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Old 10-05-2014, 05:38   #1
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Racor turbine deterioration

Have 2 Racor 500 FE (old) filter/separators. Both plastic-looking turbines in the bowls appear to have melted into something like rubber and are grossly misshapen. Am about to order new 500 FG units unless someone advises me the wiser. But WHAT CAUSES THE TURBINE MELTDOWN? Please help quick!
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:42   #2
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

I'll guess wrong fuel or better yet a fuel additive maybe they tried to clean the thing with acetone or ketone. Check your fuel maybe they flushed the fuel system with a nasty solvent.


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Old 10-05-2014, 10:11   #3
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

I have never heard of that before. The Racor filters are common and regarded as one of the better units.

Where did they come from? Is there any chance they were in an engine room fire, or just stored next to a high heat source.

You can get spare parts for them, but it may not be economic to rebuild them with so much damage.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:56   #4
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

My boat has two Racor 500s that are probably over 30 years old and show no sign of degrading. As others have said, something really bad happened to yours. That is not normal.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:21   #5
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Warning--they changed the thread size on the inlet and output of the 500, so your old fittings will not work.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:34   #6
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

maybe too much fuel additive? makes one wonder about the seals in the engine from the same.
spam: I have an older 500 Racor I'm about to put up for sale. I'm in Maui for a week right now though. PM me if interested. are you USA? I guess if you need two it doesn't do you much good...
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Old 10-05-2014, 15:44   #7
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Thank you all, respondents. Meant to include in the original message that, due to some extreme inconveniences at anchor in FLA, I've been using gasoline station diesel, not marine diesel. That is obviously for trucks and my Ford Lehman engine, I'm told, is a marinized truck engine. What would they put into their diesel that would affect my racors, that wouldn't affect trucks? I do fear it is the fuel that's causing this. I've got about 110 gals of it and I was about to fill up completely before casting off for Martha's Vineyard... a 1200 mile trip. Now I'm really in a quandry. Gonna call Parker (racor parent co.) to get informed. Don't want the same thing happening to new ones. Thanks again. Fair winds.
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Old 10-05-2014, 15:52   #8
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

A far shot, but check whether there is biodiesel added to the truck fuel you have and if yes, how much percentage wise. Then check with Parker on plastics compatibility..
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Old 10-05-2014, 17:19   #9
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Looking like rubber and grossly misshapen is very bad and you need to bottom it. I know anti fungal additives sometimes contain alcohol that can cause cracking. Maybe an extreme dose may do what you experienced. Did someone tip the bottle in by mistake?
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Old 10-05-2014, 19:50   #10
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

I dont think road diesel has anything to do with it. How long have you had the boat?
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Old 10-05-2014, 22:26   #11
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Just an FYI about BioDiesel. It would not eat the plastic or rubber hoses (as some have claimed) I used to make my own BioDiesel. Just to experiment I put 100% BioDiesel in a jar along with two hoses a fuel filler hose and a piece of heater hose. 2 1/2 years later pulled them out and they were both fine.
It wasn't BioDiesel that melted your racors.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:12   #12
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Campbellcruiser, I am not claiming that biodiesel (if there was any) did it. However, the incompatibility of some older fuel system parts with fatty acid methyl esters ('biodiesel') is a well documented issue and I am merely suggesting to check with the manufacturer if they know of any related problems with their product.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:09   #13
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

If nobody has run solvents through the tank, then what other explanation could it be?
Somebody microwave the boat? Sunspots?

I'd sure be checking everything else along the fuel delivery system loops to be sure all hoses, o-rings, plastic components are still okay.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:29   #14
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Re: Racor turbine deterioration

Is it like this? or rather, was it?

Racor Spares, Replacement Turbine Racor Turbine Filter
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