Sunday, March 23, 2014

Filter Cleaning

Today was a pretty productive day. I mainly spent time cleaning the two Racor 500FG fuel filters.

First, I want to show my idea of another project, a deck mounted vent for a new head.

I ordered a piece of teak from Buck Woodcraft that was 2" x 5" x 12". The piece I got was pretty nice too.

I cut it down to a 5" square that I will shape to the curve of the deck. I also plan to install a Vetus Mushroom vent to it. Others have mentioned I should use a dorade box, but this way I'm going will be lower profile and I think better suited for my boat. I mainly placed the block to show size and placement.

The main project was to clean the fuel filters. I found some nice instructions for the Racor fuel filters from a guy known on boating forums as Maine Sail. What was nice is the picture showing the gaskets and what they go to. I guess the seal kit was supposed to come with it but the two kits I got didn't have it. I printed the picture and placed the gaskets over it to make sure I had everything ready.

I had some junk sitting at the bottom of the port side filter. Once I had the bowl and housing apart, cleaning it wasn't too bad except for a few tight spaces near the plugs at the bottom of the bowl.

Port side filter

Everything for the starboard side filter went well too. It just had a lot more debris sitting in the bowl. The worst thing was the fuel ended up being black when it was drained as the debris was breaking up and dropping into the jar too. The fuel didn't look too bad when it was sitting in the bowl, just looked worse when it was drained.

Starboard side filter

Black fuel

It just shows the importance of regular maintenance or servicing something when it needs it. I think debris like this could have made its way into the engine causing it to stall. Definitely not a good thing if the engine is needed in a hurry. Since getting the 3gal tank, the engine has seemed to run better with cleaner fuel, so hopefully cleaner filters will help too to keep it running.

The last thing I did for the day was to mix up some epoxy with some low density filler to cover the hole left over from the old holding tank vent. I put enough on it so I can sand it down flush with the surrounding surface. Sometime in the future, I'm looking at repainting the blue stripe so this little patch will then be covered up.


  1. Bon courage. It appears that you have somewhat easy access to the filters so that is a plus. Amazing how dirty that fuel was. I know the necessity of the iron genny that is for sure.

    1. Thanks. I just have the onboard fuel filter and may do an oil change and the engine should be good for a while. I may just wait on the oil change as I haven't used the engine much since the last one and I'll be hauling out anyway later this year.

  2. That is some dirty fuel! I'll be interested to see how your vent turns out. Love getting creative when solving problems like this.

  3. Good maintenance practices will get you home. I have read countless stories of how rough seas turned up loose dirt in filters and tanks and have left people in compromising situations. Look forward to following your refit. I am about to get on started on my Alberg 30.

    1. I've read how debris can ruin fuel lines too. I'll follow your refit. I like watching what others do to their boats. Great way to get ideas.

  4. Seeing how dark the oil had turned, I agree that it’s really important to check the engine regularly, especially the fuel filters. If the oil gets contaminated, it might lead to some difficulties like engine noise and fuel inefficiency. And it's not a good idea to find out about those in the middle of the trip. Take care!

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company