diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

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Hillary
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diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:02 pm

Hi All,

I have fitted the new Beta 20 into my Centaur and now I am connecting things up. The Exhaust and fuel are mostly done and looks good but i have got a couple of problems. First the diesel fuel return line from the original sea panther engine used a pipe diameter of only 3.5mm MUCH smaller than the Beta 20's 8mm diameter return. The problem is the steel tank has no inspection plate or way of getting into the tank so putting a new larger return pipe into it is puzzling me because you can't get to the inside of any connection. so for instance I can't get to put a nut onto the inside of a threaded hose connector. So has anyone succeeded in putting a new return into a centaur tank. I don't want the expense and problem of trying to get a new tank in if I can help it.

The other problem is I cannot see how to wire up the Alternator partly because i can't get the the back of it and partly because I can't find an image of the Alternator connections on a beta 20. I have a wiring schematic but it does not show exactly where you plug the wires in to the alternator or wireing loom if anyone can give me some pointers that would be brilliant.

Thanks all,

Hillary
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

TyroSailor
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by TyroSailor » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:52 pm

Well done Hillary - looks like you're making good progress.

I had a similar problem with the fuel return on my new Vetus M2.18 in my old Centaur. The original MD2b had its fuel return going back to the injector pump, which strikes me as a sensible way of doing it. The new one, like yours, doesn't, no doubt for some good reason. No idea, offhand, what diameter the pipe is, but it should be possible to connect a pipe of a different size.....although,again, it'll be the size it is for a reason.

The problem was much discussed in this thread http://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/woafor ... f=2&t=3636 although no definite conclusion was reached. I decided in the end to have it connected to the spare input on the primary filter and it ran happily for an hour or so on launch day (4th Jan) and again a month later. The following day it started to run unevenly, however, and I haven't yet tracked down the reason. The engineer reckons it's dirty fuel or air and I haven't yet had a chance to check. However, I'm going to the boat tomorrow, and it'll be one of my first jobs. If I can't sort it out, I'm hoping the engineer will be back at the end of the week.

Watch this space.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

mikebuggy
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by mikebuggy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:34 am

If you cant find another way into the tank, use the fuel filler connection. it may take a bit of ingenuity, but you need to get the unused fuel to feed back into the tank and anywhere around the top including the filler tubing area is ok.
As for the alternator...did the engine not come with a harness and all the connections? ..or a manual?
Typically the big engine start red + batt cable that went to your old engine should go to the main + big terminal on the starter and the big battery black could go to one of the engine or starter casing mounting bolts, or any major bolt in that area. The Alternator + out is often marked B+ or similar and that feeds your normal battery positive system....usually a medium sized red cable, but really you need to follow the handbook guidance given with the engine because each will have its own requirements.

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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by mikebuggy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:39 am

Just as an addition: Do NOT fed the return fuel into the filter system, or anywhere near it. The return amount is large and free flowing and needs to go straight back to the tank. The return must not be blocked by feeding it through the input filter system or back through the demand/feed pipe.

Hillary
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi all,

A friend who is a brilliant engineer told me how to fit a fuel return into a steel fuel tank.

It sounds a bit fiddly but it should do the job so i am listing the steps here for anyone else that might need it.

An engineer friend of mine said this is how you put a fuel return connector into a steel fuel tank

Buy a threaded Bronze skin fitting connector. e.g. https://www.asap-supplies.com/fittings- ... ing-403051

and two nylon or diesel proof nitrile washers.


Step 1 Drill hole in tank to fit skin fitting.

Step 2 put a wide loop of wire down the filler tube.

Step 3 put a wire with hook on the end through hole and guide towards filler tube. Catch wire with hoop and pull it out of filler. Now wire goes down hole and comes out of filler.

Step 4 thread nylon washer onto wire, then thread skin fitting on to wire.

Step 5 securely attach a large steel washer to the end of wire by twisting wire around it so it cannot come off.

Step 6 Tie a length of strong nylon cord to washer.

Step 7 Pull wire back through hole and tease skin fitting through.

Step 8 drop washer and then nut down wire and tighten nut as much as possible while pulling on wire. The steel washer acts as a stop.

Step 9 use mole grips and split bit of rubber pipe to grip spigot end of skin fitting and tighten nut down tight.

Step 10 pull nylon cord to pull wire out of filler tube.

Done!
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

30wn78
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by 30wn78 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:43 pm

Hi Hillary,

if you've already completed this then ignore the rest.
I took my tank out, cut a hatch at the rear and did what you described but from the inside and with good access.

Mike
Safety factor of 3 please.

30wn78
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by 30wn78 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:46 pm

Safety factor of 3 please.

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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by purejoy » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:26 pm

What a coincidence Hilary. I to have just fitted a Beta in place of a Sea Panther in my Berwick.
Today I linked in the fuel return.
As you said it is an 8mm from the Beta. I used a short run of copper tube then linked it to a short length of 8mm (5/16) hose. It took a little warming of the hose to make the copper go in sufficiently, about 3 cm. I then did the same with the existing fuel return pipe that already went to the tank.
A very simple and successful job. Don't worry about the smaller bore of the existing, it works fine.

As for the alternator wiring, it is all in the loom and the 25mm positive lead from battery to engine. Nothing else needs to be done.

Hope this helps.

Ian.
I might be getting older but I refuse to grow up.
http://www.ian-bartlett.co.uk

Hillary
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:03 pm

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the reply and good luck with your replacement. The return was only 3mm on my Sea panther and when i phoned Beta to check they were adamant that 3 mm was too small. The Tank is hard to get and when I chased through the return line at the tank end I found it just went into the filler pipe though a hole and was then wrapped in electrical tape to secure it. A real bodge job.

However.... It gave me an idea and I am now printing a new filler pipe with integral 8mm OD return pipe on a Form 2 in Tough semi-rigid plastic. I think that will work but if not I will go back to drilling the tank.
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

Hillary
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:04 pm

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the reply and good luck with your replacement. The return was only 3mm on my Sea panther and when i phoned Beta to check they were adamant that 3 mm was too small. The Tank is hard to get and when I chased through the return line at the tank end I found it just went into the filler pipe though a hole and was then wrapped in electrical tape to secure it. A real bodge job.

However.... It gave me an idea and I am now printing a new filler pipe with integral 8mm OD return pipe on a Form 2 in Tough semi-rigid plastic. I think that will work but if not I will go back to drilling the tank.
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

Hillary
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:14 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the comments about the alternator. I was expecting a dedicated alternator line and could not find it. However I did read the manual and was able to get at the connections on the starter by removing the Water Coolant pipe. The main problem is trying to fit the Modern Beta electrics into 40 year old sea panther electrics which expected separate wiring for starter and alternator. I have solved the problem by stripping out all the electrical circuits that were for the Sea Panther. I have found a Charge relay from Sterling power that will charge the domestic battery once the Engine battery has a full charge. So that will be my link between the Beta Circuit and the rest of the Boats domestic power. Not quite connected up yet but getting there now.
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

Hillary
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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by Hillary » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:05 pm

Update on the Fuel Tank return.

Given that the original return was "bodged" into the filler pipe and "secured" with electrical insulating tape. It was evident that I needed a new filler pipe as the area around it showed clear signs of leaks. So I drew a CAD drawing of a filler pipe with integral return pipe. Then I saved the CAD design as an STL file and sent it to my Formlabs Form 2 3D printer which I had loaded with a "tough resin" cartridge. The print took seven hours overnight but in the morning I had a new filler pipe and return. I took it down to the boat and found that it was a perfect tight fit. It took a bit of wiggling and a couple of blows from a hammer to get it into position but at last it went in with a satisfying click. It was a only few minutes work to bolt in the filler cap assembly and connect the return tube. I have to say I am so far delighted with the result.

I will let everyone know how it stands up to use. The tough resin is indeed very strong and once cured makes a plastic rather like something between Polycarbonate and polythene. Its the second time I have solved a boat problem by using the printer. previously i cast some traveller car stops in Bronze from masters created on the 3D printer. If anyone else is looking for parts which are no longer obtainable you are welcome to get in touch to see if i can help.

Cheers all
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by purejoy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:19 am

Hi Hillary,
How lucky you are to have access to a 3D printer and the skills to use it.
Following your comment on the "bodged" 3mm fuel return of the Sea Panther I took another look at my installation yesterday.
On closer inspection it was indeed the same as you found. However I did notice that the breather pipe, exiting from a 90 degree fitting on the top of the tank, was, as near as damn it, an 8mm pipe. As the launch is booked for Monday I took the decision to utilise this as the fuel return and modify the original "bodged" return to become a temporary breather.
Thanks for your observations on this point. I would probably not investigated further had I not read your post.
Regards
Ian.
I might be getting older but I refuse to grow up.
http://www.ian-bartlett.co.uk

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Re: diesel tank fuel return and alternator wiring problems

Post by TyroSailor » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:53 pm

Well, my new Vetus engine has now run for 50+ hours trouble free (reaches for nearest bit of wood) with the fuel return pipe connected back to the primary filter.

It does, however, not seem to drive the boat as well as the old MD2b (on the rare occasions it worked) so maybe this has something to do with it. Or maybe it's that I'm reluctant to rev it fast enough - hard to tell without a tacho! Time for its first service.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

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