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Old 08-08-2009, 20:58   #16
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Hi,

Wanted to pass on the results of the engine problem to all those that offered advise.

From all the suggestions plus how the system was acting I strongly suspected the Racor. Pulled the hose off the outlet of the Racor that feeds the fuel pump and secondary filter. Stuck that in a jug of clean diesel, bled the system and ran like a top. So, knew for certain it was either the Racor or the feed from the tank to the Racor. Since I had pulled all the hoses from the tanks and cleared them, and was connected to a clean tank with new clean fuel I was 99% certain it was something in the Racor. Long term I plan to change the whole setup but for now just needed a working engine. So, replaced the 20 year old Racor with a new 500FG, replaced one of the hoses that looked a little iffy, bled the system down and I'm back in business. Yahoo.

I did run into one question when I bought the new Racor. The 500 comes in two versions, one with just a clear bowl on the bottom and one with a metal heat shield around the bowl. Is the heat shield necessary or required by any sort of regulations? I asked and could not get a clear answer from anyone including Racor.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:55   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
... I did run into one question when I bought the new Racor. The 500 comes in two versions, one with just a clear bowl on the bottom and one with a metal heat shield around the bowl. Is the heat shield necessary or required by any sort of regulations? I asked and could not get a clear answer from anyone including Racor.
Metal Bowl: Use for Gas & Diesel
Plastic Bowl: Use only on Diesel

Either the Clear Plastic or the Metal fuel bowl may be used anywhere on a diesel engine.
On a Gasoline system, the Clear Plastic bowl may only be used, when installed outside of the hull, as in an outboard engine well. This precludes gas accumulating in the event of fire (plastic will melt & burn).

An all-metal bowl & body (it's not just a heat shield) may be used anywhere in a gasoline or diesel system.

Boatbuilder's Handbook - Fuel Systems
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:30   #18
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Hi Gord,

Thanks for the reply. Very interesting link. Will have to spend a little time looking through that one.

On the filter, Racor does have an all metal but the one I am looking at has two versions with the clear plastic bowl, one with just the bowl itself (500 FG) and one with a metal shield (shaped like an upside down umbrella) attached and somewhat surrounding the clear plastic bowl (500 MA)

Racor 500FG Fuel Filter-500FG Racor
Racor 500MA Fuel Filter-500MA Racor


Depending on who I asked (various retailers, Racor tech support, mechanics and assorted boat bums) I got different answers on whether the add on heat shield was required for installation in the engine room of a diesel powered boat.

Didn't see a need for the metal umbrella so bought the 500FG. If it is needed it seems like you can add the heat shield.

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Old 09-08-2009, 10:00   #19
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Yes, metal heat shield is required for diesel engine on a boat. You can buy one and add it to the 500FG if you opted for that (cheaper) model. 500MA is the "marine" model. Racor Tech Support should have told you just that: must have metal shield on a boat.

Is the old filter a 500 too, or does it have spin-on filter elements? If it's a 500, there is something about using new filter elements in old housings (don't fit good enough for correct functioning). You can adept it somehow, but I forgot the specifics.

Whenever air gets into a 500 filter housing, check the t-bolt on top again and again as it's the culprit in 90% of the cases.

cheers,
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:35   #20
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Yes, metal heat shield is required for diesel engine on a boat. You can buy one and add it to the 500FG if you opted for that (cheaper) model. 500MA is the "marine" model. Racor Tech Support should have told you just that: must have metal shield on a boat.

Is the old filter a 500 too, or does it have spin-on filter elements? If it's a 500, there is something about using new filter elements in old housings (don't fit good enough for correct functioning). You can adept it somehow, but I forgot the specifics.

Whenever air gets into a 500 filter housing, check the t-bolt on top again and again as it's the culprit in 90% of the cases.

cheers,
Nick.
Old Racor was a 500 but a much older version with a number differences from the new version: different bowl and drain, different size and thread for the ports, etc. The problem was definitely there but it was old and corroded. Also exact original parts from Racor were no longer available and new ones even Racor could not say were completely compatible, so to overhaul/replace all the parts just didn't make sense so got a new one. I did, by the way, replace all the o-rings in the top, T-handle, etc in the old one which did not help. I suspected the drain plug but that was one of the different parts and could not find the correct gasket for it.

Racor tech support seemed to "think" the heat shield was required but could not explain if gas and/or diesel, if outside the engine space or not, why required and by whom, etc. So just for curiosity, any idea why a heat shield is required and who it is that mandates this? Can't imagine it is for fire proofing since diesel is pretty hard to burn and if it was hot enough to light up the fuel in the filter I would already be in the dinghy headed for shore.

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Old 09-08-2009, 11:38   #21
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The Coasties require the heat shield for inspected passenger vessels. It sounds like a good idea to me whether or not it is required on a yacht. Besides, the price difference is minimal. Any boat can have an engine space fire which could cause diesel to ignite accelerating the problem.

Another related idea is to have a remote fuel shutoff outside the engine space. All you need to do is run some small cables to the ends of your fuel supply valves at the tank, at a 100 degree angle to the open position. Use small all metal blocks as fairleads.
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