Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Late Post: The project before last, not counting the last two…

I discovered the following that I meant to post a couple of years ago in a word file so I felt compelled to add to the blog.

The project before last, not counting the last two…

Just like you I have read countless sailing magazines, and the stories that recount the long distance cruisers or the charters who are out in rough conditions often write about the time the engine quit and after some chagrin, they discover the fuel filter is clogged and they have to change the filter in not the best conditions as they rock and roll. A duel Racor fuel filter was high on the list/ A single valve isolates one filter/separator for service while the other keeps operating. This way, you keep running while draining contaminants from the collection bowl or while changing filter elements, just turn the lever to the unused filter and keep on motoring even in the worst of conditions. If you have an Admiral like mine, the last thing you want to happen is the motor to quit running when there is such a simple solution.

So when we had our 66 HP Yanmar checked out by the #1 Diesel Mechanic in all of Clear Lake I asked him about installing a Duel fuel filter and which one he recommended. The Racor Duel Max 75/500 part number RAC75500MAX2 (the 2 stands for 2 micron) with a flow rate of 120 Gallons per hour (gph).

Hum, I would never need more than 2 gallons an hour flat out. Dimensions are 11.5”high X 14.5”wide X 9.5” Depth. Somehow I only paid attention to the Length X width dimensions and easily saw that I could just take off the single Racor and put the unit on the forward bulkhead just forward of the engine in essentially the same area of the engine room. And I have a large engine room for a 42’ boat since it is a center cockpit with the engine room directly under the large cockpit. I asked the #1 diesel mechanic where he would install it and he indicated a space directly opposite near the aft end of the engine on the bulkhead just above the engine. But that was just over the large raw water strainer and when I mentioned that to him he acknowledged that would be a problem. Since it would be a long while before I got to this project I just let it drop and continued on with the engine survey.
I ordered the unit Nov. 5 2009 from for $813.23 including shipping:

Meanwhile I talked to Hal Cooper about the unit and he had installed one on his Beneteau 42. He installed it in the starboard aft locker and just ran the fuel lines back to it. Made lots of sense since it was very easy to get to, near the helm and kept the diesel out of the interior when you were changing filters. The unit arrived and Holy Smokes it is huge, I did not consider the depth measurement. It was not going to fit where I thought it would, in fact, there was not any space in the engine room big enough for it since it would block access to a lot of other stuff. Consternation set in, but low and behold what about all that space on the other side of the forward engine bulkhead under the sink…Eureka, plenty of room and it would not block access to anything and it would be just over the fuel tank so no need to run fuel lines all over the place. Easy access to change the filters and easy to monitor the fuel pressure gauge. I got lucky.

This could have been a 2 hour installation but I did not realize two required parts did not come with the kit. 2 Racor straight barbed 3/4" X 3/8 fittings were needed to complete the installation. West Marine carries them but they were out, so goes on the Hunt…2 hours driving and I find a Parker store Yahoo!, but they are closed on weekends. So I order the parts from West Marine and finish it on weekend 2. The installation is straight forward after you find a place to put the thing.
  1.  If you have a valve that turns off the fuel at the tank, do that first to limit the amount of air into the system. Get some absorbent pads ready, disposable diapers work great, get the really big ones at Target to place under appropriate areas to catch drips and excess fuel, have a small container ready also in case a lot of fuel comes out of a line.  Remove the old Pre-filter (if you have one).
  2. Install the 3/4" X 3/8 fittings either elbow or straight according to your needs. Mine were the straight fittings West Marine part # 1257716
  3. Install the fuel lines. I needed two 1’ sections of 3/8” fuel line for the Racor fittings and reduced with two brass reducing barb coupling 3/8 X ¼. I needed to replace one of ¼” fuel lines with a 6’ section.
  4. I used Six SS ¼” bolts for to bolt the Fuel filter bracket to the bulkhead.
  5. The unit comes with filters, be sure to order the 2-micron unit, take them out and fill the unit with diesel, replace the filters and screw down the tops with the “T” bolt.
  6. This step depends on your engine but you need to prime the lines, my engine has a little manual pump that you just pump about 20 times and it fills all the lines with diesel and air out, some engines have a electric pump that does the job when you turn on the start key. You can install one of those hand primer bulbs in the fuel line just after the fuel tank, like you have for your outboard fuel tank and this will be much better than having to bleed the injectors and spray diesel all over the friggen place.
  7. Clean up everything and start the engine, let it run for 30 minutes, might as well put her in reverse when the engine warms up, 2000-2200 rpm should be good, and get some bottom cleaning out of it. Go below and inspect every connection to make sure there are no fuel leaks. This is also a good test for your dock lines.
  8. Kill the engine, let her set 30 minutes and then restart just to make sure all is well and inspect the lines again as the engine runs.

Be happy, you just saved yourself $1200 that might have gone to the #1 Mechanic, and you can ride while others hunt for the problem.

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