Fuel filter question

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines/Drives/Transmissions/Props' started by b_arrington, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. b_arrington

    b_arrington Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    993
    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    I have 2 types of primary diesel fuel filters installed on my boat. The main engine uses a Racor 900MA turbine-type with the clear bowl and metal shield. The generator uses a Racor 230R MAM spin-on type with an aluminum bowl.

    In trying to determine the size and type of threads for the spin-on drain port so I can add a drain valve, I found that Racor makes the same 200-series filter unit with a clear bowl. But it's only approved for exterior use with outboards. Inboard use requires the metal bowl - which means you can't inspect it without draining / disassembling.

    My question is this: if the turbine type filters can use a clear plastic bowl without issue, why can't the spin-on types also use a clear bowl?
     
  2. Robski97

    Robski97 Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    North Bellmore, NY
    44DA
    Cummins QSC 8.3's
    The bowl in question is a heat shield . CG requirement. Personally think its useless as in my application so many other things will melt and go boom if there is that much heat or flame .
     
  3. b_arrington

    b_arrington Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    993
    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    That was exactly my thought. The enormous bowl for the turbine is plastic and the metal shield only covers the bottom. How much protection is really delivered by that shield and is any heat expected to only come from directly below? Seems weird to me.
     
    Robski97 likes this.
  4. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    This may be one of those things where some designer attempted to fix something that wasn’t broken.

    I would consider changing the generator primary to a Racor 500MA which is just like your 900 MA on the Cummins, small heat shield that satisfied the USCG requirements, has a clear bowl so you can monitor what is going on and has $7 replaceable elements.
     
    Robski97, techmitch and bbwhitejr like this.
  5. b_arrington

    b_arrington Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    993
    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    I have been thinking about changing the filter to a 500MA. Long-term, it would probably simplify maintenance and be easier to see the condition of the fuel. Right now it's working fine and it's a new boat so I have some other "upgrades" like like to make to other systems.

    A new 500MA is roughly $350 with $14 filters (from Defender). The spin-on filters are about $35. With a current price difference of $21, it would take about 17 filter changes to break even the investment - perhaps 17 years if I can keep my fuel clean?

    With that calculation I’m not sure it’s worth swapping filter types based on replacement media alone. I'll keep it on my future upgrade list when I get other stuff done.
     
  6. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    You can find Racor filters and housings steeply discounted at certain times of the year, like at model change time or in the dead of winter when oeople are watching basketball or thinking about snow mobiles.

    Another trick is to buy your Racor elements by the case .......I have never paid more than $7 ea. for elements but a case of 2010-pmor’s will last a real long time if you manage your fuel.
     
    Robski97 likes this.

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