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Old 01-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
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Dual Racors

My new to me boat only has one Racor before it gets to the Yanmar (4Jh4-HTE) fuel filter. Generator has its own Racor. I notice most boats on this forum seem to have a dual Racor (or whatever brand) setup. I'm a diesel novice.

If I'm planning on doing mostly coastal cruising for now (but probably the Bahamas soon), do I need the dual filter setup? Is the only advantage of this setup to be able to switch to a good filter while underway ?

It has a single fuel tank if that matters. No fuel polishing setup. Has an electric prime pump installed by the builder but it doesn't currently work.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:08 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. " Is the only advantage of this setup to be able to switch to a good filter while underway ?" That's the only advantage as far as I can figure out. We have only 1 Racor before each Lehman. Changing filter elements on ours is quite straightforward while underway as access is very good. I've done so on several occasions.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:26 AM   #3
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I have only one Racor in front of the engines and genset. My vessel is with 12 year old tanks and clean, knock on wood. I figured once I got to where my Racor would start plugging up and showing vacuum I'd install a "spare."

So far no vacuum and no need for a "spare." If I filled up where bad fuel were a known issue I'd replace the Racors with a 3 stage Seaboard Marine setup and spare on the primary.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:29 AM   #4
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Particles measured in microns can clog fuel injectors and cause engine problems while underway. The dual setup is more than being able to change to a good filter while underway, its about helping to avoid engine problems or shutdowns while underway.

Without a fuel polisher you have no way of maintaining the fuel in prime condition. All that will fall to your Racor filter realistically. Likely, the time to have a fuel issue will be in rough weather when all contaminants in your tank are getting really stirred up. In those conditions, being able to flip a valve and have a pristine filter that could restore your engine has some advantages. Of course, with routine monitoring you'll switch to the clean filter before it comes to that

Also keep in mind that you have no way of monitoring the status of the engine mounted filter.

There's no ultimate right or wrong, it boils down to complexity vs. redundancy and your comfort level. Personally I like my dual racors for my main and genest. If I didn't have them I would be installing them.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:38 AM   #5
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My last two boats, a 45' Californian with twin DD's and a 42' Nordic Tug with a single Cummins had only one Racor per engine. I carried plenty of spare filters changed the frequently...like every 70 to 80 hours. I only had one incident of a clogged filter and it gave warning by slowing down the engine when it was at planing rpm's. The engine never actually quit. I always wanted remote vacuum gauges but never got around to it.

My current boat came with dual Racors for each engine and vacuum gauges in the salon. My wife watches them when we are going fast. You need to be winding up the rpm's pretty good to get an accurate vacuum reading. I have never had to switch from one filter to the other. I still change the one I am using fairly often and switch to the other one.

My feelings about this issue are that I like my current set up but did not mind the frequent filter changes on the previous boats either. You can buy a lot of spare filters for the price of a dual Racor rig with remote vacuum gauges.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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Not intending to start another filter discussion (aka argument LOL) my boat came with dual Racors installed by the previous owner.
It was great for my maiden delivery trip because the filters clogged often and it was really handy to be able to change under duress.
However, as soon as I got to my home port, I installed a larger Racor upstream and went to the multi filtration system. 30 micron to 10 micron then on to the engine mounted filters.
I haven't clogged a filter since in 7 plus seasons and thousands of miles.

So that is certainly another possible system to consider.

Here is what it looks like
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:45 AM   #7
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How often should one change the engine filter?

I need to install a vacuum gauge on that single Racor at least I guess so I can see the clog status, right? Is that an easy install?
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:45 AM   #8
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Dual filter Racor would be a good idea as your boat is a single and your engine is in a tight space as I recall. You already probably have dual filters as your engine has a filter mounted on it and you no doubt have a bulkhead mounted Racor. Replacing that Racor in rough conditions and possibly having to bleed the system to restart would not be fun while rolling around in a seaway. I have twin engines and have changed filters as a precaution while underway in rough conditions, even with the ability to maintain course and speed in rough conditions it was not fun.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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Dual Racors

Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
Not intending to start another filter discussion (aka argument LOL) my boat came with dual Racors installed by the previous owner.
It was great for my maiden delivery trip because the filters clogged often and it was really handy to be able to change under duress.
However, as soon as I got to my home port, I installed a larger Racor upstream and went to the multi filtration system. 30 micron to 10 micron then on to the engine mounted filters.
I haven't clogged a filter since in 7 plus seasons and thousands of miles.

So that is certainly another possible system to consider.

Here is what it looks like

That's slick, but I don't have enough room in my engine "compartment" for that. Need a small setup if I go to two filters.

Maybe something like this. The "double double"? $400?
http://www.sbmar.com/smx-fueltration-system-kits.php
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:52 AM   #10
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Just a side note

Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
Not intending to start another filter discussion (aka argument LOL) my boat came with dual Racors installed by the previous owner.
It was great for my maiden delivery trip because the filters clogged often and it was really handy to be able to change under duress.
However, as soon as I got to my home port, I installed a larger Racor upstream and went to the multi filtration system. 30 micron to 10 micron then on to the engine mounted filters.
I haven't clogged a filter since in 7 plus seasons and thousands of miles.

So that is certainly another possible system to consider.

Here is what it looks like
One of the things you have to keep in mind with Racor filter size is fuel system velocity. You need sufficient fuel velocity for the centrifugal separation of particles and water. Sometimes smaller is better.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
My new to me boat only has one Racor before it gets to the Yanmar (4Jh4-HTE) fuel filter. Generator has its own Racor. I notice most boats on this forum seem to have a dual Racor (or whatever brand) setup.
It only takes a little bit of plumbing to arrange the supply so that the main engine can be run from its own filter, or from the generator filter. (Check the generator primary filter is an adequate size, but this is not usually a problem)

It would be a worthwhile option for minimal cost and effort.

It allows to keep the engine running while changing filters, it also allows for easier troubleshooting (the engine primary filter can be eliminated as a cause of problems).

If you get a diesel bug problem even new primary filters can clog very quickly.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
How often should one change the engine filter?

I need to install a vacuum gauge on that single Racor at least I guess so I can see the clog status, right? Is that an easy install?
hehe, as often as they clog . You do have an option to remove that filter and go with two remote filters with gauges. Overkill probably, but it is an option.

Yes, I would install the gauge by the racor. I've not done one but it seems simple enough. It'll take all the guesswork out and you'll know that engine mounted filter has been getting clean fuel.

Seriously, regarding how often to change the engine mounted filter, look at the engine manual. I think diff engines will have different tolerances, the people who wrote the manual weren't guessing, go by what they say, or more often if you like.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:10 PM   #13
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It only takes a little bit of plumbing to arrange the supply so that the main engine can be run from its own filter, or from the generator filter. (Check the generator primary filter is an adequate size, but this is not usually a problem)

It would be a worthwhile option for minimal cost and effort.

It allows to keep the engine running while changing filters, it also allows for easier troubleshooting (the engine primary filter can be eliminated as a cause of problems).

If you get a diesel bug problem even new primary filters can clog very quickly.

Well this seems like an interesting, low budget idea.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
How often should one change the engine filter?

I need to install a vacuum gauge on that single Racor at least I guess so I can see the clog status, right? Is that an easy install?
Not that difficult if you can run the tubing to a place where you can easily see it while underway. I would caution against replacing the "T" handle on the filter itself with a vacuum gauge because in order to read it you have to go into the engine room with the engine at fairly high rpm. I put the "T" handle gauges on my Californian and was not comfortable crawling between a couple of screaming 6-71 TIB's to read them.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:17 PM   #15
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Dual Racors

OK, I got off my lazy arse and looked it up. Yanmar recommends changing the engine filter every 250 hours or at least every year.

Thanks for all the great info everyone, as usual. One of these years maybe I'll have some boat wisdom I can pass on. Will probably be "don't do what I did" type of info however.

I like that long hose idea for the vac gauge. I would have to stand on my head to read a gauge mounted on the filter itself. Maybe I can run a hose up to the pilothouse. Will the vacuum collapse a long hose?
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
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One of the things you have to keep in mind with Racor filter size is fuel system velocity. You need sufficient fuel velocity for the centrifugal separation of particles and water. Sometimes smaller is better.
True, but the large capacity of the course filter is what I was after there. It has been working fine.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:39 PM   #17
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Cardude,
The Seaboard Marine system is the best that I have used including several Racor systems.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:41 PM   #18
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Parker is making this guage. You could then monitor it after a run, rather than while underway.

http://www.parker.com/literature/Rac...uge_-_7700.pdf
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:53 PM   #19
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Cardude- Have you run the boat enough to get an idea whether you have a dirty tank? Best way is to look inside the tank if possible, or take boat out in some chop and bounce it with tank less than full. Stir up tank and then come back and change racor. Look at it and see how much gunk it built up.

If tank is clean, can't see much need to install a dual. I run a single on mine and it has never clogged. I change it once a year or so.

If tank is dirty, the duals can be a godsend.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
OK, I got off my lazy arse and looked it up. Yanmar recommends changing the engine filter every 250 hours or at least every year.

Thanks for all the great info everyone, as usual. One of these years maybe I'll have some boat wisdom I can pass on. Will probably be "don't do what I did" type of info however.

I like that long hose idea for the vac gauge. I would have to stand on my head to read a gauge mounted on the filter itself. Maybe I can run a hose up to the pilothouse. Will the vacuum collapse a long hose?
Racor specifies a max recommended length.

Here is a site that I looked at when I was considering a gauge for my tug;

NENTOA Fuel line vacuum gauge
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