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Old 18-12-2007, 14:22   #16
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The factory authorized Yanmar dealer that I used to buy my filters from when we lived in Virginia stopped carrying the 30 and 10 micron Racors. He told me that Yanmar recommended using the 2 micron filters. I have 10s and 2s, and I think either one is OK. The Racor 500 MA flow rating is so much higher than the actual consumption rate of my engine that it really has to be clogged up to cause fuel starvation. I've never had a problem.

Like Raptor Dance, I use bug killer every time I fuel up. And I have a copper tubing dipstick attached to an outboard fuel tank squeeze bulb/rubber tubing to sample the dregs in the tank to check for water and sludge. Nice and clean so far.
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Old 18-12-2007, 16:48   #17
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Using a 2micron is unnessesary overkill and unwanted. It is far too small. I suggest you guy's listen to Pat. He is an expert in this field.
The first filter in the line from your tank(secondary) should be a minimum of 10. A 30 is quite OK even. The next filter should be a 5-7. They are normaly a 6 in CAV filters for this very reason. This set is called the Primary. IMO, the mesh filter in the mechancile pump should be removed and the main filters left to do the job. Going smaller than 5 micron is as Pat has stated, a waste of time. Plus it will gum up way to fast, especially in colder weather, the fuel will struggle to flow sufficently through the 2.
A filter should not be left to just block up and then once blocked, changed. Especially if Algal growth is present. The spores will pass right through even a 2 micron and will continuse to grow further down stream as and when they meet water trapped somewhere. If you have bug int he tank, you will have bug in the filters and I can bet you you will have bug further past the filter. The only thing the filters will stop are the fully grown algae, especially dead ones and this will even block a 30u.
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Old 18-12-2007, 17:30   #18
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Hi Alan - Our experts disagree with your experts on the Micron size.

But yes, We agree, you should not leave the filter to clog - it should be replaced at the first signs of getting dirty.

Even when we were cruising in the Pacific Northwest, we didn't have any problems with filters clogging due to cold weather (but we much prefer Mexico!).

By the way - the crud that infects diesel fuel is Bacteria and Fungus - not Algae...

An additive will help, but if you over use it some of them will cause a waxy substance to build up in the fuel.

Regards,
Bill
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Old 18-12-2007, 17:58   #19
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Don't waste your time arguing, he's an engineer and they know everything. I now I married one.

Also, there is a Westerbeke Service Bulletin. I've posted it on this site in the past. Tomorrow I will dig it up and get it scanned in to post to this thread.

My oppinion
Mechanicaly injected diesel engines need no finer filtration than about 5mcn.
Newer electronic and Common Rail diesel engines need as fine a filter as you can buy.
Follow the manufacturers recommendations in the owners manual to not cause potential warranty complications.

Heres the correct reason for fuel "sludge as I know it.

Most people who operate and maintain Diesel engine systems are familiar with the black slimy material frequently seen
in their fuel filter elements, and found in the bottoms of their fuel tanks. It is known by many names e.g. algae, mud,
sludge, dirt, BS&W, and many other unsavory sounding terms – all of which are misnomers. Many people think this
material is some sort of microbe, thus in the marine industry, it is most commonly called “algae”. While bacteria and
other microbes contribute to and accelerate this process, sludge is no more bacteria than milk that has turned into
cottage cheese – it’s still milk, only in a physically different form -- Diesel fuel forms wax and asphalt, not “algae”.

To understand the source and nature of this material, it is helpful to know a little about how Diesel Fuel and other
distillate products are made in today’s modern refineries. In the “old days” (15 – 25 years ago) processing of
crude oil into the light distillate products we all know as gasoline, Kerosene, home heating oil, jet fuel, and diesel
was basically done through heating the crude oil. At different boiling points, the various fractions of the crude
were evaporated then condensed and sent to a storage tank for distribution. The distillate product, diesel fuel
included, were fairly stable products with shelf life measured in the several months range.

The residual oil left over after the distillation process, approximately 50% of the barrel of crude that we start with,
is the very heavy oils that are used for large ships and power plants, along with other industrial applications
e.g. manufacture of products such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, nylon, asphalt, etc.

The refining process is dramatically different today. Demand for these light distillate products has increased
rapidly, forcing the refiners to find new ways to extract more of them from the crude oil. Catalytic, or chemical
cracking now allows the refiner to make more of the valuable lighter distillates from each barrel of crude, leaving
only about 16% of the residual as heavy fuel oils. Environmental concerns have resulted in additional treatment
of diesel, for example to lower sulphur content. This also contributes to instability of today’s fuels.

Diesel fuel refined with these new methods is far less stable than that made with simple distillation. This results
in more rapid deterioration in the form of solids precipitating to make sludge. Key fuel components such as
paraffins and asphaltenes begin to oxidize and
re-polymerize resulting in dark coloration, clogged filters and tank sludge that is commonly called “algae”.
In reality, this stuff is actually wax and asphalt !!

When this condition is present, the fuel does not combust rapidly causing a loss of engine efficiency. When the
exhaust ports open, still smoldering fuel clusters become smoke & soot, leaving carbon buildup in the engine
and exhaust trunk. Eventually, when it precipitates to the bottom of the tank, or is trapped in your filter, these
key components cannot contribute to transferring the energy in the fuel to power the engine.

So the cause of the so called “algae” is simply the result of ageing fuel, which can occur in as little as 60-90 days,
and depending on the cleanliness, and maintenance of the tanks in which it is kept, possibly even sooner.

The results of using fuel in this condition include:
  • Tank Sludge that must be removed manually or dissolved with chemicals
  • Clogged filters that must be replaced(and disposed of)
  • Incomplete combustion
    • Wasted BTU’s
    • Smoking engines
    • Carbon Deposits in the engine
i.Shortening the life of major (read expensive) engine components
ii.Dirty engine Oil
iii.Poor engine performance

Solutions for Recovering Diesel Fuel Quality

Traditional technologies used to protect engines from poor quality fuel include filtration to remove particulate
e.g. dirt & sludge, separation of water content, and use of biocides to control microbial activity, which can
contribute to more rapid formation of solids. Equipment to provide this protection is of course, still necessary.
However, what many operators are seeing is a much shorter life of the filter elements, resulting in more frequent
filter changes. This is due to the paraffins and asphaltenes (and other fuel components) having re-polymerized,
or agglomerated to form solids. This will happen even without the presence of microbes, so biocides cannot
prevent this problem from occurring.

************************************************** ******************
Summary
Today’s Diesel Fuel is refined in a much different way than that of 15-20 years ago. Catalytic cracking produces
a far greater volume of light & middle distillate products from each barrel of crude oil, however the stability of the
fuels has been dramatically shortened.

Key fuel components such as paraffins and asphaltenes begin to form clusters that precipitate into the sludge
commonly known as “algae”. They comprise the bulk of this material that clogs filters, causes engines to smoke
and perform poorly, and makes tank sludge.

Have a nice day and do what you believe is right for your own junk. Don't preach it unless your willing to back it up. Even with a check book when you get sued for damages from false information.
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:05   #20
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Now for a technical aspect

Injectors have a total clearance of .0005" which is .00025" per side.

1 micron is .000039" (1/1,000,000 m) or 1µ.

So, the smallest particle that could pass thru the .00025" passage would be 6.41 µ (microns) and that would stand to reason that a 5-7 µ filter would just pass the test.

Quote:
The most common problem with injectors is they accumulate a buildup of wax, tars, and olefins inside the injector and on the pintle/seat area. These types of debris buildup will restrict the flow of fuel through the injector. These are elements of the gasoline that are baked on the injector after the engine is turned off and the temperature climbs to the highest point. The injectors are manufactured to such close tolerances that a 5-micron buildup (a human hair measures 40 to 90 microns) will reduce the flow up to 25%. Utilizing a chemical harsh enough to remove this buildup will also possibly damage internal injector o-rings and seals. It is unknown what effect the chemical cleaners have on the oxygen sensors or catalytic converters.
Fuel and injector cleaning and fuel related products

But then like I stated earlier Racor doesn't make a 5-7µ filter to fit my housing.
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:10   #21
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Post Here's more tech info

http://www.baldwinfilter.com/engineer/pdf/89-5R3.pdf

ALGAE-X Fuel Conditioning, Fuel Treatment, Magnetic Fuel Conditioners, Diesel Fuel

http://www.fram.com/pdf/FluidFilterRating.pdf

And don't forget the beta ratio.

Enjoy the read
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:39   #22
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Unless you're the original author of the copy at Diesel Fuel Doctor, Algae-x diesel fuel cleaning Never Monday, your decision to not cite the source of the information in your post is copyright infringement. The information is valuable, but attributing it to the Diesel Fuel Doctor website is the only ethical, and legal, way to bring it to the attention of Cruisers Forum members.

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Old 18-12-2007, 18:41   #23
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
Unless you're the original author of the copy at Diesel Fuel Doctor, Algae-x diesel fuel cleaning Never Monday, your decision to not cite the source of the information in your post is copyright infringement. The information is valuable, but attributing it to the Diesel Fuel Doctor website is the only ethical, and legal, way to bring it to the attention of Cruisers Forum members.

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Then deleate all of my damn post and kick me off of the forum...
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Old 18-12-2007, 18:48   #24
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Overselling filter "systems"

Delmarrey has a good quantization of the particulate size one might strive to achieve with filtration. The logical problem, in particular (get it?) with Algae X is that they "oversell" items to place on your fuel system.

IN addition, I did a few jobs for Cummins at their headquarters research facility. I could find no one who supported Algae X products even though the Algae X website shows photographs of a Cummins engine using their products. I suppose that one particular distributor of a Cummins engine was persuaded to mount the Algae X products on a particular engine. Who knows what was the deal? One "snake oil" product that they seem to espouse is a device that supposedly uses magnetics to "filter" the fuel. Again, guess what, all proper fuel filters remove whatever that device is purported to remove. Save your money and installation quandries on such devices.

Why would Cummins support a competitor to their Fleetguard filter products on of which is really great for marine use.

The concept of having a magnetic particulate device is bogus because virtually ALL diesel fuel filters remove such particulates already. In addition, they also remove or fail to pass water, so one does not necessarily need a "special" water separator that is not already included in the filter housing.

The commercial users of diesel merely use BIG filters. They don't have time to prefilter the fuel going into the tanks they just filter the heck out of it. Many standard commercial filter elements are essentially the same price as those little "toy" Racor elements (about 9 dollars) and are HUGE by comparison in filtration capability before fouling.
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Old 18-12-2007, 19:09   #25
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Not to be misunderstood

I wasn't promoting Algae-X, the article about sludge and algae was the point of posting the link, not their product.
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Old 18-12-2007, 21:18   #26
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Thanks Guys

Well …………., we have consensus then.

delmarrey

I'm curious, why would you want to run such a large fuel filter system for your size of boat? Do you have old tanks?
Just thought better/more filtering would be better. Change filters less often. Oh ya, and because of a lot of the things I’ve read on this board. Can’t hurt.

never monday
Using a 2 mcn filter for primary filtration can cause a lean conditions and decrease the available power from the engine.
Wouldn’t this really have more to do with the flow rate (GPH) of the filter? At least until it gets pluged.

Hud3
Don't you have a filter mounted on the engine itself?
I have a canister type secondary (after the fuel pump) and a filter element in the fuel pump.

RaptorDance
My comment about which filter to change refers to when you have two Racor 500s in series and no backup - with one vacuum gauge between the engine and the 2 filters - when you get excessive pressure - which of the two would you change?
As per your description above, you’re correct, I couldn’t. I would buy individual filters (two) and replace the T handles with vacuum gauges.
I'd rather have the safety of a filter that removes the most particulate matter.
I agree and this is what I’m trying to achieve. Only thing is where you use the word “filter” I would use the words “filter system”.

never monday
The engine mounted filter for a mechanical diesel is 5-7mcn. anything smaller will pass thru the pump and injectors and be burnt.
Would these filters be the same as the ones that I’ve read about that only filter/catch 90% + - of the particles that size? What about the rest?

David M
Yes, the secondary filters on the engine should be changed out periodically, but at least you won't be forced to change one out while underway. It can be done at YOUR convenience because it is not getting clogged if the upstream filter is the same "mesh" size or filtration size.

Bottom line, having a smaller filtration size downstream of the dual Racors defeats the purpose of dual Racors.
This is making sense to me. Filters and/or filter system that is cheaper to maintain, easier access, and protects your engine to a higher level. This can’t be bad, can it? Everything is to degrees of course. But I guess this is really what the discussion is about. Opinion on degrees.

Alan Wheeler

The first filter in the line from your tank (secondary) should be a minimum of 10. A 30 is quite OK even. The next filter should be a 5-7. They are normally a 6 in CAV filters for this very reason. This set is called the Primary.
Hi Alan, I’m brand new to sailing. In July of this year I couldn’t spell sailboat (never sailed) and by the end of August I owned a Corbin 39. Your posts have been very interesting to read and usually follow my own sense of logic. It gives me hope that I may be able to sail one day. Just for my own info thou, I thought the filters on the suction side were the primaries and the filters on the pressure side (after the pump and closer to the engine were the secondary’s. Is this not correct? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

delmarrey

So, the smallest particle that could pass thru the .00025" passage would be 6.41 µ (microns) and that would stand to reason that a 5-7 µ filter would just pass the test.
Would one not want to then try to filter there fuel in such a way the 100% of it has NO particles larger than 6 microns? Say with a 2 micron filter. I think that what you’re saying. If it is then that makes sense to me.

So…. If you can filter to 2 microns in a way as to not have your filters continuously plugging up, can you damage your engine? If you have more filters, does it not just increase the time between filter changes? Even if it’s not exactly prorated. If one could theoretically filter out particles even as same as ˝ a micron but still have the flow rate would that not be okay?

Anyway, it’s all good and I think I know what to do.
Thanks.
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Old 19-12-2007, 20:05   #27
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delmarrey[/B]
So, the smallest particle that could pass thru the .00025" passage would be 6.41 µ (microns) and that would stand to reason that a 5-7 µ filter would just pass the test.
Would one not want to then try to filter there fuel in such a way the 100% of it has NO particles larger than 6 microns? Say with a 2 micron filter. I think that what you’re saying. If it is then that makes sense to me.

So…. If you can filter to 2 microns in a way as to not have your filters continuously plugging up, can you damage your engine? If you have more filters, does it not just increase the time between filter changes? Even if it’s not exactly prorated. If one could theoretically filter out particles even as same as ˝ a micron but still have the flow rate would that not be okay?

Anyway, it’s all good and I think I know what to do.
Thanks.
I maintain the fuel sites for the City here and through all the trouble we have been having with the bio-diesel we have learned a lot in the past 4 years. The Harbor Patrol and Fire boats still refuse to run bio. I work hand in hand with the diesel mechanic's when it comes to fuel problems.

Every week I do a flow rate of each dispenser and when it gets below a certain rate then I'll change out the filter. The same works with a gauge, a new filter should not show any restriction/reading. If so then it's the wrong size/flow-rated. A 500 series is good enough along with a engine mounted filter.

If you install a vac. gauge on the down stream side of the 500 that should keep you totally informed of it's status. Once the needle starts moving it will accelerate in a short time. It usually means you have a fuel problem. Filters should be changed at maintenance intervals rather then at problematic periods.

Anyway, at the sites we filter down to 3µ right at the pump. Most commercial sites go down to 10 µ. I think one thing you need to consider is where you are getting your fuel. If it's a good dealer they will change dispenser filters every 6 months and you might even ask at each fill up what size µ filter they are using. If they don't know then I'd be cautious but most State's side venders are pretty good due to regulations by the government.

It's when you get out of the country you need to be really careful.
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Old 19-12-2007, 20:35   #28
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I have not heard mention of what micron size the usually spin on filter(primary) is on most engines. I would assume it is a 5 micron. It would not make sense it being larger or equal size of the secondary. I'm thinking a 10 micron seconary witha 5 micron primary, would be a fair set up. Anyone know?
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Old 19-12-2007, 21:05   #29
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Now, now my friend.....

Breathe....hold 1...2....3....release.

As mechanics, we come across all kinds of misinformation, disinformation, and bravo-sierra. We have to take the high ground sometimes and calmly explain systems to some of our customers.....One of my favorites was the 1GM that had a RACOR 500 into a Racor Spin-on to the engine filter.

I hae also seen the shysters who claim. they are cleaning tanks...when all they are doing is "polishing" fuel.

What amazes me the most is some people are so paranoid about marine fuel, but they don't give a thought to what goes in their diesel vehicle.

It is up to us to explain to customers that vacuum gauges do not read in PSI....but vacuum...

All in a days work and fun.

Breathe in 1.....2......3.......exhale AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


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Old 11-05-2008, 00:24   #30
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Final? Design

So here is what I'm doing (unless someone points out a problem).
What do you think?
It's been a long winter, so I haven't been on this the way I'd have liked to have been.
I have my filters but still need a wack of 3 way valves and a polishing pump.
Considering how many I need, does anyone have any suggestions where I could get them at a reasonable price? Also any suggestions for a polishing pump?
Thanks,
Extemp
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