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post #1 of 20 Old 06-27-2018 Thread Starter
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Fuel filters change universal m-18

Hi,
My Universal diesel m-18 has a Racor 500 FG primary fuel filter as well as a secondary screw on fuel filter (looks like an oil filter). Id like to change them both, as well as the fuel pump filter. It seems pretty straighforward to change these 3 filters (fill them up with diesel before you put them back on) but I am wondering how I bleed the system? Do I put all the filters back on and then crack open the "fuel air bleed valve" thats shown in this picture? Then turn the key on and wait for fuel to start coming out the valve? then tighten it?


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Last edited by sailing11; 06-27-2018 at 08:47 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

The racor should have its own bleeder. That secondary filter has its own bleeder too. and the fuel air bleed valve should take care of any air in the lines that you missed.

you say "turn the key on and wait" ... that's true if you have an electric fuel pump.

You should, of course, learn and practice bleeding the fuel system, but FWIW I find that I can change filters without bleeding. I do them one at a time, fill them with fresh fuel, and start the engine. A small amount of air in the line will clear in a minute or so of running.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-28-2018
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

Instead of diesel I fill them with Dexron 1 or 2 to clean and lubricate the IP. You can use a clean new epoxy syringe to top off the filter through the bleed hole on many too. I have not had to bleed a diesel for years either. If you have an electric lift pump then turning on the key and waiting for the lift pump to push any air bubbles back through the return line to the tank before attempting to start the engine can save a lot of grief too.

Just did this and the Sailing Center on one of their boat launch tractors and they were amazed at how much smoother it ran through the entire throttle range after the Dexron made it though the IP and injectors. They thought the IP and injectors were going to require removal and be sent out for calibration on a flow bench so I just saved them a few hundred dollars or so.

Dexron 1 or 2 do not have the heavy friction modifiers that some of the Mercons or more modern highly modified ATF's do and are highly detergent so they really help clean and lubricate the seals in the IP. Cetain rating of Dexron is about the same as Diesel too.

It's fun having a bunch of younguns amazed by something us old codgers just take for granted.
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I have a Universal M25 that I have maintained for the last 9 years. I change the fuel filters every other year.

To answer the OP: while the filter housings have bleed screws, you don't need to use them. As long as you have the bleed valve on the IP, all that you need to do is open the valve, turn the key, and listen to the Facet lift pump prime the system for about 60 seconds.

After 60 seconds, shut the key off, and check the bowl of the Racor filter. There should only be fuel in the bowl. If so, close the bleed valve, and start the engine.


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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

Good stuff thanks guys. I just changed them and used the fuel air bleed valve to take care of the bleeding as I have an electric pump. I noticed a bit of color in the water after I started it up. Looked like a small amount of fuel was coming out the exhaust and accumulating around the boat. Is this normal? Any ideas as to why this was? It was just a bit but I havent noticed that before.

Also, ow long should I run the engine for (tied to the dock in gear) to make sure there is no air in the lines? I ran it at half throttle at the dock for about 5 mins and it seemed good to go.
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

If the engine is running for 5 minutes, you are good. Realize that most of the fuel that is sent to the injectors is returned to the tank through the fuel return line.

We need more info about the exhaust discharge water to help. What color? Did it leave a slick? When is the last time that your exhaust mixing elbow was cleaned?
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

I have had issues with my Universal 5424 not not starting after changing the filters unless I bleed the entire fuel system up to the injectors. The system has an electric lift pump that will allow you to bleed the Racor and canister filters. In order to bleed all the way to the injectors you need to crank the engine so the mechanical engine fuel pump can push the fuel all the way to the injectors, the electric pump does not seem to be sufficient to do this. You simply locate the bleeder screws along the path from the filter to the injectors and crack them until air flow is replaced by fuel flow and then tighten them up. You then repeat for each of the injectors. I rigged up a switch that I can use to crank the engine from the cabin by disconnecting the wire from the starter button to the solenoid and connecting from a hot terminal on the alternator to the solenoid via the switch. This makes it so that I don't have to have another person in the cockpit pressing the starter button for me.
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

Not sure when the exhaust mixing elbow was cleaned. There was a small slick after I started up the motor (like what you would get if there was a cap full of diesel spilled into the ocean). This never happened before I changed the fuel filters so Im wondering if I did something to cause there to be a bit of fuel to come out the exhaust.

The color looked like when u spill a bit of diesel in the water. Maybe it just needed to run for a while longer then there would be no slick in the water around the boat but it is weird that this only happened after I changed the filter. Any ideas?
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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

@chicory83 - your 5424 (M30 predecessor) engine does not have the fuel bleeder valve on the injection pump that the @sailing11 's M18 has. Because of this valve, the M18, M20, M25, M25-XP, M30, and M50 engines are a snap to bleed. If you need assistance with your engine, start a new thread.


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Re: Fuel filters hange universal m-18

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Originally Posted by sailing11 View Post
Not sure when the exhaust mixing elbow was cleaned. There was a small slick after I started up the motor (like what you would get if there was a cap full of diesel spilled into the ocean). This never happened before I changed the fuel filters so Im wondering if I did something to cause there to be a bit of fuel to come out the exhaust.

The color looked like when u spill a bit of diesel in the water. Maybe it just needed to run for a while longer then there would be no slick in the water around the boat but it is weird that this only happened after I changed the filter. Any ideas?
It sounds to me that during your filter change some unburnt fuel made its way into the exhaust. If it doesn't happen again, don't worry about it.
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