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Old 05-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #1
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Hello from a reinstated long time member. I up graded my Volvo MD-17 to the new D2-40. I have a fuel starvation problem. Air in the racor bowl during heavy seas. Last year Rick had the same problem I do. Does anyone know what Ricks final solution was? I also

am using the Racor 2000 prefilter sytem. I have been using 2 Micron filters. Is that my problem?

What micron filter should I use?
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by andries View Post
Hello from a reinstated long time member. I up graded my Volvo MD-17 to the new D2-40. I have a fuel starvation problem. Air in the racor bowl during heavy seas. Last year Rick had the same problem I do. Does anyone know what Ricks final solution was? I also

am using the Racor 2000 prefilter sytem. I have been using 2 Micron filters. Is that my problem?

What micron filter should I use?
Hello Andries,

I think Rick (if it was the same Rick) posted this problem in other boards, not sure what solutions were found to the problem.

Your statement "Air in the racor bowl during heavy seas" is indicative of the fuel intake tube in the tank picking up air as a result of a. the level of fuel in the tank being very low, or b. the fuel return line "splashing" fuel and causing frothing, or c. leaks between the tank and the filter, allowing air to get in.

Therefore if air is seen in the Racor bowl then it is the result of a leak/s or a design fault in the tank's fuel lines, or that the tank's fuel level was so low that the boats motion in heavy seas allowed air to be picked up.

The above may provide answers but not a solution. In any event would need to know a lot more regarding the specification and installation of the fueling system.

Richard
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I experienced a similar problem with my 30 year-old Volvo many years ago. After tightening / replacing every fitting in the fuel system - the problem persisted. I eventually bought and installed a new Yanmar. Still - the problem persisted

The problem was solved when I removed the fuel lift tube from the tank... where I discovered what appeared to be a gooey "rubber band" clogging the bottom of the tube. It was some sort of bio-growth and necessitated my having to cut a hole and installing an access plate on top of the tank to clean-out the ugliest living creature I've ever seen, or smelled!

I concluded that a strong vacum was being created by the severe restriction... perhaps allowing air to find it's way through the fluid fittings. I know it sounds hard to believe... but the problem went away and never returned.

I never liked that old green engine, anyway

Now-a-daze I add a bit of diesel fuel treatment whenever I add fuel and try to keep the tanks topped-up in order to help reduce the ammount of water condensation... which promotes bio-growth in a diesel tank.

I've installed a Yanmar on this, our newest boat, as well and this time I've added a manual fuel pump (like on my outboard fuel line) between the tank and Racor which makes bleeding the injectors a breeze, an electric fuel pump to pressureize the system, a vacum guage to the Racor cap and only use 10 micron filters. The vacum guage has more than paid for itself because I no longer needlessly change filter elements every time I hear the engine hiccup... thinking the filter is clogged and have not had one issue with the fuel system.

Only yesterday, a young friend parked his boat on the rocks just outside our marina because his engine suddenly quit running. Luckily, we got him back to his mooring without too much dammage. The first thing we looked at was the Racor filter... which appeared to have a thick black sock wrapped around it! The kid bought the old boat two years ago and told me he couldn't remember the last time he'd changed the filter (I suspect he never had) and we reckoned the core problem was because the boat had been sitting on the hard, in tropical heat, with a near empty fuel tank long enough for the bottom of the tank to come alive. He could have easily lost the boat!

Enough of this ramble... I have enough problems of my own to work on today.

To life!

Kirk
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by andries View Post
Hello from a reinstated long time member. I up graded my Volvo MD-17 to the new D2-40. I have a fuel starvation problem. Air in the racor bowl during heavy seas. Last year Rick had the same problem I do. Does anyone know what Ricks final solution was? I also

am using the Racor 2000 prefilter sytem. I have been using 2 Micron filters. Is that my problem?

What micron filter should I use?
I had this very problem all last year and have found the perplexing solution:

News Bulletin from Volvo on this specific problem as it relates

to the D2 40 engines. I guess this has been a big problem with other

catamaran builders who adopted this engine in the newer boats.

Morelli & Melvin boats had the same problem and they solved the

problem by putting the inline fuel pumps. In the NEWS BRIEF by Volvo

they had photos of the little pumps in-line on Morelli cats. The

pumps do solve the problem but the way that Volvo suggests solving

the problem is not by adding these pumps, but to lower the fuel

RETURN lines to almost the bottom of the tank and that will also

solve the problem. We chose this method because I had a very good

diesel mechanic already looking inside the tank at the time we

learned this so he just extended the fuel return lines to the bottom

of the tank with copper tubing.

also, check your bleed screws on the engine.

Mojo
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:34 AM   #5
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Mojo,

Thanks very much for returning and adding another solution.

When looking for a 12volt pump - try automotive truck spares outlets rather than paying that extraordinary premium to a chandler.

Here is one that retails for the equivalent of $US 15.00 in South East Asia :-

12Volt_Pump_2.jpg

These are very useful to have in the engine room connected (or just mounted but not connected)

to move fuel when problems arrive.

Richard
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andries View Post

Hello from a reinstated long time member. I up graded my Volvo MD-17 to the new D2-40. I have a fuel starvation problem. Air in the racor bowl during heavy seas. Last year Rick had the same problem I do. Does anyone know what Ricks final solution was? I also

am using the Racor 2000 prefilter sytem. I have been using 2 Micron filters. Is that my problem?

What micron filter should I use?
I had a Volvo Dealer tell me that the crimp fit at the hand pump, the lip under the primer ***. will leak, he tested 10, out of 10 they all leaked. The fix is to apply a sealant to the bottom side of the prime pump and use enough, or as much as it takes to cover the lip as to close the air leak.

Rollo
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:56 AM   #7
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I recently had issue's with the R-12-S model of Racor, I have a duel system for obvious reasons. Non the less after changing filters a couple of times the problem arouse, air in the system. I found the source, the filters them self's were restricting the fuel to the point that the pump would start to cavitate. I found this out by putting the fuel line from the tank directly to the pump and eliminating the Racors entirely, it The D2-40 runs as new. So the next step is to find a replacement system or go with a larger Micron filter, from what I've read 2 Micron is to small for primary's, got to go larger. So the mystery is solved, the problem has been discovered, next step is resolution, I think maybe Baldwin USCG approved duel system will eliminate all future headaches from the Racors.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf plugin-SeaSkillsTwoMicronFiltrationWhitePaper.pdf (17.9 KB, 1 views)
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Rollo,

If your primary filter is clogged, then it's working! Don't bypass it, because the Racor filters are much cheaper than the fuel filters on the engines themselves. The secondary filters on the engine are 2 micron filters, so it's not the size of the filter, it's the quality of the fuel!

We are on a power catamaran, and use a lot more fuel per hour than any sailboat, and we use 2 micron filters in the Racors. We change them once or twice each year, and haven't had any fuel problems since the last of the "bad" fuel was used and the tanks were cleaned (our boat was not very well maintained by the charter company who originally owned it).

I've written about this before - diesel fuel has about a one-year shelf life, and too many sailboats have old fuel and dirty fuel tanks as a result. One can install a fuel polishing system, or be sure that the fuel is completely used within about 14 months. Also, if you are buying your fuel outside of developed nations or in the tropics, you should be including an algae-suppressing additive.

It's a fairly easy job to determine if your fuel is dirty - insert a siphon into the inspection port of your fuel tank, and remove fuel from the bottom of the tank and put it in a clear container. Let it sit undisturbed for a few hours and see what you have for residue on the bottom of the container. You might be surprised at the water and gunk you see. If the fuel is clear and there's no water, then you might revisit the mounts and style of Racor filter you're using.

Jeanne
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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The primary ( the one that came on the engine) is one micron, the duel system that I have are both two micron. After the install of the New D2-40 I had the fuel polished and the guys that did it said that my fuel didn't even need to be polished, however just the extra precaution. I do use fuel stabilizer annually and its always clean in the bowels, never had to change a clogged filter. I think Racor had a bad batch of filters as I've never encountered this problem in the past when doing annual maintenance. I pulled off the inspection cover with the pick up tube and pumped ten gallons out just to see what was in there, small particles of dead algae and rust, no water, have a steel tank, that's what they came with and will no doubt have to be changed out one of these days just for piece of mind. At this point I don't know if I should go up to five micron for the duel system or just keep trying to find a couple of good two micron Racor's, however I'm convinced that the filters are the problem.
Thanks for your response, all info is good info.
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