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Thread: how often to change fuel filters?

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default how often to change fuel filters?

    Advice on frequency of changing the fuel filters for my twin outboards? Each outboard runs off of separate 60 gallon tanks. Each engine has a racor filter that you can drain. Not sure when last owner changed them. New one each season?
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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I change mine at each oil change, so every 100 hours or so. Do you have the clear bowls? Have you noticed water in the bowls?
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    My filter/seperator doesn't drain so I can't keep tabs on contaminants unless I remove. With that I change similuar to spoiled one, about 100 hours. I also keep extras in the boat in case I have an issues with bad fuel.

    With fuel being the cause of most issues I would swap yours out and then you know its good
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  4. #4

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    I've changed mine once in 800+ hrs. I keep spares in the boat just in case. I think changing them every oil change is a waste. Do you change your vehicle fuel filter every time you change oil. I guess if you fill up at the dock often it might be justified.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4whlr View Post
    I've changed mine once in 800+ hrs. I keep spares in the boat just in case. I think changing them every oil change is a waste. Do you change your vehicle fuel filter every time you change oil. I guess if you fill up at the dock often it might be justified.
    I do fuel up at the dock and pull water from the RACORs more often than not when leaving the harbor. Not much, but it is present. I would hate to have problems from a mucked up filter when out in the slop. Changing them out once or twice a season keeps my peace of mind. I also change my fuel filter in the duramax once a season as well.
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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Once again, I agree with Spoiled one. Change fuel filter at least once a season in the Cummins. 800 hours is a long time on a fuel filter. The peace and mind alone of knowing your filter isnt getting ready to cork off and leave you in a bind is worth the small price of a filter.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    For me it is once a season or if I have problems.
    The ones for my Mercruiser aren't that expensive anyways. Usually I catch them on sale once a year at NAPA anyway. I think I bought a couple of extras last year because the sale price was good.
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    I had a alarm on my racor, both light & buzzer, that worked really well. As soon as the bowl had about a 1/3rd of water in it the buzzer went off. There is also a gauge the goes on top of the racors that lets you know how much restriction the filter is pulling. I change the racors once a year.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I usually go every other year because I don't put enough hours on my boat to do them every year.

    One thing I plan to do from now on is use a sharpy to put the date and engine hours on the filters each time I change them (fuel and oil) Don't recall where I saw someone do that but it's a great idea.
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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Top tank off after each trip and never seen water in separator bowls; I especially top off the tank at end of season. Change out single racor in the spring, engine fuel filters at manufacture recommended intervals. I put close to 200 hours on the motor per season, knocking on a plank of wood have never had a fuel issue.
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  11. #11

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    If it's just water in my Racor, I swap to a new one and then I mark the old one with date and let it air dry for a month or more. I get several years from the filters this way. If there's any gunk in the bowl, filter goes to trash can. BTW, I have a second stage filter which provides a bit of leeway on primary filter condition. Works for me for the last 12 years on the same VP inboard.

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    Depends on how clean your fuel is. If you fill up in town, the gas is usually pretty clean and the filters go a long ways. You can go all year without changing.

    If you buy gas at the marina, there is a good chance it will have water in it, at least sometimes. You may have to change the filter midway through the season if you run the boat a lot.

    If you buy gas in the bush, like Tannana, then bring two or three filters. Filter your gas before you put it in the tank and before it goes to the motor. And, add octane. You will still change the filters at least once on the trip even with polishing your fuel.

    Change the filters at the start of the year after you have run last years tank of gas through them and you will probably be good unless there seems to be a reason otherwise.

  14. #14

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    You guys can change your filter whenever you want. However, with that said, unless you are getting junk fuel I think it would be safe all year on one. I have for 20 years without issues.....But I have Hondas not a diesel and I understand they are more sensitive with the injection system for sure. If I remember right, my old 7.3 diesel the interval was 250 hours. That's a lot of time of the water for a recreational boat!

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    Thanks for posting this. I just got a chance to read it and it is good stuff.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    i finally changed my filter this year on a 350 MP carbed. 8yr 250 hrs. I get my fuel in town or at the tesoro at the talkeetna "Y". I cant tell you if i had water in there or not over that time. The filter is a spin on oil filter type so there is no way to see the contents..... Went under the automotive type change time. Top off the tank at the storage time add stybil, tow from Anchorage to Finger lake, run for 10 minutes at the launch to have stybil in the carb and store for the winter.
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