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Can someone help me? I'm new to diesel motors and trying to learn what all the bits and pieces on mine are and how they work.

This (attached image: Baldwin BF791) is the primary fuel filter for our Yanmar 3YM30. Diesel flows from it to the tank to the motor. There's another smaller version of it on the motor itself. I feel that I should have a Racor style spin on filter with a clear bowl? Should I replace the Baldwin filter with a Racor one? Should I add a Racor filter closer to the fuel tank and keep the Baldwin one too? What's best practice here?

fuel-filter.jpg

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I hope for your sake you meant that fuel flows from the tank to the filter to the engine!  What you have here is purely a fuel filter.  The devices with clear bowls are also water separators.  Whether you need that or not is an open question.  I have never found any water in mine, but YMMV.  Be aware that if you install one with a clear (plastic) bowl in the engine compartment, ABYC regulations (by some interpretations) and some insurance companies demand that it be equipped with a fire shield, although we all know that's not particularly important for diesel.  There's a thread or two on that.

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^^^ Wot he said. Nothing inherently wrong with what you've got, but a Racor type filter will also remove water from the fuel. Also the larger bits of crud will stay in the clear bowl giving you a better glimse into your fuel health. The fire sheild is a ss bowl mounting under the plastic bowl. Just takes a bit more room to install.

And on another front, that cockpit drain fitting is nylon - those gradually weaken from UV exposure. At some point, they will break off quite easily.

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Unless you've got a contaminated tank (water and/or diesel bugs) or are running your engine for hundreds of hours per year, this should be plenty adequate. The Baldwin is a 9 micron filter, which is what you want for that Yanmar. Change both filters every year, add a dose of Biobor with each fill, keep your tanks full in the off season, and make sure you've got a decent o-ring on your deck fill to keep liquid water out and you should be fine. 

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I have picked up water (in quantity like 0.5-1 L) a few times. First boat had a big opaque filter housing with an inside cartridge. Second had a Racor 500. Both were good at water separating while this type is not. But... you'll probably be fine.

If you do replace it with a water separating one you can just sell this one. No need for two primary + engine mounted filter.

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Built My own diesel polisher, whenever I'm working on the boat I stick the inlet and outlets into the fuel tank and leave it running..

it goes.

Inlet, long copper pipe into tank

rubber to glass demijohn,

copper pipe through bung to bottom of demijohn,

copper pipe  from 3/4 way up demijohn through bung

to pump, 

to filter,

to rubber pipe back into tank.

The Demi john allows water and gunge to settle out, reducing filter changes and you can easily see what's happening..

Doesn't need a huge pump as I'm not in a hurry, the copper pipe reaching the bottom, draws off water  and gunge from the  tank..

 

First time a couple of gallons of water were drawn out, since then, not a lot...

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Always have at least one spare filter on board. In rough weather it is not uncommon for gunk in the bottom of the tank to go into suspension and plug the filter. Have a cut-away milk jug to catch any drips.

The see through bowls are nice if you are in the habit of checking them often. I caught water in a tank with one before it became a problem.

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One small advantage of a Racor bowl type filter is the stopcock at the bottom. If some gunk or water settles out and you are in a diffcult situation you can drain the bad stuff and keep going for a while before changing out the filter. This implies you are checking it pretty often, which I never do.

It also makes filter changes cleaner by draining the fuel from the filter before removing it. It is hard to get the one piece ones off without slopping some fuel.

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I regard a Racor as an essential piece of gear - I had canister filters on one boat and hated them - you can't tell what's going on.

My current setup has the Racor, the water strainer and the seacocks all in one place so everything gets checked every time I open or close the seacocks - basically twice every time the boat goes out - I really like it.

 

Engine 5.JPG

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I have a filter question, too!

One of my Racor 225R filters has gone bad -- a combination of fuel gunk and decay. I don't think rebuilding it makes sense. It looks like the 225R is no longer easily available (or my google-fu is poor). The filter is for a yanmar 2gm20. It looks like the 230R is a plug in replacement plumbing wise but it takes different filters and has a lower flow rate. I have a small fortune of R26S filters. I have two engines with the same setup.

As I've been contorted in the engine room huffing diesel fumes I'm thinking I may not be thinking very well (even by my usual modest standard). Options that come to mind:

Find a 225R replacement but that looks to be hard and/or expensive.

Replace the bad filter with a 230R and deal with two different filter types aboard.

Replace both and donate my cache of R26S's to a good cause.

Thoughts?

 

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26 minutes ago, longy said:

I've taken apart a few Racor's to clean out. They are quite simple. I'd go the re-build route.

Thanks. That was my first thought, too. However, there is some deterioration of the casting and the primer pump parts all need replacing. Parts and labor considered I think it's time to replace it.

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48 minutes ago, 221J said:
5 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Engine 5.JPG

Expand  Expand  

Tell me you photoshopped the grime out of the real picture.

Well I could but I'd be lying.

That pic was taken right after I shortened the engine beds so I could access the stuffing box to adjust it.

Fresh glass & fresh paint & fresh hoses & fresh... make it purty.

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If you are making changes, and time and money is no object, consider putting a two stage Racor system in.  The big advantage of this is that you almost never need to change the filter on the engine, since the two-stage will remove virtually all the gunk before it can get to the engine filter.   If you don't need to change the engine filter you will probably not have to bleed the system after a filter change provided you keep a small quantity of fresh diesel on board to fill the Racor up with.  So, the scenario where you are at sea and the filter clogs requiring a change becomes less of a nuisance.

We have a two-stage filter and, since they hadn't been changed since we bought the boat in 2020, changed all the filters a few weeks ago.  The two filters in the Racors were a bit ugly, but the one on the engine was pristine - we could have left it but changed it anyway.  

One of the PO's also put in an electric fuel pump switchable to the outlet of the Racors and plumbed in a return to the fuel tank, creating a fuel polishing system.  We can run the entire tank of fuel through the filters if we want - also eliminating any air bubbles left after a filter change.   It also means we don't have to carry fresh diesel for filling up the filter after a change because the pump is strong enough to pull fuel up out of the tank to fill the filters. 

We thank our PO, where-ever he/she is, for doing that.  There is some other stuff they could have fixed though.

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17 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

Racors

any delivery crew will tell you , they are simply the ducks guts :)

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15 minutes ago, ExOmo said:

is a ducks gut like a cat's meow?

duck's guts pl (plural only) (Australia, informal) Something superlative, something outstanding. [

15 minutes ago, ExOmo said:

is a ducks gut like a cat's meow?

cat's pyjamas :)

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5 hours ago, Mid said:

duck's guts pl (plural only) (Australia, informal) Something superlative, something outstanding. [

cat's pyjamas :)

bee's knees

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On my boat I put the little electric fuel priming pump toggle switch right beside the pump. Perfect for filling the filter just enough.

And the pump was a backup if the mechanical fuel pump ever stopped working

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One more convenient thing to put in your fuel filtration system is a vacuum detector.  If the filter gets dirty the fuel pump will create a partial vacuum trying to suck the fuel through it.  You can see at a glance that your filters need changing.

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On 1/6/2022 at 6:33 PM, SloopJonB said:

I regard a Racor as an essential piece of gear - I had canister filters on one boat and hated them - you can't tell what's going on.

My current setup has the Racor, the water strainer and the seacocks all in one place so everything gets checked every time I open or close the seacocks - basically twice every time the boat goes out - I really like it.

 

Engine 5.JPG

Racor! - forget everything else!

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Depends on how sensitive your particular engine is to particle size, and how easy/hard it is to change the engine mounted filter. On Yanmars, with the Racor easily accessable, I like to run the primary at 5 microns. This is over filtered, the engine mounted filter is 10 microns. But filters, as they become plugged, tend to let more particles thru. So I rely on the engine filter as back up insurance for anything that might get thru the primary. I will change the Racor 3 times before changing the engine filter as long as no unusual clogging has occured.

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In our 2-stage system we are running a 30 micron primary and 2 micron secondary.  There is, of course, much debate about the correct staging in such a system.  5 micron for a single filter sounds reasonable but you may need to carry spares.

The 2 micron filter is physically much smaller than the 30 micron filter.  If it was the only filter it would quickly plug up.

When we changed ours out the 30 was quite ugly, and there was water in the separator, while the 2 looked ok.  At the time our vacuum sensor showed "replace" and I suspect it was the 30 causing this.  We have no idea how long the filters had been in the boat as the PO didn't keep a log.

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10.

2 clogs way too easy if you have something in the fuel. "20" isn't a Racor size

30 just means the horrible Yanmar 10 element clogs up...

You don't need to use the special "Racor" vacuum gauge. Any pressure/vac in the same range will work.

There are now fake Racors on ebay. Not a place to save $$

image.thumb.png.3dbdeb84265bdf77b7988ab7ac55e2a7.png

https://www.amazon.ca/Filter-Separator-Diesel-Turbine-Superior/dp/B09BNLTJQT/ref=pd_day0_2/146-5201303-4103548?pd_rd_w=jFxno&pf_rd_p=a0f07c06-3bfe-427e-9527-5be8cea27b66&pf_rd_r=TA8FVX8JNVM9JRE7BRNB&pd_rd_r=8aa7364f-7479-4b17-87d2-bfceb6a37430&pd_rd_wg=IC80z&pd_rd_i=B09BNLTJQT&th=1

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13 hours ago, woodpecker said:

I know the replacement elements come in 10, 20 and 30 Micron for the Racor.  What are the 3 scenarios for using the correct one? 

RAC2010TM__08031.1609975543.gif

Don’t know your filter 

be aware that some years ago the filter and element were redesigned

a rubber spacer is needed to make new element match with old body 

many times the spacer comes with the new element 

double check your installation 

https://www.parker.com/parkerimages/Racor/7688 (Rubber Spacer TB).pdf

 

 

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How much, if any, does the fuel flow of the engine play into the filter choices?

The folks who supplied our 2gm20 engines recommended the 225 with the r26s 2 micron canisters. They were problem free for thousands of engine hours with whatever the local fuel was and, now, suddenly, not so much. They are small engines and don't cycle a lot of fuel. I suppose the filter area is relatively large so would take more time to foul than on a bigger engine? Is there a minimum flow for the centrifugal water separators on the classic racors? 

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2 hours ago, weightless said:

How much, if any, does the fuel flow of the engine play into the filter choices?

The folks who supplied our 2gm20 engines recommended the 225 with the r26s 2 micron canisters. They were problem free for thousands of engine hours with whatever the local fuel was and, now, suddenly, not so much. They are small engines and don't cycle a lot of fuel. I suppose the filter area is relatively large so would take more time to foul than on a bigger engine? Is there a minimum flow for the centrifugal water separators on the classic racors? 

Modern diesel fuel …low sulfur, ecological reasons …fouls very fast 

typically you have two filters…the racor style pre filter and the main filter mounted on your engine 

The racor pre filter need not be so fine..10 or 20 micron is ok 

the main filter is normally 2 micron 

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On 1/9/2022 at 10:25 AM, weightless said:

Is there a minimum flow for the centrifugal water separators on the classic racors? 

Yes. And little engines don't flow enough to matter. But the 500 shines in a few ways:

- easy to disassemble to clean
- replacement elements are about 1/2 the cost of the spin on types so over the lifetime of the filter if you keep the boat that long it may be cheaper
- the bowl still collects lots of water and will hold a large amount of water - if you buy fuel in rural North Carolina. That may be specific to me however.
- I think filter elements are quite a bit bigger than the smaller spin on types so won't foul as fast

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One of the reasons I like Racor's is because they are easily rebuildable.

You can go from this;

Racor 1.JPG

To this;

Racor After.JPG

In a couple of hours for the cost of a rattle can of paint and a new 2010 filter.

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Although I understand the benefit of your two stage system, if one filter clogs all fuel stops. One of the benefits of a two filter system is locking out the bad filter to allow you to change it out while fuel moves throught the second. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but it does not look too difficult to add another hose and valve to allow the engine to run off one filter while you service the other.

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5 hours ago, steele said:

Although I understand the benefit of your two stage system, if one filter clogs all fuel stops. One of the benefits of a two filter system is locking out the bad filter to allow you to change it out while fuel moves throught the second. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but it does not look too difficult to add another hose and valve to allow the engine to run off one filter while you service the other.

Two racors then two engine filters is the common setup

easy to shift from filter A to B while the engine is running 

2F7E9FA3-6491-48F7-B28E-C09408A3E499.png

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23 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Two racors then two engine filters is the common setup

easy to shift from filter A to B while the engine is running 

2F7E9FA3-6491-48F7-B28E-C09408A3E499.png

Thanks for that picture. Really relevant to boats owned by people on this forum.

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