Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

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BlowingOldBoots
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Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:20 pm

I am planning to have my two 50 gallon fuel tanks cleaned, fuel polished and pumped back in. There is a company at Port Glasgow, Auto-Tec that offer this service, has anyone used them? I talked to the bloke and he sounds like he knows his business.

Thanks,

Alastair
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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby Orla » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:46 am

BlowingOldBoots wrote:I am planning to have my two 50 gallon fuel tanks cleaned, fuel polished and pumped back in. There is a company at Port Glasgow, Auto-Tec that offer this service, has anyone used them? I talked to the bloke and he sounds like he knows his business.

Thanks,

Alastair


I would be interested to find out how you get on if you go for it.....
While Orla is still on the hard it would be a good idea to get my very old tanks cleaned..

Cheers

Dougie

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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby Aja » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:30 am

Alastair
Having just completed the emptying of my tank cleaning and re-filling can I offer this?

On the trip upriver to JWD last October off Toward the engine stuttered and stopped. Tried a few times to restart but no luck. Able to sail to Kip get a tow in from a friendly Moody owner and filled up with diesel. I knew I was very low on fuel but thought I still had a reasonable amount (30 litres) left in the 150 litre tank.

Once fuelled up I renewed the fine fuel filter (more later) bled the engine and started it first turn of the key. Had a look at the old fine fuel filter which looked clean to me. Ran engine alongside fuel pontoon at Kip for 5 minutes and convinced myself that it was ok to continue to JWD. Went round to Greenock without a hitch and was pulled out the next day. End of season.

At the beginning of this month I purchased an M68 fuel bug test kit and dipped my tank. On comparison to the chart supplied I found that I had only a very slight bacterial growth. I bought 6 25 litre cans off the internet for £36 inc p+p from a place in Northern Ireland and using a 12v pump decanted the contents of my tank at which time I found that it held 170 litres.

I've since cleaned the tank where I found a very small amount of dirt in the bottom. It is now spotless - but no sign of bug at all. I didn't think it necessary to polish the fuel but let it settle in the containers for over a week and refilled the tank with the diesel apart from the bottom few litres from each container. I dosed the whole tank with 250ml of Marine 16 fuel treatment (well over the recommended 'shock treatment') and waited the recommended 72 hours for it to work its magic and retested. The M68 test has proved negative. The extra fuel (about 40 litres) which I didn't put back in was accepted gratefully (!) by the recycling centre next door.

I did consider using Autotec as they have a very good reputation and were only along the road in Port Glasgow but I thought at least I should have a look myself to see what the problem could be and was pleased to see that it was just me getting unlucky picking up a bit of dirt.

I also replaced all of my fuel lines and found that what I though was a primary fuel/water separator turned out to be only a separator and my fuel system didn't have a primary filter. I've now got a CAV in place.

It all depends on why you feel you need to have the fuel polished. If the tanks are dirty polishing the fuel will not do anything different that your fuel filters do except quicker. You really need to get the tank emptied to get access to the dirt and grunge which is stuck in all the nooks and crannies as this will still have the potential to cause problems in the future. It is really important to get right into the tank and clean the dirt out and I used an awful lot of kitchen towel. A little diesel goes a long way. I in the end used my wet/dry Vac to hoover out the last remnants.

Hope this helps

Donald

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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:07 pm

Thanks Donald for the considered reply. The tanks are half full and have been sitting for just under 3 years like that, so I guess some more condensation has crept in over the period. The filters have been blocking according to the vacuum gauge quite quickly the last season I sailed her and I know that the dirty contents of an old diesel heater's fuel tank got dumped into one of the tanks - as the clean diesel was decanted from the heater tank the flow stream changed from clear to muddy depositing about a half gallon of cruddy fuel into the main tank - stupid actions on my behalf. It is one of these last minute jobs after 2 years of refit which I have not got round to doing. Auto-Tec will drain, clean and then refill with the filtered fuel. I have asked for the tanks to be cleaned as I am going to decommission one tank, I simply don't need an Atlantic crossing worth of fuel on board for the type of sailing I do these days. There is another reason, I am off abroad and want the tanks cleaned for launch in 2 weeks, so I have decided to bite the bullet and pay for the job to be done.

Dougie - I will let you know how things go on this front. I have good access with an oval hatch on each tank. Should know in about 2 weeks.
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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:06 am

Before cleaning and after cleaning pictures of tanks: -

Image

Image
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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby mm5aho » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:00 pm

My DIY fuel tank cleaning system.

Our tank is stainless, and has a V shaped bottom. That means that any gunk settles to the centre.
I have a plastic screw cap bottle the lid of which I've drilled with two small holes.
Two pieces of plastic tubing about 6mm ID, clear, which I use, and these fit neatly into the drilled holes. So a bottle with two tubes in the lid.
One tube is about 50cm, the other 100cm long. the short one goes just through the lid, the long one to the bottom of the bottle.
I suck on the short one, creates a partial vacuum in the bottle, causing the long tube to act like a vacuum cleaner. With the long tube I put it in the tank filler point and wave it along the tank bottom. The vacuum picks up diesel. The clear tube shows if its clean or not. While extracting sludge and gunk I keep going.
The 75 (or so) litre tank sometimes produces 500ml of gunk, then the diesel runs clean.

I have half a litre of mucky diesel to dispose of, and put the bottle away for another year. Seems to work.
I change the two fuel filters annually and carry a spare on board. Usually the filters don't look bad after a year's work.
Geoff.
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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:53 pm

Cost £220 too clean both tanks and dispose of fuel, for those who are interested.
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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby wully » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:42 pm

I've got a vacuum type oil changer with a long suction hose that I use to ' Hoover' the bottom of my fuel tank.
It captures a lot of gunk...but my fuel filter bowl remains in the pink.

This is after draining and hand cleaning my fuel tank and also stopping the water leak through the fuel filler.

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Re: Auto-Tec -Fuel Drain / Filtering / Tank Cleaning

Postby BlowingOldBoots » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:09 pm

wully wrote:I've got a vacuum type oil changer with a long suction hose that I use to ' Hoover' the bottom of my fuel tank. ......


That's the plan now that the tanks are clean, to periodically suck up the dregs with a vacuum.
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