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Old 01-16-2017, 01:50 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by kapnd View Post
I have read Tony Athens articles on fuel filtration, and sincerely appreciate his willingness to share his wealth of knowledge with the public.
To show my appreciation, I purchased his recommended Fleetgard product from his shop with the squeeze bulb primer, and never looked back. Works like a charm, little to no chance of screwing it up, always aware of the condition of filters with a remote vacuum gauge on the dash.
I also take a small sample from the bulk water seperator every couple of trips, to look for water, and usually find a little, so that works well too.
For you guys that are saying "if its worked for 20 years, don't mess with it", you need to read up on what they are doing to diesel fuel nowdays.
What comes out of the pump is not the same thing it was even a few years ago.
I'm too lazy to look it up, but Professional Boatbuilder has published some interesting articles re the new diesel fuel, the gist of it being that the stuff is able to carry a lot more water through an inadequate filtration system.
I like your approach kapnd, to always be learning and looking for a better way of doing the "same thing". But the world is changing. Fuel is totally different now. Storage time for fuel is very short, specially when it is contaminated by any source of water. I think water separation at the tank sump is the first line of defense. Water settles to the bottom of the tank best while the boat is resting calmly at the dock so why not get rid of it, if there is any, before you head out and stir it up. The larger and coarser filter, be it Racor or whatever, has a much greater area to filter out contaminents without plugging so should be the first filter in line. If a 2 micron filter was first in line it would plug long before the big 30? micron. But the second or third place 2 micron now has much less big junk to filter out so can do its job better, and last longer on the small particles. It only matters if you have lots of contaminants in the fuel, but that might be what saves you in a situation where you take on a bad batch of fuel. I like having gauges (that work!) in any fuel system plumbed simply with a line right to the instrument panel so it can be monitored just like temperature or oil pressure. Vacuum gauges should be after the last filter. If the gauge is on the big Racor with 30 micron element, it will not read the plugged up 2 micron final element. That could be why some do not see a vacuum increase. It does not matter what the flow rate to the engine, if the filter is plugged, there will be an increase in the vacuum. Some engines like Cat have a charge pump on the high pressure pump that sucks fuel through the primary filter(s) and then pressures it through the secondary or final filter at pressures of 80-100 psi. Those engines usually run a pressure gauge on the dash so you know if you have normal pressure to the engine. A very good system. There seems to be a weak link in some of these boat fuel systems in that there is no priming pump to aid in refilling filters and purging air. Does anyone add a small Carter or Stewart Warner 12V pump that can be manually run for purging all the air from a system any time it is opened or even if it has sat for a long time and had some back flow to the tank? I believe these pumps flow free flow when they are stopped so only need to run when you want them to. Kapnd spoke of a simple squeeze bulb primer that may be very effective for purging air and refilling filters and lines. Cat usually had some type of a manual plunger pump incorporated right into the filter base of the secondary filter that enabled the operator to refill the filters with FILTERED fuel just by working the plunger up and down. This was very clean filtered fuel and eliminated the use of very questionable fuel for filling filters that came from a jerry can or other unfiltered source. That fuel that you just poured into your new high quality fuel filter gets sucked right into the high pressure pump, because it is inside the filter, past the filtering process. That is just not an acceptable procedure, specially on new high pressure common rail systems. That is why I would incorporate a small, intermittent use charge pump for purging the fuel system after servicing. Whether it is manual on electric it does an important job. I am not here to criticize any one or to question how someone has done it in the past. I have been working on, and operating diesel engines for over 50 years and realize that I have not always done it right, and therefore I am always interested in looking for a better, simpler, more fool proof way of doing things. If it makes my engine run better, longer and with less problems, I am the first one in line to admit I was wrong and I would like to try the better way. It has always come out of my pocket when I screwed up so I am pretty keen on not having extra expenses. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!!
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:45 PM   #62
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Based on all your answers I went to the following conclusion:
  • 10 microns filtration will be sufficient for my old engine. While it will not be harmful, there will be no benefit to get to 2 microns in my case.
  • My current filter is working fine at 10 microns and is in fact the engine mount filter that has been moved in a place easier to access.
  • I want to add another filter in front of my single, most of you recommend racor or similar.

Now my plan. I will indeed add another filter upfront to act as a mud/filter water separator. However I will add a second filter of the same type as the one I already have because:
  • The filter is working fine
  • The replacement cartridge as well as the filter are really cheap. A cartridge is something like 5$ and the filter itself is 70$ for the deep bowl version.
  • I will have to carry only one type of spare parts
  • In the event of the filter clogged underway, I will be able to isolate it to change the cartridge while running only on the other filter without any filtration loss

While it may looks bizarre to have a 10 microns as a mud filter in front of another 10 microns, the fact is that it will cost less than a racor 30 microns so...

This will be put in my already so long list of improvements I plan to do.

Thank you all, once again I learned many things reading your answers!
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:54 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Lou quietly (and wisely) stepped aside as the mob started throwing fuel filters at each other!!!
LOL knowing my type of humour I preferred to step back a bit and read post as I don't want to risk throwing some gasoline on a starting fire

But to be serious I do not think the brand of filter would do a difference for me and my rustic engine.

What I described in my above post will give me a more robust filtration as it will allow me to continue to run in case of clogged primary filter and at a reasonable price.

Believe me or not but I found some guys on Smokstak trying to run Hercules engine using ATF oil, old used engine oil or cooking oil just to see if it was still working... and it was! So I am not too worrying about having "only" a 10 microns filtration
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:55 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Based on all your answers I went to the following conclusion:
  • 10 microns filtration will be sufficient for my old engine. While it will not be harmful, there will be no benefit to get to 2 microns in my case.
  • My current filter is working fine at 10 microns and is in fact the engine mount filter that has been moved in a place easier to access.
  • I want to add another filter in front of my single, most of you recommend racor or similar.

Now my plan. I will indeed add another filter upfront to act as a mud/filter water separator. However I will add a second filter of the same type as the one I already have because:
  • The filter is working fine
  • The replacement cartridge as well as the filter are really cheap. A cartridge is something like 5$ and the filter itself is 70$ for the deep bowl version.
  • I will have to carry only one type of spare parts
  • In the event of the filter clogged underway, I will be able to isolate it to change the cartridge while running only on the other filter without any filtration loss
While it may looks bizarre to have a 10 microns as a mud filter in front of another 10 microns, the fact is that it will cost less than a racor 30 microns so...

This will be put in my already so long list of improvements I plan to do.

Thank you all, once again I learned many things reading your answers!
Sounds like you have an excellent plan for your boat, engine and cruising style
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:13 PM   #65
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There's more than one way to skin a cat!! Good luck with your plans
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:16 PM   #66
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Sounds like you have an excellent plan for your boat, engine and cruising style
Thank you, I appreciate your blessing

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There's more than one way to skin a cat!! Good luck with your plans
Indeed I am not a believer in "one size fit all" solutions
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:24 PM   #67
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"So maybe it's the fact that on some engines the fuel pumpdoesn't seem to pull a strong vacuum or something."

The fuel pump does not generate the vacuum rather it comes fromthe total of all the resistances generated in the fuel path between thetank and the pump. Some of those contributors would be these: height of tank vspump, type of fuel fllter(s), element chosen for filter, size of fuel line,number and type of fuel connectors and the condition of the filter element overtime.
All engines will need to be ab le to pull a decent vacuum in orderto work with the typical fuel tank restrictions and typical filterrestrictions. The limits on the various fuel pumps are available from the manufacturerssite in most cases if that information was needed.
Hmm...I see what you're saying. But without the pump to create suction there could be no vacuum created, yes?
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:00 PM   #68
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"Hmm...I see what you're saying. But without the pump to create suction there could be no vacuum created, yes?"

Agreed 100% - without the ability tp pump the fuel the vacuum is lost at the point that the fuel pump cannot keep up. Just like any main engine or any genset once the vacuum overcomes the pump then the fuel does not flow. One of the reasons that all gensets as well as mains have fairly robust fuel pumps so they can maintain a running status with random fuel tank installations and fairly pugged filters. Many folks that work on these typical diesel pumps believe that higher restrictions of fuel flow and pressure lead to higher heat and a lack of lubricity which affects these components negatively. So most feel that removing/replacing a filter prior to the point where is affects engine rpm will avoid that lack of flow to these components.
Much more information would likely be gained by posting and/or reading over at boatdiesel(dot)com where many industry professionals often respond.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:04 PM   #69
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"Believe me or not but I found some guys on Smokstak trying to run Hercules engine using ATF oil, old used engine oil or cooking oil just to see if it was still working... and it was! So I am not too worrying about having "only" a 10 microns filtration "\


A guy that bought my Ford Navistar 7.3 diesel pickup converted that engine to run on filtered waste cooking oil. It did run pretty good with of course a bit loss of power and some really unique maintenance issues but had a very distinct smell of 'french fries' when he was going by. Everyone has their own motives and goals ....who am I to say what is best for them?
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty477 View Post
"Believe me or not but I found some guys on Smokstak trying to run Hercules engine using ATF oil, old used engine oil or cooking oil just to see if it was still working... and it was! So I am not too worrying about having "only" a 10 microns filtration "\


A guy that bought my Ford Navistar 7.3 diesel pickup converted that engine to run on filtered waste cooking oil. It did run pretty good with of course a bit loss of power and some really unique maintenance issues but had a very distinct smell of 'french fries' when he was going by. Everyone has their own motives and goals ....who am I to say what is best for them?
I would honestly never try to burn something like ATF oil in my engine but people can find fun in unexpected experience
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