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Old 09-04-2013, 05:43   #1
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Which Fuel Filter

Hi, Perhaps you can all help. I need to replace my ageing primary fuel filter / water separator. I am torn between a CAV filter with a clear bowl and a RACOR filter. (I am considering a twin set-up with change-over).

My views are these:

1. The CAV is cheaper.
2. The RACOR has a top loading system for the filter element thus eliminating the inevitable leaks between the bowl and filter element that always seem to appear.

What are the forums views on these types of filter?
How easy is it to get replacement elements world wide and at what cost?

Thanks for your views.
Kevin.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:48   #2
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I have Racor in my Tartan 3800 and no problems. You can find filter replacements all over. I work for a construction company and they have Racor filters on just about all of the equipment, generators and trucks.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:51   #3
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I have no experience with CAV, so I can provide no comparison. However I have used racors all my life and believe they are a good unit with some minor modifications. I recently replumbed my 2 separate units so that I can change filters on the fly with no chance of the engine choking off. It cost about $150.00USD all total for the valves, vacuum gauges and three way valves. If you have the space in your engine compartment, I would recommend the dual filter approach. I have also used a single unit for many years and they work well by themselves just require a little closer monitoring, if you put a vacuum gauge in the equation it will tell you early on if you have a problem developing, of course you need to mount the gauge where you can see it easily.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:33   #4
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By all means if you like spilling fuel in the bilge every time you change the filter get the CAV
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:51   #5
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Good experience w Racors for me across many years and many boats.

Popular w cruisers so filter elements are available in many venues...an important cruising consideration.

Also a suggestion: go big. My Racor is rated for 65gph and my little Volvos draw about 0.60gph at cruising RPM so the filters can be about 90% clogged and still feed the motors. Mighty handy when you get a load of gunk in the fuel.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:03   #6
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

Another vote for the Raycor turbine filter series, and going large it makes a huge difference to the clogging time if you get a diesel bug problem. If you have the room the bigger units 900, instead of 500, are worth considering.

You can plumb two Raycor filters youself cheaper than they sell the combined units. If going dual consider plumbing one so it can act as fuel polishing filter as well.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:03   #7
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I'm another proponent of Racor filters. They are common and spares are available everywhere; they are used in boats of all sizes and not limited to sailboats. I have a dual setup from Racor where I can change over filters while the engine is running and haven't needed it yet but am glad I do have it in case of a bad batch of fuel.

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Old 09-04-2013, 10:11   #8
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
By all means if you like spilling fuel in the bilge every time you change the filter get the CAV
From reading the UK ybw cruisers forum reader to reader, this seems to be the issue with these filters.

Racor also makes two different filters: one has the less expensive filters and a more costly base/housing, the other one, which is generally standard on the production boats, uses a less expensive housing and the more costly filters (R24T, for example). So look around at the differences between the two, the filters themselves are generally widely available.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post

From reading the UK ybw cruisers forum reader to reader, this seems to be the issue with these filters.

Racor also makes two different filters: one has the less expensive filters and a more costly base/housing, the other one, which is generally standard on the production boats, uses a less expensive housing and the more costly filters (R24T, for example). So look around at the differences between the two, the filters themselves are generally widely available.
Yes, Racor also makes the terrible spin on type also. Fine on a truck or tractor, but not worth a ...... On a boat.
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Old 09-04-2013, 13:13   #10
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I was able to construct a dual unit from 2 individual 900s I had on my vessel, and a local hydraulic shop bent the stainless tubing for cheap and I used a piece of scrap aluminum I had lying around to mount them on, the biggest expense was the aluminum manifold blocks which ran about 45 USD each, and the 3 way valves, I got them off of ebay for about 20 USD each, the vacuum gauges I already had aboard.
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:43   #11
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
By all means if you like spilling fuel in the bilge every time you change the filter get the CAV
That's what I was afraid of. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:45   #12
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
From reading the UK ybw cruisers forum reader to reader, this seems to be the issue with these filters.

Racor also makes two different filters: one has the less expensive filters and a more costly base/housing, the other one, which is generally standard on the production boats, uses a less expensive housing and the more costly filters (R24T, for example). So look around at the differences between the two, the filters themselves are generally widely available.
Thanks. Sound advice. I'll do that.
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:48   #13
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

Its pretty unanimous
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:49   #14
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I think I'll go for RACOR. Not sure which model yet but must be top loading cartridge. I have a BETA 38 HE engine.

Another question. What are the considerations for choosing the height to mount them compared with the fuel level in the tank and the secondary filter and lift pump on the engine?
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:52   #15
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Re: Which Fuel Filter

I try to mount them high enough on the bulkhead to get a container under the drain so that I can catch the run off from the bowl and not spill the container when bringing out from underneath the filter housing.
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