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Old 06-28-2018, 04:04 PM   #21
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Beware of tank cleaning. when I purchased my Jefferson, 20 + year old tanks. ,had fuel polished, lots of stuff from that. suggested tank cleaning. Did that and more stuff,curd, sediment etc. OK clean tanks ,fill with fuel and within 3 weeks found fuel leak at bottom of tank,luckly welder was able to repair. Refill and soon another leak that was not repairable without removing tank, so needed to replace tanks, Did it myself as estimates were very high as folks wanted , to remove engines, cut holes in sides and some had no idea as to how they would do repair. Both tanks made for under $5,000.00, and help/ labor from those that I give diesel to . Took about two weeks as I worked on it after work and had a lot done before I got to the yard. Be very careful and look into tanks before cleaning and see if there is a lot of rust blisters,etc on tank. I believe that the high pressure cleaning blasted off scabs of rust and that allowed fuel to come thru. Not something that I want to do again.But its done for the next owner as my Jefferson is now for sale ..
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:09 PM   #22
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Beware of tank cleaning. when I purchased my Jefferson, 20 + year old tanks. ,had fuel polished, lots of stuff from that. suggested tank cleaning. Did that and more stuff,curd, sediment etc. OK clean tanks ,fill with fuel and within 3 weeks found fuel leak at bottom of tank,luckly welder was able to repair. Refill and soon another leak that was not repairable without removing tank, so needed to replace tanks, Did it myself as estimates were very high as folks wanted , to remove engines, cut holes in sides and some had no idea as to how they would do repair. Both tanks made for under $5,000.00, and help/ labor from those that I give diesel to . Took about two weeks as I worked on it after work and had a lot done before I got to the yard. Be very careful and look into tanks before cleaning and see if there is a lot of rust blisters,etc on tank. I believe that the high pressure cleaning blasted off scabs of rust and that allowed fuel to come thru. Not something that I want to do again.But its done for the next owner as my Jefferson is now for sale ..
I know, this scares me. But I don’t see any other choice. And honestly, I’m hoping that if these tanks are so far gone that just a cleaning will cause them to leak, I hope to discover that before we buy it. I’m going to have the tanks completely topped off as well, to again check for leaks.

My plan is to eventually install bladders so I don’t have to worry old tanks that might start leaking at any moment.

Have a link for your Jeff?
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:17 AM   #23
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When I bought my boat in Daytona.FL I have fuel polished and tank clean to make home in Green Cove Springs. The fuel polishing guy could not vacuum the tank as there was no inspection port. I have single 230G fiberglass tank build into bow. When I got home, I cut inspection port and had the fuel polish again and vacuum. I use the opening hole for sender unit fuel gauge. My previous MT has steel tanks and were not leaking, but I was on the edge all times as the tanks were old and could give up any time. I do not like metal tanks.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:26 AM   #24
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. Bladders? I think some here on TF have successfully coated their tanks with some sort of sealant. Since you already will have inspection ports, applying such a material might be a solution...
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:21 AM   #25
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. Bladders? I think some here on TF have successfully coated their tanks with some sort of sealant. Since you already will have inspection ports, applying such a material might be a solution...
The material maybe Flamemaster 3204. It was developed or modified for the aircraft industry. I used it but only as a preventive measure. If you search the archives, there are a couple of posts/threads where it was used successfully on leaking tanks.

http://flamemaster.com/wp-content/up...-rev-01-07.pdf
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:51 PM   #26
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Maybe I should have them coat the tank with that stuff while they are cleaning them.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:57 PM   #27
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Maybe I should have them coat the tank with that stuff while they are cleaning them.


As I understand this situation, the seller is getting the boat seaworthy for sale. They wonít want to spend additional money other than what is needed to get the engine running. Cleaning the tanks is one thing, but upgrading them is something else entirely unless they demonstrate an actual leak.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:13 PM   #28
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As I understand this situation, the seller is getting the boat seaworthy for sale. They wonít want to spend additional money other than what is needed to get the engine running. Cleaning the tanks is one thing, but upgrading them is something else entirely unless they demonstrate an actual leak.
Yeah I know l....but I may spend the money to have them done. They pay for the cleaning and while the tanks are opened up I pay to have them sprayed. It then again, thatís a bit of a gamble since itís not even mine yet. I just donít want to have them start leaking 2 weeks down the road.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:07 PM   #29
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Putting money into a boat that you're not 100 percent on is a serious risk. Kind of makes it hard to walk away if something else is a no-go. Personally I would not do it.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:11 PM   #30
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Be wary of this boat! You are in for a rough time if the tanks are in bad shape. From personal experience I can tell you that if there is enough crud in the tanks the Racors WILL fail and pass the crud to the block mounted filters. Even with fresh filter elements. Once the crud is in the block mounted filters they too will fail and gunk up the works. The engines are now running very poorly and awaiting service. A shame, very low hours John Deeres.

The stuff in the 5 gal white bucket is what came out of the block mounted primary filter when I dumped it into the bucket, that's crud and water mixed. The stuff in the plastic water bottle is the first draining of the Racor bowl. The Racor bowl is self explanatory. I no longer trust Racors.

For those who are curious this wasn't my boat, it was a delivery. About 18 hrs from the dock we slowed for heavy weather. At about 33 hrs from the dock the John Deere 4045T engine panels reported water in the fuel. There were no vacuum gauges installed on the Racors to indicate their status. 2.5 hrs of struggling with Racors and block mounted filters later we limped into port at low speed. We cleaned everything as well as we could, sea trials, lots of spare filters and off we went again. For the remainder of the delivery in sloppy weather the Racors were drained every hour, every 3 hrs in good weather. The block mounted primaries were drained twice a day. The block mounted primaries showed no more crud but did show small amounts of water.

The owner had an offer on the boat but is now facing considerable expense getting it ready for sale. The tanks are original 1981 steel tanks. The seller has decided to accept a lower offer in lieu of opening and cleaning the tanks. I wish the buyer luck.
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:10 PM   #31
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They aren’t know to be bad. We just know they are original and had 2 year old fuel on them.
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:43 PM   #32
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Be wary of this boat! You are in for a rough time if the tanks are in bad shape. From personal experience I can tell you that if there is enough crud in the tanks the Racors WILL fail and pass the crud to the block mounted filters. Even with fresh filter elements. Once the crud is in the block mounted filters they too will fail and gunk up the works. The engines are now running very poorly and awaiting service. A shame, very low hours John Deeres.

The stuff in the 5 gal white bucket is what came out of the block mounted primary filter when I dumped it into the bucket, that's crud and water mixed. The stuff in the plastic water bottle is the first draining of the Racor bowl. The Racor bowl is self explanatory. I no longer trust Racors.

For those who are curious this wasn't my boat, it was a delivery. About 18 hrs from the dock we slowed for heavy weather. At about 33 hrs from the dock the John Deere 4045T engine panels reported water in the fuel. There were no vacuum gauges installed on the Racors to indicate their status. 2.5 hrs of struggling with Racors and block mounted filters later we limped into port at low speed. We cleaned everything as well as we could, sea trials, lots of spare filters and off we went again. For the remainder of the delivery in sloppy weather the Racors were drained every hour, every 3 hrs in good weather. The block mounted primaries were drained twice a day. The block mounted primaries showed no more crud but did show small amounts of water.

The owner had an offer on the boat but is now facing considerable expense getting it ready for sale. The tanks are original 1981 steel tanks. The seller has decided to accept a lower offer in lieu of opening and cleaning the tanks. I wish the buyer luck.
I think the point that may be missed here is that the racors are very good seperator filters, but there is a limit to what any filter system will handle. Poor 5 to 10 gallons of water in most any of our fuel tanks, and it will pass through all the filters and shut the engine down.

Not to be to critical of you, but any old boat that I'm running for the first time, I will be checking the Racors regularly for contaminated fuel. When you get into heavy weather, you have to know everything in the bottom of the fuel tanks will be getting stirred up. If you're not going to stop, hourly Racor checks would be a priority.

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Old 06-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #33
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Putting money into a boat that you're not 100 percent on is a serious risk. Kind of makes it hard to walk away if something else is a no-go. Personally I would not do it.


^^^ this.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:00 PM   #34
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I believe that the boat the OP is looking at has a dual Racor system? I could have gotten lost in the thread though.

In my own ignorant opinion, a Dual Racor system is quite good as long as it is used properly. Sure the tanks should be cleaned and the fuel should be externally filtered before being used (or given away and fresh fuel be used after the tanks are cleaned). I would still expect some crud to get kicked up at first.

Running a dual Racor on one filter and having a vacuum gauge installed means you should be able to avoid any problems. However, the operator has to use it properly. Iíd be checking the bowl on the active filter hourly at first looking for water and vacuum rise. If so, switch to the other filter and drain and change the first. Keep doing this until the problems donít recur. A case of filters will do wonders for staying out of trouble.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:15 PM   #35
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Not all old boats have bad fuel tanks. My boat has the original 1987 tanks. The boat had been sitting for a couple of years. We changed the primaries and the secondaries before we started home 1400 miles. That was 2 years ago. Crossing Lake Ontario we had 5 to 6 footers on our quarter. Rocked and rolled for hours. I am about to change the filters this week for the first time since I donít want to go more than 2 years. My tanks show no rust where I can see them. I am thinking about proactively replacing them so that I can do it on my schedule. I think I may pull one engine up out of the engine room and replace the tank on that side while cleaning up the engine room at the same time. Then do the other tank the next winter.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I think the point that may be missed here is that the racors are very good seperator filters, but there is a limit to what any filter system will handle. Poor 5 to 10 gallons of water in most any of our fuel tanks, and it will pass through all the filters and shut the engine down.

Not to be to critical of you, but any old boat that I'm running for the first time, I will be checking the Racors regularly for contaminated fuel. When you get into heavy weather, you have to know everything in the bottom of the fuel tanks will be getting stirred up. If you're not going to stop, hourly Racor checks would be a priority.

Ted

In my nearly 5 decades on the water as both a professional and recreational boater I have never felt that Racors are the best. What they are is the most common, meaning filter elements and parts are easily available nearly everywhere in North America.

For an expert's opinion on effective fuel filtration read this often posted link. Marine Fuel Filtration ďThe Seaboard WayĒ
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #37
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Portage Bay: Thanks for the link. Good read.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:23 AM   #38
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Filtering fuel will help see if you have dirty fuel. Tank cleaning is another animal. Using high pressure fuel to remove the scabs of gunk on the tank may open up areas that maybe thin,rusty , and the hard scab is the only thing keeping the fuel from leaking.
That was my problem. Looking at the tank after cutting it to remove you could see that the hard caked on sediment had attached itself to the tank. Im just saying ,be careful with tank cleaning may cause future leaks, fuel polishing not so much... Just my $ .02
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:10 AM   #39
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I just opened one of my fuel tank ports to determine status. The PO installed new tanks in 2010 and I wanted to see what had changed and if there was any accumulation of asphaltenes. It was fine and I shut it up and was done.

If the tanks are properly cleaned I think you will be good to go. But youíre still hoping that there is no accumulation in the lines.

BTW, this is an expensive process. I was quoted $3,300 Cdn for my 4 tanks for the same process using a pressurized fuel jet. They expected it to be a 12 hour job. Opening the tank revealed it was fine and I didnít have to do anymore. Mind you I completely emptied the tank and opened the port nearest the fuel pickup tubes.

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Old 06-30-2018, 12:58 PM   #40
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JDCAVE,

Thanks for that.

How long did the job take? I need to do the same on IRENE - once the fuel is burned off a bit towards fall.

Did you need to replace the gasket under the cover you removed?
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