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Old 11-29-2018, 05:57 PM   #1
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Racor Fuel Filter replacement

Looking for some opinions. I have a dual Racor S3209 spin on primary fuel filter system on my boat. This winter, I am planning on putting new filters on the primary and the on engine filter. For the past 2 years and about 500 hours I have used only one side of the "dual" filter. So my question is, should I just switch to the "old" unused filter (Racor) and replace just the used one, or do I need to replace both. Either way, I will replace the on engine one as well. My fuel looks very clean in the see through bowls, and the vacuum gauge still shows only about 5-6 inHG at WOT.

For info, the engine is a 2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp with 2100 hours and is running very well.
Thanks for the opinions,
Tom
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Looking for some opinions. I have a dual Racor S3209 spin on primary fuel filter system on my boat. This winter, I am planning on putting new filters on the primary and the on engine filter. For the past 2 years and about 500 hours I have used only one side of the "dual" filter. So my question is, should I just switch to the "old" unused filter (Racor) and replace just the used one, or do I need to replace both. Either way, I will replace the on engine one as well. My fuel looks very clean in the see through bowls, and the vacuum gauge still shows only about 5-6 inHG at WOT.

For info, the engine is a 2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp with 2100 hours and is running very well.
Thanks for the opinions,
Tom

I'll tell you what I'm doing. I've got a Cummins 5.9L QSB setup for 380hp. I have a dual Racor setup (cartridges not spin-on) that have 10 micron filters and then I have a 2 micron Fleetguard on engine fuel filter.


I run my primary filters as you have, use one and keep the other clean. I have settled on replacing each filter every two years but on alternate years. This spring, I will replace the filter that I've been running fuel through over the past year. At that time I will switch to the other filter which has essentially been sitting idle for the past year. I likely will change the on-engine filter as well, but I may let it go for another year depending on how the Racor that I replace looks. I also use a vacuum gauge and never pull more than about 3 Hgmm.


I will say there are some good arguments for not doing what I'm doing. According to Parker, the Racors with the aquablock elements do age, just by sitting in diesel fuel. This would argue for changing both filters yearly since by the time I'm actually using a filter, the aquablock chemical components are likely not nearly as effective. It would probably be smarter to just replace both filter elements every year. The filters aren't that expensive and replacing two isn't more effort than replacing one. I beleive that if the aquablock elements are losing their effectiveness at stopping water, you still won't show any increase in your vacuum gauge. That will only occur if your filter is dirty.



I don't know your setup with the spin-on but how can you tell how much, if any, water the filter is taking out? I never see any water in my bowls.


If I had your setup, I would at the very least change one of those filters yearly and change your on-engine at least every other year. You would be safest just replacing all three every year. Keep in mind that I don't have the first clue as to what I'm doing with engines. So really I'm just passing on what one ignorant fool is doing. There are actually smart people here who know what they are talking about and will chime in. Listen to them.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:13 AM   #3
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Hi,


I have asked this from the manufacturer, and I got an interesting response.


Type in your question here: Hey, I live here in Finland and diesel is very clean and I am now driven more than 600 hours 3 years Racor 75/900 10mic filter and the filter is still visually clean and vacuum gauge needle moves only just a little bit so I have not changed the filter and it all works very same fleet guard 2mic last filter for my Cummins QSB. Do you see a technical problem / risk of using your filter for several years if the filter remains clean? Regards xxxxx
Sent on: 2 November, 2018
Thank you!


No, there is no problem. I have a diesel pick up and I have been running the same filter for 3 years now. I am going to change this year just because.



Best regards,


Racor Products Technical Service

Engine Mobile Original Equipment Division
3400 Finch Road
Modesto, CA 95354
209-521-7860

Racor "where to buy", news, literature and information: www.racornews.com
Product part finders and support literature: www.racor.com


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Old 11-30-2018, 12:38 AM   #4
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Thanks Dave and North.
So far, and based on both the response from Racor and your thoughts Dave, I might just adopt the change one of the two each year and the on engine one every second year idea. I am planning on cutting open the on engine one to see how clean (or dirty) it is after 2 years of use. When at cruising rpm, my vacuum reads about 3, even after 2 years. I have never seen any signs of water or particles in my filter bowl. Because of that, I am assuming (I know what that means ) that the water is either being removed or there is none (or very little)?
Still hoping for some other thoughts.
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Thanks Dave and North.
So far, and based on both the response from Racor and your thoughts Dave, I might just adopt the change one of the two each year and the on engine one every second year idea. I am planning on cutting open the on engine one to see how clean (or dirty) it is after 2 years of use. When at cruising rpm, my vacuum reads about 3, even after 2 years. I have never seen any signs of water or particles in my filter bowl. Because of that, I am assuming (I know what that means ) that the water is either being removed or there is none (or very little)?
Still hoping for some other thoughts.
Thanks,
Tom
Hi,

If you have the same tanks in your NT as I do, the fuel always flows into the bottom part of the tank and any water and particles pass through the filter and what engine does not burn returns to the clean port side of the tank.

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Old 12-01-2018, 10:18 AM   #6
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Thanks again Dave and North.
I decided to contact Parker, the makers of Racor filters (North gave me the idea) and they responded very quickly. When asked the question of is it safe to use the filter that has sat unused for 2 years, but filled with diesel,or is there some reason it needs to be replaced, the tech stated: " You will be fine". Therefore, I am going to just replace the one I have been using, and the on engine filter. After emptying it, I plan on cutting open the old on engine filter to see how it fared being used for 2 years and about 500 hours. I suspect (and hope) that it will be relatively clean, but time will tell.
I remember reading somewhere (article from someone very respected in the industry, maybe Steve D'Antanio?) that filter changes are only needed if the vacuum gauge indicates it. Otherwise, you are doing something not really necessary.
However, as Dave stated, filters are not that expensive, and I think I will change mine out using the system he uses (unless the vacuum gauge indicates a need sooner). For lack of a better way to describe it, based on the info from Racor, Dave's system "just feels right".

Thanks again for your input and ideas,
Tom
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