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  #1  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:14 AM
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linus72 linus72 is offline
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Homemade Fuel tank Until I Get New Tanks/Valve?

Background is I have a 1990 F250 7.3L 220,000 hard, dusty miles.
Right now, I'm self-employed, basically broke, and have many problems associated directly with my expensive fuel filter becoming clogged constantly.
Filter is becoming clogged due to small, black flakes and it's also getting water from somewhere...
I also think I have the problem where when the tanks get low on fuel it starts acting crazy, stalling, etc
Basically, everything from the lift-pump up is all in good working order except for the two tanks and possibly the selector-valve..

What are my options?
I do not have the option of buying new tanks or a selector valve...
I probably can't just drop both tanks and clean them out as I have no way to flush them...

My thoughts are to make a temporary tank from a plastic 25-gallon barrel, and run a inline and return line to it from the engine...

I don't need a fuel gauge as the barrel is translucent and I will be able to tell how much is in it by looking at it.

What can I do here?
I need a very cheap temporary fuel tank and need to know any difficulties with hooking up the return and inlet lines and also cutting out the selector valve.
Is it as easy as it seems to just run two lines to the tank and as long as everything is air-tight it should work?

thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2012, 04:02 PM
farmert farmert is online now
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Depending where you live, the D.O.T. may frown on having a plastic barrel for a fuel tank. Does the running weird start at around the 1/4 tank mark? If so the rubber foot on the pickup tube in the tank may have rotted off, leaving you running out of fuel with 1/4 still in the tank. The fix I liked best was a 3/8 compression tube union, and a short piece of copper tube to replace the rubber foot. The black flakes could be alge, as you said that it is getting water also. Try to buy fuel from a high volume place, as you are less likely to get contaminated fuel.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:42 AM
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DOT
yeah, eek

ok, what if I just drop the front tank, clean it out, make sure the screen/pickup tube is ok, and then get two new lines, and instead of hooking the lines up to the selector valve, just run them to the engine.
so, I want to eliminate the rear tank and selector valve from the equation...can I do that?

need to somehow also put in a drain plug if possible...a big one, lol
thanks
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  #4  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:34 AM
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OK
after some more web searching I believe my problem is
"Asphaltenes"
Fuel School: Asphaltene's and Plugged Fuel Filters

also here:
Source Of Diesel Fuel Problems

Asphaltene in Diesel Fuel - TDIClub Forums

maybe this is the cure? wonder where I could get it?
Asphaltene Conditioner

I still plan on dropping the front tank, thoroughly cleaning it and will eliminate the selector valve and hopefully everything will be clean for awhile

seems this asphaltene issue is mainly because of the USLD and how a barrel of crude is processed these days....?
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:12 PM
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and I believe I found both my problems-

Black sludge lining the tank

and a broken pick-up tube

pics here
Diesel :: sludge.png picture by linus72 - Photobucket

Diesel :: nopickup.png picture by linus72 - Photobucket

how do I get a new pick-up tube?

and whats the best way to get rid of the 1/8" thick layer of slime lining the tank??

thanks
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2012, 05:38 PM
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I think I have solved the problem, for now at least

I removed the front tank, found all that gunk inside, so I repeatedly flushed gallons of gasoline and cleaner through it and then did my best to wipe it all out using shop towels and a toilet brush wrapped with towels.

I went and bought some 3/8 and 5/16 fuel line, a bottle of CRC Bio-con Sludge Sediment Remover, a bottle of PSD Diesel Kleen, and used the new lines, but bypassed the selector valve.

After reinstalling the tank and lines, I filled it up with additives and a lot of fresh diesel and it actually cranked right up, ran rough for like 6 seconds then smoothed out and has been running great since.

I plan on changing out the fuel filter after another tank full then I bet it will really run great.
It seems this has also fixed the white smoke problem as now there is no smoke at all of any color.

Thanks for all the help

I now have to remove the rear tankm clean it, then I'll probably get a Pollack valve and have all new lines, clean tanks and a new valve.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:57 PM
tecgod13 tecgod13 is offline
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Glad you got that cleared up!

Considering you mentioned you're broke, why not just flush out the old lines and selector valve? I don't know what the valve will take for pressure, but you can use compressed air to blow out the fuel lines. Then fill them with a solvent, blow out, and repeat.
Should be able to flush the selector valve by removing it and running some solvent through the fittings. Attach a short piece of fuel line, then a funnel and pour through.

That will be cheaper than replacing, and probably a lot easier than dealing with replumbing and rewiring the valve (fuel senders run through the valve as well).
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:05 AM
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thanks for the advice!

I plan on a complete rebuild/replace of both tanks and the valve soon...

I have another problem which has shown up once I cleaned the tank and replaced the fuel filter...

I have read many places where many 7.3L's have a shimmy/shake when going to OD from 40mph-45mph and my truck also did this when under load just after hitting OD...

Also, before I cleaned tank, etc there was always a loud knocking at startup and idle, I thought maybe a lifter, etc but now think it might have been an injector?
Now, after cleaning tank all knocking is gone...

Before I cleaned the tank, added new lines, and changed the fuel filter the shake was minimal and unnoticed till I hit OD and then disappeared at 45mph....

Now, there is a noticeable shake at idle, almost like a blown head gasket or dead cylinder...
The shake is there minimally when under load in any gear...
When it hits 40mph and goes into OD it really shakes till like 50mph...

The other funny thing is that since cleaning, etc I have like zero smoke where before I had some white smoke always...now nothing or very little...

so, the knocking and smoke has disappeared but the shake/shimmy has become more pronounced than ever before...

I can only think it is an injector because it's not the tranny as it does it in park, at idle, etc.

what could cause such a shimmy/shake when the oil is good, the coolant is good, no smoke, no knocking?

it does seem to have less acceleration but overall it runs/idles well...

thanks!
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:47 AM
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It could be a pintle of an injector all gunked up. With all the issues you had in that respect, you need to run some kind of fuel system cleaner, whether it be Sea Foam, Diesel Kleen or whatever, get something run through it.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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This morning it seemed to run better, not as much shaking..

after cleaning the tank and adding new lines I put in a bottle of Bio-Con diesel sludge/sediment remover and some Diesel Kleen as per directions.

I have a couple questions in general on cleaning injectors-

Do any diesel additives actually clean the injectors?

Does filling up a new fuel filter with ATF and running it really help or hurt anything?
if so, how?

I have heard running Kerosene is supposed to also clean injectors...is this true?

thanks
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:11 AM
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Some cleaners use kero in them. The cleaners do clean up the injectors as they flow through. It depends is the nozzle is plugged or not, and it could be that the nozzles are worn and not atomizing the fuel properly, but if you are continuing to see improvements, I would go with gunked up.

The biggest concern with ATF is the red color, in the event you were to be checked fro red dye, the DOT doesn't care if it is ATF or red dye, it is red, that is what they pay attention to. If you were to fill the filter, less would get into the fuel, but some still gets returned to the tank.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:57 AM
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ok thanks

I just drove it some more and it's definitely improving

I wonder though WHY people say ATF is good to help clean out the fuel system- what does ATF have in it that cleans the fuel system- and can ATF harm anything?

I remember, from when I owned only classic gasser trucks that many people used a mix of kero and ATF to clean out the crankcase with after oil change- add 50/50 mix of kero/atf to crankcase- run engine for a few minutes or seconds- then empty crankcase, fill with new oil and go...
does that work on diesels too or no?

basically, till I get the $$ together for a proper heads-up rebuild I really need this baby to run as smoothly as possible, especially considering that it's running on WVO about 80% of the time and doing like 1,000 miles a week hauling stuff.

where should I start?
adding a WVO heater, better filtration, and adding cleaners seems to be the best place for me to start right now and it will need an oil change soon...I heard using Motorcraft oil is better than Rotella, which is what I'm using now.
At all the stores around here my choices are Rotella, Castrol, and Del, but I would like to find a good deal on Motorcraft oil....
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:15 PM
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If you are running WVO without preheating it, that is where some of the issues are coming from. Are you just dumping it straight into the tank? You have to preheat veggie to get it to the proper flash point. When you don't, it gums up the injectors or the proper field term is cokes. Veggie requires a number of things to make it work right without causing trouble. Check out the alternative fuels section, there is a wealth of info there on the requirements.

ATF is high detergent, so that is why it does so well on cleaning up things...

I believe AutoZone and stores like it carry MC oil, but don't remember now if it was in 15-40 or not. I run mostly Rotella, but there is nothing wrong with some of the other oils either.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:50 PM
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Right now, till I get my back tank cleaned and new lines, I'm running a 40/60 mix of diesel/wvo with additives. I understand this isn't good but I believe I will be coming into alot of money very soon...

I have secured permission to collect WVO from many places and have a growing supply which I am going to sell to a guy who makes biodiesel and he's gonna pay $1 a gallon unfiltered

maybe I should start a business selling WVO?
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:15 PM
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Do it, the market is there its just needs to be harnessed....
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:15 PM
 
 
 
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