|While as functional as any daytank/gravity tank, this is too gruesome to endure.|
|The Baja filter is the first step to clean fuel: Capture the bugs, grit and rust flakes before the diesel even enters the hose fill.|
It's been some time, more than I would have preferred, since I last thought about diesel. But all things must pass, and when it comes to diesel, passing through a filter is a good idea. Some folk consider pre-filter assemblies an expensive complication, relying instead on physical scrubbing of their tanks and meticulous filtering (usually at the deck fill point via a Baja-type filter funnel) of any fuel they bring aboard. But as Colin Speedie of the long-legged yacht Pelerin acknowledges "if the fuel is dirty, once it’s in the tank, there’s not much you can do except dump it or keep changing the filters – that is, if you find out about it before the engine quits on you." "Dirty" in this sense could include either corrosion or debris from the tank itself, or from growth in the otherwise clean fuel itself.
|The original pre-motor fuel filter was a tad basic.|
|On the aft bulkhead of the engine bay means a long, if shallow, run.|
|The Walbro auxiliary fuel pump is on the right. The filter model is different from mine. Photo (c) Colin Speedie/S/V Pelerin|
|It's ridiculous how many places I had to go to before I found "5/16 to 3/8 inch reducing hose barbs".|
After the usual faffing around trying to divine from local chandlers whether they grasped my questions and debating whether I should just order stuff from the States, a local hardware store of vintage layout (Jacob's on Queen West, for the interested) had every brass bit I required, and understood my English, too! Each connection from tank to filters to engine was soon prepped with pipe dope and was carefully torqued.
|I'm a dope addict, but only near my nuts.|
|That's steel back there.|
The big gun was summarily brought out.
|I have four or five tradesman-grade Makita power tools. None have failed me. Black and Decker, on the other hand...|
The fuel manifold was inspected and checked and (finally) labelled. It's under the steps to the saloon, which I took apart to better access the "taps".
|Both taps to the right draws and returns fuel to the forward keel tank, both to the left, to and from the aft keel tank. Etc.|
|Yes that area gets rubbishy and needs more janitorial service.|
I have a large amount of wire loom aboard, but some of my wire and hose runs may be relocated for better securing once I've finished in here, and so I haven't yet installed in on every run as anti-chafe and related protection. So this setup isn't as anarchic as it looks.
|The thick black hose is one of my hydraulic lines. The orange is a work light cord.|
The Filter Boss is both easily accessible and visible from above, so filter switching on the fly is not difficult, and neither is reading the vacuum gauge on the front, which tells the skipper how hard the pump is working to overcome obstructions and/or cruddied-up filter to deliver fuel to the diesel.
|Part of the "ignore the manual and wire separately" plot.|
|Mounted below the helm, but you get the idea.|
This arrangement may seem overly complex. I don't find this hard to remember, but then I built it. I may have to come up with an operator's manual for others, however. I did for Valiente after I rebuilt and rewired the Atomic 4.
|Looming disaster averted.|
|Yes, forgot to open the bleed/return circuit, yes.|
|Purge first, binge on old diesel later.|
|This is the finished product, running with fuel from the forward (No. 1) keel tank.|
So far, so good. I ran the engine for about 15 minutes with varying degrees of RPM (in neutral gear, for the moment. Although I would like to put a three-way valve to allow the filter unit to bleed the system at a convenient point, and I have plans to put in a post-filter daytank so that I always have X litres of "known filtered fuel", that's this job done for now.
|More bloody obscure hose barbs lie in my future, I think.|
Next up: the mast. Oooh. To actually sail this season? It could happen yet.
If one looks three photos up, the rather dangerously high vacuum reading from the forward keel tank to the engine can be seen. I fudged this to test the system, but upon RTFM, I recalled that an "ideal" vacuum is more or less zero PSI and that the integral pump to the Filterboss is mainly there not to act as an auxiliary inline fuel pump, but is to power the engine-off, "polishing" function. Yes, if one's engine fuel pump packs it in, the Filterboss can do the trick in a pinch, but it's not meant to run continuously, as far as I can tell. So a call to "Andy at KTI" suggested, and, barring out too high of a height gap between the engine lift pump (hence "lift") and the Filterboss, it was probably crud in the pickup tube.
|Somewhat improvisational approach to fuel line suction issue resolution.|
|I murmured a Tarentinoesque "that's a bingo!" about here. Filterboss pump on...|
This confirmed (as the fuel line end was only about the thickness of the fuel tank lid away from the top of the diesel within) that the pickup tube itself was likely cruddy.
|...and Filterboss pump off. That's about zero PSI, meaning the lift pump is lifting as if the filters weren't there, i.e. "nornal operations".|
|Please ignore disassembled boat part chaos.|
|Beware the lumpy goo!|
|PTFE tape is to code for fuel-proximate threads.|
While there was a slight increase in pressure, possibly because of the slight drop in fuel pickup level, the results were gratifying. I will do the second tank at my leisure, as the odds of burning 50 gallons of diesel before haulout are very slim, indeed.
|Huzzah! Minus 1 PSI with the Filterboss pump off! WITHIN SPEC!|
But for now, I've fixed the problem of Excess Suck.