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Old 06-06-2016, 17:31   #1
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Fuel Filter and Water Separator

I've been long suspect that my very old Racor water separator doesn't work well, I've never once seen a drop of water in it. I operate a Perkins 4-108 diesel on my boat, and today just checking around *** There's no fuel in the sight glass of either my filter (Racor) or water Separator (Racor). I'm at the dock and must have been moments from fuel starvation. I twist the two butterfly fuel valve cocks several times after starting the engine, and fuel gradually starts to fill the glass. Filthy, particle laden scummy diesel. I had just changed the fuel filter the week before, and now I see I'll have to do it again soon. Racor fuel filters cans run 45.00 here now, but this trip to the chandlery I notice a Shoreline Fuel Filter and Water Separator for 43.00. Now my old separator had no filter on it. Nothing on the package says gas or diesel engines. The clerk looks on the package too ... shakes his head and says give it a go. So I did. I replaced my very old Racor. Seems two filters has to be better than one.
Is it better ... ?? the Shoreline filter cartridge is much, much cheaper than the Racor, and now I'll have two filters. Going on the hard and flushing the tank is not something I want to do till fall. Advice??? Comments ???
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Old 06-06-2016, 20:36   #2
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

Static ran the engine for 30 minutes. Then took it out in the salt chuck for 2hrs. Idle, acceleration all seemed ok. The 4-108 ran my boat 37 ft. cooper , 18 T , 2000 rpm 6kts, wide open 2300rpm 6.5 Kts. Thats hull speed. I guess (famous last words) all is well!!
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Old 06-06-2016, 20:58   #3
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

Your old filters were well marketed. There are FAR better options available, for instance the DAVCO filter.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:53   #4
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar2728 View Post
I've been long suspect that my very old Racor water separator doesn't work well, I've never once seen a drop of water in it. I operate a Perkins 4-108 diesel on my boat, and today just checking around *** There's no fuel in the sight glass of either my filter (Racor) or water Separator (Racor). I'm at the dock and must have been moments from fuel starvation. I twist the two butterfly fuel valve cocks several times after starting the engine, and fuel gradually starts to fill the glass. Filthy, particle laden scummy diesel. I had just changed the fuel filter the week before, and now I see I'll have to do it again soon. Racor fuel filters cans run 45.00 here now, but this trip to the chandlery I notice a Shoreline Fuel Filter and Water Separator for 43.00. Now my old separator had no filter on it. Nothing on the package says gas or diesel engines. The clerk looks on the package too ... shakes his head and says give it a go. So I did. I replaced my very old Racor. Seems two filters has to be better than one.
Is it better ... ?? the Shoreline filter cartridge is much, much cheaper than the Racor, and now I'll have two filters. Going on the hard and flushing the tank is not something I want to do till fall. Advice??? Comments ???

Are you saying your primary filter is a Racor fuel/water separator and it had no filter element inside?

And are you saying your secondary filter was a Racor with a clear sight bowl? And that's the one you replaced with the Shoreline product?

-Chris
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:45   #5
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

I'm with ranger42 with similar questions. Which model Racor water
seperator /filter and what other model Racor plain filter did you originally installed. The fuel/water separators and filter combos don't usually need a secondary filter after them - except the one mounted on the engine which is typically a 2 micron or so straight "can" type filter. The Racor's filter are available in various filter micron sizes. The filter elements are not super expensive even with OEM but you can often find generics such as NAPA or WIX at auto parts stores around $10-$12 or so - a little more for Racor.

The fact that there is no fuel in the sightglass is not necessarily an indication of empty tanks - could be an air leak in fuel line.

What did your fuel gauge or dip stick tell you about how much fuel was in the tank?

If you have "stuff" in the tank then cleaning it by repeatedly changing the filters will only work for very small amounts of contaminants. Also if done by running your engine to provide the fuel flow that means that you should also change the engine filter each time you fill up the main filter because it is normally a courser filter size and the really fine stuff is still getting by into the engine filter.
Better to use a separate pump and pull the fuel through the Racor - when dirty change it and keep doing so by recirculating the same fuel back to the tank (polishing). All it takes is a separate pump and some hose to jury rig one.
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Old 07-06-2016, 16:44   #6
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

Just a question related to this post. I dont see many boating installations with a
constant flow system . IE. you have an electric fuel pump at the tank which constantly flows fuel through your main filters /water separator systems and then back to the tank ,obviously with your engine feed remains in place . We always run this system in Race cars with a pressure regulator into the main carburettor , not required with a diesel as the engine return takes care of that. Anyone know why ?
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Old 07-06-2016, 17:01   #7
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

For less expensive replacement filters you might try Grainger, the industrial supply house. They have direct replacements by Baldwin for many Volvo / Perkins filters, and no shipping charges if you can get to one of their stores.
Baldwin is an American manufacturer of industrial filters.
No, I don't work for any of these companies.
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Old 10-06-2016, 14:57   #8
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

Fuel cleansing or "polishing" is generally a separate pump system than that used while the engines are running and can be a portable commercial system or something built into the permanent plumbing of the boat. Several are commercially available. Mine is self built into my boat as a permanent part of the fuel system. My boat has three 100 gallon diesel tanks and twin diesel engines. Utilizing one of the existing Racor FM 1000 fuel water separators I added a 12 Johnson fuel transfer pump and a 5-way bronze valve plus a couple of other valves and now I can use the pump to either transfer fuel from one tank to another, prime the individual filters or the engines, or polish the fuel.
I first installed it into my boat back in 2004 and each year before heading off on a long trip such as to the Bahamas, I run it in polish mode for a few minutes on each tank and check the sight glass for signs of water or debris. If any is found I continue to run it until I am satisfied it is all clear. With the Jabsco filter checking devices I can tell how dirty the filters are and not have to change them until they get out of the green. Saves replacing usable filters too soon.
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Old 11-06-2016, 13:27   #9
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

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Originally Posted by Barney21 View Post
Just a question related to this post. I dont see many boating installations with a
constant flow system . IE. you have an electric fuel pump at the tank which constantly flows fuel through your main filters /water separator systems and then back to the tank ,obviously with your engine feed remains in place . We always run this system in Race cars with a pressure regulator into the main carburettor , not required with a diesel as the engine return takes care of that. Anyone know why ?
Gasoline carburated engines are typically not recirculatory. The float valve in the fuel bowl opens and closes to keep the fuel level constant in the bowl.

Fuel injected gasoline engines and diesels are typically recirculating, where a pump delivers fuel to the fuel rail that feeds each injector, and at the end of the fuel rail, is a pressure regulator that maintains the rail pressure by bleeding off fuel via a return line to the tank.
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Old 11-06-2016, 18:17   #10
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Re: Fuel Filter and Water Separator

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Gasoline carburated engines are typically not recirculatory. The float valve in the fuel bowl opens and closes to keep the fuel level constant in the bowl.

Fuel injected gasoline engines and diesels are typically recirculating, where a pump delivers fuel to the fuel rail that feeds each injector, and at the end of the fuel rail, is a pressure regulator that maintains the rail pressure by bleeding off fuel via a return line to the tank.
You are correct , but you missed the point about the pressure regulator in the fuel line to the carburetor. We ran the return system to stop evaporation issues and to keep fuel 100% clean . Always worked !
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