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Fuel tank cleaning on 3870

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    Fuel tank cleaning on 3870

    I May be facing the need to clean the fuel tanks on my 1985 3870, which have no inspection ports. Only access I see is thru level indicators on top but this won’t provide much access to most of the tanks, which are steel and appear to be sound. It appears that access ports could be installed in the port tank by taking up the guest berth platform, but I can’t see a similar way with the starboard tank which I can see when pulling the refrigerator out but not much room to get across assumed position of the baffles.

    Any advice and experience on how/where to think about adding clean out accesses on this model or similar? Or otherwise getting an effective cleaning accomplished?

    #2
    Here are some old threads that I found by googling, "bayliner owners club fuel tank access port."


    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...s-for-cleaning
    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...ch-gctid548390
    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...ng-gctid739413
    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
    Anacortes, WA

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      #3
      I found that the fuel tank senders provided a useful access point. The great thing about this is the tanks are fabricated so that the very bottom of the tank is the aft center line corner. So you will be getting access to much of the settled crude.

      Try a little DIY approach. Remove the senders and fabricate a dip pipe to place in the tank. I used some cooper tubing that was connected to clear tubing to see material coming out. Attach a hand pump for fuel/oil (got mine at local Walmart) and pump to see what you have in bottom. Pump until you get clean fuel.
      Ron O'Blenis
      B 38 175 Hinos 1989
      Completed Great Loop
      https://ronandfaye.blogspot.com/

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        #4
        I agree with Ron's advice. Try the simplest thing first. A friend of mine accidentally pumped about 75 gallons of water into my starboard fuel tank last year. I thought it might be a huge problem but because the water sinks to the bottom of the tank and doesn't mix with the fuel all that much I was able to use my oil change pump through that sender unit hole to pull out all the water and about 7 gallons of contaminated fuel before I hit nice clean fuel again. I just pushed the intake hose from my pump down to the bottom of the tank, I didn't even need a dip tube or anything. You can definitely tell the difference between the gunky fuel and the good stuff. I used the jabsco oil change pump and it worked great. I would recommend using an electric pump over a hand pump though, you really should have one anyway for changing your own oil. Adding any sort of access ports to your fuel tanks would be a huge project.

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          #5
          How timely. I’m going through this same scenario right now. My fuel tanks have developed some gooey gunk that is making boating of any distance unreliable due plugging of fuel filters. I have ordered four access hatches and will install two per tank. The fuel dock at my local marina has a service that will suck the fuel out of the tanks then diesel pressure wash the interior of the tanks while vacuuming out the junk. They will polish the extracted fuel at which time a decision can be made to discard or reuse it depending on its cleanliness.
          To access the tanks I removed the midberth wood mattress support. The port tank cover is just a matter of screw removal then pry bars to break the sealant free. Only about 1/4 of the starboard tank can be exposed without some very serious surgery. However, access hatches can still be installed but just not in the most advantageous locations.
          The tanks are baffled as one would expect. I do not yet know where the baffle weep holes are located but will report back when I install the hatches. I did speak with the tank manufacturer, Coastline Industries in Bellingham, Wa. and they sent me a drawing of the tank which I will attach. Interestingly enough, the drawings differ from my tanks in that I have twice the pickup and return ports than depicted. Click image for larger version

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          Jim Gandee
          1989 3888
          Hino 175's
          Fire Escape
          [email protected]

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            #6
            1520-BS.pdf
            Jim Gandee
            1989 3888
            Hino 175's
            Fire Escape
            [email protected]

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              #7
              These are the hatches I ordered:

              https://www.ahoycaptain.com/seabuilt..._aluminum.html
              Jim Gandee
              1989 3888
              Hino 175's
              Fire Escape
              [email protected]

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                #8
                That's a hefty price tag for those. I hope you at least get a kiss with those too.
                Future 4788 Owner
                Charleston, S.C.

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                  #9
                  Yes, they’re very expensive! Doesn’t seem that they would be but after searching the internet that was the best price I could find. Now, a truly resourceful guy would just fabricate his own! Pete would be able to do that!
                  Jim Gandee
                  1989 3888
                  Hino 175's
                  Fire Escape
                  [email protected]

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                    #10
                    It cost me a boat buck to have the hatches installed the the tanks cleaned.
                    1989 3888
                    Hino 210's

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                    • Smitten
                      Smitten commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oh, yuck!

                    #11
                    Jim, I’m not looking forward to that day.....
                    P/C Pete
                    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                    1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
                    MMSI 367770440
                    1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
                    Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

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                      #12
                      When I had my 3870 tanks cleaned I had a 6" SS port installed located so the whole tank could be pressure washed with diesel and run though a professional water remover filter setup on the dock.
                      Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                      Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                      Twin 350 GM power
                      Located in Seward, AK
                      Retired marine surveyor

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                        #13
                        I built a polisher using the two Dahl's I removed from the boat and used a napa fuel pump. Hooked up a copper water line hose to the rubber hose and inserted through the sender hole. That was four years ago and I haven't needed to change my filters as often.
                        Sean
                        1987 3870
                        Crimson Pride II
                        Past Commodore Mukilteo Yacht Club
                        MMSI: 338080226

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