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Old 01-23-2008, 05:01 AM   #1
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Diesel fuel site gauge

I am looking for recommendations for tubing to replace my fuel site gauges. Mine are currently so dark they are unreadable especially towards the bottom.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:29 AM   #2
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RE: Diesel fuel site gauge

What do you have now? If it's vinyl, you can just replace with more vinyl. It'll darken too, but it's cheap, quick, and acceptable to most surveyors.

If you want to get a little more permanent, you can put in polycarbonate tubing like I did. Removed the hose barbs for the vinyl and put in regular brass compression fittings from the hardware store. You can search for polycarbonate tubing on the web, or possibly find it at a local source that supplies gas stations and petroleum businesses. You can also find it at http://www.mcmaster.com/*Just search for "polycarbonate tubing". McMaster also has some interesting hardware and valves for fuel systems, including a self-closing valve in case of fire. Of course, you should keep those valves closed all the time except when you're actually checking levels.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:24 AM   #3
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Diesel fuel site gauge

Thanks for the reply Kieth.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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RE: Diesel fuel site gauge

I*used the cheap clear tubing and it seems to hold up pretty good, its still clear after two years. I also cut a yard stick to the length of the tube and zip tied it on, that way I can calculate how much fuel I have within a couple gallons.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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Diesel fuel site gauge

Thanks for the reply. I think that is what I will do. I put 2 zip ties on my sight gauges. I move one to the current fuel level before I leave and when I want to measure I slide the 2nd to the new level and measure between them.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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RE: Diesel fuel site gauge

Remember to keep your petcock/valves closed when not sighting.* If something should come loose you might end up with a bilge full of fuel!
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:33 AM   #7
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RE: Diesel fuel site gauge

FYI, at my last survey, the report indicated that I had to put signs up to that effect per ABYC. Geez! Of course, the insurance company required it, so there they are.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:05 PM   #8
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Diesel fuel site gauge

I saw an article (probably in PM) about using spring-loaded ball valves for the sight tubes that close when released. Probably only critical on the lower one - you could use a conventional valve for the upper so that you don't have to use both hands at once.

Haven't ever seen 'em for sale, but they have to be around somewhere.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:14 AM   #9
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Diesel fuel site gauge

When the sight gauge topic came up on the GB Forum (I think) a few years ago, one of the members described his sight tube system, which has only one connection to the tank at the bottom. The tube then goes up the side of the tank and several inches above it, where it has a cap that is vented to the atmosphere. There is no upper connection to the tank itself.

The advantage of this system, according to the fellow who has it, is that it needs only one valve at the bottom, which is one less hole cut in the tank. Don't know how significant an advantage this really is, but it was an interesting alternative to the normal sight gauge system.

Our boat had new tanks when we bought it in 1998.* All four saddle tanks are exactly the same size and shape, and the previous owner must have filled one of them five gallons at a time and marked each level on the tank beside the sight gauge and then put identical markings at the same level on the other tanks.* Must have taken awhile but I'm glad he went to the trouble.

-- Edited by Marin at 01:22, 2008-01-31
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