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Thread: Rigging up fuel drums as fuel tanks

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    Default Rigging up fuel drums as fuel tanks

    This is for you folks who use fuel drums connected to your main motors for moose hunting, etc.

    How do you guys rig up the drums so you can connect them to your main fuel line and run from them instead of your main tank?

  2. #2

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    running outboards?? if so here's the way i did it. actually pretty simple. rig up a "pigtail" with an end that is just like the end on your "6" gal tank. this way the 2 hose ends, connectors, as i call them will mate. make pigtail about a foot long and then put on a measured length of straight copper tubing,hose clamp all and then you can quickly switch from barrel to barrel. i have seen where some take a barrel top, drill it to tubing size,insert tube and then they can screw it in for more support than just being dropped in. hope this makes some sense. probably something similar coud be done for inboards. good luck!!
    alaskabob

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    Default QDs

    I run Quick Disconnects on both of my main tank lines. When using barrels, I've made two pickups that go through the barrel bungs. Each has a line with a QD on the end to connect up to the main lines...with at least two people in the boat, you can run a barrel dry, switch to the next barrel, & the person riding shotgun can swap the pickup from the dead barrel to a new one...ya can keep going without stopping till ya run out of barrels (or maybe daylight). Alaska Rubber & Supply on Old Seward has the QDs.

    Hope this helps,

    Brian

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    Since your boat engine uses a fuel pump all you need to do is use a bulkhead fitting on the bung and drop a pick-up tube from the fitting to the bottom of the drum. On the outside you can adapt the plumbing to accept your fuel line via a quick connect or you can plumb the drum as a branch from your existing fuel system if you put a selector switch in. There are options. All are relatively simple. Probably not as simple as a barrel pump to transfer fuel from the temporary drum into your permanent fuel tanks!

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    I was referring to outboards. Sorry I did not mention that in my original post. My boat also has an internal gas tank so I am not trying to just switch from one plastic can to another.

    Can anyone post a couple of pictures?

    Do you guys skip the Racor style fuel filters when running off the drums and run from the drum to the engine? Do you need any type of anti syphon valves?

    Brain, What style of QD's? Your idea seems the best so far.

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    Red face

    Swolfe,
    If I remember you have a Wooldridge w/ an optimax? and under floor tank.
    If its set up like my 17 Wooly was, it had a fuel line off the end of the tank and was plumbed to the racor then the motor.
    I started using 15 gallon poly drums (actually will hold 16), you can stand them up or lay em down and they are manageable enough to unload (about 100 pounds) while full if you get where your going and or want to stash them in route for the return trip.
    When I need fuel I use one of those siphon hoses with the check valve in the end, they work great and will mt a drum pretty quickly. plus you dont have to worry about a fitting getting snaged and broken off. of course you cant switch on the fly very ez, unless you got a good crew.
    I wouldnt recomend by passing your racor, fuel injected motors can be rather sensitive to crud in the fuel.

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    Jiggle siphon! (every motorized vehicle should have one anyway)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Swolfe,
    If I remember you have a Wooldridge w/ an optimax? and under floor tank.
    If its set up like my 17 Wooly was, it had a fuel line off the end of the tank and was plumbed to the racor then the motor.
    I started using 15 gallon poly drums (actually will hold 16), you can stand them up or lay em down and they are manageable enough to unload (about 100 pounds) while full if you get where your going and or want to stash them in route for the return trip.
    When I need fuel I use one of those siphon hoses with the check valve in the end, they work great and will mt a drum pretty quickly. plus you dont have to worry about a fitting getting snaged and broken off. of course you cant switch on the fly very ez, unless you got a good crew.
    I wouldnt recomend by passing your racor, fuel injected motors can be rather sensitive to crud in the fuel.
    That is my set up. Sometimes I think the Racor style filter is just overkill as the Optimax has a huge replaceable filter already in the motor plus it has a alarm that sounds if water enters the fuel and has a drain screw to remove the motor.
    That being said I really would like to run from the 30 gallon drums as they are very heavy to lift up to where I can siphon out the gas into the main tank. I have to carry 8 of the 30 gallon drums on deck and 4 of the 15 gallon in the bow for my upcoming trip. Changing the 30 gallon drums to 15 isnt a viable option as I would have to contend with 16 of them on deck instead of 8.
    I'll get this dang thing figured out yet! Lots of ways to do it, just trying to find the easiest and safest.

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    Interesting thread...I plan on doing the same thing with my new boat. Travis at Ron's Honda in Soldotna suggested using the quick disconnect system and still running through the filters (plumb in ahead of filters). I use those 33 gallon heavy duty drums you can get from car washes. They work great, but be very careful, a fire could be a disaster.

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    I haven't run the jugs, but the way I run my permanent tank and portables through the racor is I have to feed lines to the fuel filter, each valved. One is plumbed to the permanent tank, the other to a line with a quick disconnect that I can hook up to a portable tank.

    You want to have a valve on each supply line as sometimes the quick connect won't seal and if you can't shut it off with a valve, when you're running on your main tank it can draw just enough air to loose prime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    That is my set up. Sometimes I think the Racor style filter is just overkill as the Optimax has a huge replaceable filter already in the motor plus it has a alarm that sounds if water enters the fuel and has a drain screw to remove the motor.
    That being said I really would like to run from the 30 gallon drums as they are very heavy to lift up to where I can siphon out the gas into the main tank. I have to carry 8 of the 30 gallon drums on deck and 4 of the 15 gallon in the bow for my upcoming trip. Changing the 30 gallon drums to 15 isnt a viable option as I would have to contend with 16 of them on deck instead of 8.
    I'll get this dang thing figured out yet! Lots of ways to do it, just trying to find the easiest and safest.
    HOLY Mackrel!
    300 gallons plus your under tank floor, that sounds like quite a trip!
    In my 17 Wooly I carried the two poly drums up front so were very handy in repect to the filler neck, Is your fill neck right at the base of the windshield as well?
    I havent tried it but dont know why a longer hose on the siphon wouldnt work? as long as you can get the outlet end low enough. Having things plumbed can be very convinent, however simplicity has its advantages too. Another possibility: Maybe you can have one setup with a long enough hose from the racor w/ quick disconnect at the poly and transfer it from poly to poly as needed, if your racor has the top w/ the 4 fittings on it you can plumb in a shut off valve right at the racor to select which line you want to use.....

  12. #12

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    Wow, that's a lot of fuel.

    If you're the using the black or white "plasticube" fuel drums that are either 15GA. or 30GA. capacity, there are withdrawl tubes (aka pickup tubes) that thread into the top of one of the tank caps. Then you thread a QD fuel line fitting into the withdrawl tube and just move your long fuel line (with a hand bulb primer) from one tank to the next.

    So a 15GA. fuel drum setup needs:

    15Ga drum
    3/4" to 3/8" reducer
    3/8" threaded withdrawl tube 20" long
    fine thread vented cap
    Fuel line fitting that matches the one on your long fuel line

    A 30GA. fuel drum needs:

    30GA drum
    3/4" to 3/8" reducer
    3/8" threaded withdrawl tube 30" long
    fine thread vented cap
    Fuel line fitting that matches the one on your long fuel line

    These parts are available anywhere you find the fuel drums for sale.

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    Default Boating

    Alaska boating Forum is very interesting topics for the newly entered members. I plan on doing the same thing with my new boat.I use those 33 gallon heavy duty drums you can get from car wishes.they work great but be very careful.since your boat engine uses a fuel pump all you need to do is use a bulkhead fitting on the bung and drop a pick up tube from the bottam of the drum.
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  14. #14
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman View Post
    I run Quick Disconnects on both of my main tank lines. When using barrels, I've made two pickups that go through the barrel bungs. Each has a line with a QD on the end to connect up to the main lines...with at least two people in the boat, you can run a barrel dry, switch to the next barrel, & the person riding shotgun can swap the pickup from the dead barrel to a new one...ya can keep going without stopping till ya run out of barrels (or maybe daylight)......
    This is exactly how we did it. Works like a charm.

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    Mark,
    I presume you just drill a hole thru the bung on the poly drum?

    Are you using copper for the dip tube?

    JacobyW,
    Are the plasticube drums square?
    Where do you get them?

  16. #16

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    Yeah, the plasticube drums are squarish, not round. They have a strong molded handle into the top of the drum. I've seen them at the all marine dealers around town over the years. They're actually way more popular in the bush for transporting fuel and for outboard fuel tanks.

    I used two 15GA. drum this summer hauling fuel inside my SUV on long off-road trips. Never a smell, never a leak, bulletproof pounding around with cargo.

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    I have a couple of the black barrels. But they cost upwards of $100 each now and you can get the 30 gallon round white barrels at most car washes for $15 or under. I have some of each at home and they both use the same size caps.

    I ended up purchasing a 3 way valve that I plan on plumbing in place so it draws from my main tank and then I can either select the barrels or main and direct it to the Racor (better safe than sorry I guess).

    What are you guys using for fuel fittings and pickup tubes? I am assumming people tap into the drum caps. I realize one of the caps needs a vent hose as well. How are you folks sealing the fittings?

    Do the stock gaskets work with fuel or do they need to be changed out as well? If they do, where can you purchase new gaskets?

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Mark,
    I presume you just drill a hole thru the bung on the poly drum?

    Are you using copper for the dip tube?.....
    Yup and yup.

    Pickup tubes plumbed up with copper fittings and tubing. Connection hose fitted with quick connects and squeeze pump to a T-fitting/manual-valve that feeds from onboard tanks or drums to engine. Two such pickup tubes make switchover quick and easy on the fly.

    We use the plastic/poly drums so that any empties not needed to get all the way back can be cut with a chainsaw and burned. The steel 55 gallon drum graveyards of the past need to stop.

    Snowwolfe has the plastic drums zeroed in: the car washes get their soap in plastic 55 gallon drums, and they sell them empty for about $15 each (used to be $10.................). Purge well with a hose and running water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobywestern View Post
    Wow, that's a lot of fuel.

    If you're the using the black or white "plasticube" fuel drums that are either 15GA. or 30GA. capacity, there are withdrawl tubes (aka pickup tubes) that thread into the top of one of the tank caps. Then you thread a QD fuel line fitting into the withdrawl tube and just move your long fuel line (with a hand bulb primer) from one tank to the next.

    So a 15GA. fuel drum setup needs:

    15Ga drum
    3/4" to 3/8" reducer
    3/8" threaded withdrawl tube 20" long
    fine thread vented cap
    Fuel line fitting that matches the one on your long fuel line

    A 30GA. fuel drum needs:

    30GA drum
    3/4" to 3/8" reducer
    3/8" threaded withdrawl tube 30" long
    fine thread vented cap
    Fuel line fitting that matches the one on your long fuel line

    These parts are available anywhere you find the fuel drums for sale.
    I must of visited the wrong stores today. Hit R&S plumbing, Napa, AIH, and Ace fuel fittings on 5th across from Merril Field.
    No one had the parts I needed and no one could find the necessary fittings to fit onto the caps.
    Any suggestions on where to pick up the parts? What did you use for a threaded fuel pickup line? Does it matter if you use copper fittings or would the galvinized work?
    Where do they sell 3/8 QD fuel fittings?
    Do I need to add another fuel bulb to the line going to the drums?

  20. #20

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    Gotta go to a marine dealer to find the parts to make the fuel drums work for outboards. Deweys, Anchorage Yamaha and AK Mining/Diving have had them. I saw the 15GA. white drums at Dewey's a week ago. I had to ask a parts guy before, so they would dig out the accessories to go with the tanks.

    The threaded fuel withdrawl tubes are available anywhere you do find the drums. The threaded part at the top is going to be either brass or aluminum - doesn't really matter which one you use. Some folks don't like to thread aluminum into aluminum as the threads have a chance of galling. Other folks don't like to mix brass and aluminum because of corrosion due to dis-similiar metals. Details.....

    3/8" QD fuel line fittings are definitely marine dealer specific. They make a bunch of different styles to match all the various OEM fuel lines fittings out there. If you're connecting your long fuel line directly to the outboard (no Racor-type primary filter installed on the boat), you should match that fitting. Then you'll need one fuel tank fitting for every withdrawl tube and its mate for the fuel drum end of the fuel line. You only need one primer bulb in the system.

    Clear as mud?

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