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· Break, curse, fix, repeat
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Not filter size problem

Hi Michael,
I sympathize with your problem but agree with Jason that it is not a filter size problem. I have a Gulf 32 with a 70 gallon diesel tank and use a Racor 15S 2 micron. It is rated for something like 15 gallons an hour when my 4 cylinder Universal 5432 uses less than 1 gallon an hour at full throttle. I just happened to change my primary filter and after 150 hours it was nearly like brand new. I change mine once a year just to be extra careful. Your smaller motor uses even less fuel and so filter size is definitely not your issue.

Long story short, your problem lies elsewhere. What I love about diesels is that they are so darn easy to diagnose, especially when compared with the modern gas engine.

I also have a Walbro pump as my electric pump, and it lies between the filter and the engine. Although my Racor has a primer pump on it to fill the system at filter changes, I have used the electric pump to do my own fuel polishing, which you may want to do as well.

Anyway, just my two cents that I wouldn't think your problem is at all related to the size of your Racor. Good luck, and keep us posted. :)
 

· Break, curse, fix, repeat
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Metal Bowl? Come on...

It is true that ABYC, even for diesels, expects a metal bowl on fuel filters. It is also true that it is outrageous that they want to charge you so much to see their regs. You can find the reference in Calder and Casey and other reference guides.

Now whether anyone does that, or agrees that it is necessary, is another thing. I've yet to discuss this with any of my sailing buddies and find one who follows that recommendation. My view is that my fuel filter is 2 feet away from my engine and right next to my fuel tank and fuel lines. If there is fire raging near enough and long enough to melt the bowl on my filter and ignite the diesel, then I'm already either dead or far away from my boat. Gasoline is one thing, my 80% biodiesel is quite another. If I'm dead, fine. If I'm far away, then fine, because there is enough wood and rubber and other combustibles on any boat to ensure total disintegration if a fire is burning in the engine compartment.

If someone gave me a metal bowl Racor would I use it? Sure. But for my time and money, I'm way better off replacing all the old crappy wiring, installing fuses and eliminating other fire hazards than replacing my Racor.

This argument is sort of like an argument over whether it is safe to walk down the street. Depends on the person. I realize ABYC feels they must take the high road, and I'm glad they do, as I follow them religiously on electrical and other things. But this one issue has always struck me as ridiculous. :rolleyes:
 

· Break, curse, fix, repeat
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Michael,
Just to beat a dead horse, I think you've hit upon the winning formula. Once your tank is clean, and you are on a regular filter replacement schedule and are reasonably diligent about filtering your fuel as it goes into the tank, I don't think you will find the pressure gauge necessary. One was already installed on Aeolus, and I took it off and got rid of it because it was so unnecessary. Never budged. Seems to me a gauge is most useful if you like to live by the edge and wait for your vacuum to go up due to a plugged filter. Not cheap, and a pain to install. You might at least wait to install the gauge until you have done everything else and spin off your filter and see if it shows any sign of clogging.

I like risks more than most people, but not when it comes to safety gear on my boat. By not having the gauge, I don't have an excuse for laziness, so just consider my primary filter change as part of normal annual maintenance. I motor about 150 hours a year.

Again, best of luck and happy sailing.
 
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