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Old 08-07-2011, 11:25   #1
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Fuel Line Vacuum Guage

I'm thinking of getting one of those Racor T handle replacement vacuum guages to my 900FH Racor primary filter so I can see when my filter starts to clog.
Anyone have any experience with these?
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:37   #2
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

Are you thinking of something like this?

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:38   #3
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

A fuel suction gauge is very handy indeed.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:54   #4
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

lorenzo, The vacuum gages are a great tool. The Racor gages are very expensive and you can build your own for a fraction of the cost. There is an example here and here. Mount the gage out of the engine compartment where you can readily see it. A vacuum gage, some hose and fittings and you are in business, There are also attachments made by GEM that will let you attach an alarm. Chuck
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:56   #5
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

Get one that has a static needle that shows the highest reading so you will have the reading even after the engine is stopped.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:56   #6
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

A vacuum gage provides great peace of mind. Fuel bug problems seem to be getting very common judging by the talk amongst cursing sailors.
I have the Racor T handle replacement and it works very well. Its expensive for what you get and I wonder if there is an equivalent industrial gauge that would be cheaper and better made. However, considering the information it provides, it (or someting like it) is almost a must have.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:57   #7
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

How do you read the readings? When is it time to change filter?

Thanks

Michel
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:59   #8
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
... Mount the gage out of the engine compartment where you can readily see it. ...
I agree. My gauge is in the engine room and that isn't convenient.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:18   #9
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

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Originally Posted by siroismi View Post
How do you read the readings? When is it time to change filter?

Thanks

Michel
The greater the vacuum the more plugged the filter is. It comes with instructions and is even colour coded (yellow and red) to indicate when the vacuum is large enough to stop the engine. There is a following pointer to show the maximum reading
Mine has only ever indicated just above 0. I change the filter every 12 months anyway (they are cheap), a higher reading would warrant inspection of the tank and a change in filter.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:27   #10
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

15" is the highest recommended before changing the filter, I believe. Most replace it before then, around 10" or so.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:31   #11
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

I installed one several years ago. I found it pretty much useless at the minimal rate a perkins 4-108 sucks fuel. or maybe it's because I change my filters often anyway... I could see it being useful on a powerboat or large engine like that...
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:38   #12
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

Usage is as follows:

If your engine runs okay then it just gives a clue..that as the needle climbs into the yellow the filters need changing.

If the engine is not running well, or at all, no suction indicates either no fuel or a major air leak. Suction higher than yellow indicates a clogged intake or a suddenly clogged filter.
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Old 08-07-2011, 18:44   #13
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

Yeah, mine never changed on the reading at all. I guess my system was good, maintained and clean!
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Old 08-07-2011, 18:52   #14
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

There were some Racor gages that were not compatible with some of the older 500 filters. The gages never registered because of the fitting, but Racor never told anyone. Chuck
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Old 08-07-2011, 20:19   #15
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Re: fuel line vacuum guage

You don't need to pay this high prices for the Racor vacuum gauges. I use and install gauges sold by Sailors Solutions which feature a drag needle.

Keep in mind that in order to take an accurate vacuum gauge reading you need to be under load at near wide open throttle, kind of a PITA. A drag needle allows you to view the highest vacuum recorded without having to even stick your head in the engine compartment with the motor running, as it is recorded for you to see any time.

The gauge from Sailors Solutions is of very high quality and less money to boot. This one is actually mounted to a 900 series Racor.. I choked down the shut off valve for the photo to show the red drag needle..
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