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Old 09-07-2007, 01:39 PM   #1
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Just wanting to bounce some ideas off the members here.

I have a Vetus P4.19 engine in my boat, and generally I'm pretty happy with it. It's a marinised Peugeot XUD9 engine, of the type found in their 309 series vehicles. I have a 450L main tank in the keel and a 25L day tank (plastic) at the aft end of the engine bay.

It's quite tricky to see the level of diesel in the day tank, the plastic is only mildly translucent at best and there is no level gauge on either that or the main tank. There is a manual diaphragm pump to move diesel between the two, also located in the engine bay, meaning that on an extended motor-sailing trip you have to periodically open the engine bay and hand pump diesel into the day tank, watching carefully the entire time to see when it is full, which is a dirty smelly and time consuming task. We suffered some engine issues recently caused by air and froth being sucked in to the lift pump from the day tank when the level in the day tank was quite low and we were motoring across a bar.

What I have been told by a diesel mechanic here is that the day tank must stay, despite me wanting to get rid of it. The boat is deep-keeled and the fuel tank is down at the bottom of the keel. With the size and capacity of the lift pump, the mechanic doubts the ability of the pump to handle pumping diesel from the bottom of the main tank into the injector pump and hence the engine at the point where the level in the main tank gets below a certain point -- he warned that as the pressure in the main tank dropped we'd run the risk of burning the lift pump out.

Does that seem reasonable?

In that case what can people suggest for me to get a better handle on what's going on in the day tank? Can a level gauge be retro-fitted to a tank of this type? Should I get an electric pump of some kind to replace the manual diaphragm pump, and if so how can I get control over the amount of fuel being pumped into the day tank?

Has anyone got any other suggestions for things that should work?

= New South Wales, Queensland,
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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You can get rid of the day tank by installing an electric lift pump. Your engine should have a fuel return line which returns unused fuel back to the keel tank. This system works just fine on my boat.

For fuel guages, take a look at the tank tender.


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Old 09-08-2007, 12:11 AM   #3
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Hi ,

Yes Trim has it , Install an electric 12 volt pump to deliver fuel directly to the engine's mechanical fuel pump (via the water separator/fuel filter)

Consider leaving the gravity day tank, in case of an unlike event of a 12v pump failure.

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Old 09-12-2007, 02:18 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=MMNETSEA;12977]Install an electric 12 volt pump to deliver fuel directly to the engine's mechanical fuel pump (via the water separator/fuel filter)

Consider leaving the gravity day tank, in case of an unlike event of a 12v pump failure.

Attachment 193

I would support this suggestion but add:

1. Be sure to put your Racor or similar filter in BETWEEN the 12v pump and the tank. Fuel solids can destroy a 12v pump.

2. Carry a spare 12V pump in addition to keeping the day tank. They are not expensive and good insurance.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
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Hello, I did away with the lift pump on my Yanmar 3cylinder motor by fitting an electric fuel pump. It took a bit to find one that was diesel fuel friendly. A petrol pump may not be suitable for diesel. Don't know which you need. It is easy to wire in a pump, directions are usually enclosed with the pump. A float switch as found in the bilge could work if it can be fitted to the day tank but I would think that there is no need to have the day tank.


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Old 09-18-2007, 11:00 AM   #6
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Hi Peter,

Good advice , an electric petrol pump is fine for diesel - diesel has less effect on a diaphragm.


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