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Is mild steel okay in fuel tank?


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Long story short, I am doing the vulcan draw straw mod in my fuel module and i have to make a bracket to hold the supply and return lines in place.  Is mild steel okay to use for this?  It would be 2-3" from the bottom of the basket of the fuel module so it would basically always be covered in diesel (I don't imagine it would corrode).  It would be incredibly cheaper and easier for me to make it out of mild steel vs aluminium or stainless.  I'd enjoy hearing thoughts on this.

 

While we're on the topic, they mention drilling holes in the side of the fuel basket, but this seems like it would be more prone to let fuel out than in.  Is it necessary to drill the holes?

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The bulk diesel tank I have on the farm is mild steel. So you'll be ok.  Drilling the holes in the side of the basket is so the lift pump will not suck the basket dry due to the higher flow rate.  However, the rule of Too Much applies here.  3 is the recommended number, any more and you may risk the fuel running back out of the basket like you mentioned.

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14 minutes ago, trreed said:

The bulk diesel tank I have on the farm is mild steel. So you'll be ok.  Drilling the holes in the side of the basket is so the lift pump will not suck the basket dry due to the higher flow rate.  However, the rule of Too Much applies here.  3 is the recommended number, any more and you may risk the fuel running back out of the basket like you mentioned.

 

Thanks for the reply.  I have a stock motor, and the return line runs right back into the basket, so with the motor not drinking fuel any quicker, and not having issues with running the basket dry  now, would I probably be okay not drilling the hole?  Or maybe just drilling one hole?  I don't know why I'm so against drilling holes, but I don't think it would benefit me.  I'm not a rocket surgeon though.  I've already dropped the tank twice, another time coming up soon, whats one more to put some holes in it if needed?  lol.

 

but holes i'm guessing to be drilled evenly spaced?

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I used to have a 92 12 valve that had a metal slip expansion sleeve built into the module from the factory. It rotted out by the time the truck was 16 years old and about 350k miles, but it was only about a 16th of an inch thick. I made a new sleeve using a 4 in ABS straight coupling.

 

I would drill a couple holes and cut out the screens. Did this to both my 2nd gens together with what your doing and is been fine as long as you place a water separating filter before the lift pump on the frame. This stops sediment from getting into the lift pump.

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  Google up...

diesel compatibility chart. ABS is ok

 

Which really surprised me when I picked up mine from mechanic with schedule 40 pvc.   My old module...1/2 bulkhead fitting then couple brass nipples.  

 

Holes in sides...about 3 inches up from bottom.  Holes in about 10  2  and 6 O'clock positions.  Drilled with steep drill.  Bottom screen removed. Return line dumps into basket.  That line cut about level with drilled holes.  

 

New fuel gauge...that doesn't want to work (yet??)

 

 

  

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015point9:  i googled but didnt find a solid answer, thank you so much.  this will save me so much time!

 

Dieselfuture: thanks  a lot for the pictures.  that helps a lot.  if you are low on fuel and parked on a hill, would it drain your basket? how low can you let your tank get?

 

thanks.  sorry for short reply, i have the baby on my lap and making sure she doesn't fall off!

 

 

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33 minutes ago, dripley said:

I do not remember drilling holes in mine. I did remove the red flapper in the bottom of the basket shown in @Dieselfuture picture. Both my engine return and pump return go to the basket. No issues with running the tank dry. What fuel pump do you have?

 

I have the BD Flow-Max.  It's a 150gph pump with the water separator and donaldson filter.  https://www.dieselperformance.com/shop/product/1050301df-flow-max-fuel-lift-pump-c-w-filter-separator-dodge-1998-2002-5-9l-24-valve-19641

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I am not familiar with this pump and it does not appear to have a return line from the pump to the basket. My AD has a return directly from the pump to the basket in addition to what the engine is returning. The return line from the engine will not keep up with the demand of the pump so you probably need holes in the basket. The engine return line only returns the fuel that passes thru the VP for cooling and any extra fuel the injectors don't use. So from my feeble mind if the only fuel that is being returned to your tank via the basket is less than the demand of your fuel pump.

 

I hope that came across ok, I seem to have a little @KATOOM disease. What I type makes sense to me but does not always make sense to others.

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2 minutes ago, dripley said:

I am not familiar with this pump and it does not appear to have a return line from the pump to the basket. My AD has a return directly from the pump to the basket in addition to what the engine is returning. The return line from the engine will not keep up with the demand of the pump so you probably need holes in the basket. The engine return line only returns the fuel that passes thru the VP for cooling and any extra fuel the injectors don't use. So from my feeble mind if the only fuel that is being returned to your tank via the basket is less than the demand of your fuel pump.

 

I hope that came across ok, I seem to have a little @KATOOM disease. What I type makes sense to me but does not always make sense to others.

 

you are correct only the return line from after vp44/injectors.  my logic was if X amount of fuel is being consumed by the motor then X amount of fuel needs to enter the basket and any unused fuel being pumped by the lift pump (whether after going through the VP or straight from the airdog return line) going back into the basket doesn't matter, as long as it goes into the basket.  Maybe another way to put my thoughts are that my understanding is the bottleneck is where the fuel enters the basket, and if it keeps up now, it should keep up with the new draw straw because my motor will consume the same amount of fuel.  but maybe i'll just drill the holes just to be sure?

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My perception is you have a 150gph pump, mine is 165gph, i dont think the VP can accept that much fuel. To me that puts the bottle neck at the VP. The pump is trying to push that much fuel but VP but won't accept it and the pump has no return for it to go to the basket. Might need some extra advise here from others that know better than me. I just dont know how much fuel you can push into the VP.

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Not sure if that pump has a return from looking at picture but for that amount I think fass 150 is a better design, if a seal wears out on BD pump fuel will go right in motor unless it's double sealed, where fass is sideways with a wheep hole so when there is a leak fuel supposed to leak outside of motor at least that's how air dog is and the look look very similar only fass if 1.5 times bigger and flows more. 

Sorry got sidetracked, I have 2 returns, one from fass to basket in 1/2" so whatever fuel doesn't get pushed through vp returned, one from vp and injectors T together at back of the head and return to basket through original passage. Fass Supply and return is from Vulcan drawstraw straw 5 kit. I had to make up my own return as back in the day Vulcan only sold the supply and me and him had a long chat and I'm glad he listened and now kit comes with both.  In and out both 1/2". 

I got close to empty where I had 5 gallons left which is close enough for me, I could of socket it dry on level road I'm sure, but I usually never get below 1/4 just my rule, not only for emergency but to keep things happy. 

If your pump doesn't have return I would not use basket, I would just use old school draw straw like @Mopar1973Man has, otherwise you'll suck it dry.

1 hour ago, dripley said:

I just dont know how much fuel you can push into the VP.

 if there is no return this pump shouldn't be used at all unless it's somehow regulated for set pressure, because if it's constant it will rise way to high for vp. 

 

Edit, forgot to mention ether sump or basket will be useless on steep grades and before going off road I'd recommend having a full tank.

I also think sump is more suitable for drag strip and should be mounted in the back, if it's in middle like most do then going up or down steep grades with empty tank would not be so good with ether set up. :2cents:

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Me , I run my tank low especially on road trips. I usually put 32 or more gallons in on a fill up. Never have had an issue with that the whole time I have owned her with both the stock, in tank and AD. On at least 2 occasions I have put just a tick over 35 gallons in the tank. Now that is stretching it to far and I got lucky.

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Nicely said @dripley and @Dieselfuture! To  @Timburrr, if you’re running a pump advertised at 150 gph, the holes drilled in the basket are adviseable. @dripley circumvented that by taking the red flapper out to allow more fuel in, but if you drill three 1/2” holes spaced at 1/3rd intervals around the basket, you should be ok. I’ve never heard of the lift pump you’re going with before, but it’s very odd that it does not have a return from the pump that acts as the pressure regulator. The size of the stock return lines and the amount of fuel that will be returned by this pump is a concern in my mind. It may be a benefit to you to jump up to a 3/8” return line to keep everything happy. 

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Thanks for all the replies.  I'm trying to keep up but I had to take care of both kids while the wife was out and the struggle is real.  The pump is pressure regulated at 15-18 psi. BD Diesel has a pretty good reputation for their parts around here, but since its made in Canada its probably not as widely sold south of border (I'm guessing).  As soon as I get this silly bracket made up I'll probably drill the holes but I'm fairly confident I won't have issues either way.

 

I definitely didn't want to do the sump because I don't like the idea of putting a hole in the bottom of my tank and I also don't like hoses down low where they can get snagged.  I don't do what I consider "offroading" but I go on logging roads and spurs for hunting/camping etc and I'd hate to be in the middle of nowhere and have a branch kick up and tear off my fuel line!

 

 

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7 hours ago, Timburrr said:

I'm trying to keep up but I had to take care of both kids while the wife was out and the struggle is real. 

No kidding, especially if you're a good parent and care. It's a full time job no doubt about it. Most of us can relate. 

 

7 hours ago, Timburrr said:

 

I definitely didn't want to do the sump because I don't like the idea of putting a hole in the bottom of my tank and I also don't like hoses down low where they can get snagged. 

Probably not very common but if a good sized stick bounced up off the toad and got in between fuel line and tank, who knows what would happen. I'm not against sumps but they have their own place.

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5 hours ago, trreed said:

One more question about your pump @Timburrr.  How does it regulate pressure?  You may need an external regulator if it doesn't have one.

 

It's regulated by a spring.  They have different springs for different applications.  For the 2nd gen its regulated at 15-18 psi.  I have two fuel pressure gauges and have also used a mechanical gauge and its at about 12.5-13 at idle but comes down when I'm working the engine hard.  Seems to be friction loss.  When I deadheaded the fuel system it did 15.5psi if i remember right.  The cummins dealer up the road says anything above 10psi is safe for the pump, but from what I have read 14+ is ideal but too much pressure can create the starting issues.  Have gone through some problem solving steps and I believe the issue is in how they originally instruct you to remove and bypass the in tank pump.  I'm putting in the vulcan 1/2" draw straw and eliminating the H manifold to have a separate return line to the basket and the 1/2" draw straw supply line.  I went with BD because they have a good reputation around here and they're somewhat local (a ferry ride and 2 hr drive away) and support has usually been pretty good.

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