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Old 09-30-2013, 12:04 AM   #21
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I do not know your filter set-up but about all diesel fuel systems I've worked on the supply pump sucks fuel from the tank & thru the primary filter or filters. It then pushes the fuel thru the secondary filter & to the injector pump. If you get a length of clear line that you can plumb into the suction side of the supply pump you can use that to help diagnose the problem. Anywhere there is a fitting can be the source of the air, my 1st guess is in changing the filter you left out a oring or didn't get one seated properly but you've redone it enough times I would think you would've found it. Check all rubber hose & fittings between the fuel tank & supply pump if you find anything suspect replace it, old soft hose or hard brittle hose should be 1st. Then with the clear line in place bleed the system if while bleeding your getting bubbles in the clear line you still have a air leak. Move the clear line to the next place there is a fitting going toward the tank & repeat the bleeding process. Keep doing this till you get no bubbles, somewhere between there & the last place you had the clear line is the leak. Good luck
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:33 AM   #22
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Somewhere you made a mistake. Out of place or damaged seal, doubled o ring, improperly seated seal, crack in a part.

Do you have any valves in the system, anywhere, that open to the air or to another tank or a generator. Got me years ago. I have a valve that allows me to fill another tank from the main system and I managed to back into it unknowingly a bump it just a tiny bit. But it was enough. Took the mechanic to find it.

River cruisers suggestion about using a piece of clear vinyl tubeing to help locate the air leak source is a good one.

You may not appreciate it right now but think about what would have happened if the filters plugged and you had to change them out on a cruise. It happens and has happened to me. It is imperative that you know how to do it and properly as sooner or later dirty fuel will catch up to you.

Good luck
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:41 AM   #23
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Also be sure to use a mirror to be sure the square o ring the slips into the groove on the CAV top housing did not spin while being installed each time- this happens occasionally. You sound pretty knowledgable in your approach. I would wonder about a defective filter allowing air- but they are past the primer pump.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:00 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=Ben;181929]
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Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post

I wasn't leaning toward it. I felt it would add an extra element of variability that I do not need. I was thinking in fact to order the spin-on adapters - which I believe due to the reduced connections, would be more reliable. So I assume...

I'm not happy to be unsuccessful, but this fuel thing is my scariest obstacle in my engine learning to date. So I am happy to deal with it and learn the pitfalls. Just wish I would get past them soon.

Once past this, I hope to re-plumb my cooling with new hoses and ream my heat exchanger, but first things first.
Ben,

Sorry to hear your frustration, as the exact same thing happened to me when I changed my Racors. I too, was afraid to change anything, since the engine had been running so well for over a 100 hours.

For me, I was forced to finally change the Racors, when the engine stopped in the middle of Long Island Sound. I switched to the other Racor and luckily, got the engine running.

So next day, at marina, I decided to change Racors.

Did so, replaced large black rubber gasket, left small orange one that is on top of lid alone, as it looked happy.

Started engine. It ran for 15 minutes and then died.

Tried to start it again, no start.

Started worrying about wet exhaust. Looked at book, luckily decided not to fÖ around with I had not already touched. So I did not try to bleed injectors, etc., as my experience with engines has been that even when you think it canít be something you did, it is.

I reluctantly called by great mechanic, Dave in Florida, he told me that when I changed Racors, I had to refilled them to overflowing, so as I tightened the lid, fuel would come out, I did, and the engine started right up (need to put it at medium throttle) and hasn't stopped running since.

Then, a few weeks later, I changed the engine fuel filters and just followed the manual to the letter. All it really took was re-priming using the self-priming lever on the side of the injector pump. Worked as advertised.

How long did the engine run the first time it quite? That should give you some idea as to where the air leak it.
Good luck.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=Wxx3;182001]
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Originally Posted by Ben View Post

Ben,


How long did the engine run the first time it quite? That should give you some idea as to where the air leak it.
Good luck.

I think Dauntless has given you the answer. Trouble is, you need to know how much fuel the engine pumps in a minute, and then know how far back from the injectors that will take you in your search for an air leak. You have twins, right? You could measure the per minute volume pumped by undoing the return line from the second engine at any convenient point between the engine and the tank. Then you could measure the capacity of the secondary filter housing, the Racor housing and of the few feet of tubing between the engine and the first point that was opened. That approach will eliminate items as the time of successful running gets longer.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:08 AM   #26
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The replies talking about changing fuel filters while on a cruise brings this up. I change my primaries at 120 to 125 hours & secondaries at 250 hours, I do this while in the slip, there may be a few curse words but no drama. I do drain the water off the bottom of the primaries & the dedicated engine mounted water traps occasionally, I very seldom get anything other than fuel out of them. If you want to be sure your getting all the useful life out of your primaries install a vacuum gauge, Racor has one that will replace the tee handle. I find it easier to change on a schedule & only keep 2 extra changes in the onboard spares. Good luck
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #27
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Somewhere you made a mistake.
I read this and I laughed quite a bit. A sad laugh, because you are right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
You may not appreciate it right now but think about what would have happened if the filters plugged and you had to change them out on a cruise.

It is imperative that you know how to do it and properly as sooner or later dirty fuel will catch up to you.
It's my priority as well. The learning value is worth the frustration time. Part of the value is getting past my fear of messing with it.

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #28
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Ben:
In post #20 you mention moving on to your cooling system after the fuel issue is solved. New hoses and clean heat exchangers are a good idea, but, I would advise removing the heat exchanger and also the oil cooler and taking them to a radiator shop and let them handle the job. I have done this and the cost for both was under a $100 total. Both came back looking brand new and was worth not worrying about poking a hole in the heat exchanger while reaming.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:33 PM   #29
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New hoses and clean heat exchangers are a good idea, but, I would advise removing the heat exchanger and also the oil cooler and taking them to a radiator shop and let them handle the job. Mike
+1 I agree!!
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:02 PM   #30
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...New hoses and clean heat exchangers are a good idea, but, I would advise removing the heat exchanger and also the oil cooler and taking them to a radiator shop and let them handle the job....
Good idea but how old are they? If the oil and/or transmission coolers are approaching ~2000 hours, replace them, even if they look good, they wear out. The heat exchanger on the engine, the Ford Lehman SP135 gurus say to replace approximately every 4000 hours. In all cases if you replace, make sure they are made with Cupro-Nickel.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:14 PM   #31
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Ben:
In post #20 you mention moving on to your cooling system after the fuel issue is solved. New hoses and clean heat exchangers are a good idea, but, I would advise removing the heat exchanger and also the oil cooler and taking them to a radiator shop and let them handle the job. I have done this and the cost for both was under a $100 total. Both came back looking brand new and was worth not worrying about poking a hole in the heat exchanger while reaming.
Mike
Mike - Thanks! Excellent call.

OK On to fuel...

Called Brian at American Diesel Corp, the manufacturer of my engine.

Details:
  1. Told him of my NAPA filter, supplied by the PO. He said this is the least recommended brand due to least reliability. Understand these are what I took off the motor initially, but will switch.
  2. He recommended Fram, CAV, Caterpillar, Perkins, Purolator, just not the auto-store copies.
  3. Asked about spin-ons. He was adamant that I would have more trouble with these. It was like I insulted his mother. I mean adamant.
  4. He advised me on HOW to plunge the lift pump lever, which I will do and have done after the first couple times. (Slow and steady, not fast and hyper)
  5. I followed the manual procedure and he agreed with my process (because it follows the manual they wrote. Imagine that).
On Tuesday I will try again. The education continues...
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:22 PM   #32
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Good idea but how old are they? If the oil and/or transmission coolers are approaching ~2000 hours, replace them, even if they look good, they wear out. The heat exchanger on the engine, the Ford Lehman SP135 gurus say to replace approximately every 4000 hours. In all cases if you replace, make sure they are made with Cupro-Nickel.
PO had the date 2005 written on them. Motor has 5000 hours. PO took many shortcuts. I just want to go over the engine and assure good equipment without wondering where he did a short cut.

One example shortcut is he wired his own (land) inverter (to a marine application) with an improper grounding. My electrician said I could have blown up the boat in the right circumstances. The other is he had an improper shore-power to generator switch, that was not even installed. When I first got the boat, I had to unbolt a wire from one terminal to the other to use the generator.

So... now that I have had some intimate time with the boat, I want to be sure things are tippy-top and not blow myself up any time soon.

I got three battery boxes from the PO. One set of batteries sits inside the shower sump collector on a low platform. Batteries. In water.

I was pretty ignorant when I bought our boat. Hopefully system by system, I can fix and learn. Once I've rebuilt the boat, I hope to sell it for way, way less than I have in it. Because that's the nature of the universe.

Call me crazy.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:42 PM   #33
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Yeah, kind of like my adventures in the stock market: buy high, sell low, never fails.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #34
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Came to boat. Ready to do filters over again. Found beer in fridge. Ordered spin-on adapters. I'd call that a productive day.



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Old 10-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #35
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Yeah, kind of like my adventures in the stock market: buy high, sell low, never fails.
How else can you lock in that loss?

Far less stressful than watching a stock go up, up, up. only to go down, down, down, and further down (see Apple)
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:55 AM   #36
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Ben,
I'm glad you got a chuckle. T'was a bit boneheaded on my part, oh well.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:47 AM   #37
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If one gets really stuck with finding an air leak the easy way to find the source is with some pressure.

Many places can be accessed the air drain on a secondary filter is easy to find .

Simply create a fitting that will screw in that adapts an Outboard fitting .

A 6 gallon OB tank full of diesel tank has a hand pump in the fuel line that will pressurize the fuel system lightly .
A frustrating minor air leak becomes a major source of fuel at even 1 or 2 psi.

Use paper towel strips at each fitting and discover how many leaks you actually have.

6 gal is a fine emergency fuel supply for displacement boats (only 3- 5 miles for the Sports) but perhaps 20 miles for the slow folks.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #38
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If one gets really stuck with finding an air leak the easy way to find the source is with some pressure.

Many places can be accessed the air drain on a secondary filter is easy to find .

Simply create a fitting that will screw in that adapts an Outboard fitting .
This is a good idea. I've actually just bought (they're en route now) some spin-on adapters. I want to eliminate variability in the process. I have little doubt it's the secondary filters because I made an adjustment and it got worse. So... with the spin-ons, I hope to reduce one point of the problem.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #39
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I thought you had said that Diesel folks had said NO to spin on filters??
Richard
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:17 AM   #40
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I thought you had said that Diesel folks had said NO to spin on filters??
Richard
While I respect American Diesels position, reputation and knowledge....

I got rid of my OEM filters BECAUSE I see nothing but potential problems with then versus almost ANY other filter I have ever seen.

EACH filter is a leak waiting to happen (either air or fuel)...mine had stripped plastic drains on them..I stripped another fiddling with it one day...thankfully the PO had a spare filter assembly to cannibalize.

Why would the OEM fiters be majic when no other diesel I have ever seen has them and every other has simple spin on?

Sorry...this was one area that I don't agree with the advice from AD and don't see where harm will come....even not with a clear bowl I have a better idea what is getting past my primary filters without the fear of stripping the crappy drain plugs and being stuck someplace over a $1.00 part.

Best of all now a filter change is measured in a few minutes compared to what seemed like an hour last time because of juggling all the parts on reassembly.
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