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Old 03-19-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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Mysterious fuel system air leaks

Many good posts as to various air leaks. Here's mine, I hope I'm not repeating. After a almost catastrophic engine shut down ( try transiting a bridge opening with 7 knot current with a quit engine) I traced mine to short pick up tubes. Seems the builders figured to go only half way down the tanks with the pick up tube. To avoid dirt and sludge. Guess they didn't know about good filters. Especially in wavy conditions, the tubes sucked air. Bleeding in an emergency situation is not pleasant. My solution was to replace the pick tubes with longer tubes. Problem solved. To improve even better, I'm planning on an electric pump after the Racor but before the secondary (engine lift pump and secondary filters). Seems simple as available pumps are self priming and can be in- line powering up only when pressure demands. Any low cost suggestions?
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:58 AM   #2
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Rather than build in a proper functioning sump , many boat fuel tanks will have a heavy screen , or flat plate with holes to hope to trap the grunge below its surface .

The prayer is the water will stay below the screen in motion.

The pickup is above this surface shrinking the useable fuel volume.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:16 AM   #3
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You might consider multi stage fuel filtration explained here: Marine Fuel Filtration “The Seaboard Way” - Seaboard Marine
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:59 AM   #4
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Many if not most engine fuel pumps are between the primary and secondary fuel filters already.

Just curious, what bridge were you at? Sounds hairy!

We loved our multi-day stops at Staten Island, usually at the funky but friendly Mansion Marina but once too at the Atlantis.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:13 AM   #5
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The bridge is inside Sandy Hook, The Sea Bright bridge.
Next time at Staten Island. Try our RCYC if you're ok with a mooring.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:28 AM   #6
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FF. You're right, On the whole I'm fascinated that good planning/logic/workmanship was exercised out there in Taiwan. There was valid reasoning of those pick up tubes only 1/2 way down. I believe that today, in a pleasure boat not operating every day, the trick is to bring out water and sludge as much as possible. My weapon for that is multiple filters plus a separate dyi polishing system that I run periodically and more when the boat is inactive. I'm a fan of polishing. Its a simple flick of a switch plus directional valves. If you dyi I'm guessing Approx. $150

By adding the 'boost' pump, I'm simply looking for a backup to the manual bleed process as a matter of safety.
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:18 PM   #7
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The Vetus marine diesels come with an electric fuel pump between the primary & secondary filters. I'm sold on the electric pumps.

Priming the fuel lines is never required. I can change my fuel filters, install new dry ones, then just let the pump run for about 20 seconds and the engine fires right up.

The Vetus pumps are made by Facet; It's much cheaper ordering direct from them. They make something suitable for most diesel engines.
Motor Components, LLC | Facet Purolator

I'd recommend their Gold-Flo line of pumps.

12 - 24 inches dry lift
20 - 45 GPH
2.5 - 8 PSI
Transient Protection-24 volt only
State of the art Electronics
Sealed Electronics
Built in Anti-Siphon Valve (Positive shut-off)
Complies to Mil-std-461D
Replaceable 74 micron filter
Built in magnet to collect metal particles for additional filtration
1.6 amp average
Self Priming and Self Regulating
32 ounces and 5 inches
Corrosion Resistant over 100 hours of salt spray
Operating Temperature Range: -40F to 180F
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