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Old 02-03-2015, 01:27 AM   #141
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I posted a bit of a blurb about a friend in the Sea of Cortez whose engine stopped at sea due to fuel he picked up in Santa Barbara...
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:43 AM   #142
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Just had the suspicion you saw a problem. I have been wrong before and it will probably happen again sorry.
I see a problem...not sight bowl! I like a lot of things Tony does...this is not one of them. If water got in there you would have no clue until symptoms showed up. Symptoms that could damage your engine.

How do common rail engines tolerate water???
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:55 AM   #143
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Baker,
Are the fuel coolers you refer to the "Cummins On Engine"? These are the ones located on the port side of each engine. Was there any indication these were suspect? What was the age of the coolers? These are the only items I did not remove, clean and inspect on my just completed raw water side service. I am now questioning my wisdom. I have heard of some folks who just remove the fuel coolers and just use the fuel tanks as the heat sink.
Yes these were the stock fuel coolers. They were likely the same ones that came with the engine/boat. 13 years old. I replaced both after this happened. Seaboard has a shitload of these things laying around since Tony does not believe they are worth the risk. They take them off of brand new engines. So they sell them cheap. I got a new pair for $70 each. I think they have since gone up on the proce but not too much...maybe a $100 a piece. My compromise is that I will change them when I do the after cooler service. I feel once every few years and they should be fine.

I had a hard time just removing them. My boat is heat soaked just sitting at the dock. My tanks are relatively small(110 gallons a piece) and they are rarely full...and only full for a short period. These engines pump four times more fuel than they use so that continuous cycling of fuel would cause non-cooled fuel to get quite hot. Tony says if it stays below 140degrees you should be fine. In the summer, my fuel starts out above 100.

Anyway, because of the water intrusion into my system I was changing filters and emptying filter bowls VERY often...underway all the time. And during those times when I had the fuel cooler on the right engine bypassed, that fuel was extremely hot while I was handling filters and emptying bowls. Was it 140...I don't know but it was too hot to have my skin remain in contact. IOW...quite hot to the touch. Sooooooooo......hence my compromise. The 140 degrees is a Cummins spec....I think you are losing rated power above that temperature. I don't know what else hot fuel would cause. It does cause the flash point to lower...So maybe a fire hazard.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:56 AM   #144
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I never could have lived through the above scenario without sight bowls!!! And it is a very important part of my preflight scan of the engine room.....now!!!
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:29 AM   #145
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Yes these were the stock fuel coolers. They were likely the same ones that came with the engine/boat. 13 years old. I replaced both after this happened. Seaboard has a shitload of these things laying around since Tony does not believe they are worth the risk. They take them off of brand new engines. So they sell them cheap. I got a new pair for $70 each. I think they have since gone up on the proce but not too much...maybe a $100 a piece. My compromise is that I will change them when I do the after cooler service. I feel once every few years and they should be fine.
My guess and it's only a guess is that they suffer the same deterioration as many gear coolers, no sacrificial anode. Surprised tony doesn't make one or modify the original to take a pencil zinc.

I agree that he has a nice filter system, but without a bowl on the first filter to see what is or has happened, it's a non starter for me.

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Old 02-03-2015, 07:41 AM   #146
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My guess and it's only a guess is that they suffer the same deterioration as many gear coolers, no sacrificial anode. Surprised tony doesn't make one or modify the original to take a pencil zinc.

I agree that he has a nice filter system, but without a bowl on the first filter to see what is or has happened, it's a non starter for me.

Ted
I think it is marine age more than anything. 13 years is a long time in the marine environment.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:51 AM   #147
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Yes I also was able to dodge a bullet once because I saw the Racor bowl full of water. It was early spring and I had just run the boat 150 feet from the launch well to a slip. An hour later while doing a visual in the ER for leaks, etc. I saw the bowl almost full of water.
I ended up draining the bowl and building a rig to suck the water from the bottom of the tank. In total I got about 3 quarts of water out of the diesel.
That would have done some damage!
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:54 AM   #148
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Just had the suspicion you saw a problem. I have been wrong before and it will probably happen again sorry.
I was just commenting on what seemed to me their making out of their filter system to be something vastly superior to Racors or other filters.

I started to comment on some of the pumbing in the photo but then I wasn't sure if they had put that system together themselves or if it was one some one else had worked up with their products.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:04 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Baker View Post
I see a problem...not sight bowl! I like a lot of things Tony does...this is not one of them. If water got in there you would have no clue until symptoms showed up. Symptoms that could damage your engine.

How do common rail engines tolerate water???
According to their web site they expect you to drain off a sample of your fuel from their filters to check for water. And they claim it's not easy to tell if you have water in your fuel by just looking at the bowl of a Racor.

The first part is perhaps easy enough to do before you get underway. But more than a bit of a PITA once you're up and running I'd say.

And as to being able to see water in a a Racor bowl, I've never had a problem doing that. But I guess it's possible if the bowls full of crud. But if the bowl was that full of crud I'd be checking the filter element any way and draining the bowl.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:12 AM   #150
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My guess and it's only a guess is that they suffer the same deterioration as many gear coolers, no sacrificial anode. Surprised tony doesn't make one or modify the original to take a pencil zinc.

I agree that he has a nice filter system, but without a bowl on the first filter to see what is or has happened, it's a non starter for me.

Ted
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If your ESI is working properly, where does the water come from that you see in your engine filter loop?
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:21 AM   #151
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I think it is marine age more than anything. 13 years is a long time in the marine environment.
I believe they are assembled in the same manner as the heat exchanger with soldered joints. Without an anode, the solder becomes the sacrificial element. This is the same for a gear cooler without a pencil zinc. A gear cooler with a pencil zinc will last 2 or 3 times as long as one without.

Ted
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:24 AM   #152
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I never could have lived through the above scenario without sight bowls!!! And it is a very important part of my preflight scan of the engine room.....now!!!
John

In your real work you burn tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel per month. Where are the Racors sight bowls on the planes? In the private aircraft world where are the Racors. They certainly are not on the aircraft.

Airport fuel farms use a system such as I posted on Feb 1 to deal with water and crud. Incoming fuel is sampled to monitor and hopefully prevent dirty fuel from arriving in the first place.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:43 AM   #153
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Ted

If your ESI is working properly, where does the water come from that you see in your engine filter loop?
Not sure what ESI is short for?

I don't think anyone intentionally puts water in their fuel tanks. But water in fuel seems to be one of the most common problems in boating. While I do everything possible to insure there is no chance that water will enter the fuel tanks though the filler cap, air vents, and engine fuel cooler (new engine doesn't have one ), it's still possible to get a bad load of fuel. Having a sensor that triggers an alarm is a nice warning device, I'd rather not wait for the water to reach critical mass, and depend on an alarm that may not sound if the sensor is coated with none conductive impurities.

Ted
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:47 AM   #154
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There are too many dam posts here for me to read all sooo. What ever you use consider the wisdom(not mine) of using a screw on mud filter with a large capacity, a closed loop OB bulb priming SX, and vacuum gauges on the mud filter. All this installed prior to any other filtration. If you don't know what I am talking about another learning exercise opportunity. Go to Seaboard Marine and to Tony's tips and read about filtration Tony's way. The white vertical units with gauges on top are screw on the first in line the high capacity mud filter the second 10 mic this is before the two motor mounted units. This is common rail and needs good filtration. The closed loop prime SX is also visible.
You've got the right system for common rail. Assuming your filters are the coalescing type, your vacuum should build up if water is present. If you're wanting to check for water in your tanks there are ways to do it before your filters would see it.

As oft mentioned here, water going to engines is preventable. Having recently crawled and walked around the ERs of three very large yachts, fuel testing, spin ons, Alfa Lavals, and Racors are all in use.

On our toy boats some silly systems are in use and tolerated, largely due to very low fuel usage - I'm one. The commercial guys using sequential fuel filtration that Tony supports are a pretty good benchmark for common rail being used in this century. Your new vessel is in this category. You do not want engine fuel filtering (different than fuel cleaning) some of us have, good on ya!
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:49 AM   #155
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I posted a bit of a blurb about a friend in the Sea of Cortez whose engine stopped at sea due to fuel he picked up in Santa Barbara...
In the old days in Mexico there were often two on shore fuel tanks, one for locals and one for you guessed it.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:57 AM   #156
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Not sure what ESI is short for?

But water in fuel seems to be one of the most common problems in boating.

Ted
ESI is a fuel polishing system. One used by many non recreational types too.

Knock on wood, since I started boating and buying fuel, no fuel issues with water yet. Except in Mexico where the water hose was going into the on shore fuel tanks.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:21 AM   #157
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I have done everything I can think of to prevent water from getting into my fuel including polishing the fuel before it goes into the tank that the engine draws off of. Maybe some good intentioned gest will take it upon themselves to wash my boat and manage to get some water down the tank vents. I don't know how it will get there, but I'm sure sooner or later there will be something in the the Racor bowl for me to ponder the origin of. And so each morning when I do my pre start fluids check, I'll shine my led light into the Racor bowl for some peace of mind.

Ted
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:43 AM   #158
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Aircraft have fuel heaters and a system called "motive flow" to continuously circulate the fuel and keep water in suspension. There is always some water in diesel, comes direct from the refinery, but if it is kept in suspension it is just "burned."
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:28 PM   #159
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Just want to say that I am not against Racors with see through bowls, but even with that system I see only good by putting a high capacity spin on mud filter with vac gauge in front of the racor. The spin ons have petcock at bottom for sampling(for water) and as mentioned the vac gauge even with motor not running with a seconded captive indicator needle will tell you when water is present since it causes vacuum pressure to go up. The beauty of spin -ons which are loved by commercial guys with dirty tanks is they can have high capacity for water and crud and be changed out fast add the closed loop OB bulb priming system(no cans of fuel needed) and you have a nice practical set up. It seems that any new or divergent ideas have to survive the impact of the comfort of the established ways. With this system you don't have to give up your sight bowl you keep it and help it do its job.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:21 PM   #160
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I still don't see how changing a spin on is faster or easier. It is certainly messier. Crack it loose and a few ounces are coming out. Then easy to spill more while handling the topped up filter. Then screw on new one. Going to prime that with the squeeze bulb? Where does the air go? Either need to fill it first, or vent while priming.

To change my racor, crack lid loose. Pump primer a few times on engine to draw fuel level down half inch. Swap out element, put lid back on. A few drips easy to manage. No need to reprime.

And adding a mud filter before a racor? I don't see the logic in that.

And that bowl is essential to me. Do an engine room check, if it is clear red, all's good. Water is obvious as it is NOT red.
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