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Old 13-05-2008, 11:24   #1
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Cleaning Racor 500 FG Filter - Problem !

I have just bought a second hand boat with a Racor 500fg diesel fuel filter.

On my happy maintenance sojourn I look deeply into the bowl and notice some grunge that needs to be cleaned out.

a) I can't find a Racor manual on the net

Near the base of the filter in the glass is 2 nuts, one black plastic at the bottom, and one white nylon on the side/bottom of the glass..

I undo the black plastic one in the bottom middle of the bowl and drain off some ooze, but not all.

The ooze that remains is near the white nylon nut. I can't undo it with a spanner, nor with a screw driver.

So some grunge remains in the bowl. Not as much as before and the boat has motored an hour fine.

I try to unbolt the whole glass but don't have the right spanner. 7mm?

I have a new filter to change but wonder should I change the filter if there is grunge in the bowl? Or keep the old filter till it clogs then change?

Questions:

1) Can I leave an amount of grunge in the bowl waiting for it to float down to where I can drain it off?
2) Should I keep the old filter in till it clogs, or put in a new filter?
3) Can someone teach Nicolle to be a mechanic and I'll sit in a hammock?




The black knob in the bottom I can twist open. The one lower right side half hidden by the bowl is the one I cant undo and is now surrounded by gunk.


Thanks,


Mark
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Old 13-05-2008, 11:30   #2
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Hi Mark,
A little grunge in the bottom is nothing. That is where it is supposed to go if it does not go up into the element. Some crud is just heavier than diesel. The opening in the bottom is for draining water and other junk that gets in there. These filters also have the option for a conductivity sensor which senses water. I have a water sensor on mine but I dont remember which of the two plugs the water sensor goes into. I would guess the upper plug since the lower is the drain. I will look today and see.

I had a petcock with a screw on end-plug put on the bottom of my filter. Screwing in a plug with diesel streaming out is not fun. The petcock makes for less mess.

Its when you see water or lots of grunge that you need to get concerned. They will never be perfectly clean if you use your diesel at all. Are they dual filters? With duals you can run them until the engine dies...not that you ever want to, but it is no big deal to switch over. This is compared to one filter where you have to re-prime the fuel system because you had to change out the filter element.

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Old 13-05-2008, 11:32   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Are they duals?
No, just the one.

Thanks for your advice


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Old 13-05-2008, 11:33   #4
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IMHO that bit of grunge won't be a problem since the fuel enters the bowl first and is then passed up through the paper filter before exiting. Little chance that gunk will be passed on to the engine secondary filter. It's an aesthetics thing of course.....

The center petcock assembly will screw all the way out. Maybe that will give you enough access to stick a swab in there and get the gunk out. Else you'll need to find the right size wrench and take the whole bowl off.


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Old 13-05-2008, 11:58   #5
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All the above is correct. The way the RACOR works is that it not only filters the junk, but also acts as a water separator. Inside the RACOR bowl, there is a small (metal in mine, but could be plastic) ball that sinks in diesel, but floats in water. If you get too much water in the bowl, the ball moves up and closes off the outflow port.

The NEW RACOR filter elements have a large (~3mm) cylindrical cutout in the bottom so that it fits into the NEWer RACOR units. These NEW RACOR elements can be used in the OLDer RACOR units IF ***** IF **** you have the plug like adapter that fits in that cylindrical chasm in the filter element. IF you use the NEW element in the OLD case, without the adapter, you have rendered your RACOR ineffective as the outlet will suck the fuel through the gap, rather than forcing it through the filter. The OLDer filter element will not fit into the NEWer filter case.
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Old 13-05-2008, 12:25   #6
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Thanks guys!!


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Old 13-05-2008, 12:30   #7
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The side plug is for the installation of an optional water sensor. A little gunk around the plug won't effect anything. If, more likely when, the bowl does get covered in gunk, it is easier to remove and clean the whole unit rather than wrench off the bowl alone. this can be done when you are changing out the filter element as you will have to bleed the line anyway. pay attention to the comment about using an adaptor on older units using new filter elements. (ther adaptors come will new filter elements made by Racor) You can tell if the adaptor should be used as the filter element will seat about 1 inch from the top of the unit (too low) and the fuel will bypass the element. A properly seated filter sits very close to the top of the unit.
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Old 13-05-2008, 20:25   #8
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Maintenance Job #99 - Remove iceberg.

Since all seems to be going well why not just put it down as job #99 where you pull the entire filter assembly out, replace any suspect items, and give it a proper clean? Do it when you have some spare time and need black box points.

If you can see one problem there are probably a few others as well.
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Old 14-05-2008, 08:24   #9
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i've pulled them and cleaned them, but mainly just because i wanted to have an idea of how the filter worked (i'm strange like that). I also replaced one of the bowls because it had some crazing in the plastic. Now I wished i had done both as I have one that is clear, one that is amber ( i have a two filter polishing system) and they both have different drain types, but that has nothing to do with the story.

Anyhow, to drop the bowls you just remove those 4 screws that face down, a collar comes off and the bowl will be wedged up in there. There is a gasket on the top of the bowl I replaced those too, but I don't know that it is always necessary.
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Old 14-05-2008, 09:43   #10
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Mark, dropping down the bowl is not part of normal maintenance. Its only done if something needs to be replaced or it needs a rebuild.

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Old 14-05-2008, 13:23   #11
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Thanks for everyones advice.

If Racor ever gets an idea to put a users manual on the internet I wont have to bug you guys
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Old 14-05-2008, 13:31   #12
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Hey, Mark. Whatever you do, don't tighten the nuts too tight. You can crack the bowl and then you'll get air in the fuel system.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:24   #13
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Here is a link so some info that Parker Hannifin makes publicly available about its Racor filters, including exploded diagrams, replacement part numbers and troubleshooting tips: http://www.parker.com/literature/Rac...ine_Series.pdf
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:31   #14
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FG 500 Cleaning--"Out, Out Damned Gunk!"

First obtain a pressure cannister of WD 40, an inexpensive long thin artist's paint brush from an art supplies store and some 1/4" ID clear plastic tubing. The tubing connects to the drain spout on the bottom of the filter bowl and should be long enough to reach a container to collect the waste fuel and debris from the bowel. If the top of the filter is lower than the level of the fuel in you tank, close the fuel feed line valve between the filter and the tank.

Next, loosen, but do not yet open, the drain valve to which the plastic tubing is connected and than remove the filter lid and the filter element. You will be left with a bowl of fuel with the grunge on the bottom. In the filter assembly there is a slotted plate under the spot where the filter element rests. Extend the long thin paint brust through one or more of the slots on the plate and use it to aggitate the material in the bottom of the bowl back into suspension in the fuel. At this point you can finish opening the drain so that the fuel/grunge mixture drains out, through the plastic tube. This will likely not get all of the grunge out but quite a bit of it. To get the remainder, extend the nozzel from the pressurized cannister of WD 40 throught the slots on the plate and use it to "blast" the grunge in the bowl. You may need to use the paint-brush to futher brush the inside face of the bowl to get everything loose. Thoroughly blasting the inside of the bowl and the filter housing assembly with WD40 will clean it up pretty well and wash 99% of the gunk out of the drain.

Then close and tighten the drain--finger tight is all that's necessary--insert a new filter eliment and put the lid with a new o-ring on the top of the filter and tighten--then, completely loosen and remove the screw fitting that holds the top on the filter, but leaving the seated top in place. Then open the fuel feed valve and be ready to reinstall the locking screw but do not until fuel begins to flow onto the top of the filter assembly. With this you will end up with a nicely cleaned filter and will probably not have to bleed your fuel lines. (If your filter is above your fuel tank or the level of fuel in the tank, you can fill the filter assembly manually and then "top it up" through the screw hole although you may need to tap the feed line to the filter assembly and the assembly itself to break any bubbles loose.)

I've used the foregoing process yearly, or more often if necessary, for the last 6 years and have yet to have to bleed othe fuel lines on our 4-108.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 12-09-2008, 14:16   #15
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That fitting in the side of the bowl is for their water sensor probe.
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