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Re: Insufficient baffling in fuel tank? And the screen on the pickup tube

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  • rersk
    After I installed a vacuum gauge between the engine fuel pump and the Racor fuel filter, I noticed increasing vacuum suction after several hours of motoring.
    Message 1 of 19 , Dec 12, 2008
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      After I installed a vacuum gauge between the engine fuel pump and the
      Racor fuel filter, I noticed increasing vacuum suction after several
      hours of motoring. Activating my by-pass Racor filter, I saw no
      change in vacuum and concluded there was another obstruction in the
      fuel system between the pick-up and the gauge. I switched the fuel
      return hose to the pick-up fitting on the tank, and the fuel intake
      hose to the return fitting on the tank and...problem solved, no
      excessive vacuum. Later I removed and cleaned the entire pick-up
      hose and fitting on the tank - no sign of dirt or obstruction.
      Replaced the hoses on their proper tank fittings and the problem re-
      occured. Next I'll try removing the screen on the pick-up hose and
      angling the cut end of the hose where it makes contact with the tank
      bottom. It is interesting that the return hose also has a screen but
      showed no excessive vacuum. I also have a 30 gal. port tank and it
      has never shown excessive vacuum on the fuel intake line.

      Reed Erskine s/v Cayenne hull #65








      --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, Bernard Coyne <coyneb@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > This spring I had a new tank made by RDS in Florida 850-584-6898.
      Not sure
      > if it had a filter on the pickup tube but I didn't see one. One
      could call
      > them and discuss.
      >
      > Bernie
      >
      >
      >
      > Bernie Coyne, Market Manager, Rational Team Concert product
      > IBM Rational software, coyneb@..., 781-789-0762
      > Notes: Bernard Coyne/Lexington/IBM@IBMUS
      >
      >
      >

      > From: "newtmerrill"
      <nmerr10001@...>

      >

      > To: j4x-owners-
      group@yahoogroups.com

      >

      > Date: 09/02/2008 09:08
      AM

      >

      > Subject: [j4x-owners-group] Re: Insufficient baffling in fuel
      tank? And the screen on the pickup tube
      >

      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > Interesting---Is there a "right or wrong" regarding having a
      screen
      > on the fuel pickup?? We encountered the clogged screen problem
      for
      > the 1st time this year following the Bermuda Race only
      after
      > replacing the fuel line and several other attempted solutions to
      keep
      > engine from cutting out. I was advised to keep screen in place
      once
      > cleaned, etc. Thanks, Newt Merrill-FINESSE Hull#20
      (1997)
      > --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "dc1reg" <dc1reg@>
      wrote:
      >
      >

      >
      >

      > > This summer I had a total blockage at the screen on the pickup
      tube
      > > (which killed the engine until I switched to the reserve
      tank).
      >
      >

      > > The boatyard service manager told me its a mistake to install
      a
      >
      screen

      > > on the pickup tube since you want any junk to make it to
      the
      >
      filter.

      > > Based on my experience I'm thinking he's
      right.
      >
      >

      > > Dick
      Greene

      >
      >

      > > J42 #48 (Aug
      2000)
      >
      >

      > > -- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "tkeffer" <keffer@>
      wrote:
      > >
      >

      > > > Will do. My pickup tube has a screen at the end. I've checked
      it
      >
      and

      > > > it's clear, but I'm suspecting there is a partial
      blockage
      >
      somewhere

      > > > along the way, perhaps closer to the
      filter.
      > >
      >

      > > > Thanks,
      Robert

      > >
      >

      > > > -
      tk

      > >
      >

      > > > --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Thuss"
      robert@
      > > >
      wrote:

      > > >
      >

      > > > > The other thing you may want to check is the bottom end of
      the
      >
      fuel

      > > > > pickup. Mine was flat and close to the bottom of the tank
      and
      >
      would

      > > > > easily get blocked. A mechanic told me its better to have a
      bit
      >
      of

      > >
      an

      > > > > angle so that any junk in the tank (algae, etc) will get
      picked
      >
      up

      > >
      and

      > > > > filtered out rather than blocking the pickup. So we cut a
      small
      > >
      angle

      > > > > off the end and it seemed to
      help.
      > > >
      >

      > > > > Robert
      Thuss
      > > > > Jade USA 50777 (hull
      #19)
      > > >
      >

      > >
      >

      > >
      >
    • tkeffer
      (sorry for the null post that went out earlier. Seems to be a glitch with the Yahoo HTML editor. This time, I ll use the stock text editor) Reed s experiences
      Message 2 of 19 , Dec 12, 2008
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        (sorry for the null post that went out earlier. Seems to be a glitch
        with the Yahoo HTML editor. This time, I'll use the stock text editor)

        Reed's experiences very closely mirrors mine, described at the start
        of this thread.

        I'm fairly convinced my problems were due to the pickup tube being
        blocked, similar to Dick Greene and Newt Merrill's experiences. (Of
        course, 3 months ago I was equally "convinced" the problem was
        insufficient baffling in the tank. :-))

        The tube has a screen on the bottom, which in my case was resting
        against the bottom of the tank. It's easy to imagine a bit of gunk
        gathering around the inlet and blocking it. So, I replaced the tube
        with a bit of PEX tubing with no screen, sized so the inlet is about
        1/2" above the bottom. We'll see on next year's trip back up the
        Washington coast whether this makes any difference. I also added a
        vacuum gauge (actually a nifty gauge from Racor
        [http://tinyurl.com/5ktoq7%5d that records max vacuum, so you don't have
        to be there to actually witness the reading).

        Another thing I've learned in talking to other owners and some diesel
        mechanics around here (Portland, Oregon area) is that some fuel can be
        quite dirty in this area. They recommend using a 10 micron primary
        filter, instead of the 2 I had been using. It won't block as quickly
        (leading to fuel starvation), but the 2 micron secondary filter will
        still catch the little stuff.

        Still unexplained is why my engine would cut out on the port tank as
        well, although not nearly as often.

        -Tom Keffer
        --- In j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com, "rersk" <rersk@...> wrote:
        >
        > After I installed a vacuum gauge between the engine fuel pump and
        the
        > Racor fuel filter, I noticed increasing vacuum suction after several
        > hours of motoring. Activating my by-pass Racor filter, I saw no
        > change in vacuum and concluded there was another obstruction in the
        > fuel system between the pick-up and the gauge. I switched the fuel
        > return hose to the pick-up fitting on the tank, and the fuel intake
        > hose to the return fitting on the tank and...problem solved, no
        > excessive vacuum. Later I removed and cleaned the entire pick-up
        > hose and fitting on the tank - no sign of dirt or obstruction.
        > Replaced the hoses on their proper tank fittings and the problem re-
        > occured. Next I'll try removing the screen on the pick-up hose and
        > angling the cut end of the hose where it makes contact with the tank
        > bottom. It is interesting that the return hose also has a screen
        but
        > showed no excessive vacuum. I also have a 30 gal. port tank and it
        > has never shown excessive vacuum on the fuel intake line.
        >
        > Reed Erskine s/v Cayenne hull #65
      • Richard Greene
        The vacuum gauge will be a great addition. I ll add one in the spring. Last year after my pickup tube problem I also replaced the stock Racor (R12) with an
        Message 3 of 19 , Dec 14, 2008
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          The vacuum gauge will be a great addition. I'll add one in the spring.
          Last year after my pickup tube problem I also replaced the stock Racor (R12) with an R20. Of course it had nothing to do with the problem of the pickup tube being clogged but I'm sure it has at least twice the filter capacity.
          As a futher update, in the fall I pulled the main tank to check for leaks and found it ok. But like others, I found a few odd screws and nuts under the tank that over time could have been a problem. Looking at the tank installation it's apparent that any hardware that is dropped near the tank will roll down to that low point below the tank. I realized this after it happened to a screw I dropped while working on the tank removal.
          Dick Greene
          Maine Sail
           Hull #48
           


          From: tkeffer <keffer@...>
          To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 9:24:41 PM
          Subject: [j4x-owners-group] Re: Insufficient baffling in fuel tank? And the screen on the pickup tube

          (sorry for the null post that went out earlier. Seems to be a glitch
          with the Yahoo HTML editor. This time, I'll use the stock text editor)

          Reed's experiences very closely mirrors mine, described at the start
          of this thread.

          I'm fairly convinced my problems were due to the pickup tube being
          blocked, similar to Dick Greene and Newt Merrill's experiences. (Of
          course, 3 months ago I was equally "convinced" the problem was
          insufficient baffling in the tank. :-))

          The tube has a screen on the bottom, which in my case was resting
          against the bottom of the tank. It's easy to imagine a bit of gunk
          gathering around the inlet and blocking it. So, I replaced the tube
          with a bit of PEX tubing with no screen, sized so the inlet is about
          1/2" above the bottom. We'll see on next year's trip back up the
          Washington coast whether this makes any difference. I also added a
          vacuum gauge (actually a nifty gauge from Racor
          [http://tinyurl. com/5ktoq7] that records max vacuum, so you don't have
          to be there to actually witness the reading).

          Another thing I've learned in talking to other owners and some diesel
          mechanics around here (Portland, Oregon area) is that some fuel can be
          quite dirty in this area. They recommend using a 10 micron primary
          filter, instead of the 2 I had been using. It won't block as quickly
          (leading to fuel starvation), but the 2 micron secondary filter will
          still catch the little stuff.

          Still unexplained is why my engine would cut out on the port tank as
          well, although not nearly as often.

          -Tom Keffer
          --- In j4x-owners-group@ yahoogroups. com, "rersk" <rersk@...> wrote:

          >
          > After I installed a vacuum gauge between the engine fuel pump and
          the
          > Racor fuel filter, I noticed increasing vacuum suction after several
          > hours of motoring. Activating my by-pass Racor filter, I saw no
          > change in vacuum and concluded there was another obstruction in the
          > fuel system between the pick-up and the gauge. I switched the fuel
          > return hose to the pick-up fitting on the tank, and the fuel intake
          > hose to the return fitting on the tank and...problem solved, no
          > excessive vacuum. Later I removed and cleaned the entire pick-up
          > hose and fitting on the tank - no sign of dirt or obstruction.
          > Replaced the hoses on their proper tank fittings and the problem re-
          > occured. Next I'll try removing the screen on the pick-up hose and
          > angling the cut end of the hose where it makes contact with the tank
          > bottom. It is interesting that
          the return hose also has a screen
          but
          > showed no excessive vacuum. I also have a 30 gal. port tank and it
          > has never shown excessive vacuum on the fuel intake line.
          >
          > Reed Erskine s/v Cayenne hull #65


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