Fuel problems at Summers' end

Middle of September 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlán, Mexico
 We came back to Marina Mazatlán on November 22.


It was time for us to move to a different slip because ours was in a noisy area and less breezy. A good slip for hurricane season but that is past now. We fired up the 38 hp Beta diesel motor and were getting it warmed up and us ready when after about 10 min in the engine stopped. After much searching out why the engine stopped we found our diesel fuel tank had lost its siphon after sitting for six plus months.


 We had installed an electric fuel pump for just this scenario.




So we were going to use the Mr Gasket 12D electric diesel fuel pump to get the fuel out of the fuel tank but it needed priming (or stopped working) also and it is not self priming. We first tried to figure out the 3 way valve we installed but did not label properly! Debbie had to call the manufacturer to get the schematic so we could figure which position to set the valve. Then after talking the Beta Marine we found out the diesel pump we installed (Mr Gasket 12D)  was too much pressure for the engine fuel pump to handle and could damage it. The Mr Gasket 12D pumps at 4-7 psi with 35 gal an hour. Possibly the Mr Gasket 12E is a better pump but it seems rated the same. It handles more fuels and gets better ratings on Amazon.



We decided to convert the electric diesel pump for polishing our fuel but that will be another project for another day 


We disconnected the fuel hose from the Racor filter and used a hand pump to fill the diesel fuel from the tank. We connected the white sanitation 1\2" (I think) hose to the fuel line and pumped the diesel fuel right out of the tank and into a bucket. Then we connected the fuel line to the Racor filter and it was primed.. 


 Still some crap in the fuel you can see in the bottom of the bowl.

Then we cleaned the Racor filter and replaced the filter element in it.

We connected the fuel line and tried to prime the engine out through the injectors. I thought it was done so I tightened the injector lines and we tried to start the motor but no doing. So what the heck? I called Beta Marine and asked why not? Beta Marine told me the injectors were self-priming, no need to crack them open and that could cause seal problems. He said to install a bulb pump in-line after the Racor filter. It pumps more than the little primer pump on the engine.


Ok so we took a bus to “deportes Alexterior” and purchased a bulb pump. They are the kind that is on the out-board motor gasoline.






We installed that by cutting the diesel line after the Racor filter.



The electric diesel pump is to the left and is green.
The new bulb pump we installed is next to it.

Bulb pump installed.

It was good because we wanted to make that line longer
as it was close to the exhaust manifold.

Replacing Beta fuel filter.

Cracking bleeding bolt on Beta fuel filter.


Then we used the pump (bulb or Beta hand pump, bulb is faster) to bleed filter.


Any way a lot of pumping and nothing happing in the starting department. So we see a bolt coming out of the high pressure pump where we think the prime is not happening but we are not sure if it Is for priming the system. Any way we go back to old school and replace the Beta fuel filter. Before we replace it we pump with the bulb pump and sure enough the diesel fuel came out the top.  So we back fill the new filter and install it. Then we go old school and crack the injector fuel lines. Then we pump the bulb pump till we see good diesel coming out of each injector line. We tighten them up and Debbie gives the motor a good cranking, and wa la - it starts up! So we had some dirty fuel we cleaned out of the Racor filter and a complete engine prime form the tank out through the injectors. It was suggested by Dennis on Dolce Vita (another Islander Freeport here in Marina Mazatlán) that because our tank is higher than the engine it is extra work pumping the fuel all the way back into the tank. So disconnect the fuel line after the motor and pump into a bucket and it would be easier. Also without cracking the injectors we could determine when good fuel is passing through. Maybe next time.

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