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Old 15-04-2013, 19:13   #1
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Changing Racor Filter

Believe it or not in twenty years of sailing I have alway had a yard change my Racor diesel filter.

I want to know how, so I started the other day, the boat is on the hard.

drained the filter, removed, the filter and then the bowl ( clear plastic).

Oiled the o rings, replaced the bowl, hand tighten the filter.

Here is where I am not sure, does the vent plug have to be just loose or removed to get the primer to pick up the fuel from the tank?

I just lossened the vent plug ( not very much), I have pumped however I am not picking up any fuel.

Any suggestions, could you screw in a primer bulb and suck all the air out of the filter and fuel in thru the vent hole, 1/4 pipe I believe, then repace the plug?

I need a little help

Feel dumb

fletch
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:26   #2
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

Best to have an in-line electric fuel pump to charge the filter and rest of the system. Loosen the vent plug until the filter barrel is full then turn the engine over with the electric pump running until the rest of the lines are charged and full. I used to have a bypass on electric pump that I would engage as soon as the engine was running smoothly then shut down the electric pump. Engine was a Yanmar (ingrid 38), then a Lehmann (transpac 49), also worked on my Cat D330's on my DeFever as well. Good idea to familiarize yourself with basic maintenance... congrats. You can also try filling your Racor Resevoir by hand but you might get an air lock which will require bleeding at the injectors. Be sure you have a clean bucket under the filter to catch any overflow as the system charges and the vent plug is open a bit. Just pour the excess back in the fuel tank... good luck! Phil
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:27   #3
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by CampDavid View Post
Believe it or not in twenty years of sailing I have alway had a yard change my Racor diesel filter.

I want to know how, so I started the other day, the boat is on the hard.

drained the filter, removed, the filter and then the bowl ( clear plastic).

Oiled the o rings, replaced the bowl, hand tighten the filter.

Here is where I am not sure, does the vent plug have to be just loose or removed to get the primer to pick up the fuel from the tank?

I just lossened the vent plug ( not very much), I have pumped however I am not picking up any fuel.

Any suggestions, could you screw in a primer bulb and suck all the air out of the filter and fuel in thru the vent hole, 1/4 pipe I believe, then repace the plug?

I need a little help

Feel dumb

fletch
Take the top off the Racor and fill it with diesel. Unfortunately, you have likely got air in the system now, so will have to follow the instructions on how to prime the system you'll find in the engine manual. Hope that helps.
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:33   #4
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

I keep a sports water bottle filled with diesel. When I change and clean my Racor I use the sports bottle to fill the filter. I just squirt it in. It is a controlled fill with very little mess. If you fill it right to the top, you won't have to bleed the engine. I have done this while motor sailing when I had fuel problems, and it works like a charm. The less breaks you have in the fuel system such as adding electric pumps and squeeze bulbs, the less chances you have to create an air leak.
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:41   #5
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Did you top off the cleaned Racor with diesel? That way you pump less air during bleeding.
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:42   #6
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
I keep a sports water bottle filled with diesel. When I change and clean my Racor I use the sports bottle to fill the filter. I just squirt it in. It is a controlled fill with very little mess. If you fill it right to the top, you won't have to bleed the engine. I have done this while motor sailing when I had fuel problems, and it works like a charm. The less breaks you have in the fuel system such as adding electric pumps and squeeze bulbs, the less chances you have to create an air leak.
I was taught this very same technique and have been doing this way for 30 years. Never a problem.
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Old 15-04-2013, 20:06   #7
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

I think most of us were taught to fill the filters with fuel, before putting it back in service. And this go's for engine oil filters and engine fuel filters also. it's always a good idea not to have a void in the supply of fuel or oil to the engine. I have an old style oil can with a bent spot on the rim I use for all of this. It makes it a bunch easier to get the fluids into the filters, if ya have a problem doing this maybe the filters need to moved ! always remember the KISS rules ! always works for me ! Even Connie can and do change the filters aboard our boats
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Old 15-04-2013, 20:39   #8
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

There are a few different Racor filters. It sounds like yours doesn't have the T-handle on the top.

Yes, you can take out the 1/4" NPT fitting and vacuum away with the little vacuum bulb until fuel comes out, then reinstall the plug.

One of these will work a little better, and I'm sure you'll find lots of other uses for it besides fuel filters.

Mityvac 7400 7.3 Liter Fluid Evacuator : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 16-04-2013, 10:43   #9
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

The problem with attempting to suck diesel up into the filter (at the filter) is that you will also be sucking the fuel from the engine side which could leave you with air in your system. My system has an inline diaphram pump which pushes fuel up into the racor 500. This allows me to fill the filter with the top off. The switches for the pumps are very accessable and I can easily fill the filter to the top without spilling any over the top. I never have to bleed the system. This can also be done with a hand priming bulb installed on the tank side of the filter.
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Old 16-04-2013, 11:08   #10
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

Since the topic is changing the filter, my suggestion is that you not ignore the o rings. Often filters come with them, but some folks do not seem inclined to change them. Use papertowels or lint free cloth to clean the sealing surfaces and inspect any seals you are not planning (or able) to change.

I just worked on a local islands dive boat, part of the problem it had was the large seal on the Racor had a crease in it that allowed air in. I did not have a replacement but was able to flip it over and make it work.

Don't forget to carry spare seals and o rings.
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Old 16-04-2013, 12:28   #11
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

"This can also be done with a hand priming bulb installed on the tank side of the filter."

Bulbs are not ABYC approved for below decks. FWIW.
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Old 16-04-2013, 12:32   #12
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
"This can also be done with a hand priming bulb installed on the tank side of the filter."

Bulbs are not ABYC approved for below decks. FWIW.
Indeed. As noted by others, the simple solution is just to fill the filter before turning the system on. This works even for engine filters. I haven't bled an engine in 20 years because as long as you fill the filter housing, you don't have to.
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Old 16-04-2013, 14:20   #13
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Best to have an in-line electric fuel pump to charge the filter and rest of the system. Loosen the vent plug until the filter barrel is full then turn the engine over with the electric pump running until the rest of the lines are charged and full. I used to have a bypass on electric pump that I would engage as soon as the engine was running smoothly then shut down the electric pump. Engine was a Yanmar (ingrid 38), then a Lehmann (transpac 49), also worked on my Cat D330's on my DeFever as well. Good idea to familiarize yourself with basic maintenance... congrats. You can also try filling your Racor Resevoir by hand but you might get an air lock which will require bleeding at the injectors. Be sure you have a clean bucket under the filter to catch any overflow as the system charges and the vent plug is open a bit. Just pour the excess back in the fuel tank... good luck! Phil
That's what I do, but my electric fuel pump goes on as soon as I turn the switch to "on". I'm not sure how mine is set up exactly as far as the return line, but I don't even have to open a bleed valve. No need to turn the diesel over. I just cut it on, leave it there for about five minutes, and then off and done. No bleeding.

And, I know how to bleed a diesel, I grew up on a farm with diesel tractors and had to do it about once a month. But, this is so so so much easier.
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Old 16-04-2013, 14:33   #14
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

By the way, I don't normally empty all the fuel out of the Racor housing when changing the filter. Just carefully pull the filter out of the fuel and replace with a new one. I do periodically drain off a small bit of fuel from the bottom of the Racor just to make sure I get rid of any water trapped there. If the level of fuel doesn't drop below where the fuel lines connect air won't get in the system
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Old 16-04-2013, 14:47   #15
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Re: Changing Racor Filter

I follow the Kettlewell plan above and I always make sure I have a little diesel on hand to top off the Racor before I do the job.
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