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post #1 of 28 Old 09-19-2007 Thread Starter
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Fuel/Water Separator Maintenance?

Our new-to-us Pearson P30, with A4 engine, had a fuel/water separator installed by the PO. I'm wondering if there's some kind of regular maintenance I need perform on this unit, other than occasionally (how often?) changing its filter cartridge? I guess the question is: Assuming there's actually any water to be filtered out, where does it go? It must go somewhere, right? I imagine it's trapped in the body of the filter and must be occasionally drained?

The docs included with the boat include a document entitled "CCS-1136 - Fram Fuel and Water Separator Cartridge." All it talks about is cartridge care & handling, how to replace it, how to disassemble/reassemble the unit for cartridge replacement (assuming it's the Fram unit they're talking about), and an air bleeding procedure. (The last of these not to be performed if the unit is used in a "primary or suction side application." I dunno what "primary" means, but I'm guessing "suction side" means if the filter is on the supply [tank] side of the fuel pump.)

Anybody have any clues for me?

TIA,
Jim
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-19-2007
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SEMIJim-

The fuel/water separator, if it is in the fuel line supplying the engine is in the primary or suction side of the fuel system. It also probably acts as the primary fuel filter. The water gets trapped in the clear housing, and the fuel goes in through the filter, and into the engine. If you look at the bowl and there is no layer of water at the bottom, you're basically okay to leave it alone. If there is a visible layer of water, you need to remove the water, usually through a bleeder valve at the bottom of the clear bowl.

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post #3 of 28 Old 09-20-2007
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I change annually on my new-to-me diesel, although I'm going from a single Fram filter to a double FilterBoss Racor set-up. On my A4, I just have a spin on Mercury filter element, and before that an AquaPower (I think...blue writing on a white body). I changed that every two years, because it's a busy year if I put 25 hours on the Atomic 4.

One thing, however: if you winterize, drain the fuel system completely by emptying the A4 "sediment cup" (clean the little screen and lube the O-ring), and drain the carb and spray it to avoid corrosion. Remove or drain the fuel/water filter, shut off the fuel line (you have a stopcock prior to the fuel/water filter, right?) and winterize the gas, topping it right up. Keep the filter element in a dry place, inverted and with a greased o-ring.

When it's time to fire up in the spring, reassemble, tighten all clamps and use the primer lever to draw gas down to the carb. It should start, if you've done the usual other winterizing stuff, right up.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-20-2007 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
SEMIJim-

The fuel/water separator, if it is in the fuel line supplying the engine is in the primary or suction side of the fuel system. It also probably acts as the primary fuel filter.
Very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The water gets trapped in the clear housing, ... If you look at the bowl and there is no layer of water at the bottom,
Would that it were that easy. Here's what it looks like:



Btw: I note that the appearance of this filter matches not at all with that depicted in the instructions for changing the filter that are in the boats documentation folder. Which leads me to believe that filter part number is quite possibly incorrect for my filter. Grrr...

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If there is a visible layer of water, you need to remove the water, usually through a bleeder valve at the bottom of the clear bowl.
I think there's a bleeder valve at the bottom. I can feel something under there.

Valiente: Yes, there's a shutoff between the filter and gas tank.

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim; 09-20-2007 at 10:57 PM.
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-21-2007
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Wow...that's a new one. I assume that some sort of a CAV filter, but it's a tad mysterious...

While the flared copper fittings are probably still good, you might want to check the ABYC code on fuel lines, in which case you may just want to go to a spin-on element.
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-21-2007
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SEMIJim-

Either that is the filthiest filter bowl I've ever seen or you got what looks like a water filter housing... UGH... I'd go and get a Racor with a clear bowl, since it'll make doing visual inspections a lot easier.

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post #7 of 28 Old 09-21-2007 Thread Starter
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Valiente, SD,

Yeah, I already informed The Admiral that I was pretty sure that device was going to have to be replaced. Recommendations?

Jim
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SEMIJim-

Depends on the budget... Personally, I'd go for the two fuel filters in parallel with two diverter valves. This makes cleaning the fuel filters and bleeding the fuel system much easier. Again, I'd recommend going with a large RACOR, preferably with a water bleeder valve at the bottom of a clear bowl. However, IIRC, the clear bowls maybe only for diesel use...so you may not have a choice, since you're running an Atomic4.

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post #9 of 28 Old 09-21-2007
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The Racor 320R is what you need. I don't think you need the redundancy and EXPENSE of a dual filter system for gasoline.
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-21-2007
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Jim,
Moyer Marine sells a particular Racor for $80 or $90, which they say is best for the A4. I think it's the one Cam has pictured there; anyway, you don't save any money buying them anywhere else. The elements are something like $10 or $12. If you don't have one already, you might want to install an in-line filter between the fuel pump and the carb.
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