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Racor Filer Cleaning...Continued: O kay,   the   filter   unit   has   been   cleaned   and   we   are   finally   ready   to   replace   the   element.      Since   diesel   engines generally   will   not   start   with   air   in   their   fuel   systems,   we   will   need   to   refill   the   filter   assembly   with   fuel.     A   note   of caution   here,   I   have   seen   lazy   mechanics   actually   use   the   engine   to   draw   fuel   into   the   empty   filter   unit.      They   do this   by   cranking   and   cranking   the   engine   until   the   fuel   fills   the   cylinder.      Since   the   engine’s   fuel   pump   and   injectors are   lubricated   by   the   diesel   fuel,   running   these   components   dry   like   this   will   cause   unnecessary   metal   to   metal wear.     This   procedure   is   totally   wrong.      Should   you   witness   your   mechanic   doing   this,   my   advice   is   to   give   him   the Donald   Trump   exit,   “Your   Fired!”       The   best   method   is   another   trick   we   use.      Before   you   insert   the   element,   pour fresh   diesel   fuel   into   the   canister   till   it   is   a   little   more   than   three   quarters   full.      Next,   gently    push   the   filter   element down   into   the   unit,   taking   care   to   let   the   element   absorb   fuel   as   you   push.      Push   too   fast   and   fuel   will   be   displaced over   the   top   of   the   unit.      Once   the   element   is   completely   down,   slowly   top   off   the   canister   with   just   enough   fuel   to cover   the   top   of   the   filter .      It   will   not   matter   if   there   is   a   small   air   gap   above   this   point.     Then   replace   the   lid   gasket and   the   “T”   handle   “O”   ring   with   new   gaskets   found   with   the   new   filter   element.      Be   sure   to   coat   these   with   a smear   of   fuel   to   insure   a   good   seal.      Refastened   the   lid   by   hand   tightening    the   “T”   handle,   and   open   the   fuel   valves.     You   have   done   a   great   job   and   are   ready   for   engine   start.      If   you   did   things   as   described,   the   engine   should   fire within   a   few   attempts   with   no   need   to   air   bleed.      Let   it   run   for   several   minutes   to   be   sure   all   air   has   been   purged   and you are good to go. S ome   final   hints,   there   may   come   a   time   when   you   might   be at   sea   and   encounter   trash   or   especially   water   collecting   in your   fuel   bowl   to   such   a   dangerous   level   that   engine   failure will    become    eminent.        Sea    conditions    may    make    it    too difficult   to   change   filters.      Generally,   I   have   found   that   one can   open   the   bowl   drain   while   the   engine   is   running   and remove   this   water/sludge.      Do   it   slowly   so   as   not   to   allow   air to   enter   the   unit   or   an   air   lock   might   occur.      Practice   this safely   at   the   dock   to   be   sure   it   will   work   with   your   particular installation.      Finally,   let’s   say   you   are   in some   dire   situation and   your   Racor   filter   has   plugged to   the   point   of   stopping   the engine.      You   have   no spares   or   cannot   do   a   filter   change because   of   rough conditions.      Removing   the   dirty   element will   only further   contaminate   the   fuel   in   the   unit.      What   can one do?      Look   closely   at   the   top   of   the   Racor   filter   element and   notice   the   small,   approximately   quarter   inch   dimple   near   the   center   hole   (See   photo   6).      This   is   a   knockout   that when   punched   out   allows   fuel   to   bypass   the   filter.      It   means   the   fuel   will   not   be   filtered,   but   it   might   keep   you   going long   enough   to   get   home.      Add   all   this   information   to   your   hard   disk   of   boating tricks.         Someday   they   may   save your bacon.
Bypass Knockout
Photo 6
Deck Fill Protection Device