Re: How to totally Eliminate the problem--Paranoia about the D3-110 Volvo Penta - diesel bug

eric freedman



On Kimberlite we use a number of steps to remove crud and bugs from our fuel.

After over 6000 engine hours and layups in the Caribbean with ½ full tanks we have never had a problem.


First we filter the incoming fuel before it gets into the tank through a hi volume fuel pump and then through a huge racor filter that you see on fuel pumps. I had this installed by Amel when I had her built with a Y valve. One way into the tank the other through a fuel pump and filter and then into the tank . Photos attached.- Thank You Ian and Judy,


We then add Howes fuel treatment, This stuff is incredible. Please read the label. It also guaranteed 5% better fuel economy. PHOTO IS BELOW


Lastly we have the dual Racor filter and we use a 2 micron filter and change it every 300 hours. It comes out almost clean every time.


Fair Winds


Amel Super Maramu #376





Sent: Sun
Howes Lubricator Meaner Power Diesel Kleaner HL306712day, February 09, 2020 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Paranoia about the D3-110 Volvo Penta - diesel bug


All good points, James.

Working with dessicant dryers for air compressors, on a humid day, the crystals were pink (from clear) in a few hours. 

I fear that a proper dryer that one could set and forget for 6 months, if it exists, would be active, powered, and be another,complex system to maintain and monitor. Maybe a pressurized system like the ones on automobiles would work, that don’t allow air, readily into the system? I’ve not studied how they work, so I plead ignorance....😊


On Feb 9, 2020, at 5:06 PM, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:



  I agree.    The desiccant cartridges would need to be replaced from time to time  Most of the ones I have considered change colour indicating the need while others can be heated to drive off the moisture and returned to service.  I have been looking at some commercial solutions so the cost is fairly reasonable but more research is needed to determine the effectiveness and life expectancy in a marine environment.   If anyone has found a good workable solution for installed a desiccant in the vent line please share.






On Feb 9, 2020, at 3:10 PM, Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt@...> wrote:


A desiccant/dryer would be a great idea. Finding one that is maintenance free, and passive, may be a problem.


On Feb 9, 2020, at 12:23 PM, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:

Some great discussion here.  One item that I did not see discussed that could be  helpful especially in humid climates is adding a dessicant dryer to the vent line.  Regular replacement and lubrication of the O ring seal at the fill cap is important as well.  Best of luck.



SV Sueno

Maramu #220


On Feb 9, 2020 11:49 AM, "Porter McRoberts via Groups.Io" <portermcroberts@...> wrote:

I agree Nick— You're right, certainly about the industry norm.  And I’m sure there are many theories on this: and mine may be incorrect.  But the way I think of it: Crud exists in a myriad of sizes.  Crud forms… then  gets into the filter system and clogs.  If i have a series of sequentially smaller sized filters, i simply clog them all. and then replace them all.  If a bolus of crud makes it into the sequential filtering setup: filters essentially sort the crud into smaller sizes at a great cost (especially with the last Volvo filter now being fouled).  So we've cruised with the 2 micron setup for about 500 hours of motoring from panama to NZ last year and it seemed to work well.  no issues.  Filters seemed pretty good looking when i changed them  Usually around 100 hrs,  (I previously was quite derelict about it, prior to really understanding how important clean fuel was.)  I have noticed the manometer pressure reading on the setup would climb slightly over the 100 hrs, but never concerningly high.  

So scenario above A, with ostensibly clean fuel, worked for us, for this while.



So… Scenario B: Cruddy fuel shows up.  A slosh of crud makes it into the filter setup. (is this an isolated bit of crud, or does it advertize a yet much larger crub problem in the tank)  Currently it would saturate the 2 micron first filter and pressures climb, engine shuts down alerting us to a pressure scenario  and we change filter: but now we know we have cruddy fuel and need to polish it and the tank. (and why I’d like a separate fuel polishing system on board.)  Heres where my scenario breaks down: it depends on the amount of crud: pump it out and through baja filter into jerry cans? then run engine off jerry cans?  or...( I do have a bunch of 10mn  and 30mn sizes as well) as well put those on and let the filters clean the crud out: but if I increase the racor size then ill be clogging my 130$ volvo filters very fast: i carry about 4 of those, They're proprietary and hard to get in places.  It turns into a "S" show.  


So what's governed our cruising: sail smart, with wind as much as possible so we motor little.  Praise our relatively large 900 litre tank, and the freedom it adds to be discriminate about fuel choice. When others are fueling out of necessity, i find myself adding fuel not because i think we're low, but…  hey were sailors and should keep topped up stores.  


I'd be surprised if I’d completely thought this through, I'm sure there are some folks who really understand this at a much deeper level and I would love to hear from them and you.


And as you note Nick, it is the industry norm, and usually there is good reason for that!  To that end, if the Volvo-proprietary “C” filters were as inexpensive as the racors—I’d also stick to industry norm.  


I’d respectfully welcome any thinking and guidance.


Porter A54-154 with a  “H” model D3-110







On Feb 9, 2020, at 10:42 AM, ngtnewington Newington via Groups.Io <ngtnewington@...> wrote:


Hi Scott and Porter,


I choose to use a 10 or even 30 micron filter on the Racor followed by the Volvo secondary filter which is 2 micron I believe.


In my opinion by having the pre-filter at 2 micron you are in effect only having one filter. So in the event of major contamination the Racor will plug and the engine will suffer from fuel starvation. You may also damage the fuel pump, although on the 54 the fuel is gravity fed from the tank to the filters.


The same principle applies to the water maker. There is a course filter followed by the fine filter. You can not just go straight to the fine.


I know this is a controversial subject but that is my opinion….and the industry norm.




Amelia AML 54-019

Kilada Greece

On 9 Feb 2020, at 15:10, Porter McRoberts via Groups.Io <portermcroberts@...> wrote:


I understand. We have the same setup. The dual racor (A vs B) and A+B if one wishes.  We keep the 2 micron on both A and B and use only A or B, switching back and forth.  Filter C is of course the very pricey Volvo-specific filter/fuel water separator, which is what I want to spare by using the 2 micron. I watch the pressure gauge on the racors a lot.  That’s why we change frequently, to keep pressures low.  We have no pre-pre filters.  


I remember a thread on this about a year ago, the 2 micron pre-filter argument.  That’s when we switched.  Its hard to be scientific when we have limited data re what works “best.”


Great comments on why to keep the tank full during storage.


Porter A54-152


On Feb 9, 2020, at 10:02 AM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:



I have the two racor filter setup. I consider this the primary filter / pre-filter.


1) FilterA only
2) FilterB only
3) FilterA and FilterB in parallel

Do you run the 2 micron filters here?

On my D3-110C there's a Volvo spin-on filter (2 micron) on the engine itself. We'll call that FilterC

Did you install a pre-filter before the Racors??
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah






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