If it ain't broke ?

Appleyard

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If it ain\'t broke ?

Apologies for bringing up a subject which has been dealt with before. We are about to start our third year since buying the boat. I am aware of the problems which dirty diesel causes,so I wonder whether I should drain the tank,clean and refill. However up till now there has not been any sign of contamination of any sort,the glass in the primary filter shows no water,the filters look reasonably clean when I replace them,and the engine starts and runs perfectly. The fuel tank is situated above the engine,and the take-off point is about 50 mm above the bottom of the tank which is formed into a sump with a drain plug fitted,so any gunge etc would seem to be below the outlet.I fill the tank to the brim over the winter layup ,with an additive which will hopefully help to keep the system ok.
Should I leave well alone,or risk stirring up loose contaminants by draining and cleaning? There is no access to the tank apart from the filler pipe,and removing the tank would be a major op. Last year we had some rough weather which I would have expected to stir the contents of the tank a bit,but it did not seem to have any effect. The boat is a 14 year old Westerly 35,kept in the Ionian. I am tempted to leave things as they are,change the filters at the beginning of the season and keep an eye on the glass bowl.Any opinions?
 

vyv_cox

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

On the 'if it ain't broke' theme, there are three recognised maintenance management philosophies: breakdown maintenance, time based maintenance, condition based maintenance.

The first needs no explanation. The second is widely practised for reciprocating equipment, engines, etc and entails changing oil, filters, checking fan belts etc on a regular basis. Condition based maintenance requires that adequate means are used to ensure that the equipment continues to run withing known limits. In complex machinery the methods used can be highly complex. In the case of your fuel tank it would seem that the methods you have described have covered it perfectly well. As far as you can tell the condition of the tank and the fuel coming from it are acceptable for further use. So my advice would be don't do anything but continue to monitor its condition.

An additional precaution might be to use Soltron. My tank is older than yours and has never experienced problems, but when I changed the primary fuel filter two years ago it was distinctly brown. I added Soltron before the start of last season and when last changed the filters were white again. Its promotional literature claims that it will clean up the bug from tanks. If it works - great: if it doesn't, well you haven't lost much.
 

savageseadog

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

Just change the filters only do anything if they seem really gooey, I mean really bad. Do a second change during the season once you done say 50 hours.
 

AliM

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

Just a comment about the diesel-bug treatment... PBO (or possibly YM) in march's issue (or possibly April's) did a comparison of the diesel-bug preventatives/treatments. Soltron did not perform well. I suggest you take a look and consider the better-performing alternatives. (I must admit that we've been using Soltron for some time, and never had any problem!)
 

Appleyard

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

Thanks for the comments chaps. I did in fact read the article re additives and use Soltron for what it seems to be worth,and have had no probs to date. As S.S.dog says if the filters seem clean,then there is no crap coming through the system,so I should leave well alone and change them regularly.
 

vyv_cox

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

The PBO article was suspect, IMHO. I doubted the independence of the tester and didn't think they tested Soltron adequately. Similarity with anchor tests that prove that CQRs don't work - when I last looked at the mobo forum, a very long time ago, Soltron was highly rated by all users. It most certainly worked in my case, eradicated a problem that clearly existed.
 

Kawasaki

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Re: If it ain\'t broke ?

Since the end of last season I have been adding Fuel Doctor on each fill.
Never had any fuel probs, it was the fact that a Mate did.
Fuel Doctor cleaned/ flushed or whatever they do to His Vessel.
Centifugally swished it out etc etc.
Then He bought a quantity of the additive to use futhermore.
So I bought a jar off Him.
2 weeks ago when cruising along lovely the eng suddenly starting missing and belching stuff out the exhaust!
Limped Home ok.
The Primary filter, the glass bowl type was full off Crud and the paper filter on top was dirty.
I cleaned and fitted a new filter and the secondary filter.
Used about 200 litres since with no additive and no probs and the glass bowl still looks clear!
23 year old Mobo with the origional tank
Makes One wonder! /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 
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