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Old 07-11-2006, 18:42   #16
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Randy,
Most full time cruisers are adept at reading the guages and knowing what they mean. The group that is comming next, doesn't. They might get a crash course, might not. I have to build and recomend a system that's more or less "idiot proof"
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Old 07-11-2006, 20:00   #17
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Never use a 2mcn primary. This can cause a restriction in fuel flow decreased perforamnce.
Hmm, I have used a 2 mcn primary, and 2 mcn secondary for years. Never had a problem.

I do however monitor the vacuum gauge, clean the fuel tank regularly and filter any fuel coming onboard.

That being said, the fuel flow on my 4-108 is so low that it would take a fairly big restriction in fuel flow to cause decreased performance. (0.66 gallons per hour on average)

I have considered a more coarse primary, and may go that route if fueling in third world countries more often.
So far the occasional Bahamas fuel have been clean however.

Sort of thinking that the 2 X 2 mcn filters will protect the high pressure pump and the injectors better if there is a problem with dirty fuel.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:00   #18
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The good news is you probably never had fuel that really needed a primary filter. The bad news is if you ever did the primary would clog far faster than it would normally and you really will never need a secondary given it's the exact same same size. Your secondary filter is really worthless. Once it passes 2 microns from the first filter it's a dead sure bet all the fuel will pass the second time too.

With a 30 primary you'll run a whole lot longer before BOTH the filters clog enough to stop you. The chunky stuff will be gone by the time it reaches the secondary so the secondary won't clog all that much so as a total no filter gets clogged to reach a level that you'll see on the vacuum guage.

Using the 2 micron secondary still gives everything the same protection, but using a 30 micron primary gives you more total filter power against a lot more crud.

I can't say never needing it is a bad idea though.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:42   #19
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Originally Posted by CSY Man
That being said, the fuel flow on my 4-108 is so low that it would take a fairly big restriction in fuel flow to cause decreased performance. (0.66 gallons per hour on average)
That's your burn rate. Your flow rate is 4-5 times that. Nextime you have the engine running take the return line off and put it in a bucket. The amount that comes out will amaze you.

I'm only aware of one engine builder that requires a 2mcn secondary filter. It's not Perkins. I'm not aware of any secondary filters that are that fine. Most are usualy 7-10 mcn. Because stuff smaller than that will just pass thru.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:31   #20
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I have used a 2 micron Racor element for the last 2000 hours and 15 years (with a vacuum pressure guage that is installed in the cockpit) as a primary. Never had a problem. I have spent the last year motoring through Central America with no problem. I change the Racor every 300 hours even though the guage is not even though the guage is not in the red yet (yes, it works fine). I may have had a teaspoon of water in the last year. (If indeed the secondary traps water--which is news to me--then it must occlude completely the fuel flow because there is no bowl on it like on the Racor--I cannot imagine why a boatowner would prefer this arrangement--to set your boat up to stop unexpectedly) I think the secondary on this Westerbeke 50 is 10 micron or larger and I have changed that a couple times, but it was clean as a whistle--as you would expect. I think this set up is what I have generally seen in sailboats. West Marine and other chandleries sell mostly 2 and 10 micron filters for these add on Racor 500 primaries and that should tell you something about the conventional wisdom. I am puzzled by this thread as I have no idea why you would not want to catch stuff early and have no idea why you would not want maximally clean fuel. The idea of "restricting the flow" does not jive with my experience--maybe if you are using 20 to 60 gallons an hour on big turbos, but my pressure guage has never shown a problem (except once when the intake on the tank was occluded years ago) on my sailboat diesel.

By the way, the only dirty and water laden fuel problems I ever had were in the United States. I have filtered the stuff I get in Central America, but have found no problems with dirt or water.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:52   #21
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Ray,

I have had a very similar experience. I use 2 micron Raycor elements in my 500G filters. I have two 500Gs in a manifold arrangement, so either may be selected and the other changed out while the engine is running. Pressure guages are fitted on each of these, and give plenty of warning when it's time to change the elements.

The 500Gs regularly trap water and I drain them via the bottom nipples.

My 4-108 has the usual Perkins secondary filter mounted on the engine.

Last season I took on a load of bad diesel fuel from a small marina which had been badly damaged in a hurricane and which had been closed for over a year---unbeknownst to me at the time. I discovered this because my generator, which uses its own small Raycor filter, was unable to develop full power. My Perkins, however, with the 2 micron filters in the 500G Raycors was just fine. The filters did their work.

In addition to these filters, and completely separate from them, I have an onboard filtration system consisting of a huge Raycor unit which takes #2040 filter elements. This system draws fuel from the bottom of the tank, runs it thru the filter using a small electric fuel pump, and puts it back into the top of the tank. It takes about 20 minutes for one complete cycling of 40 gals of diesel. I can turn it on and let it run for an hour or two whenever needed.

The effect of this separate filtration system on the load of bad fuel was unbelievable: it removed a huge load of junk from the diesel fuel, so much so that the fuel in the two Raycor 500Gs became clear and reddish as it should be instead of dark and nasty as it was to begin with.

So, based on my experience and setup, I see no reason whatsoever to use 10 micron or 30 micron filter elements.

Bill
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:04   #22
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Well,
Ya'll haver had good experiences due to your attention to what's going on.
As I said, I can only tell you waht works for me, and what the engine builders want. Westerbeke has isude a service bulliten in regard to these primary filter. They want a 30mcn in front of the their engines.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:27   #23
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Pat,

Perkins says the same thing too. Based on my experience I've never had a fuel problem on my Perkins. So in that respect any filter setup would have been fine. That is the way it works. If you never get a bad tank of fuel you'll never need the filter so what ever you use is pointless.

In my Westerbeke I had a bad tank bringing it home. The fuel was old and sat in the tank who knows how long. It ran fine through the sea trial and about 40 nm home until it got shook up in some rough weather then clogged the filter. After it was over I found it was a 15 micron primary and the secondary was 100% clean. Had that filter been a 30 I think the primary filter would not have clogged at that point in time. It would have filtered the really big stuff (looked like cookie crumbs). The secondary could have delt with the rest. I would have noticed it at the end of the day and been able to deal with it at the dock not on the water.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:49   #24
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Had that filter been a 30 I think the primary filter would not have clogged at that point in time. It would have filtered the really big stuff (looked like cookie crumbs). The secondary could have delt with the rest. I would have noticed it at the end of the day and been able to deal with it at the dock not on the water.
Paul, you hope!

I'm a little paranoid with fuel after having a clogged fuel line in the Yucatan Strait. I know that in that case the filter didn't even get a chance to do it's work, however having studied the matter in great detail I do believe that a 30 micron primary filter is too coarse. Personally I would go with a 10 micron primary. The way filters are rated is that they will catch a certain percentage of the particles at a certain size, so a 30 micron filter will not filter out 100% of the particles at 30 microns. They will also catch some smaller particles, but a larger percentage of them will get through..

If I ever get the chance again, I will have a setup like Bill's, although I may run 10 micron primary instead of 2 micron with a 20 or 15 micron filter in the fuel polishing system.

Anyway, that's my humble opinion...
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:12   #25
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Paul,

"If you never get a bad tank of fuel you'll never need the filter so what ever you use is pointless."

Sorry, but I can't agree with this point. A good tank of fuel can "go bad" just sitting in your tank. All it takes is a little moisture, a little time, a little neglect, and bingo: you're in for a bad time.

Another point: time and again I've seen boats which power 'round the buoys' just fine for years, without any noticeable fuel problems. But, take them offshore where the motion can be much more severe and persistent, and their diesels quit on them. It's not because they just got a load of bad fuel, but because nasty things have been happening in the bottom of their tanks for some time, and the rough water has stirred up the mess and caused their fuel pickups to clog, their filters to clog, and their engines to quit.

This is why there are fuel filtering businesses...folks who will come to your boat and clean your fuel and your tanks using pumps and humongous filters. Having had this done in Florida shortly after I purchased my present boat 17 years ago, and watched the entire nasty process and the many huge and dirty filters used, I became a believer in doing everything you possibly can to keep clean fuel in your tanks and keep your tanks clean.

My paranoia led me to install an Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioner after my Raycor polishing filter. I don't know if it works, but it doesn't do any harm and I haven't had any problems. Probably just like throwing salt over your shoulder :-))

Bill
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Old 08-11-2006, 18:50   #26
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That's your burn rate. Your flow rate is 4-5 times that. Nextime you have the engine running take the return line off and put it in a bucket. The amount that comes out will amaze you.

I'm only aware of one engine builder that requires a 2mcn secondary filter. It's not Perkins. I'm not aware of any secondary filters that are that fine. Most are usualy 7-10 mcn. Because stuff smaller than that will just pass thru.
Yeah, I stand corrected, the burn is less than the flow...

Well, you are the pro: I will check my Perkins secondary filter again...I always thought it was 2 Micron..It may not be, but for some reason I think it is.


Quote:
The good news is you probably never had fuel that really needed a primary filter. The bad news is if you ever did the primary would clog far faster than it would normally and you really will never need a secondary given it's the exact same same size. Your secondary filter is really worthless. Once it passes 2 microns from the first filter it's a dead sure bet all the fuel will pass the second time too.
Yeah, clean fuel is always good news..

I would rather have the engine stall due to a clogged primary filter than to a clogged secondary.

Again, this whole setup with clean fuel to the engine from two very fine filters have not been a problem at all over 8 years and 2000 hours of running time.

The vacuum gauge should give me an early warning if things are going bad.
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Old 08-11-2006, 19:04   #27
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Originally Posted by CSY Man
The vacuum gauge should give me an early warning if things are going bad.
That goes back to what i was saying earlier. If you monitor it. This summer I had a lady have her alarm light illuminate. She didn't think anything of it. Then the engine stoped and she had to be towed in. It was illuminated from lack of oil pressure. I'll let ya'll figure out the rest.

I'm not saying 2mcn won't work. I'm saying it's not the idiot proof design the engine builders want. If you are attentive to want is going on with your boat and know how to deal with it, then have fun with your boat.
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Old 08-11-2006, 19:28   #28
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I'm a little paranoid with fuel after having a clogged fuel line in the Yucatan Strait. I know that in that case the filter didn't even get a chance to do it's work, however having studied the matter in great detail I do believe that a 30 micron primary filter is too coarse.
The boat I jusrt acquired has a dual racor systemm such that you can shut one off and the other on so you can switch them on the fly. The problem I had was it was a bit complex when combined with two tanks and at the time I did not understand it.

What it showed was when using a 15 micron all the agea was stopped to the point the racor died but none of it reached the secondary. It the small world of microns Algae is pretty big. While the 15 micron racor was clogged it was not "full". A 30 would have held more and the difference in size might have resulted in some
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:40   #29
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If you monitor it
Yeah, I keep an eye on things.
Some folks would call me paranoid...

(Just because ya are not paranoid does not mean somebody is not out to get ya)
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Old 09-11-2006, 19:57   #30
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Algae-X magnetic filter

There is nothing that an ordinary diesel fuel filter (30 micron) will not do that an Algae-X filter claims to do (and probably doesn't). It is another one of those products that preys on the fear of a potential uninitiated buyer similar to those products that one can install on a car to increase gas mileage...none of them work and yet they still keep cropping up in the market.

Decades ago I had a dirty fuel tank which offshore kicked up precipitate and fouled one of those little Racor filters every time I crossed a rolly bar from the sea. I kept the boat in a place called "Tommy's Tugboat harbor". Tommy had 10 vintage tugboats of all sizes. He laughed when I asked about the idea of removing all the fuel from the tank, filter it and put it back (in those days there were no "fuel polishing" services). He said, "What do you think all of these commercial vessels have been doing since the first diesels were used in boats?" "They use commercial sized filters sufficiently large so as to never clog up all at once, only over a reasonable time regardless of how dirty the tank or fuel is, and carry plenty of replacements...buy a case of 'em." "I've never cleaned a tank or removed fuel to clean it from any of these old boats".

So, I bought a dual commercial truck filter and discovered that the elements cost no more than those tiny Racor elements (what does that tell you?). Of course I use a boicide and avoid purposefully allowing water into the tank. You can buy commercial filters everywhere in the world that has trucks or fishing boats or other commercial craft where they don't supply any "yachting" stuff.

Cummins distributes an excellent one that not only takes a large internal filter it also accommodates a spin-on filter so that your likelyhood of not finding some filter that is proper is minimal.

No commercial diesels use filters finer than 30 microns, in general, and never finer than 12 as far as I have been able to determine even in special cases. One reason is that the particulates which damage injectors and cylinders are all larger than that. There are some elements which are passed by a 30 micron filter that research has shown to not be of a type that is damaging to the engine. INteresting, eh?

I am a fanatic when it comes to keeping the engine running reliably and would use a 2 micron filter if I felt that there was justification versus the real problem of continuously fouling the damn things continuously and unnesessarily.
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