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Old 06-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #21
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Speaking of vacuum gauges, what is a bad reading and what is acceptable? Mine read "9" last Saturday.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:57 PM   #22
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Green "safe zone" on vacuum gauge face maybe?
Yes. An earlier poster referred to a green zone. My Racor gauge doesn't have one.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #23
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Speaking of vacuum gauges, what is a bad reading and what is acceptable? Mine read "9" last Saturday.
The "green" is usually at 10 in hg. At "9" it's about time to change elements.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #24
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Thanks Jleonard, will do this weekend. Here is a good explanation on vacuum gauges and fuel filters:
The Vacuum Gauge Tool - Professional BoatBuilder Magazine
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:54 AM   #25
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Thanks guys,

I am still in the process of resolving this problem.
I have so far not been successful in finding someone who whats to clean tanks for me.

It will probably come done to me, opening inspection port, mopping up any muck on bottom of tank and then polish it forever.

I'll let you know the results.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:56 AM   #26
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Also, really appreciate link to Steve D'Antonio article. He is so prolific adn really like his writing.

Richard
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #27
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And I think all boats/fuel systems have their own threshold as well.
My "ex" an old 34 Mainship with a 6BTA Cummins would start to lose a little rpm at the upper end of the range when the guage read about 8 or 9. So there was plenty of warning.
My current Albin with the 120 Lehman does not like to run over about 7 and it will give almost no warning of a problem.
Plus depending on your filter system (don't want to get this going) the vacuum reading can change rapidly or slowly.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:10 AM   #28
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Also, really appreciate link to Steve D'Antonio article. He is so prolific adn really like his writing.
The only problem is, the guy is about a mile wide and an inch deep.

"the fuel supplying the filters will be under pressure and the gauge may indicate this. While this is not harmful and while Racor turbine series filters can work under as much as 15 psi (0.1 N/mm˛) pressure, the manufacturer recommends vacuum or suction applications."

That is because any pump will generally produce a homogenized mixture of fuel and water that is all but impossible to remove by the filter element or Racor's "turbine" device.

The same rule applies to bilge filtration or oily water separators, placing them on the suction side keeps the water(and oil) in large and easily removed "gulps" rather than microscopic droplets.


"If the primary filter is placed under pressure—either because of its location and the fuel-tank plumbing arrangement, or because a priming or auxiliary fuel pump is placed between the filter and the tank and it’s operated continuously rather than simply for priming—the vacuum gauge may give no indication of filter clogging. The reason is because the vacuum is being offset by the fuel pressure, creating an equilibrium of sorts. This scenario may exist until enough debris accumulates within the filter element, increasing the vacuum and leading to rapid fuel starvation. To avoid that, tell your customers not to pressurize the primary filter, particularly with an electric pump, while under way."

That is nonsense. A vacuum gauge on the outlet will most certainly show a vacuum when the filter has become clogged. The reading on a compound gauge will change from a positive pressure to zero then to an increasing vacuum as the filter flow reduces. As far as the engine's lift pump is concerned there is absolutely no difference after the suction head changes from positive to negative.

If the guy had as much time in the engine room of an operating vessel as he has at the keyboard he might understand how this stuff works and serve his clients a bit better.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #29
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Steve D's trying to cover a lot bases with his fuel system blanket statements. He gets paid by the word and number of shows he attends.

As is so oft mentioned on this and other threads - old, little used and/or otherwise neglected fuel and tanks may need a good laborious cleaning and fuel system analysis. One boat's problem may be very different on another. Tom's Skinny Dippin fuel system threads are very good but only specific for his case. For the uninitiated, boatdiesel's fuel system and filtering articles are worth a read.

The classic is the guy who wondered why his new boat's engines were surging when his tanks got low in sloppy seas. Someone had the temerity to ask how low and he said about 1/4 or less. Problem - bad fuel gauge and ignoring the site tubes. His tanks were nearly empty and sucking air. Each case is different.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:41 PM   #30
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Thanks Rick B.from another Rick B.
I appreciate your perspective.

I'm going to spend a day polishing and see what I get.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #31
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Thanks Rick B.from another Rick B.
OMG! Say it isn't so, Joe!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:11 PM   #32
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Update and closed (I hope)

This past weekend I finished changing all my Racors and opened the inspection port on the tank.

1. Tank we very clean. No sludge, no nothing.
2. I changed small Racors (500 series) again, some black stuff, replaced them with 10 micron filters.
3. Replaced Racor 900 fuel polishing filter after polishing 100 gal (what was in tank) Vacuum had been as high as 5.5 in. With new 2 micron filter it is now 3.2 in when polishing.
4. Engine ran for three hours, no hiccups or issues, on either filter A or B.

My conclusions:

initial cause was first filter. (about 220 hours on them)
When i changed filter the first time, i did not totally refill filter housing, leaving some air in. Therefore causing engine to die after 15 minutes.
I'll continue to polish fuel when in marina.

Over and out

Richard
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #33
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When i changed filter the first time, i did not totally refill filter housing, leaving some air in. Therefore causing engine to die after 15 minutes.
I'll continue to polish fuel when in marina.


Richard
Well when I left some air in I lost my power in the Harlem river while bucking a 3 knot current. That was not fun, but I am a better boater now. LOL
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #34
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Well when I left some air in I lost my power in the Harlem river while bucking a 3 knot current. That was not fun, but I am a better boater now. LOL
Only 3 knots

I will also add that in talking with Brian of American Diesel today, he also mentioned that having my fuel polisher (and running it while engine is running) take its feed from my supply line can contribute to a less fuel getting to the engine than it wants and therefore a lack of power at high rpm's.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:17 PM   #35
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I thought I'd sent this but I guess not.
Take a look at the 3rd guage which is a telltale type:
SMX Multi-Stage Fuel Fueltration™ Available Options

As mentioned the normal type gauges , not telltale, must be read with the engine running at full throttle or at least a bit better than normal cruise so you get some advance warning of restriction.
Only need a few seconds of that.
If you don't run the engine hard and wait for the restriction to show at normal cruise though you will not get much warning.

With the telltale type you don't have to read it while running. It will record the highest reading and you can check it later. Just don't forget to check it though.

A good system should be less than 1"Hg or 2"Hg with new filters. Most engines should have the filters changed before 10"Hg although some will starve of fuel before that. This you will have to figure out. I think JLeonard said 7" Hg on his Lehman.

Also if you are already showing restriction climbing to near the max just before a trip, especially a long one, don't wait to change.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:56 AM   #36
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I thought I'd sent this but I guess not.
Take a look at the 3rd guage which is a telltale type:
SMX Multi-Stage Fuel Fueltration™ Available Options

As mentioned the normal type gauges , not telltale, must be read with the engine running at full throttle or at least a bit better than normal cruise so you get some advance warning of restriction.
Only need a few seconds of that.
If you don't run the engine hard and wait for the restriction to show at normal cruise though you will not get much warning.

With the telltale type you don't have to read it while running. It will record the highest reading and you can check it later. Just don't forget to check it though.

A good system should be less than 1"Hg or 2"Hg with new filters. Most engines should have the filters changed before 10"Hg although some will starve of fuel before that. This you will have to figure out. I think JLeonard said 7" Hg on his Lehman.

Also if you are already showing restriction climbing to near the max just before a trip, especially a long one, don't wait to change.
Thanks that's a very good point (doing a full power run) and also explains why i never saw any restriction on the telltales.
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