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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay...I admit it...I'm a newbie to Jetboats. I bought an 18' 1975 Starbuck Jetboat last year. I had to replace the rack and pinion steering on it about 14 days ago, as it was stiff steering. I had to pull out the left fuel tank and most of the interior to get the old cable out to replace it.

Information:

I have a 3 way single pole selector switch on my dashboard. Up is showing right tank on fuel gauge, middle is showing left tank on fuel gauge, and down shows nada on the gauge. Down is maybe a fuel cut off position?

I have a fuel selector switch (electrical) under the transom area, and I was told (when I bought the boat) that I should use the left tank first and that gas overflow will flow back into the right tank. (does this sound right to you guys?) I wish I knew what I was doing, and how this is supposed to be setup properly. I don't have any diagrams for the boat, or know where to turn to as the manufacturer is no longer in business. I have a BB 402 Chevy engine with mechanical fuel pump on the engine. Can anyone provide a logical fuel system routing diagram for fuel hoses, selector switch, and wiring for how these are supposed to be hooked up correctly with dual tanks? I need some help figuring this thing out, so I don't blow myself up.

When I removed the left tank I only disconnected the fuel line, the two sending unit wires, and the fuel fill hose to the tank, so I could get access to the steering cable. I haven't done anything else to it. (besides reassemble it). I just would like to know how this is supposed to be hooked up correctly, so I can ensure it is working right. I would also like some advise for which fuel tank I should use first, because I don't believe what the guy told me was correct.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Mike in Misery (Missouri)
 

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Boss of the McIntyre Mob
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The more crap ya got on a boat, more to go wrong.

On my old 18' jet, I had one fuel gauge. No switch. Both lines from the fuel tanks "t"ed into one, then thru a filter and then pump and then to motor. Both tanks drained equally. Simple and easy. I would suggest this. I believe most jet boats are done this way.
 

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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The more crap ya got on a boat, more to go wrong.

On my old 18' jet, I had one fuel gauge. No switch. Both lines from the fuel tanks "t"ed into one, then thru a filter and then pump and then to motor. Both tanks drained equally. Simple and easy. I would suggest this. I believe most jet boats are done this way.
Thanks for your advice! Your suggestion sounds pretty logical to me, and alot safer too. Would I need to do anythink else for tank venting? Just curious, as I know pretty close to nothing about this. The local marina's wont touch my boat because it's a "jetboat". Which is why I had to do the steering myself too.

Mike in Misery (Missouri)
 

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I cant tell you much about your venting questions but I can say that you should deffinately ditch all that electrical stuff and just bring each tank line into a Y and then one line to the pump, filter then motor.

Simple and easy, and if you still want to have a tank selector type set up you can easily build your own. Here is a pic of my garage build. Most if it came from HomeDepot and the anodized Y came from Jegs and was like $25.00.

Good luck!
 

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I would recommend some sort of shut off valve so you can run off of one tank.
If one tank runs dry the engine will quit pulling from the other tank and you're dead in the water. It's a real bitch to get that tanked primed if you run it dry too.
When you start the day with fuel in both sides just pull off of both of them at the same time. The engine will pull fuel from whichever side is higher. If you don't have any check valves then they'll self level after a little while. If you do have check valves just shut off the low tank when it gets to E and cruise home on the other.
 

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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again for the responses to my thread you guys!

You all Rock! :)devil

I really appreciate the picture too. A Very clean setup. I plan to model my fuel line system exactly the same way you have them shown in the pic.

Mike in Misery...pronounced misery! :D
 

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Thanks again for the responses to my thread you guys!

You all Rock! :)devil

I really appreciate the picture too. A Very clean setup. I plan to model my fuel line system exactly the same way you have them shown in the pic.

Mike in Misery...pronounced misery! :D

Mike, make sure to post pics when you're done.
 

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Banne'd
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2,568 Posts
One draw back when pulling from both tanks. When your'e out of fuel, your'e shit out of luck. I draw one down to about an 1/8th and switch tanks. This way I can run hard, if I run out I know I have enough to get me back to the dock or shore. Better to be safe than pulled in by a 2smoke. I run a 2smoke and wouldn't like to sit behind one being towed.
 

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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Mike, make sure to post pics when you're done.
Okay...I have built a manual fuel tank valve assembly. I had to go to O'Reilly's Autoparts for the three fuel line barbs with 3/3 NPT threads.
I went to the local hardware store for the brass T fitting with 3/8 NPT threads, and a second local Hardware store for the rest of the adapters that the first place didn't have so I could peice it all together.
I didn't use the JEGS part for the three way adapter, as I couldn't wait around for it and I thought it was a little pricey at around 25 dollars plus shipping.
I used a three way brass T fitting with 3/8 NPT threads at each exit. I then used some adapters to extend out the two lines toward both tank lines, and I added two separate ball selector shutoff valves onto each fuel tank line. I wanted to do this, so I could shut off either fuel tank, or both fuel tanks to prevent fuel from going to the carbs for winterization later down the road.
I added some extra adapters to allow the fuel line fittings to be inserted into the ends of the ball valves at each end of the assembly. The bottom of the T fitting goes into a single fuel outlet using a 3/8 NPT barb fitting.
I'm not sure if the attachment worked for this reply...I tried to attach one. You might have to look at my profile pics to see it.
If you can see my fuel line adapter, please tell me what you think.
I haven't started to remove the fuel lines off the tanks yet, I want to take a few more pictures before I tear into it. I know the left tank somehow sends gas to the right tank the way it is set up now. I want to ensure I get this right. I will take a few more pictures of the way the fuel pump is setup too, as I think there is some sort odd return line setup? I'll get back to you if I have anymore questions, and hopefully you can answer them.
 

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Boss of the McIntyre Mob
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One thing I might add (a little something I learned the hard way). When putting fuel system hardware together it's a good idea to use teflon paste as opposed to tape on the joints. The tape can come apart and mess up your fuel pump, carb, filter etc.
Good tip!:))THumbsUp
 

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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
One thing I might add (a little something I learned the hard way). When putting fuel system hardware together it's a good idea to use teflon paste as opposed to tape on the joints. The tape can come apart and mess up your fuel pump, carb, filter etc.
Thanks for the tip on that, I will redo it before putting it into the boat.

Mike:)devil
 

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"Try it Now!"
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3,704 Posts
Thanks for the tip on that, I will redo it before putting it into the boat.

Mike:)devil
Mikes, i bought a spin on type fuel filter/ separator which looks similar to an oil filter. Comes with a couple of inlets and outlets. Have two tanks goin into it, and one line coming out. Just plugged the other inlet. It kind of kills two birds with one stone. The tanks themselves on my boat have valves screwed into them. I always run them both wide open, because i'm afraid they'll break if i try to move them. I agree it makes it suck if you run out of gas, but i never get close because i sit at the sandbar all day! lol.
 

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Mikes1975StarbuckJetBoat
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Mikes, i bought a spin on type fuel filter/ separator which looks similar to an oil filter. Comes with a couple of inlets and outlets. Have two tanks goin into it, and one line coming out. Just plugged the other inlet. It kind of kills two birds with one stone. The tanks themselves on my boat have valves screwed into them. I always run them both wide open, because i'm afraid they'll break if i try to move them. I agree it makes it suck if you run out of gas, but i never get close because i sit at the sandbar all day! lol.
I liked your fuel filter/water separator idea.

Please send me a picture of how you set that up. I would definately like to see that. Also a picture or two of how your fuel lines route from tanks, to filter, and to the fuel pump and carb. Do you use a fuel regulator to your carb? Mine has one...just thought I would ask.

I would like to see some pictures of how everyone's fuel systems are plumbed from the tanks to the motor so I have something to go by.

If you don't mind, please send them to my home email: [email protected]

I don't know about you guys...but I have a hard time uploading my pics out here. I use a broadband wireless USB modem and can handle about 3 to 4 pics at a time.

I haven't been logged on in a while now, as I have been surfing the evilnet and ordering new marine distributor parts online for my 402 BB Chevy engine in the boat...they have all finally showed up over the last couple days.

I haven't gone any further yet with the fuel conversion...mainly because it's been to hot to work on it, but also because I am replacing the Accel Supercoil distributor before doing the fuel valve swap. I want to make sure it fires up and runs okay again before tearing out the fuel lines and re-doing the fuel lines and tank Y selector valve.

I really wanted to use a new MSD Marine setup until I started pricing the parts separately...and also as a new marine kit...WAY TOO EXPENSIVE for me to go with the MSD at this time! I decide to search for something less expensive, and hope the parts will work out okay for me.

I ordered a Mallory marine distributor (new) uses magnetic triggering - no points/condensor. Also purchased a new Mallory High Energy coil, and new Mallory Ballast resistor. All correctly matched parts for the new distributor. Hopefully I will have this replaced and working this weekend, as long as it doesn't get way to hot to work out in the steel building. - I'm replacing the existing old Excel distributor as it is not a marine type unit, and it has failed twice on me now since I bought the boat last year. Blew one Electronic ignition module last year, and about a month ago I ran out of gas in the left tank, and the distributor was swamped when the wave came over the top of my transom from behind...been about a month now, it still won't fire, probably wasted that new Accel ignition module when it got swamped. I didn't want to spend any more money on parts for the old distrubutor, and just replace it with a new marine system. Something more reliable. I didn't want to buy any old used parts either, so went with new Malloy Marine stuff.

Wish me luck, it's been a while since I have had to rip out distributor stuff and replace them. Going to line up the #1 to TDC then mark the cap pointer before pulling it out.

Thanks for mentioning the fuel separator idea, I plan to put one in between the valve assy and my fuel pump so I can keep any crap from getting into my mechanical fuel pump. What was the brand name of the filter/separator you bought?

Thanks!

Mike in Missouri - I pronounce that Misery!
 

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I'm curious - I have dual tanks, they were plumbed with brass valves but were hard to get to, have dual gauges with a dash switch. I added a pollak valve so the dash switch selects the tank and gauge I'm using. I realize that simple is best, but to me this is pretty simple. Any reason why more of you don't use the electric fuel valves?
 
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