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hanschristian.org • View topic - Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Moderators: warmrain, mimoza

Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby mclear » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Hello everyone, new owner here of s/v Windwalker, HC33 #87. I've got many challenges with her, as she's been sitting in drydock unloved :( for about 5 years including living through Hurricane Irma. The urgent issue I'm hoping for help with today regards contamination in the fuel tank. I had it drained and refilled and the Yanmar was running well at the dock. But then we got out on the water, which agitated the tank, and the Racor filled up with water and gunk in about 15 minutes and we lost most power and hobbled back to the dock.

I've put on a bigger Racor (500), but I also want to get the fuel polished before actually trying to go anywhere. The fuel polishing guy (who drained the tank) says he can't get access through the tiny existing fill and supply lines. He wants me to cut an access port, and may as well add a gauge at the same time.

Would be interested in thoughts on this. For one thing, how does one drill a hole in a tank safely? Is there a better way to handle this? Get a different fuel polishing guy?

Mark C.

P.S., do not presume that I actually know what I'm talking here, because I don't :)
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby gigglingdolphins » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:43 pm

We had our fuel polished about a year ago. They removed the metal plate that covered the fuel tank to gain access. Since that was such a pain to remove we had then install a 6" access plate for future access to the tank. I can post photos later.
Jack & Sue
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HC 33T Hull# 80 Dec. 1984

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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby mclear » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:05 pm

Thanks for the tip, Jack & Sue. Photos would be great.
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby clonjers » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:42 pm

If you decide to remove the cover yourself be sure to mark it in one spot so you can line it back up. The cover will only fit one way, although it looks like you can just line the bolts and holes up any place, you can't. I learned the hard way.
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby andyv94 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:41 am

I dealt with the same issue and the small opening under the sink is a pain in the ass! We ended up re-doing the cover because we didn’t have the original factory one and it would leak when filled up to its limit!

I would love to see what everybody’s tank cover looks like
Andy & Kristy
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby mclear » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:29 am

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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby andyv94 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:12 pm

That’s not what mine looks like, mmmh?! Sorry to sound like a di** lol but why is it so dirty? : )
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:30 pm

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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby andyv94 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:28 pm

I know all about that, my boat is Puerto Rico but our marina rocks
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby builder » Wed May 16, 2018 10:16 am

Good to know I am not the only one curious enough to take on tank access. I have removed almost everything possible to get at the existing tank covers on my HC33. I am at the point where I can touch all the bolts but have not yet tried moving all of them or the lids. There are 36 bolts on my fuel access- 4 of the 18 that I tried, the heads broke off. So I am now soaking the access plate bolts of all 4 tanks in WD40 and getting prepared for another try.

Any advice on what to expect or what works best is appreciated.
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Re: Diesel tank access for fuel polishing

Postby scleary » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:47 pm

Hello,

I bought a 43T in 2012, then got pregnant (not me the female), then had a newborn, then started a divorce, and courtesy of the family court system a mere 2 yrs later finished the divorce (i got to keep the boat and equal time with the kids!). Moral of that story, boat sat from fall 2012 until fall 2017 in my back yard! Many other morals, don't get me started!

Anyway, my very first voyage fall of 2017 was 8 hours motoring, so I was more than a little worried about the fuel (despite biocide and diesel stabilizer). What I did was polish the fuel myself using the filters already in place. This might be a good option for problematic access to tanks.

I pulled the hose off the inlet side of the engine fuel filter (standard single Racor setup) and put an electric transfer pump in the line that was designed for fuel transfer. I then pulled the line off the outlet side of the filter and hooked it directly to the return line for the tanks. I ran it through the filter for 3 days, regularly swapping the right/left tanks. This is picking up the fuel in exactly the same manner the engine would. I swapped out the filter before I started, and after I finished.

While I can't comment on how this worked relative to hiring someone to do it, I can say my engine purred like a kitten for the 8 hour motoring trip after the boat sat for 5 full years with the same fuel in it, no smoke, not the slightest of hiccups. I got the pump on Amazon, don't have the details off the top of my head, but I know it was under $50. Took me about 15 minutes to get it hooked up.

As a bonus, if I ever get a bad batch of fuel, also a great way to evacuate the tanks too.

Thanks,
Steve
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