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Old 07-21-2014, 07:26 PM   #1
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Fuel Filter Question

Excuse my ignorance, but previously on my sailboat I only had one fuel filter to change.....

Currently on our boat, we have a Lehman 120 with three filters leading from the tanks in the following order:

FRAM CCS1136 5 micron (seems to be original)
Racor 500FG with 2 micron (looks to be added at some point)
On Engine Dual CAV @ 10 micron (the stock Lehman filters)

This appears to be what is installed in the boat currently, based on the documentation I have.

I seem to have no choice as to the micron rating for the FRAM or on engine CAV units, but the Racor I can choose 2, 10 or 30. Is the 2 micron what should be installed? If so, does that mean my on engine filters aren't doing a darn thing?

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:59 PM   #2
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Are you certain that they are all on the supply lines? The Fram may be on a return line or on or in conjunction with a fuel flow metering device. I have racors which can, like yours be either 2, 10, or 30 micron prior to the secondary on my Volvo TMD. I typically use the 10 micron on the racors.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Excuse my ignorance, but previously on my sailboat I only had one fuel filter to change.....

Currently on our boat, we have a Lehman 120 with three filters leading from the tanks in the following order:

FRAM CCS1136 5 micron (seems to be original)
Racor 500FG with 2 micron (looks to be added at some point)
On Engine Dual CAV @ 10 micron (the stock Lehman filters)

This appears to be what is installed in the boat currently, based on the documentation I have.

I seem to have no choice as to the micron rating for the FRAM or on engine CAV units, but the Racor I can choose 2, 10 or 30. Is the 2 micron what should be installed? If so, does that mean my on engine filters aren't doing a darn thing?

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
Shit can the Fram unit completely. With having only a 500 Racor I'm use a 10 micron element unless you know you fuel tanks are very clean. If that is the case I'd use the 2 micron element.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:07 PM   #4
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A 10 micron after a 5 and 2 makes no sense. The PO of my boat had 2 micron on the main and the 2 at the engine. I blame that for ruining a lift pump. My main filter is 10 then 2 at the engine. By choice I use a 10 micron on the polishing system so, while I change the engine mounted 2 micron on schedule, I rarely change the 10 micron main filter.

Dave
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
A 10 micron after a 5 and 2 makes no sense. The PO of my boat had 2 micron on the main and the 2 at the engine. I blame that for ruining a lift pump. My main filter is 10 then 2 at the engine. By choice I use a 10 micron on the polishing system so, while I change the engine mounted 2 micron on schedule, I rarely change the 10 micron main filter.

Dave
How would a 2 mic filter ruining your lift pump?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Excuse my ignorance, but previously on my sailboat I only had one fuel filter to change.....

Currently on our boat, we have a Lehman 120 with three filters leading from the tanks in the following order:

FRAM CCS1136 5 micron (seems to be original)
Racor 500FG with 2 micron (looks to be added at some point)
On Engine Dual CAV @ 10 micron (the stock Lehman filters)

This appears to be what is installed in the boat currently, based on the documentation I have.

I seem to have no choice as to the micron rating for the FRAM or on engine CAV units, but the Racor I can choose 2, 10 or 30. Is the 2 micron what should be installed? If so, does that mean my on engine filters aren't doing a darn thing?

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
Where is the genny fed from?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:40 PM   #7
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How would a 2 mic filter ruining your lift pump?
My theory right or wrong was that the lift pump was pulling through too many small filters. But maybe I was jaded by the fine water filter the PO put on the wrong side of the water pump. The PO was a filter maniac... but not in the right places.

Dave
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Are you certain that they are all on the supply lines? The Fram may be on a return line or on or in conjunction with a fuel flow metering device. I have racors which can, like yours be either 2, 10, or 30 micron prior to the secondary on my Volvo TMD. I typically use the 10 micron on the racors.
I was reasonably sure until you asked - I thought I traced it out as follows - the system feeds from the tanks into the Fram, then it splits at a 'T' one side goes to the generator, the other side goes to the Racor and then from the Racor to the Engine.

But now that you asked me, I'm not sure and have the urge to drive to the boat and find out for sure....
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:14 PM   #9
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Where is the genny fed from?
See my post above on how I think it feeds the genny - but I need to go have a look again.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:22 PM   #10
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Ok, so the twin filters that are mounted to the Lehman 120 (see photo) are 10 micron and there are no options otherwise so I am told.

Out of curiosity, if I only had the Racor ahead of the engine mounted filters, what micron filter should I use?

I'm going to pop down to the boat and confirm for myself that I didn't mess up when tracing the lines.

-- Hobbystuff
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Ok, so the twin filters that are mounted to the Lehman 120 (see photo) are 10 micron and there are no options otherwise so I am told.

Out of curiosity, if I only had the Racor ahead of the engine mounted filters, what micron filter should I use?

I'm going to pop down to the boat and confirm for myself that I didn't mess up when tracing the lines.

-- Hobbystuff
My option was to get rid of them and put on a Racor 120 and whatever size filter (2, 10 or 30 I think) that I want on there.....
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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On 70's and 80's boats the Fram CCS1136 was the water separator and fed the fine mesh filters mounted on the engines. That was pretty much standard setup when purchased new from the dealer. Usually the generator feed was T'd off after the Fram water separator and fed the filters mounted on the generator. Do you have filters on the generator?? If so having both the Fram and the Racor filters in series doesn't make a lot of sense unless they're plumbed in parallel to be backups to each other??

The Racor was most likely added by a previous owners at some point. The order of the filter size doesn't make a lot of sense.

For the older engines, they're both good filters, but it's a bit of overkill. You could re-plumb the Fram as part of a fuel polisher if you wish????
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbystuff View Post
Ok, so the twin filters that are mounted to the Lehman 120 (see photo) are 10 micron and there are no options otherwise so I am told.

Out of curiosity, if I only had the Racor ahead of the engine mounted filters, what micron filter should I use?

I'm going to pop down to the boat and confirm for myself that I didn't mess up when tracing the lines.

-- Hobbystuff

I have an 1983 Lehman. I have the same set up and use a 2 micron for the Racor (same with PO). I have original steel tanks, so I want everything caught at the Racor. I change the Racor out every 40 hours (2 min-$10). The engine mounted filters were changed out in 2007 and then again in 2013.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
My theory right or wrong was that the lift pump was pulling through too many small filters. But maybe I was jaded by the fine water filter the PO put on the wrong side of the water pump. The PO was a filter maniac... but not in the right places.

Dave
If that filter was a Racor, The flow rate for their elements is the same whether the element is 2, 10 or 30.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #15
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Out of curiosity, if I only had the Racor ahead of the engine mounted filters, what micron filter should I use?
-- Hobbystuff
With having only a 500 Racor I'd use a 10 micron element unless you know you fuel tanks are very clean. If that is the case I'd use the 2 micron element.

If you move up to a Racor 900, which I suggest you consider, I'd use a 2 micron element.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:05 PM   #16
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If it were me, I would Delete the Fram rig. Replace the two CAV cans on the engine with a single spin-on filter adapter kit from any truck supply store or Trans Atlantic Diesel. Then use a proper Baldwin secondary filter. Use one of the two Racors for a fuel water separator at the micron rating SPECIFIED BY THE OWNERS MANUAL (smaller is not always better). Then plumb the other Racor to the genset. You may opt to use both as a 2-stage system, but then you can easily use a spin-on for the genset if you like.

Here are a couple of threads of the fuel upgrade project I undertook:
The Fuel System Upgrade Project: Episode II

The Fuel System Upgrade Project (this is the first thread I started about it, but it doesn't end with the project being complete... One of the members gave me a new direction so I started the Episode II thread)

Hope some of this info helps. There are a few threads on the subject. You should have no prob narrowing them down with the search function.

(FYI--- I changed my screen name a couple of years ago from GonzoF1. The quotes in some posts reference that name. Don't want you to be confused.)




Here is a discussion about filter sizes:
Is 10 micron enough?
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicbus View Post
A 10 micron after a 5 and 2 makes no sense. The PO of my boat had 2 micron on the main and the 2 at the engine. I blame that for ruining a lift pump. My main filter is 10 then 2 at the engine. By choice I use a 10 micron on the polishing system so, while I change the engine mounted 2 micron on schedule, I rarely change the 10 micron main filter.

Dave
Why not use a 2 mic filter on the polishing system?
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:15 AM   #18
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If that filter was a Racor, The flow rate for their elements is the same whether the element is 2, 10 or 30.
I admit to having not paid a lot of attention to flow rates in physics class, but what I worry about is the "clog" rate. My theory is that a 2 micron will clog much sooner because it is "catching everything" and as it clogs I would assume that the flow rate diminishes.

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Why not use a 2 mic filter on the polishing system?
I thought I had researched this before and the ESI documentation said to use a 10, but on their web site everything is 2. I will have to look into this again.

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Old 07-22-2014, 08:46 AM   #19
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There is a lot of good reading material at Baldwin Filters | Home

Back in 2011 (during my fuel project), I had a very good email conversation with an engineer at Baldwin. Here are the bullet points:

One quick question: Why isn't the micron filtration of your filters listed anywhere? Is there something I don't know about filtration that I should know? I have two Racor 500's with a 30m and 10m filter cartridges. I was hoping to have a 2m as the "secondary" CAV filter.

Micron ratings can be fairly complex. It is imperative to know the efficiency (Beta Ratio) associated with the given micron rating. When a company publishes a micron rating without this information, it does not tell the customer how efficient the filter is at the given particle size. For instance, if Company X rates a filter at 15 micron, they may be referencing a nominal micron rating which could mean the filter is anywhere between 50% and 90% efficient at that particle size. Please see the links below for more information about the micron ratings of filters.

http://www.baldwinfilter.com/literature/english/10%20TSB's/89-5R3.pdf
http://www.baldwinfilter.com/literature/english/10%20TSB's/04-2R1.pdf

This series of Racor numbers crosses to our PF598 series. The PF598 is five micron absolute. Therefore, its nominal rating would be at two micron or smaller. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:07 AM   #20
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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.
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