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Old 29-12-2011, 01:56   #1
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Rusting Racor filters-need advice

About four years ago I upgraded my old style Racor filter to the spin-on version. I installed two filter housings so that I can switch to the unused filter if the active filter becomes clogged. At same time I bought a dozen spare filters. I stored two of the filters in zip lock bags aboard the boat. The others I kept in the house.
Last weekend while looking through the boat spare parts I noticed that the filters had rust on the plate that screws to the engine. I was surprised that a product made for the marine industry would be made of mild steel. I live about four mile from the Gulf of Mexico. When I got home, another surprise, all nine spares show rust.
On Monday I call technical support at Parker Racor. I explained to the technician that I was surprised with my discovery. I explained to him that many cruisers stock up on items like filters for extending cruising. His only response is that the filters are guaranteed for one year and that I could talk to my distributor.

Now I know that 4 years is a long time and had I known that the filters had mild steel components I wouldn't have bought so many but my questions to the members:
Do you see any harm coming from using these filters? Do you think that any rust particles will be trapped by the engine's primary filter thus protecting the injectors? And finally, should I apply a protective spray coating to the steel surface and if so what coating do you recommend?

Thanks for any advice, Ken
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Old 29-12-2011, 02:09   #2
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Re: Rusting Racor filters-need advice

Can you imagine the cost of a special stainless version of the filter just for marine use ? There would be no savings over buying the filters as and when you need them. Take one extra filter with you in a plastic bag with some desiccant thrown into the bag. You can dry the desiccant in an oven to re-use for the next filter.
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Old 29-12-2011, 04:44   #3
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Re: Rusting Racor filters-need advice

I think that the filters are likely useable, even with the rust on the mild steel plate. I feel certain that the plate is the input point of the filter, with the filtered fuel being drawn out through a central tube. Thus any dirt or rust particles would be filtered and trapped in the filter media. You can check with the filter manufacturer to be certain.
You can always protect the mild steel with a coating of oil applied to the steel components.
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Old 29-12-2011, 05:09   #4
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This is why the more expensive filters that use internal elements (no metal parts) are better (ie. Racor 500). What you can do to prevent this rust is putting a little oil on the flange and then vacuum packing them.

Your old rusted filters: remove rust and rinse the whole filter element with diesel.

cheers,
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Old 29-12-2011, 05:30   #5
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Re: Rusting Racor filters-need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
This is why the more expensive filters that use internal elements (no metal parts) are better (ie. Racor 500). What you can do to prevent this rust is putting a little oil on the flange and then vacuum packing them.

Your old rusted filters: remove rust and rinse the whole filter element with diesel.

cheers,
Nick.
Thanks for the feed-back. Hadn't thought about using a light coating of diesel. Make sense staying with a compatible fluid. I do have a Foodsaver so I can vacuum pack. Much better than the thin plastic sack that the filters comes in. I thought the zip lock bag would do it. Not even close.

Ken
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Old 29-12-2011, 06:21   #6
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Re: Rusting Racor filters-need advice

I agree with all the preventative measures above. But I believe in being more anal with what I put into my diesels than I am with the little extra I take out of my wallet. When in doubt, throw them out.
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Old 29-12-2011, 17:11   #7
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Re: Rusting Racor filters-need advice

For those interested, I picked up a 3gallon pail full of dissicant packs from U-line. They are a shipping materials outfit, based in the US with an outlet in Mississauga, Ontario. Pretty cheap, and I pack all my stuff away with it now. Plus if you have access to an oven, you can dry them out and reuse them if you want.
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