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How often do you change the fue/water seperator filter?-gctid392515

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    How often do you change the fue/water seperator filter?-gctid392515

    I was enjoying a nice leisurely cruise when my port engine died. The boat is a 1987 Avanti 3450 with twin US Marine 454's. I quickly checked the gauges (oil pressure, water temp, fuel level with 1/2 tank) and all seemed ok. I sat for a moment to ponder then attempted to start the engines again. Port engine would not start. Starboard engine started fine so I began to make way on one engine... for about 2 minutes then my only running engine died. Both engines dead in the water - not a pleasant feeling. I did make it back to the marina safely then I started searching the problem. After all other checks, I changed both fuel/water seperator filters. First I must mention that I installed the fuel/water seperator filters, one for each engine, shortly after I bought the boat twelve years ago and just before I had installed a FloScan fuel flow meter. After I changed the filters, both engines seem to start and run fine. It had been a while since I had changed the filters so I am curious about 2 things:

    1) how often should these filters be changed, and

    2) how probable is it that both filters would stop each engine at the same (almost) time?

    #2
    Mine get changed annually. It's like an oil change, why take a chance for $8.00? Yes, it's entirely probable that both engines would fail within a short period of one another. There's obviously some water in your fuel tank, and both engines will be drawing from it, hence, when one fails because of water, the other will not be far behind. I'd be looking at removing the water from your fuel tank asap. It'll cause nothing but grief if left there.
    Bob Hawes.
    Kelowna, B.C.
    1998 Trophy 2052 WA
    4.3 Vortec, A1 G2

    Comment


      #3
      One other bit of information was that I had just had the bottom re-painted which meant that the travel lift would/could stir up all the trash on the bottom of the fuel tank. How do you go about removing the water from the fuel tank? Is there a special pump to pump gasoline and do you just pump a small amount from the bottom of the tank? or do you just put an additive such as Sta-Bil?

      Also, last evening I took her out for about a 1/4 mile test run just to test the new fuel filters. All seemed to run fine so I decided to shut off the engines and just sit and enjoy the peaceful quiet for a bit. When I attempted to restart the engines, the port engine seemed to lock and not turn over. In fact, it seemed to be such a strain on the battery that the starboard engine (which started fine) wanted to die. I tried to start the port engine twice, same results: engine would not turn over and all battery lights dimmed. I thought, that's just great, so I returned one a single engine. The puzzleing thing is that once tied up at the marina I thought I would try to start the port engine again -- it started fine. Could that be a slight timing issue or perhaps corroded terminals on the starter? I will check that later today if I have time.

      Comment


        #4
        ChuckDavis wrote:
        I was enjoying a nice leisurely cruise when my port engine died. The boat is a 1987 Avanti 3450 with twin US Marine 454's. I quickly checked the gauges (oil pressure, water temp, fuel level with 1/2 tank) and all seemed ok. I sat for a moment to ponder then attempted to start the engines again. Port engine would not start. Starboard engine started fine so I began to make way on one engine... for about 2 minutes then my only running engine died. Both engines dead in the water - not a pleasant feeling. I did make it back to the marina safely then I started searching the problem. After all other checks, I changed both fuel/water seperator filters. First I must mention that I installed the fuel/water seperator filters, one for each engine, shortly after I bought the boat twelve years ago and just before I had installed a FloScan fuel flow meter. After I changed the filters, both engines seem to start and run fine. It had been a while since I had changed the filters so I am curious about 2 things:

        1) how often should these filters be changed, and

        2) how probable is it that both filters would stop each engine at the same (almost) time?
        1) More often than 12 years! rod

        2) Depending on what was in the fuel tank, and that both pick-up tubes are identical and are in close poximity to one another....., it is very probable that both filters would become restricted simultaneously.

        In your case, they've had 11 years, 11 months, 29 days to get there.

        BTW, you're not using these in front of your Floscan sensors, are you?



        ChuckDavis wrote:
        One other bit of information was that I had just had the bottom re-painted which meant that the travel lift would/could stir up all the trash on the bottom of the fuel tank. How do you go about removing the water from the fuel tank? Is there a special pump to pump gasoline and do you just pump a small amount from the bottom of the tank? or do you just put an additive such as Sta-Bil?

        Also, last evening I took her out for about a 1/4 mile test run just to test the new fuel filters. All seemed to run fine so I decided to shut off the engines and just sit and enjoy the peaceful quiet for a bit. When I attempted to restart the engines, the port engine seemed to lock and not turn over. In fact, it seemed to be such a strain on the battery that the starboard engine (which started fine) wanted to die. I tried to start the port engine twice, same results: engine would not turn over and all battery lights dimmed. I thought, that's just great, so I returned one a single engine. The puzzleing thing is that once tied up at the marina I thought I would try to start the port engine again -- it started fine. Could that be a slight timing issue or perhaps corroded terminals on the starter? I will check that later today if I have time.
        Chuck, I highly doubt that our fuel tanks build up debris to the tune of being disturbed and agitated simply from being transported by a travel lift machine.

        I think that our fuel tanks are being shaken up and agitated each time while out in the water.

        IOW, I doubt that any debris has much chance of staying put for any length of time.

        On that note, have you removed the pick-up tubes and looked at the screens?

        I'd recommend doing this.

        Not only debris can cause issues here, but also corrosion at the screens.

        As for fuel filters...... the standard Marine fuel filters are not really a true water separating filter.



        In order to have a more true water separating ability, we need to go to something like the Parker RACOR systems.

        These are a bit spendy regarding the initial installation, but once installed, only the cartridge needs to be changed.

        (if you know your base adapter thread size, the Racor cartridge and bottom bowl can become retro-fit)



        As for your NO Start issue, this may not be fuel related, but is perhaps electrical.

        Need more info.
        Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

        Comment


          #5
          I find that water can appear in fuel system on occasion for no clear reason.I always drain sep. when I SEE a bit of water in bowl usually a few times a season. I say SEE because I have the sep mounted on inside"side"of boat(port) just below downrigger mount. I can easily see it from op. position.And yes its got a see thru bowl. The instructions say only for outboards, I checked this out a bit and got conflicting answers as usual. Marine surveyor who does my boat assures me the see thru bowl is not a problem with i/o setup like mine because sep. drains to deck which scuppers to the ocean not the engine compartment.I went with that advice.Anyhow before I head out over the bar to the briney deep I want to know at a glance that Ive got good clear fuel.Have yet to be towed in for any reason,40 plus years.

          Comment


            #6
            There should be NO confusion regarding USCG rules.

            The clear RACOR bowl is NOT legal for gasoline I/B's where it would be mounted within an enclosed engine bay.

            I suppose if it's mounted outside of the engine bay, it may be legal and no different than if an O/B scenario.

            Best to check the regulations.

            .
            Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

            Comment


              #7
              Rick Ive never been able to find the specific reference to within enclosed engine bay, so the regs do seem to read that all inboards must have metal bowls? However as you say and as Ive done,mount the filter outside and it should be ok,surveyor agrees. Would love to see an official acknoweledgement of this ,since insurance etc is a concern.IMO outside is far superior for several reasons.

              I wouldnt have a filter in the enclosed bay no matter what it was made of,too many fumes spillage etc when servicing

              Comment


                #8
                Chcuk, don't you have 2 separate fuel tanks? If so, it's extremely unlikely that both engines would experience a plugged filter within a few minutes of one another. And the Travel Lift jostles your boat WAY less than running it on the water does.

                Bad fuel is a possibility, but also low likelihood. I'd keep looking.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Rick: No, its not been 12 years since I last changed the filter! Thats just when I first installed the filtering system. However, it was 2010 when I last changed the filter.Mike: It is a singled 200 gal tank.I have taken a picture of the setup for clarity (hopefully it will upload correctly). The actual filter is a Sierra 18-7845. In the photo you can also see the FloScan sensor just past the filter.

                  [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/696620=28965-FuelFilterFloScan1.jpg[/img]

                  [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/696620=28964-FuelFilter2.jpg[/img](I tried to re-size the original picture and now it may be too small - if you can't see the image, I will attempt to send a bigger image)To check the pick-up do I access them thru the openning after removing the fuel sending unit?I have not yet had time to check the starter and battery terminals to see if that is related to the starting issue. Hopefully I can get to that this evening.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Chuck, the images are just fine. Nice and clear.

                    The porting ....... In/Out arrows on the filter bases ...... appear to be correct.

                    As for the pick up tube and screens, these are attached to the 90* fittings where you'll see the anti-siphon valves and your fuel lines connecting up.

                    These will simply unscrew from the fuel tank threaded "bung", and will come up and out.

                    Unlike cars/trucks, these are separate from the fuel level indicators (fuel gauge sending units).

                    Here is a link that will show you installations and dip tubes.

                    However, not all will have the screens at the bottom.

                    .
                    Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                    2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                    Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                    Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                    Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Those filters are probably full of rust after 12 years. You had something else going on for both to act up like that most likely.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Spoke to soon. I just read more. Single tank for fuel and you could have had fuel issues. I must of missed where I thought you had not changed them in 12 years.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I wasn't very clear when I wrote about installing the fuel filter system 12 years ago! ops I have changed them several times but not on a regular schedule.

                          I will attempt to examine the fuel pickup tubes but in the mean time I did check the terminals/cables on the starter, solinoid and batteries, regarding the electrical starting issue. All the terminals looked dry and clean, i.e, no rust, corrosion or moisture - BUT - I did find that the POS terminal to the starting battery was not very tight. Apparently the wingnut was finger tight so I have tightened it. I know that a loose terminal wire can prevent an engine from starting but could a loose terminal cause an apparent battery strain so that lights dim and the "running" engine attempts to die?

                          ~C

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