Filters available anywhere, water drain and multi level filtering.Seaboard marine, sbmar.com
His multi stage system solved all of my fuel issues. I used Racors because I had them, but the theory is sound IMO. 30 to 10 to 7 micron.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:24 PM   #30
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Ron, thanks for posting that it was a great article to read.
You're welcome. I think I read it first in PassageMaker.

One point I take away from the article is that we can recirculate our fuel through filters until the cows come home but with stock tanks and pickups, we're just moving fuel around.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:17 PM   #31
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If you have the following conditions, I see no need for spending money on fuel polishing gear:

1) tanks are well cleaned to begin with
2) you buy fuel from clean sources, best of all high volume docks or trucks
3) you use your boat

In addition, I had the additional advantage of having DD's which as noted cycle a lot of fuel. It never occurred to me to install fuel polishing in 7 years.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:35 PM   #32
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You're welcome. I think I read it first in PassageMaker.



One point I take away from the article is that we can recirculate our fuel through filters until the cows come home but with stock tanks and pickups, we're just moving fuel around.

Yeah out boat is setup with suction on the bottom and return on top. We've really never had to worry about polishing although we do it every once and awhile. We just get our fuel from Port Consolidated (truck) which is the best way to get clean fuel.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:41 AM   #33
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>One point I take away from the article is that we can recirculate our fuel through filters until the cows come home but with stock tanks and pickups, we're just moving fuel around.<

This will continue till the boat first purchasers demand a genuine servicable marine fuel tank, instead of accepting a box for fuel ,which cost less to build..
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:57 AM   #34
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Size may make a difference as to how much fuel you are recirculating or polishing thru a Racor. So fuel polishing may only be appropriate for certain power setups or usage Our Manatee's TMD31A Volvo 100 HP doesn't use a lot of fuel, ours probable burns 1 1/2 gallon per hour @ 2450 RPM giving us about 7 knots with the 5 KW generator running and loaded. It is also true that fuel polishers should be drawing fuel from the lowest spot on the tank and discharging the polished fuel into the other end of the tank. I was able to tap into the bottom of the fuel tank sight glass that pulls fuel out of a well built into the tank bottom and use a s/s tee fitting I had mfg to insert into the hose used to refuel the tank that enters the tank at the top far end giving me a great recirculation setup.
During tank cleaning the asphalteum (black goo) had settled and migrated to the bottom of the tank near the fuel pump suction fitting, probable thanks to wake action while underway and the suction of the pump.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:18 AM   #35
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I like the clear bowl on racors. Water,junk, or just cloudy fuel is immediately apparent.
A few hours sloshing around In a seaway stirs things up pretty well.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #36
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After polishing the fuel and cleaning the tanks, preventive maintenance is just as important.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #37
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. The black goo on the bottom of the tank is ashphalteum a natural occorence in diesel fuel, so yes definitely fuel polishing is well worth installing.
Bill
The black gunk you describe is not a natural occurrence provided you buy good fuel, rotate your fuel, prevent water ingress and generally stay on top of things. But with older boats and many different owners, tank gunk is indeed all too common.

And IMHO a top notch filter system ala Tony Athens, Fleetguard or Parker Hannifan trumps Bounty or Scott TP. A careful read of new engine warranties is replete with the necessity of good fuel filtering.
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