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Old 09-04-2013, 01:17 AM   #121
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Oops...That 2nd shot of the fuel cap should have been this one...

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #122
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Hey Al! Well Duke will be coming out to my new boat next week to install 4 access panels and polish fuel! I am a little more expensive, but after reading your post and getting thumbs up from other folks, I think it is money well spent as I don't want clogged filters as I am passing Cape Mendocino! BTW got the marina book last night! Thanks
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #123
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Duke and Charlotte finished up today on the stbd side. It was another full day of polishing, scrubbing, installing the access plate and refilling. This side was the side previously contaminated and it showed in the filters. At the end of the day, they showed me the pre-filter which is a sock catching 5 microns and larger before the pump, strainer and other sediment and water filters. The sock caught about a cup of dirt and crud from the tank. No doubt more was captured in the filters downstream of this first catch, but I didn't see those filters. There was also a significant amount of water in the tank which was removed completely.

Before:



After:



The stars of the show, Charlotte and Duke:







Now that it's all over, I'm really glad I had this done by Cruising Seas Services. They were a pleasure to work with, professional and always on time. Their price was competitive and after seeing how much effort went into two days on this job, I think it was very reasonable.

ASD, you might want to plan for 2 days minimum, maybe even 3, since you're having 4 tanks and access plates done.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:01 PM   #124
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Al, now with clean tanks, where will you fuel up? ... Lately, I've been pushing for an overnight rendezvous to Pittsburg to tank up and eat some Italian food. Have only half a tank left. I need to fill two of my four tanks ($600) for another six month's of operations. And I've heard you're handy with a checkbook.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:23 PM   #125
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Thanks Al, for this great Post.

Sorry that your pain may be a real gain for others in the local area. I bet Charlotte and Duke get a number of calls after your experience. I will wait awhile until the excitement dies down, but I have a couple of tank issues they would be great with.

I do not think my tanks are particularly dirty, and have only see a couple of drops of water in the Racors in nearly 3 years. What annoys me is how to deal with 2 issues. One, this leftover stub from a long-gone Diesel Heater that the Surveyor made a big fuss over, and Why (can anyone tell me) they never put a Valve on each end of the tanks "balancing" connecting pipe?

Already have nice big access ports, but a fuel freshen-up and getting those 2 items addressed would be a great peace of mind.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #126
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Now that it's all over, I'm really glad I had this done by Cruising Seas Services.
Nicely done, Al. You have to feel a lot better about the boat now.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:10 AM   #127
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Yes I do, Walt. I knew it could be managed, if done professionally, and am glad it's done. Finding my months-old and elusive slow leak on the port side gives me great relief. I had fears of a broken weld or a corroded corner and had been watching this closely. If it holds that this was just a loose fitting, it's the best possible outcome.

Now the fuel system is in great shape. I'll replace fuel filters very soon to complete the project.

Mark, I'm sitting at about half-tanks now, so that's about 30 hrs with reserves. I'll buy more fuel ...just not sure when. Pittsburg is always a possibility.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:22 PM   #128
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Hey Al,

Duke planned on a 4 day job starting the 10th! Glad I am doing it and big releif that I have hired the best.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #129
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I took off this afternoon after watching the AC races to check out the fishing action in Carquinez Straight. I made it 1/2 mile down the Mare Island Straight and the port engine died! Arrrrrgh. I considered continuing to the fishing grounds and dealing with it there, but reconsidered and dropped anchor between the yacht club and the ferry terminal.

I immediately suspected fuel starvation and that the fuel shutoff valve was left in the off position, even though I had been assured that all was ready to go. Sure enough, the valve was off. I blame myself, though. I should have known to check those valves after the work was done and before heading out....even thought about doing it a couple of days ago, but forgot.

As I started to bleed the Racors the bleed screw head sheared off. Apparently this plastic screw had not moved for years and was weak as it easily cracked. Now I had a whole 'nuther problem since I did not have a suitable replacement onboard and the fuel was seeping through a hole in the screw shaft. So I decided to call it a day, secure the port fuel system and take it back in on the starboard engine alone. It pays to have a double slip at a time like this. I eased her into the slip and let the breeze gently nudge her up to the dock.

I removed the fitting with the sheared vent screw and found the remaining screw shaft easy to remove since I had already started loosening it when it sheared. I called the local Ace Hardware and found they were open for another 20 mins. I raced over there with 10 minutes to spare and got a 3/8" NPT brass plug. (I'm going back tomorrow to buy 3 more for the other filter housings.)

After installing the new vent plug, I used the newly discovered fuel pump to bleed the line to the secondary fuel filter. I used my new remote starting switch to cycle the boost pump to prime the filter. 12V power came from my portable jumpstart battery.

Then I climbed between the hull and the port engine with all the needed tools to bleed the fuel pump and 2 injectors. This gave me another chance to use the remote start button, this time on the starter. This made it MUCH easier to crank/bleed/crank/bleed. No need to get out of the ER to crank or jump the start solenoid with a screwdriver.

In short order, the port engine was running and I'm now ready to fish tomorrow. Lately I've been getting more practice than I'd like in bleeding the fuel system, but I'm learning more about my boat and getting better at it each time.

Time for a shower and dinner!
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:34 PM   #130
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Al - I'm pleased to hear you keep winning every fuel war!

Soon the wars will end and all the spoils will belong to the victor... i.e. YOU... for years of comfort crusing, fishing, and good ol' playen around!!!

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Old 09-08-2013, 11:47 PM   #131
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I put an outboard squeeze bulb fuel primer inline before the Racors on my boat.

Best addition for the money ever.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #132
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Thanks, Art. That is the goal, right?

SaltyDog, my filter housings have primer pumps built-in to prime the Racor elements. But I like your idea of adding priming bulbs if none exist. I would not have thought of that.

In the past, I've pumped my lift pump manual lever hundreds of times...slowly to ensure a full stroke...to bleed the secondary filter and high pressure fuel pump. It's a PITA to have to work around the engine to accomplish this since the lift pump is to stbd and the filter & hi press pump are to port.

Knowing that I have a boost pump to assist in that purpose already plumbed but without electrical power really helped me in addressing this fuel starvation episode. Kudos to RickB for identifying this for me on this thread! Purchasing the remote switch and thinking through connections with the portable power pack in advance helped prepare me for this.

This forum is a great source for helpful info. Thanks guys!

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Old 09-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #133
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Al - I'm pleased to hear you keep winning every fuel war!
Ditto!

Al, why didn't you switch off the broken filter and continue your trip with the good filter since you have two filters for each engine?
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:23 PM   #134
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Ditto!

Al, why didn't you switch off the broken filter and continue your trip with the good filter since you have two filters for each engine?


The problem vent (C) is barely visible in the image above. Line A comes from the output of Racor #1 (left filter) into a T fitting (B). The other connections to the T fitting is the output of Racor #2 (right filter) and the main fuel line to the engine on the right side of the image. The vent is on the left end of the chamber which is attached to the T fitting. Fuel will flow out of the vent regardless of Racor selection. I would have had to replumb the main fuel line to the #1 Racor output.

I felt returning on one engine in benign conditions was the best choice. Within the 1 1/2 hours, everything was up and running again.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #135
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Al, with that befuddlement, I'd return home too. May I recommend a replumbing of your fuel circuits? (I'm available most days for handing out your tools.)
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:22 AM   #136
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Mark, I might be tackling some modification to my fuel system in the future, but only after much study, analysis, contemplation and prayer. I see the advantages of a few appropriately placed check valves, ball valves to replace my current shutoff valves, a crossfeed/transfer line with associated valves and electrical hookups and switching for the transfer pumps.

In a sick kind of way that I'm sure many of you guys could relate to, it would be fun to design and build the optimum fuel system for this boat. The cost should be minimal. Just need the right design and layout and some real estate for a new fuel manifold panel. Hmmmmm...

But first, there's that Balmar alternator upgrade that's just itching to get done, but that's a whole 'nuther thread!

PS. I'll be sure to stock the fridge before asking you to assist in the job. Thanks for the offer!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:31 AM   #137
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But Al, I'm still overstocked with your favorite Petaluma-made beers. Please PM me when needed.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:19 AM   #138
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We can make a transfer on Friday morning....
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #139
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Mark, I might be tackling some modification to my fuel system in the future, but only after much study, analysis, contemplation and prayer.
Maybe Santa will put two of these under the tree this year.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:41 PM   #140
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I too will have to study my fuel system. I have 1 sight tube for both ot all 4 tanks??? I am assuming that you open one tank and it fills and gives you a reading. Close the valve, drain the tube, then open for the other tank and so on.
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