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Old 26-07-2012, 14:13   #1
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RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

I have had a Racor FG500 fuel filter/water seperator on my boat for nearly 25 years. Recently crossing the Gulf of Mexico the Diesel engine displayed the symptoms of fuel starvation. On investigation the Racor filter element was clean and the small filter on the electric lift 'feed' pump was clogged. I ordered the necessary parts and rebuilt the Racor but the problem persists.
Has anyone else ever experienced this problem?
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Old 26-07-2012, 14:18   #2
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Did you inadvertently punch out the bypass at the top of the element?
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Old 26-07-2012, 14:51   #3
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

Maybe I missed something in the original post, but why do you think the problem is with the Racor?

Could it be a vacuum leak somewhere else in the system? A pin hole leak on the vacuum side of the system will produce the same symptoms (fuel starvation like) and is very hard to track down.
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Old 26-07-2012, 15:05   #4
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

If I read the original post correctly, the filter on the electric pump on the engine was clogged but the Racor was clean. I'm guessing the poster believes the Racor, which is up stream of the pump, should have caught whatever was clogging the pump filter.
Since you say the Racor unit is more than 25 years old, I believe Racor changed the filter housing and cartridge in the 90s and provided an insert to allow the new cartridges to work in the old housings. I'm not sure if I have that correct, but it is one thing to check on with Parker/Racor.

John
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Old 26-07-2012, 16:15   #5
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
If I read the original post correctly, the filter on the electric pump on the engine was clogged but the Racor was clean. I'm guessing the poster believes the Racor, which is up stream of the pump, should have caught whatever was clogging the pump filter.
Since you say the Racor unit is more than 25 years old, I believe Racor changed the filter housing and cartridge in the 90s and provided an insert to allow the new cartridges to work in the old housings. I'm not sure if I have that correct, but it is one thing to check on with Parker/Racor.

John
John,
You have that correct. There is a black rubber spacer that allows using new cartridges with the old filter housings (it's packaged with the Racor cartridge). Without the spacer the fuel can bypass the filter.

But sometimes there is a fine screen on the pickup tube in the fuel tank that can collect crud and get plugged up. You should inspect the pickup tube, and if you have a screen, remove it and throw it out.
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Old 27-07-2012, 16:35   #6
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

Just thinking out loud but what is the line between the racor and the pump made of and what age is it ? I was thinking along the lines of internal decomposition.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:36   #7
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I have an FG500 and don't recall any spacer in my unit to fit the new cartridge. I just replaced my filter and it fit into the unit as expected. I just looked at the Parker diagram to see the strainer but did not see it in the parts breakdown. What was blocking the filter? Was it sludge? Slimy or stringy?
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:16   #8
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

There was a period of time when a spacer was needed when using the current production filters of that time with older FG500 housings. What were the wizards at Racor thinking.

The filters were redesigned again and now the spacer is not needed. There is an insert in modern Racor filters stating that the spacer must be removed.

I'm not sure of the timeline of this filter redesign fiasco but I do know that it caused a lot of problems.
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Old 05-08-2012, 21:07   #9
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Re: RACOR FUEL FILTER MALFUNCTION

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I just looked at the Parker diagram to see the strainer but did not see it in the parts breakdown. What was blocking the filter? Was it sludge? Slimy or stringy?
Aloha,
Sorry, my post was not very clear. The strainer I was referring to has nothing to do with Racor filters, but it is sometimes installed in the fuel tank pickup tube. The sludge can collect on the strainer and block the flow upstream of the filter. Since the pickup tube can be fairly difficult to pull out and clean, it's better to remove the strainer and catch the sludge in your primary filter where the cartridge can be easily replaced.
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