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Old 03-26-2017, 01:36 PM   #1
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Racor Filter Question

Q: Any "gotchas" in draining a bit of sludge from the Racor Filter?

New-to-me 1990 GB 32 with 135 Ford Lehman. Fuel tanks were emptied and cleaned (as much as possible, given the internal baffles) a few months ago.

Racor is the pretty standard (I think) unit with the upside-down transparent bowl with drain valve at the bottom. It also has a guage which so far is not showing any excess pressure.

There is a bit of what looks like the typical brown diesel "sludge" in the bottom of the bowl...maybe 1/4 inch or less.

So, do I need to drain this now? Never touched one of these filters before. Do I just crack the valve at the bottom, catch the fuel and hopefully most of the sludge, being sure to not completely empty the bowl? Then run the engine a bit to make sure the bowl refills?

Thanks in advance for your advice on this.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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Drain and flush the bowl if it is really full of nasties...

Sometimes this is easier as loosening the drain valve winds up with unscrewing the whole drain assembly...no big deal.

Then just fill with a quart or so of fresh fuel, and prime the engine.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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In addition to the above advice, it is particularly easy to drain a Racor if it is mounted below the fuel level in the tank. Gravity will keep it full as you drain.

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Old 03-26-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Drain and flush the bowl if it is really full of nasties...

Sometimes this is easier as loosening the drain valve winds up with unscrewing the whole drain assembly...no big deal.

Then just fill with a quart or so of fresh fuel, and prime the engine.
What he said.

If you pull the drain completely off you can stick a finger or bottle brush in the bowl to wipe it clean.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:58 AM   #5
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All of the above. Suggest you familiarize yourself with the whole system now, at your leasure, while tied to the dock. There will come a time when you need to do something "in anger" like draining gunk/water, bowl clean, filter change, refill etc. Nice to know the procedures in advance.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:58 AM   #6
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You can just drain the sludge. I had to do this often for a couple of years once when I picked up a load of bad fuel. It eventually got all the yuck out.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:30 AM   #7
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Sludge probably has been there for some time and may not simply drain out the valve. A complete disassembly and cleaning of the whole unit might be appropriate. It's a simple job. Manuals are easy to find onlinel
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:41 AM   #8
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If you take the thing apart to drain and clean... Racor sells an easier-to-use drain valve, compared to the original drain nut that came on ours. Part number RK 19492. Easy installation.

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Old 03-28-2017, 02:51 AM   #9
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"Do I need to drain this now?"
Absolutely. There's more where that came from, so don't let it build up!
Mr. Murphy sez that the worst that can happen will happen at the worst possible time, so don't let THAT happen.
An outboard squeeze bulb primer upstream of the filters will make it easy to refill the filters and get rid of the air, as well as to flush the crud out of the bowl.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:45 AM   #10
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If bowl has a lot of crud in it, often the drain valve plugs. In that case, just remove the entire drain. When done, refill the whole canister from the top.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
If bowl has a lot of crud in it, often the drain valve plugs. In that case, just remove the entire drain. When done, refill the whole canister from the top.
x2. also the seal for the bottom bowl is the same as the lid.
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