If they are Racor 500s, a commonly used filter ahead of an engine like an FL120, be aware if they are older than a specific date they will need a spacer in order to use the currently-sold Racor 500 filter elements. I don't remember what the changeover date was but a diesel shop should be able to tell you and there are people on this forum who have posted the info before.
The danger of using a new element in an old-style filter body is the new element will sit too low in the body so fuel can get through the filter without passing through the element. The spacer solves this,
Racor used to supply a spacer with every new filter element. I don't know if they still do this but you should be able to get a spacer from your local diesel shop or wherever you buy your filter elements. Once you have it you don't need to keep replacing it with the elements.
On the advice of our diesel shop and the people in the marine diesel industry we talked to after buying our GB we run 2 micron filter elements in the Racor 500s ahead of our two FL120s. Other people have other theories about filters, but we believe--- as do the people we talked to--- that the farther away from the engine you can catch the crud the better.
If a boat has dirty tanks and filter clogging is a problem then it can make sense to use a higher micron filter first followed by progressively smaller ones. In our case the tanks were brand new when we bought the boat, they all drain from the bottom, and our local fuel supplier has a high turnover and relatively new storage tanks so dirty fuel is not an issue here.
PS--- And you can get rid of the snake oil Algae-X thing. It doesn't do anything.
I have purchased a Marine Trader 36 and for now, I'm in California and the boat is in Florida. While I was there I failed to note filter sizes.
Can any of you help identify which which Racors these are? It is my understanding that I want 10 micron filters ahead of the Ford-Lehman 120.
I think your best bet is to just wait until you're at the boat to identify the filters. Assuming the boat runs now, waiting a few days for a filter to come in once you're sure which ones you need shouldn't be a problem.
When we first ran accross the new element problem we were in USVI and you had to contact Racor to have them send you a spacer. I just got a piece of hose with the right ID and cut it to length so the filter element ended up at the top of the housing.
You might want to consider rplacing the Racors with spin ons. I had Racor 900s and after changing one in the Gulf got rid of them and went to spin ons. Tony Athens, a well respected moderator for boatdiesel.com has written numerous articles on fuel filtration and has developed spin on kits that make the change very easy. We had one dirty tank and when it clogged it was a mess to change the Racor. Now we spin the fleet guard off, spin on a new one, take a few pumps with the primer bulb at that system and off we go. This kit goes from a crap catcher, 20 micron, to a ten and than on to the on engine filter. You can get the kit with or without a gage to observe the vac. buildup as the filter fill up if you want, but not necessary. Go to boatdiesel.com and read his articles on filtration, or go to his link, sebmar.com so something like that. He is on the West Coast and goes by Seaboard Marine--not the container ship company. He is a Cummins and Yanmar service center.
Fighterpilot, It sounds like you are using an outboard system type squeeze primer bulb in the fuel line I have read a Tony Athens article and it sounds interesting, When you have a chance could you post a picture of your boats system in particular the bulb location and the on - off valves used with it, What engine(s) do you have?
maybe post as a new thread so it will be easy to spot.
I'll take some pictures this weekend, but in the mean time I'll get some from SBmar and send in another post. . I have 3208NA engines. We bought the boat a year ago and it hadn't been used much in the prior year. One tank leaked so we replaced it. I got rid of the Racors and put the duel filters on each tank. After about 20 hours of our use, out into the Gulf etc., the old tank started shedding crap but the first stage 20 micro caught it and we just changed filters.
I installed Tony's filtration system last year along with vacuum gages and a 12v priming pump. Now I can monitor the health of my filters and I love the spin off design. IMHO this system is worth the $$$$.
Me too. I prefer 2 micron filters. Having a dual switchable setup, I can always change over and change the clogged one.... Why? Changing the 2 micron filter on a Perkins 6.354 is a PIA when the engine is cold....but when its hot, or the boat is in rough water.....*&^&%$$#@@
I leave the filter cracked until it fills, than tighten, haven't had any problem with that. My pump pulls fuel from the tank and pushes it on into the filter/filters as needed. If I am replacing the second in line filter I leave it cracked.
Yours are old Racor 500s, same as mine. Marin's statement that currently available filters don't fit without a spacer is no longer correct, as Racor has fixed that problem. Currently available filters fit just fine.
As for the size, my mechanic says 10s in the Racors, 2s on the engine. I have occasionally run 2s in the Racors and 2s on the engine and have experienced no discernable difference. Only time I have ever had a filter clog on this boat was this year, when I had to change the 2 on one engine, after 1500 hours and 12 years. I'd say the Racor, whether 2 or 10, ahead of it had been doing a good job. I usually change those when the clear bowl starts to look dirty. That turned out to be about ever 450 hours, or 3 to 4 years.