Adding a dual racor system to the boat

Last year, on the free table at my marina I found the following

‘But Matthew’, I hear you say, ‘That is literally a pile of dirty trash’

And I would say – actually, that’s the best find I have ever made. Take my hand and let me lead you through the exciting world of fuel filtration my friend!

On diesel engines, the fuel goes through two filters – the one on the engine called the primary filter and another filter that is inline before it called the ‘secondary filter’.

The secondary filter catches most of the crud and is usually a racor brand filter. Sometimes this get blocked up and then the engine dies – this usually happens at the worst possible moment, like you are in the middle of a docking procedure or trying to get off a lee shore or just late for last closing at the pub. You then have to spend a not-insignificant about of time trying to switch the filter while your boat drifts around. However!

If you have a dual filter system, you can simply flip a switch, start using the unblocked filter and all is well. The downside is these filters are north of $1000 and I just didn’t have that kind of cash to blow on something that wasn’t actually needed.

Until I found it on the free table. That’s right, this pile of dirty trash was actually a dual racor system and over 20 filters (which are nearly 50 bucks a pop themselves!) SCORE.

So of course I kept it under my table for a long time, kept tripping over it and getting soot over everything till I got annoyed enough to install it.

First thing – remove the old one.

This is it installed – I removed it and sold it on Facebook marketplace for way too cheap – I asked for $50 with all the filters which I later learned was a smoking deal, and then the guy who turned up to buy it only had 3 $20 bills and then suggested we play rock paper scissors for the extra $20 and I lost. So I ended up selling it for $40. Doh. Curse my gambling hands!

Then it was just a matter of attaching the new one to the bulkhead, find out the hose barbs were the wrong size, buying and attaching the new ones and then getting an entirely new length of hose and we were in business!

If you look carefully you can see the switch in between the filters. It took me a while to figure out how to get the air out of the lines (my model of engine is self-bleeding which isn’t the emo-revival it sounds like, but instead means it can purge air by itself using a little pump) but once that was done I was able to start and run the engine while switching between the filters without it dying.

Success! And thanks to whoever the mystery person was donated it to the free table!


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