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Old 30-08-2008, 12:08   #1
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Thoughts on the 'Filter Boss'

Like many I've lost an engine to clogged Racor filter, particularly during rough sea conditions. Right now I have two Racor 500 turbofilters. I'm trying to decide if the "Filter Boss" system would be a good investment or if I would be better off simply installing a vacuum gage on the Racor's.

I admit the idea of the "Filter Boss" as a fuel polishing system is appealing but I'm having a bit of time separating advertising hype from real life. For reference the Filter Boss site is here:

http://www.ktisystems.com/

I'm suspecting that the $130 vacuum gage is what I really need and that the other "features" on the filter boss don't come up to it's $900 or so price tag.

Anyone have experience/thoughts?

Thanks
Rich
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Old 30-08-2008, 12:16   #2
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Its still a good idea to have dual filters where with a turn of the handle you switch from one filter to the other without introducing air into the system. A polishing system is fine if you do not use all that much fuel. Otherwise, just running a diesel polishes the fuel because some of the fuel returns back to the tank.
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Old 30-08-2008, 12:34   #3
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David,

I agree and I HAVE dual filters. I guess what I'm asking is if its worth the price for the extras on the filter boss or just pick up a vacuum gage. Right now, I'm thinking the vacuum gage is more than sufficient but I'm willing to hear arguments in favor of the more expensive system.

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Old 30-08-2008, 12:46   #4
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Cabo,

A. Go for a good vacuum gauge. NOT the one from Racor. I ran through 2 of them before I got a vacuum/pressure gauge from a scientific house. The cost was less and the the gauge is still working after over 6 years. I think that at times I shut off the fuel line when the boat was cool and in the summer heat I got pressure in the line that caused the gauge to go belly up.

B. Put two large (as you can fit) clean out ports and inspect at least once every year.

C. NO fuel goes into the tank that is not put through a Baja Filter first.

It's been working for us for quite a few years!

Greg
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Old 30-08-2008, 14:07   #5
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How about having the tank cleaned?
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Old 30-08-2008, 14:49   #6
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Dual filters are great: I have had two Racor 500s with switchover valves for the past 12 years or so. Great!

However, I also added a separate filtration system...a larger Racor with a small electric pump. Takes fuel from the bottom of the tank, filters it, and puts it back. Also has valves so I can suck in fuel from, e.g., jerry cans or, if needed, can pump out fuel (e.g., to fill a Racor filter bowl after changing the filter).

This separate filtration system has been terrific.

I'd second (or third) the recommendation for Racor vacuum guages -- I have one on each filter -- but believe they won't do anywhere near the same job as a separate filtration system. Will just help you know when your filters are beginning to clog while underway.

BTW, I'm about to put on eBay a brand new Racor system...dual filters, manifold, etc. -- Raycor 75/500FGX -- which was purchased for my son's boat but which won't fit due to space limitations. Here's a pic: Racor - Turbine Series Diesel Fuel Filter/Water Separator - 75/500FGX

Will go for considerably less than asked above, and much less than list. Anyone interested please PM me.

Bill
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Old 14-04-2009, 10:51   #7
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Bill,

Do you still have the Raycor? Will buy if in good shape.

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Old 14-04-2009, 11:09   #8
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It seems like a lot of $$$$ when we should be putting clean fuel in the tanks (Everything though a baja filter) and changing our filters regularly. I change mine every year. No problems yet!

I have twin Racors (500 ma) on my engines but I just have them in series. The first filter I put in a 30 micron filter, the next is a 3 micron filter. I am not certain of the size of the Yanmar filter on the engine, but it gets replaced yearly too.

I also have an Algae-X on one of the engines, but I really don't think it does anything in my set-up.
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Old 14-04-2009, 11:17   #9
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Oh, When first purchased my boat, there was a LOT of sludge at the bottom of the tank. I removed the tanks and got rid of the sludge. This is the only advantage that I can think of to having small, plastic, removable tanks, you can just pull them and clean them every 5 years or so.

I suppose a Filter Boss would help when one was not able to get to the fuel at the bottom of the tank and get rid of the accumulation. But, if you're kicking that much stuff off the bottom, you'll probably just plug the secondary filter too.

Maybe polishing the fuel with a probe that sucks from the bottom on a regular (every few years?) basis would be the solution?
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Old 14-04-2009, 14:08   #10
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I'm using two Raycor 500 series plumbed parallel with selection valves. I don't use a vacuum guage, but I always have the fresh clean filter standing by. 'working well for us, Aythya crew
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:42   #11
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Here is a question

There are a whole gaggle of filters out there, one company that comes to mind is Gulf Coast that has fairly huge filter cases that use regular paper towels as a filter element.

That being said, what about using a Gulf Coast set up, (others may work for this) mounted on some type of dolly, (or modular for stowage on a boat) along with one or more electric pumps, ideally one just to circulate fuel back into the tank just to churn up the fuel in the tank. An air compressor system would work too, the objective is to get the crud into the main body of the fuel and off the bottom of the tank.

Next, pump the fuel through the filter and back into the tank. In fact, as I think about it, the returning fuel could be the churn if it were sufficiently pressurized. Roll this little goodie up to the desiginated boat, fire it up and let it run for hours or days, whatever it takes.

I realize there are systems out there and advertised but they start out at about 3 grand, I think I could plumb one up for a lot less and pick up some underground tax free $ along the way. I suspect it would be a popular service. I am not "out there" yet, so any +'s or -'s discussed by you seasoned crusiers would be appreciated.

Any Thoughts???
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Old 04-07-2009, 17:36   #12
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Black Racor...

I had a loss of power recently (other boats were going passed me - the nerve) so I changed my filter.

It came out black, which I'm told means there is a little bit of algae in the tank (have now added anti algae additive).

But it started me thinking. The Racors have the reputation of being excellent filters, and mine certainly worked in this case, but the filter element looks small.

I seem to recall reports of people using multiple filters on a single tank of bad fuel.

If I was to put in another filter I'd really like to have one that could deal with a whole lot of gunk (a tank full!).

Are there any really big water separation filters available that one could use?
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Old 04-07-2009, 17:46   #13
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The way to deal with a tank of bad fuel is to filter and clean it thoroughly BEFORE you try to use the engine. An additional filter won't likely be a satisfactory solution.

You need to start with a clean tank. Find a tank cleaning service or build your own. Empty the tank. Then, remove the inspection port and physically clean it well. Either toss the old fuel or filter it well before returning it to the tank.

Now, you're ready for some onboard filtration. Make sure the primary filter (on the engine) is clean; change it if doubtful. Change the secondary Racor filter. These are minimum required steps.

Next, if you're so inclined, build a nice onboard filtration system which is independent of the other filters. I used a large Raycor (900 series) filter, a small 12V electric fuel pump, and independent connections to the fuel tank. With the flip of a toggle switch, I can begin the filtration of all the fuel in the tank, whether at dockside, underway, at anchor, or wherever. It takes about 20 minutes to do one complete cycle of my 40-gallon tank. If I leave it on for an hour, the fuel will have passed thru the big Raycor filter 3 times. Been using this for some years now, and it works like a charm.

I added a couple of enhancements, too. I put two three-wave valves in the filtration system. One on the suction side allows me to choose the source of fuel -- either the tank or any other source (like a 5-gallon jug). The other is on the pressure side and allows me to either return fuel to the main tank, of pump it into something else -- like one of the other two Raycor filters in a home-made Filter-Boss type system when I change the filters. Even helps when neighbors want to "borrow" some fuel, as it did last week when someone needed a quart or so to fill up his filter.

Bill
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Old 04-07-2009, 18:09   #14
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I have two giant sized diesel fuel filters with valves to switch back and forth. Each of them are more than 10 times the size required for the engine. I have gone as long as 3 years without changing any filters. The filter inserts are $15.
For years I have bought fuel in jerry cans with water, sand, crude and all sorts of other questionable “stuff” in it. I have never used a Baha filter.
I use a siphon pump combination to draw off the clean supernatant diesel fuel. The little bit left in each jug, perhaps a pint or two, I dump into a 5 Gallon jug and let sit on deck for a few days. Then I draw the fuel off. The remains I use to start fires for burning trash onshore.
Just this past year to make more room I cut out one of my 30 year old tanks. I did not find any “crap” in the tank, no water, nothing except just the usual black mould film on the interior surface.
Having your tanks cleaned sounds like a great idea. Just do not count on it too much. There are a lot of internal baffles in the tank. It is next to impossible to reach around everywhere.
A few friends of mine have been surprised when their newly cleaned tanks plugged up their filters during an episode of heavy rolling and pitching. Every 30 minutes they were changing filters. The blue mould breaks off the tanks and baffle walls from the agitation of the fuel. If they had used grossly oversized filters it would take hours and even then there would be enough fuel flow for low to moderate power
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Old 04-07-2009, 18:12   #15
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I have a dual set of Racors and vacuum gages ect... , and I bought a "Diesel Craft" centrifuge. Which I have not installed yet, all I need is more hours in the day, or the ability to be in two places at one time. My reasoning was why buy the Filter Boss, when I already have the dual filtration system? I like their little early warning thing that lets you know when your filters are starting to get clogged, but I already have the vacuum gages and I can take a quick look at them and see what is up. I did want to try to eliminate the sludge before it hit the filter cans. My set up is as follows: I have 3 different tanks that hold about 1600 USG total, I am running a 471 DD, and a 30 KW genset with an Isuzu diesel on it and I have a day tank for my diesel stove, which needs to be filled once a week when I am on board. Granted this is not your usual sailing configuration, but my vessel doubles as a commercial fishing boat so I use more fuel than the average cruiser. Where Filter Boss has an electric pump to fill the filter housings with when you change out, I am going to put a 3 way valve on my return line and fill the housing that way, I will also have an electric fuel pump in line on the suction side to provide pressure if things go completely gunny sack and the engine shuts down. On my Detroit, the filter that is attached to the engine is 2 micron, and I use 2 micron filters on my Racors, I do not want any crap getting to my injectors. I am going to post my process of stream lining my fuel system and report the results from using the centrifuge. I am planning on getting this process underway between mid July & mid August. Hopefully the information that I provide will help someone else.
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