Well I just added another new fangled gizmo to my boat in preparation for some circle boat "tracking" with it at the Big Wake Weekend coming up. I call it 'tracking' because I am not racing... I have completed the 12 step program for former racers and I promised not to ever do it again.... or so I tell myself!
I have been chasing fuel issues with this thing since day 1. First the crappy 660 center squirter carbs that leaked all over the place and then the broken tanks and lines and a plethora of just bad stuff on the boat. The electric fuel pump that was installed, had been causing me some problems by letting air gaps into the lines and causing me to stall out. I changed lines, filter(s), routing etc, etc, etc and still nothing worked.
So I have finally changed out the electric pump to a mechanical pump and found that it now doesn’t pull from the tanks evenly like the electric once did. Weird I know but that’s the reality of it all..... So I had to finally put in a tank selector valve. Well being me and being that I didn’t want just another regular old tank valve with all the fuel lines all over the boat I decided to install an electrically operated solenoid selector valve that switches between tanks on-the-fly. Cool yea?
This is a typical 3-way WVO/SVO 12 volt valve with 3/8" ports (-6 AN) I found this one on eBay for about $70 with free shipping. This one is aluminum and there are others that are brass and stainless. They must have Viton seals for gasoline use. These are typically used for Bio-Diesel engine systems...
Not that this hasn’t already been done, there are products out there by Parker, Imco, Eddie Marine, CP, and Glen I think that all do a great job but at an enormous price to go with it! It’s incredible! I used to design and build hydraulic and pneumatic valved machines and these valves aren’t that expensive! where’s all the cost???? So I set out to find my own stuff and build it myself.
I already had the wiring and the switch for the fuel pump that was in there, so it was just a matter of adding the valve and connecting up the lines…. This unit also has an intrinsically safe wire connection cap. This is important because you don’t want any vapor ignitions in your bilge area…. Very critical!
So I made a simple aluminum bracket (by hand, sorry no bling here) for it and mounted it all up and it’s good to go just as planned. Now when that Fuel PSI needle starts a bouncing around telling me Im gonna be sucking air soon I can just flip the switch and have a whole nother tank of fossil fuel to burn up and add to my carbon footprint without missing a beat!
With the valve, a length of molded SPO cord and couple of AN fittings I am into this thing for under a $100
I have had no problems with the -6 AN size fuel lines and the valve with a mechanical fuel pump since I installed this unit. Has work like a charm!!!