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Tue, June 25 2024, 00:56Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123456[7]89 ]

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Date Posted: - Friday - 07/ 4/08 - 10:35am
Author: Capt'n Mike "Gypsy Mariner" TM36K
Subject: Pressurize the tank
In reply to: Tom Burke 's message, "Diesel in the Bilge" on - Friday - 07/ 4/08 - 2:44am

To check for a leak in the tank try pressurizing the fuel tank by pumping air into the tank and see if it will hold some light air pressure. You are going to have to close off the diesel fill hose and the other entry/exit fittings. Brush on a little soapy water around the inspection port, the return line fittings, etc. to make sure they are not leaking air and apply air pressure. If it has a leak it won't hold the pressure.

You said the engine ran - but there could still be a leak somewhere on the engine as well. Before you go through the trouble of checking the tank, you may want to run the engine and check the diesel return line from the tank to the engine. Also check the high pressure lines where they enter the fuel injectors - we often loosen these to bleed the 4-108. I've forgotten to re-tighten one more that a few times and got diesel dumped into the bilge. Check around the filters too and the bleed screws.

As for the diesel on the bed of the truck - perhaps you left the power on to the bildge pump and it pumped some of the bilge water/diesel onto the bed of the truck.

I would recommend that you check for leaks around one of the injector high pressure lines first (where the fitting is at the injector) - before you do anything else. Put some paper towels around them and run the engine for a 30 seconds to a minute - if there is a leak it will quickly saturate the towel.

Hope this helps. Good luck. I envy you. There is no better way to spend a 4th of July Weekend then working on an old boat and a 4-108!

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[> [> Forgot to mention -- Capt'n Mike, - Friday - 07/ 4/08 - 10:48am

To pressurize the tank right you really should pump out the diesel in your tank and put it into some Jerry cans. Plus, if you enlarge a hole in the tank during the process - you'll have less of a mess to clean up and have saved yourself some expensive diesel fuel.

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[> [> diesel leak -- Steve M-32 #59, - Friday - 07/ 4/08 - 11:30am

First off, welcome to Puget Sound. It's always great to see another Mariner up here. As far as the fuel goes I'd agree with Cap'n Mike that you might have left the bilge pump on which resulted in the fuel on the truck bed. However, if the bottom of the tank is wet I wouldn't worry about the engine leaking too much (unless the engine is just as wet as the tank). Since the tank is so much higher than the engine I can't conceive of a way for an engine leak to soak the bottom but leave the front of the tank dry. Otherwise what he said aabout the pressure test is spot on. Something to consider, I don't think I would reapir that tank. Yours' is mild steel I believe and is probably at the end of its' service life. Rnadall has an excellent article on putting a new tank into an M-31. Good luck.

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[> [> [> Diesel saok on botton of tank -- Capt'n Mike, - Friday - 07/ 4/08 - 12:07pm

My thoughts on a possible engine leak was that it leaked only when he ran the engine to get the boat to the transport truck and, later, to his slip. The diesel from the engine leaked spilled to the bilge and it soaked the bottom of the tank because that is where the water level was in the bilge and the diesel floated on top of the bilge water.
Capt'n Mike

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[> [> [> [> Bilge level -- Steve M-3259, - Saturday - 07/ 5/08 - 9:33am

I hear ya, but the location of the fuel tank on the 31/32 is right under the cockpit sole and if the bilge level was that high he'd have diesel rings around the cabin interior also. The engine on my boat before I bought it had blown and dumped lots of oil/water in the bilge all the way up to the level of the floor boards. That was still at least a foot below the level of the fuel tank bottom. I just think he would have noticed that much water/fuel inside the hull ;-)

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[> [> [> [> [> Tank location -- Capt'n Mike, - Saturday - 07/ 5/08 - 10:52am

Thanks Steve. I understand what you're saying now. I thought the fuel tank was down in the bilge below the engine. That's where it is on my 36.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Diesel in the Bilge -- Tom Burke, - Monday - 07/ 7/08 - 10:59pm

My thanks for the advise. I spent most of the weekend soaking up all the diesel and repairing the connecting wire to the float; the wire I broke as I was sponging it all up. The diesel all spilled out, every drop. It was leaking both before and after I had used the engine. The advise all seems to favor, first things first, having the tank pressure checked. Many thanks.
With all that done, sitting on deck, enjoying having her here, well, there is simply nothing so marvelous as just messing around on a Mariner.

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