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Friday, March 26, 2010

Ultimate Engine Problem Solver

So here is the ultimate engine problem solver. I boxed it together from readily available yet really cool marine grade stuff. There are two filters in parallel to allow for fuel to go from one or another depending on which way the lever turned. One of the filters came with a 30 micron filter which I had to change it to 2 micron; the second filter is also a 2 micron. 30 and 10 micron filters allow more bad fuel to get to the engine and I didn’t want that for my auxiliary. The essence of the setup is such that one can easily switch from primary filter to the secondary all while keeping the engine running smooth at first sign of trouble. I first wanted to fit the y-valve at the diesel IN but later decided that it would be better from the perspective of the secondary filter to fit the valve on OUT; this assures that secondary filter is always primed; on the downside it may have to be bled a little from accumulated air as a precaution before switching. I know there are systems like that for sale, but I have never seen them or the filter elements for them; the spin-on series filter elements I used are sold in the smallest of marine stores. The spin-on filter can be outfitted with some crazy accessories like a fuel heater (yes, heated fuel gets to injectors long after the engine is running). I stopped at having all that except for a filter service indicator on the primary filter. I paid a lot of attention to making sure the system is air-tight and accessible. Before installing it I drained few gallons of diesel in case some bad fuel still wanted to come out. I tested the engine under load with various RPMs for about 3 hours overall, occasionally switching the filters with the engine running evenly smooth. Having ample time to deal with a bad fuel filter is truly priceless to me after ours had gone out at the worst possible time. I refurbished the old filter with a 10 micron element and fitted it onto the gen-set fuel system as a form of recycling. Fair winds!

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