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Old 07-22-2014, 09:40 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
A good education is to read the fuel filtering articles on boatdiesel. What people do vs what is the text book way is quite different.

But, and a very big one, buy good fuel, keep water from entering your tanks, don't let your tanks get gunked up and use your fuel trumps all on recreational diesel. Judging from all the various responses it seems there are many ways to hook up a filter system that allow us to get by.

The biggest users of hydrocarbon products utilize sequential fuel filtration and or centrifuges. The Parker Hannifin website has a good description of how this works.

BTW, the original poster never cited a problem he is having. It seems his setup is without issue.

Me, 30u on Racor 900 followed by on engine of a reputed 5u. Micron ratings are largely meaningless, it is the beta number that counts. But really, what is your micron size entrapment over time - ever finer as the filter does its job.

Last but not least, a new high pressure diesel is a very different animal. Best to read boatdiesel and sequential 3 stage filtering if you have a newer engine. Works best on older diesels too.


Good points.

The real value of forums is to see what others have done and what actually works. The hardest thing is figuring out those that are giving you good info or not...for the most part for simple things like filters...I don't think many just make things up or lie...especially those poster who have met other or are friends of other members who would throw the BS flag if it was too much.


For old iron like the Lehmans...we probably have as many different combinations of storage, use, delivery and filtration of fuel as we have Lehman owners. Many are hoping their Lehman(s) will run forever...other's like me know it just might outlast the boat but may certainly consider a different engine should anything major happen. So using what any other Lehman owner does and works for them and their cruising style and location...well heck it will probably work for you too.

Where I would be text book is if my new boat (even if just new to me) came with a relatively new engine that was expensive and more to the higher performance side of things.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:16 PM   #22
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I use 2-micron Racor filters as the primary. When one fails perhaps once a year (can't reach maximum RPM), I switch to the other. They "stand guard" for the filters installed directly on the engine (replaced annually as routine maintenance).



(Life is so much simpler with a single engine. Two propulsion engines and a genset? That's thrice the headaches.)
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
...
The real value of forums is to see what others have done and what actually works. The hardest thing is figuring out those that are giving you good info or not. ...
... especially when they don't/can't provide photographic or other physical evidence.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:25 PM   #24
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... especially when they don't/can't provide photographic or other physical evidence.
There are certain mechanical, electrical, handyman principles that others with the same skills usually recognize pretty quick. Using those ideas are good if you do enough background checking to ensure safety and longevity of the idea. Actual photographic or other evidence fortunately isn't always needed, but it is comical when there's no response to the challenge...

I know there are many things done on commercial vessels that many here consider blasphemy...I know better because I have seen it in action for years and years under hard use....

So to quickly grasp ideas presented on the forum does take some background in those areas. Those that leave those ideas and projects to yards/other professionals are just another type of boater....no big deal...but when the "leave it to the other guy" types keep blasting that another way ids 'wrong"...my return fire is "how the heck would you know?"

But those types are fortunately few and far between..but I'll bet most know who they are.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:55 PM   #25
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There are certain mechanical, electrical, handyman principles that others with the same skills usually recognize pretty quick. Using those ideas are good if you do enough background checking to ensure safety and longevity of the idea. Actual photographic or other evidence fortunately isn't always needed, but it is comical when there's no response to the challenge... ...
No doubt.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:49 AM   #26
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Ok gents, thanks for all the advice. I was down at the boat tonight and changed all of my filters, just to see what I had going - first time since we bought the boat.

I was wrong about the routing.... from the tanks:

The Racor is first in line, and has a 2 micron filter.
T's off to the generator after the Racor (Genny has its own filter as well).
Then through the FRAM which I am told is 5 microns nominal
Finally to the on engine dual CAV units which are 10 microns

As has been suggested, I think that the FRAM is original, and that the Racor was added when the generator was installed.

Like has been suggested by others here, I think the PO used the 2 micron Racor primary to collect all the junk because it is pretty easy to change and visually verify with the site bowl. Compared to the Racor, the Fram and CAV units on the engine were way more labor intensive to change.

So I grabbed a few spare 2 micron filters for the Racor, and will change them out more frequently than the other two. My visual inspection of the filters and bowls showed most of the crap was in the Racor anyways.

Cheers - Off to Desolation Sound and places North of that for a few weeks.

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:08 PM   #27
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the filter on the engine is sized by the engine manufacturer to protect the engine mounted equipment, I would stick with the engine maker's choice.

the filters off the engine are primarily to condition the fuel, the engine filter should ideally never see any contaminants, it is only there "just in case".
personally I dont see anything wrong in having smaller micron ratings off the engine and "in front" of the engine filter particularly with multiple filters in series. if there is only a single filter off the engine using the same micron rating as the engine filter is sensible, typically these are much larger filters

Originally Posted by hobbystuff
Out of curiosity, if I only had the Racor ahead of the engine mounted filters, what micron filter should I use? I would say 10 micron (matching the engine filter)
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:16 PM   #28
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I had a similar arrangement on my boat. That is, the fuel went from the tank, to a 2 micron Racor 500, through a Fram 5 micron filter than to two secondary filters mounted on the engine.

I changed this to a dual Racor 500 10 micron filter, got rid of the Fram filter and used Delphi HDF296 on my CAV secondary, which are between 5 to 7 microns. If I have problems I can switch to a clean filter with my dual Racor. In the process I went from 13 fuel line connections from the tank to the secondary filters to about 7. The Ford Lehman engine is a tractor engine built to take abuse, 5 micron filters have never given me any trouble.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:21 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Ok gents, thanks for all the advice. I was down at the boat tonight and changed all of my filters, just to see what I had going - first time since we bought the boat.

I was wrong about the routing.... from the tanks:

The Racor is first in line, and has a 2 micron filter.
T's off to the generator after the Racor (Genny has its own filter as well).
Then through the FRAM which I am told is 5 microns nominal
Finally to the on engine dual CAV units which are 10 microns


-- Ryan
Our very similar universal has the identical filter setup, for some reason I don't think the racors were add ons, may be original. The PO never used a filter in the fram unit, the actual filter not the whole unit cost much more than the racors ones.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:42 AM   #30
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The Lehman 120 will pass anything below 10 micron. Brian of American Diesel recommends not filtering below 10 micron. In my opinion the filters on the engine are unnecessary with a modern filter like the Racors. The primary should be all that is neccesary. On one of our 120s I have been running it for a year without the engine secondary filters. I run 10 micron all the way so step down filtration was not part of my setup.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #31
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It's good to have a secondary. Changing elements on a racor can let a "burp" of crud flow downstream. Also, as racor elements age, they can loosen on the central post and let crud through. I'd put a secondary back on.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:11 AM   #32
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I agree Ski and did replace my nightmare twin OEM filters with a simple Racor 120 spin on bolted to the same flange the other engine mounted ones (downstream) of the lift pump. I was concerned with the lift pump coming apart considering the design tech there.

Yet Daddyo's revelation once again shows that while maybe not conventional, that many other "methods" out there that aren't in the manual, not in boating mags, not recommended by a pro, etc..etc...do not necessarily mean the early demise of your engine (if similar) and possibly no long term effects either. So for emergencies or temporary use, it may be just fine. For long term effects, you would need a bit more info or wait for Daddyo's long running trip thread circa 2030.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #33
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In my opinion the filters on the engine are unnecessary with a modern filter like the Racors. The primary should be all that is neccesary.
If that is true how do you explain the fact that when changing filters you sometimes will see residue in the bottom of the CAV filter bowls even with a Racor up stream of them?
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #34
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It's good to have a secondary. Changing elements on a racor can let a "burp" of crud flow downstream. Also, as racor elements age, they can loosen on the central post and let crud through. I'd put a secondary back on.
I do agree that the "burp" issue is a remote possibility. I did not mention that I use switchable Racor 900s for filtration. I think I will revisit my decision, thanks.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:15 AM   #35
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Just a few observations from a Rolls Royce trained diesel engineer on multi fuel diesels.
Why are you guys so obsessed with Raccor Filters ? do you all have shares in the company ? or is the fuel in the US of A so badly refined ?
Start at the beginning, clean your diesel tanks, if possible fit a sump drain tap, or do so at the first opportunity. Keep diesel tanks full over the winter period to stop condensation. As part of your engine room checks drain a small amount from your diesel tank sump drain every week into a clear glass receptacle as a check, you will see any water/condensation/fine sediment. Note ! to do this efficiently just 'crack' the valve ie open it very slightly until only clean fuel runs.
The reason for this is that if you open it fully you will break the surface tension of any water present and only get what is at the orifice opening. If you do it slowly the surface tension will keep the water globules locked together and they will be drawn to the opening.
Question. Why do trucks not have this problem ?
Because they use fuel virtually immediately it's put in the tanks and if a tank looks dirty it's taken off and cleaned as part of service routine.
Now the explanation because some guys just don't get it.
Diesel fuel, like fine wine, contains sediments and moisture not removed during the refining process and a truck diesel engine will burn this off as a matter of course as they are designed to do and it's not harmful, many truck engines can do up to a million miles in their lifetime.
A pleasure boat engine however will never achieve anything like this and can last indefinitely if maintained correctly.
The fuel problems in boats are caused by diesel fuel sitting in a tank for maybe months on end, and, like fine wine, any sediment will gradually settle down to the bottom of the tank, any moisture(water) in the fuel plus any condensation will also settle to the bottom of the tank.
Diesel bug just loves this interface of water/fuel and will proliferate until the whole tank is contaminated.
If there's no water in the tank, the bug can't breed !
The moral of the story is clean your tanks, and keep them clean.
If you have gold plated triple banks of quadruple Raccor filters THEY WILL NOT CLEAN THE CRUD AND MOISTURE FROM THE BOTTOM OF YOUR TANKS, they will only clean fuel that is circulated by the pumps.
So instead of wasting your money shutting the door after the horse has bolted, roll up your sleeves, get down and dirty, clean out your tanks, fit a small sump and accessible drain cock, you only have to do it once ! drain water/crud once a month as part of your service routine and spend your time sipping a cold one on the back deck instead of constantly changing filters.
I hope my explanation is clear and takes away any ambiguity.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:45 PM   #36
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Irish Rambler- your post is dead on. The problem is that many of these pleasure boats do not have a low spot sump, or for that matter any easy way to do a low point drain. Many tanks have no clean out panels, and no access to the tops. So the normal practices for maintaining fuel and tanks is difficult.

That is often what these guys are dealing with. Sometimes the most practical way is to clean the tanks with the primary filters. Certainly not optimal.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:03 PM   #37
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When one buys a used boat, as many of us here have done, often one inherits the problems borne by poor maintenance practices of the PO. Dirty fuel tanks is just one example. Even the best of systems can suffer contamination due to unforeseen circumstances. Adequate filtration prevents damage downstream to those expensive machines that convert old dinosaurs into maritime propulsion.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:17 PM   #38
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As your post illustrates so well, comparing truck fuel tanks to marine pleasure craft fuel tanks is pretty much meaningless.

Marine tanks don't come out easily for cleaning, many don't have proper access ports, in most cases they don't have stripping ports with proper sumps, they have more internal baffling, the fuel can stay in them for months if not longer than in a truck tank, etc., etc.

So those are some of the reasons proper filtration is more discussed and fretted over on boats than cars and trucks. And with proper sizing you shouldn't be constantly changing out your fuel filters with anything but severely contaminated fuel.

Of course proper filtration isn't as complicated as these discussions might make it seem. But admitting that would take all the fun out of the discussions. :-)
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #39
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>your post is dead on. The problem is that many of these pleasure boats do not have a low spot sump, or for that matter any easy way to do a low point drain. Many tanks have no clean out panels, and no access to the tops. So the normal practices for maintaining fuel and tanks is difficult. <

You get what you pay for , many trawler style boats were price built so do not have a proper fuel tank, just a metal box with fuel in it.

Sadly even when replacing these iron units , most dont purchase fuel tanks , just another box to hold fuel.

Raycore filter elements are cheap by the box , so they stay popular.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:23 PM   #40
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Obviously my previous post raised discussion points to be aired and quite rightly so, we all have different points of view and we're free to express them.
I would point out that of all the boat's I've owned only one came with a sump drain on the diesel tank. All the others I either removed the tank to fit one, or, made an inspection/access hatch in the top to suck out the crud. One nearly beat me until I removed the fuel sender unit on one side of the tank, careened the boat against the dock and vacuumed the gunk out that way.
I have single engine boats and go to sea regularly in various weathers safety is paramount. I would respectfully point out that I've never had to change fuel filters at sea.
Someone mentioned Ford Lehman engines in an earlier post, they are still manufactured in Turkey and parts are freely available.
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