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Old 05-09-2008, 13:56   #1
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fuel filters are fuel filters?

Are they standard or do I need a special marine or diesel filter?

thanks,
J
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Old 05-09-2008, 14:10   #2
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Filters come in different grades, i.e. 2 micron, 10 micron, 20 micron. If you've got a system like a Racor, you may have a 20 micron prefilter followed by a smaller rating second filter, there's some discussion about whether 10 micron is enough and so on.

Mainly you need to match the filter grade and application (container/cannister), "marine" should not be an issue.
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Old 05-09-2008, 15:16   #3
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Which fuel filters do you mean? The engine mounted secondary filter or the primary filters such as dual Racors? I stick with the manufacturers filters for my Cummins engines and with the Racor filters for my Racor dual filter system. I do this because I know what I am getting and because if there are problems, I know I am backed by the manufacturer because I used their product(s).

The only place where I do not use a stock filters are the K&N's on the turbos used for for the AirSep system....Cummins though approves of AirSeps and K&N's and this is in writing.

Filters are so cheap in the big picture and so much is at stake if they fail that it is best to not go cheap on your filters. Yes, I am talking about Fram filters. That's just my opinion.
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Old 05-09-2008, 16:03   #4
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David, don't be intimidated by warranties. In the US this was settled by the federal courts over auto industry practices in the 60's. The warrantor (of anything in the US0 cannot refuse to provide warranty service because of third party parts, fluids, etc. UNLESS they can specifically prove those parts caused the failure. That's part of "illegal competition in restraint of trade" and there is no discussion about it any more, hasn't been for some 40 years.

The only question then, if whether the filter/fluid maker is as reputable as the engine maker, and pretty much all the major vendors will have the same statement in writing, that if your engine fails because of their oil, filter, etc., they will pick up the repairs for you. That's simply confidence in the quality of the product. And considering that the engine makers all subcontract for their own brand name filters and such--not surprising.<G>
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Old 05-09-2008, 16:37   #5
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David, don't be intimidated by warranties. In the US this was settled by the federal courts over auto industry practices in the 60's. The warrantor (of anything in the US0 cannot refuse to provide warranty service because of third party parts, fluids, etc. UNLESS they can specifically prove those parts caused the failure. That's part of "illegal competition in restraint of trade" and there is no discussion about it any more, hasn't been for some 40 years.

The only question then, if whether the filter/fluid maker is as reputable as the engine maker, and pretty much all the major vendors will have the same statement in writing, that if your engine fails because of their oil, filter, etc., they will pick up the repairs for you. That's simply confidence in the quality of the product. And considering that the engine makers all subcontract for their own brand name filters and such--not surprising.<G>
Thats exactly the problem. If third party parts cause damage then you cant go crying to Cummins or whoever to fix it under warranty. It wasn't their part.

Why chance something so critical with a cheap part in the first place?? Why even risk having to hassle with a company that sold you substandard parts...even though they claim they will pay for damage caused by their cheap part? What about all the time lost getting something fixed that you are not compensated for? It's not worth putting dollars at risk to save pennies. Thats just not my philosophy.

Over the years, I have seen way too many people having to spend huge amounts of money because they tried to save a few dollars. Thinking about it I could name a dozen things right off the top of my head.
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Old 05-09-2008, 17:56   #6
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I am of a similar view to David on this as the saving in cost between using the engine manufacturer's labelled filters and a generic brand is miniscule when compared to the overall costs of running a boat - a saving of the equivalent of the cost of a few litres of diesel per filter, perhaps.

All the good commercial operators I have worked with who have much bigger and far more expensive engines than most of us always stick to the engine manufacturers' filters and recommended fluids - it is not worth the hassle of not doing so and when it comes to filters any savings would likely be the equivalent of less than the cost of fuel for a few minutes running of an engine (and, of course, the engine manufacturers approve a broad range of brands when it comes to fluids).

Note, I am not saying that generic filters are necessarily of lesser quality but just that unless specifically approved by the engine manufacturer the knowledge of the quality is at large - by quality I mean either quality of manufacture or simple suitability for the engine's service (especially with respect to fuel filters).
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Old 05-09-2008, 19:02   #7
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Are you referring to filters only or filter/water separators?

Generally speaking 30 microns is good for a primary, 2 microns for the secondary
(or whatever size the manufacturer suggests i.e. the engine mounted filter.
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Old 06-09-2008, 20:28   #8
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to keep this off track...
I agree with David. Not because it increases my sales. Because what he's saying is fact. I have first hand experience that cost me about $4000.00. This was after the discount.
The early Universal (Kubota) engines used an oil filter that had an 18mm thread. Later engines went to a 20mm thread. Usually you know as soon as you try to install the late filter on an early engine you screwed up. Well I grabbed a late filter on accident and it went on. It tightened down and stayed put for 6 hrs. Then it blew off and seized the engine. I was assisted in this loss with a massive discount in the price of the replacement engine I had to buy.
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Old 06-09-2008, 21:15   #9
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"The early Universal (Kubota) engines used an oil filter that had an 18mm thread. Later engines went to a 20mm thread. "
That's got nothing to do with the brand or make of filter you use, that's just called using the right--or wrong--size filter for the engine.

And sticking to "gen-you-whine OEM" parts is no guarantee of what you will get, either. There are major international counterfeit rings for any branded object you can think of. Ford, Mopar, Toyota, all have received "faulty" parts that were outright counterfeits. It isn't just the airline industry--where counterfeit parts have been known to bring aircraft down.

Engine manufacturers have relied on FUD and borderline terrorism of their users probably since engines were first made. Stanley Steamers didn't have boiler explosions--but the other car makers made sure that the public "knew" steam engines were unsafe and would blow up. Homeowners refused to allow Edison's electricity into their houses, because they "knew" it could leak out and electrocute them--unless safe gas (ahem) illumination. They "knew" it because..funny thing...the competition kept telling them so.

Preying on the consumers is nothing new. Getting service on a warrantee? May or may not be easy even with just the OEM involved. OEMs have been taken to court and forced to honor warranties more than once or twice. The rep of the particular maker counts for more than "gen-you-whine" or not.
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Old 06-09-2008, 22:06   #10
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Engine manufacturers have relied on FUD and borderline terrorism of their users probably since engines were first made.
Never experienced that myself, nor have the clients I've worked with. In fact quite the opposite, sometimes bordering on quite generous.

Of course I can understand that your own experiences are, as you say, different.
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Old 07-09-2008, 20:50   #11
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It isn't just the airline industry--where counterfeit parts have been known to bring aircraft down.

<snip>

Preying on the consumers is nothing new. Getting service on a warrantee? May or may not be easy even with just the OEM involved.
Hellosailor. You know I have a lot of respect for your inputs. However the aviation industry is something I have some experience with.

At the risk of huge thread drift suffice to say there are

OEM parts
PMA parts
counterfeit parts

You really need to know what you are talking about when it comes to aviation parts. The difference is aviation is regulated and all lot numbers are traceable back to the manufacturers.

When it counts, I buy OEM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 22:13   #12
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Dan, I know there are differences and in theory there's a paper trail for aviation parts. My only point being, one way or another, whether it is sloppiness, ineptitude, collusion...aircraft parts have sometimes turned up in aircraft, and failed because they were passed off (at some point in some way by some person) as real, when they weren't.

In the US, the airlines claim that FAA regulations require the emergency wing exit doors to be brought in, obstructing the exit. No such regulation according to the FAA, and in Europe they are in fact required to go OUT to clear the exit. It turns out the US airlines' evacuation procedure is partly based on the cost of repairing a damaged wing and a broken exit door, but shhh! don't tell the passengers that. Intimidation works. (By the way, what does a wing exit door cost these days?)

For that matter, sometimes OEM parts fail too. DOAs happen in pretty much every business.

Heck, even the US Treasury used to say outright that there was no way the average civilian could tell if a $20 bill was real or counterfeit, and with the new currency, all they say is that your chances are "better".

But going back to marine engine parts--there's big profit to be made by counterfeiting them. Especially the stuff like oil filters, where many jobbers and distributors will pick up a couple of cases deeply discounted for whatever sounds like a good reason ("we've got some overstock, I can give you a bargain") and even they can't tell if a $10 filter really is a $1 counterfeit inside. Or, for that matter, if a gallon of fuel really is a whole gallon.

It all comes back to trust, and if you only trust the OEM brand name--then that's all you use. There's just a fine difference between trust built on good reason, and trust built in error because of intimidation against "the other guy".

Then there are folks like Westerbleak, who sell very pretty red engines. Red all over, including on the new rubber hoses, which the hose makers say will rot faster if they are painted. Hmmm....But they're pretty! They sell!

Would you buy a Westerbleak or Volvo or Yanmar branded filter--all of which are contracted out--over one made by an actual prime filter maker with a solid reputation? How about, any electrical part, OEM or otherwise, that said "Made in China" ?

Sometimes I'll buy OEM, more often I'll buy based on reputation, price, and waranty. Sometimes that's even the OEM.[vbg]
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Old 07-09-2008, 22:50   #13
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Sometimes I'll buy OEM, more often I'll buy based on reputation, price, and waranty. Sometimes that's even the OEM.[vbg]
Setting aside "counterfeit" parts for the moment.

We have started rejecting warranty for PMA parts. Note these parts are FAA approved but when they fail there are consequential damages.

In the past we stood up and honored warranty. However no longer. When an "FAA approved" chinese filter goes into one of our engines, collapses under differential pressure and wipes out a Jet Engine, we don't honor the warranty.

The funny thing the airlines are finding out is neither does the Chinese filter maker. Oh, except they will give you a new filter for your $5 million dollar rebuild.

I buy Volvo parts from a Volvo dealer.
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Old 07-09-2008, 23:36   #14
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Sometimes I'll buy OEM, more often I'll buy based on reputation...
Reputation determined by you or by the engine manufacturer? I assume you get the OEM filter specifications from the engine manufacturer and generic manufacturer and compare them - or do you just trust the generic manufacturer who, in your opinion, is more trustwothy than the engine manufacturer?

I think we all know that engine manufacturers do not build their own filters, but if an engine manufacturer sells you a filter with their label on it for your engine and it turns out to be a dud then they will stand by it.

If you buy a generic filter and it turns out to be a dud and you get engine damage then don't expect anyone to stand by it - hassle all for the saving of a few bucks .

If I may give an opinion - from a number of past posts it seems to me that you have what could be classed as some of a "spiteful", "suspicious" or "distrusting" attitude to manufacturers of a variety of equipment. In my experience, which is very broad over a number of industries representing clients' including marine and aviation, the spiteful, suspicious or distrusting ones are those who have all the problems. Those who build up a relationship of trust and respect with manufacturers and contractors or who approach them in that frame of mind generally get well looked after.

I am sorry that you seem to have bad experiences to relate.

In my own personal case I buy Volvo parts from a Volvo dealer with whom I have developed a relationship based on trust. I also get very well looked after both with respect to pricing and as has happened on occasion, free visits by their diesel mechanics to the boat to troubleshoot problems which I intend fixing myself.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:48   #15
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Reputation is, by definition, the subjective opinion. So an engine maker's "reputation" would be determined not necessarily by me or you--but by whoever was perceiving them. Of course, they might have their own perception of themselves, and some companies take great pains to maintain their reputations and consider them at an arms-length distance. LandsEnd, who started as a small sailing supplier, LLBean, Beretta (nearly 1000 years of a family business!), there are many names and many businesses where reputation counts. They'll all tell you that they are considering the lifetime value of the customer, i.e. perhaps 50 years of purchases, counts more to them than whether an individual purchase is a profit or a loss.

Unfortunately that is the exception to the rule in modern business in the US, where "What have you done for me today? Now how about in the last hour?" is all that is counted. Skeptic? Cynic? Well, do the words "Enron" and "Mortguage frauds" translate? Is Dan also "distrusting" because he no longer supports a warranty against FAA-approved Chinese filters? (Despite arguably being compelled under our Federal law to do so.) The sharks have a good time feeding amongst the consumers here.

I do value relationships of trust, I just find they are increasingly hard to find. Which makes them all the more valuable when and if you can find them. "suspicious or distrusting ones are those who have all the problems. " Perhaps because NZ is [and this is meant as a GOOD thing, not a put-down] such a tiny provincial spot compared to the larger city sprawls in the US the vendors there have maintained more of the small-town spirit that is still valued in places here as well. Bear in mind, you can go 400 miles from Boston to DC and never, never, see an open field, farm, or separated town, just one urban sprawl all the way for 400 miles. The population of NZ is just over 4 million. That's less than half the population of NYC itself, and about one TENTH the population of "greater metropolitan NYC" and lord knows, maybe 1/20th of the population of the Boston-Washington corridor. And some 1:5 people move here every year, so there's always fresh churn, new meat for the sharks. Always.

We could make room somewhere between Chicago and LA, and literally hide all of NZ here without anyone much noticing. Hmmm...maybe you'd better bolt the islands down.[g]

Some things change for the worse with scale. Pick a random auto mechanic, engine mechanic, painter, plumber, here--and no, they are not interested in making you a lifetime customer, they are interested in shearing the sheep. That's not cynicism, that's sad experience. And why we have things like an "Office of Consumer Affairs" that is always backlogged with taking the scoundrels to court.

I found a Volvo dealer that I can trust also, by the way. He's several hours away, but values every customer, gives extra effort, and within overnight ground shipping distance, so it turns out that ordering parts from him, or using his shop, is more convenient than driving to a local one. And because he makes the effort--yes, he gets recommended to others, just as he got recommended to me. We've got good folks, it's just awfully hard to find them. Is there someone just as good closer? Perhaps, but this one's already earned my trust.

In the US we have a very old saying about the world's three greatest lies:
1-The check is in the mail
2-I'm from the government and I'm here to help you
3-(Varies but usually isn't PG-13)

No one ever told you "the check is in the mail" and lied?
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