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Old 04-30-2015, 10:43 AM   #21
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Tony Athens of Seaboard Marine is one of the better experts on Cummins marine power, his website is chock full of information, I believe he preaches a stepped filter approach:
Custom Cummins Marine Diesel Repower Specialists | Seaboard Marine

For my Yanmars it is their recommendation to have a 30 micron primary and 10 micron secondary, but like others have said, many different opinions.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:52 AM   #22
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OK, I can't help myself....

I'm not sure if all do, but the engine manufacturers who I've looked at specify what should be used for the off-engine filter. So they specify both the primary (off-engine) and secondary (on-engine) filters. In all cases it's a stepped filtration of some sort. Why do you suppose that is? Do you think they know something that we don't?

By the way, raw water filtration for water makers is the same. They ALL use stepped filters starting with large micron size and working down to smaller. Maybe they know something about this as well, but I'm sure we all know better.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:16 AM   #23
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Well, this turned into a very informative thread. Thank you all for the education and input, it has been well received. Next week I'll be packin multiple different micron filters in my luggage to New Hampshire
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:52 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Here's a good explanation of why progressive filtration makes sense, and why virtually all engine mfrs. recommend it.

Marine Fuel Filtration - “The Seaboard Way”

Fuel Filters

.
That's what I've done...A huge 27 micron Fleetguard, followed downstream by a 10 micron Racor and on engine filter.

Based on the fleetgaurd's performance I'm a believer.

See more here:

Funky Fuel filters....>>
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:47 PM   #25
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roguewave
I have same engines. Mine are mechanical injection. Cummins standard filter (on the engine) is 10 micron. I also use 10 micron as a prefilter. You will very soon pass all of your tank's volume through the filters with that engine. If you use 30 or 20 as a prefilter it will soon be doing nothing as the 10 on the engine will have treated everything in the tank.

Numerous tests done by the filter manufacturers over the years have shown that with diesel fuel, slowly over time decreases in the beta number or openings occur from say 30u to 20, 10 and finally totally plugged. This is why some of us have vacuum gauges, to know when filter change time has arrived.

I have hands on industrial experience with filters and screens finding the same thing. Quite simply, this is why we have protective filters and sizing devices of all sorts, to let them get plugged so the downstream operations won't suffer.

For boats, good information covering fuel filtration can be found, as previously suggested, on boatdiesel.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #26
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OK, I can't help myself....

I'm not sure if all do, but the engine manufacturers who I've looked at specify what should be used for the off-engine filter. So they specify both the primary (off-engine) and secondary (on-engine) filters. In all cases it's a stepped filtration of some sort. Why do you suppose that is? Do you think they know something that we don't?

By the way, raw water filtration for water makers is the same. They ALL use stepped filters starting with large micron size and working down to smaller. Maybe they know something about this as well, but I'm sure we all know better.
I agree that the mfr/dealers know best. I got my info from the local Perkins dealer, Brian at British Marine. On my 4.236, I was advised to use 2 micron on the dual primaries and also on the engine mounted secondary.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:57 PM   #27
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I agree that the mfr/dealers know best. I got my info from the local Perkins dealer, Brian at British Marine. On my 4.236, I was advised to use 2 micron on the dual primaries and also on the engine mounted secondary.
Al

Do your on engine filters have a stamp that says 2u? The dozens of factory issue Perkins Sabre/Cat filters I have bought are stated by factory literature to be 5 to7u but no stamp saying what the are, confusing for sure. Cross reference website is:


dieseldistributors.co.nz
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:16 PM   #28
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Al

Do your on engine filters have a stamp that says 2u? The dozens of factory issue Perkins Sabre/Cat filters I have bought are stated by factory literature to be 5 to7u but no stamp saying what the are, confusing for sure.


dieseldistributors.co.nz
No spec on the filter case as I recall, but they are Perkins brand secondary filters purchased from the Perkins dealer, British Marine, Oakland, CA.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:42 PM   #29
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Bay Pelican is 2 microns, genset, wing engine and both the primary and secondary on the main. Rather change the Racors than the filters on the engines.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:30 PM   #30
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Ok. lots of good thoughts here. But. if a filter clogs and stalls the engine, which one do you want to change in a seaway? For me the racor would be easier to change. So to me that is a good argument to use the same filter aperature on both filters.

But at the moment, I have a 30 mic at the racor and a 10 on the engine. (6bta as well). after I use up a couple of more on board filters, I'll buy some of the 10 mic filters and use them.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:48 PM   #31
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We believe in stopping contaminants as far from the engine as possible. For us, that's the Racors that are first in line after the tanks. The next filters are the two on each engine. After them, it's the injection pumps.

So on the advice of our diesel shop and people we know in the marine propulsion and generator manufacturing industry, it's 2 microns all around.

Another very good point has been made here that has actually never occurred to me. And that is the ease of changing the filter elements in the Racors. An added plus for us is that in our fuel system, which uses only gravity to move fuel from the saddle and day tanks to each engine''s lift pump, changing a filter element in the Racors does not require bleeding the fuel system. Changing the spin-on filters on the engines does.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:39 PM   #32
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Having the 2 micron first means you will be starving the engine and changing a filter faster than you need to. The majority of contaminants are larger than 30 microns. Again there is a reason almost all engine manufacturers recommend progressive filtration. And since we are also weighing in with "that's what some guy told me", I would add all the very experienced mechanics (that would be three) I have used say go with a progressive set up. I would encourage reading the articles I posted as well as Calder.

So here is an anecdote. On my Detroits, the specified sequence is a 30 primary, followed by a 10 or 7 secondary on engine, followed by 2 micron screens on the injectors. I asked one of my mechanics who had worked on DDs for 25 years, if the screens needed cleaning or replacement on some scheduled basis. He said he had never seen a dirty one that needed any action taken. Now plenty of engines, due to design spec a smaller secondary, and will put the 2 micron as the "last chance" filter.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:02 PM   #33
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:17 PM   #34
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Having the 2 micron first means you will be starving the engine and changing a filter faster than you need to..
If you routinely take on crappy fuel, or you have lots of crud in the bottom of your tanks that can get stirred up, or you have fuel on the boat that's been there for a few years, or you've got a water and bug problem in your tanks, sure, I absolutely agree with the progressive filter theory.

But none of those things apply to our boat. In the 17-1/2 years we've had our boat, I have yet to see any water in the bottom of the Racor bowls (and our tanks drain from their lowest points--- when a tank is empty it is empty), nor have I ever seen any crud buildup in the Racor filter elements when I change them.

While there may be exceptions, the fuel sold in the PNW seems in our experience to be of high quality. This is certainly the case in our harbor, where the single fuel supplier is where the 2,000 recreational boats in our marina along with the USCG fuel up, so they go through their storage tanks very quickly.

And even if we had crud for our filters to catch, I would much rather be changing out a filter that's farther away from the injection pump more often than be hoping that the filters immediately in front of the injection pumps were catching all the crap that was passing through the upstream filters. Particularly when the upstream Racor elements are so easy and fast to change.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:43 PM   #35
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Switching first-line fuel filters can be as simple as throwing a switch.





Wouldn't look forward replacing a filter underway (the heat, the motion, ugh, can think of the nausea and uncomfort.)
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:00 AM   #36
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Fine. So here's some more distraction for you. We use 2 micron filters on everything fuel-related. If our anchor used a fuel filter, we'd use a 2 micron on it, too.
What do you mean if?

I use a 2 mic on mine
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:02 AM   #37
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I agree that the mfr/dealers know best. ...
Do you have evidence for that?
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:27 AM   #38
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2 micron is what came on/with my boat - for gensets and main. We shook up the tanks in a big way on Chatham sound and after 120 hours the needle on the vacuum gauge hasn't moved off zero. Maybe it's broken?

My Bruce doesn't need a filter - it does that job by itself as it drags through the mud.

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Old 05-01-2015, 12:38 AM   #39
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What do you mean if?

I use a 2 mic on mine
Oh, crap, really? I've missed that entirely. And here I thought I was really familiar with our anchor.

We have some Baldwin spin-ons on the boat as spares. I'll keep my fingers crossed that when we go up to the boat this weekend one of them will fit the anchor.

Thanks for the heads up on this.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:49 AM   #40
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Switching first-line fuel filters can be as simple as throwing a switch.





Wouldn't look forward replacing a filter underway (the heat, the motion, ugh, can think of the nausea and uncomfort.)
Yep, that's my Racor 500 setup. It takes 30 seconds to turn the handle and only two minutes to change the filter, if need be.

And I'm sure many can do it faster than that...

Marin's advice makes too much sense to ignore.

Yes, Diesel manufacturers make all sorts of recommendations. Im sure a few are not even based on marketing, but I'm not even sure about that.

Most Product Managers will ell you the truth if you get them aside, everyone else is just reading from the brochure or lawyers statement.

Let me run a little scenario by you:

Engineers of the wonderful, big diesel maker, go running to the product manager, their new baby hot off the lathe, a gleam in their eyes.

PM they say, look at what we have made now. We know that if we recommend 2 mic filters everywhere, this engine could last forever.

Now, the PM DOES want the engine to last forever. He doesn't believe in planned obsolescence. Companies make money from increasing market share, not selling a lot of crap, that forces the consumer to look elsewhere.

But he asks the engineer, who is still drooling over his latest creation, "so with 2 micron filters everywhere, how often will the engine starve for fuel if the filters are not changed as needed?

Oh, Engineer says, we already thought of that. Smiling he shows the PM the data, with 2 mic filters and a user who does not pay attention, (Assuming 10% of all users are negligent), it is an expensive engine after all, this engine will die even for those negligent owners only 10% of the time, versus 5% is they use progressive filters.

ANd the PM asks, how will this affect the longetvity of the engine??

The engneer, still beaming, pulla out another sheet of paper. This data shows that under the best conditons, the engine will last 30,000 + hours and Probably avegage 20,000+ hours and even with the worst users, using cheap 10 micron filters made in China that are actually anywhere from 1 mcron to 50 microns and more random then the best computer program could produce.

Even these worst case owners this beauty will last 10-15,000 hours.

The PM pats the Engineer on the back, "Joe, you've designed a wonderful motor that will have our customers singing our praises int he after life.

There will probably be 10,000 (this number I don't know) of these motors under warranty at any given time. As everyone realises how great that is, those numbers will increase, BUT we will double our service calls just by telling folks to use the more restrictive filter.

The progressive filters will still do the job, but we will have far less calls and trips to start engines that would have kept running had they used progressive filters. So, even though the engine will last slightly less time, once we go about 20k hours, no one will notice, or remember whether that final number is 25k or 35k hours.,

But they will remember that that we had more service calls, even though their engine would have lasted a bit longer.

So let's just go with the progressive recommendation and make everyone happy.


Did I eve mention I was a Product Manager?

Not for a manufacturer, but the best companies make sure that the PMs and the Engineers are talking almost every day.

I have also mentioned too many times, this will be the last time, that I, in my early naive days, put 300 gallons of fuel in the new Dauntless, in tanks that taken 10 years to burn only 200 gallons.

1200 miles and 230 hours later,much of it off shore, the engine finally stopped due to clogged filters. Who knows what i was waiting for. I had arrived in NY a week earlier.

The switched the Racor and the engine started up 30 seconds.

2 mics for me.
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