This part 2 of my fuel system related posts, the previous post being about the planning and prep work.
Now that I had the fuel tank designed and on the way, I had to start getting all the rest of the pieces to make the system work. Starting with the basics, and how I was going to actually install the tank, I started doing some research. I knew that I wanted to mount the tank so that it was raised up so there was no chance of trapping water under the aluminum and causing corrosion, Initially my plan was going to epoxy in some Tee Nuts into marine plywood and epoxy / glass that into the hull for a good solid base, but I came across a product called Weld Mount that offered a much simpler installation, and no chance of water intrusion of the wood resulting in rotting. I picked up the standard startup kit, and a 10 pack of 1/4-20 x 1.5″ studs. I was going to go larger but the prices for the larger studs went astronomically higher, and 1/4-20 should be plenty strong for a tank that was only going to hold 9 gallons. While the kit was still pricey, the simplicity and speed of installation was well worth it. I’m very glad I picked this route as it proved to be very versatile and was used extensively through the rest of the installation as well.
Now that I had the tank mounting planned out I needed to find an electric fuel pump, and a fuel filter. I found a few fuel pumps that were promising, but they all required they be running all the time, or fuel could not flow through the pump. Since I wanted this only as a boost pump to prime the system, I needed it to allow the free flow of fuel through the pump when the pump was not powered. I eventually found the Airtex E8251 Marine Universal Pump This pump is USCG approved for fuel, and intended as a boost pump, allows free flow of fuel through the pump when not powered. The fittings that came with it were for the wrong size hose, so I picked up the correct 3/8″ fittings at AutoZone.
I found that this Tohatsu recommended / “branded” combination Fuel / Water Separator specifically for outboard engines, which I picked up at the Defender Spring sale after reading a number of very good reviews from other people with similar engines to mine.
This really just left the related hoses and fittings. I got a Whitecap Gasoline Deck Fill, and Trident hoses for the fuel fill, supply, and vent lines, and special ordered an Attwood 90° P-Trap Fuel Tank Vent from West Marine for my vent thru-hull. I really liked the flush mount design, along with the water baffles and trap design to prevent water from being able to get in the fuel system through the vent line, and think the vent looks great installed. The only issue I had aside from mis-locating the hole by about 1/4″ farther forward than I had intended, was locating a 7/16″ allen (hex) wrench to tighten the fitting. I ultimately had to make one out of a bolt and nuts with 7/16″ head sizes.
I also picked up a Teleflex Lido Pro Fuel Gauge, I liked the white face and SS bezel, and thought it would blend in well with the boat. I installed the fuel fill, fuel gauge and the tank vent through hull at the same time I mounted the connector for the new Raymarine ST2000+ Tillerpilot I picked up this spring.
I had to get a new hole saw set to do all of these installs, and Home Depot had a good deal on a nice Milwaukee Hole Saw Kit, even cheaper than I could find it on Amazon, and it made quick work of all the holes of fiberglass I cut out of the boat that day for everything except the Fuel Fill. That I found had some moisture in the core when I cut into it which caused the saw to gum up with damp wood pulp. I suspect this moisture is from the stern cleat that got worked a little loose during hurricane Sandy, and I am planning on rebedding before launch. Instead of installing the fuel fill immediately I left the hole open for a couple weeks to dry out, which went pretty quick given the stretch of really dry weather we had during that process. I sealed everything on the deck fill with 3M 4000UV since Butyl will break down in the presence of fuel, making sure to seal the wood core so it won’t be a source of moisture intrusion in the future.
With all the through hull fittings installed, now all that is left is to install the tank and hook everything up! Click here for Part 3