Racor Fuel Manifold Update

We are back on the grid after a week and a half cruising from La Paz up to Puerto Escondido. Lots of posts and lots of pictures coming, but first this maintenance update for those who love the smell of diesel in the morning…

Well, the new Racor manifold has not worked as well as hoped.  Underway we are seeing some small bubbles on the output side of the manifold which we are not concerned with… the engine has no problems with these and has been running smoothly.  However, there are bubbles apparent in the filter bowls themselves, which indicate that air is getting into the filter housings.  This air is either coming in from the input line OR it is the result of a leak somewhere within the racor fuel manifold itself. 

Why is this a problem?  Well, the fuel filter sits in the housing, which is filled with fuel right up to the top of the filter. There is a cover that seals the housing closed, which has a gasket and a t-bolt to tighten it down. When bubbles form in the (bottom) of the filter housing, an air pocket forms at the top.  When the air pocket forms, the fuel level goes down (and no longer covers the entire filter).  If too much air gets in, the fuel level might get to the bottom of the filter, and air would get into the output line to the engine.  If enough air gets in the line the engine shuts down. 

The bubbling seems to be minimized by running both filters simultaneously, so that’s what we are doing. I have been monitoring the bubbles as we are underway, and the I measure and top up the fuel level at each stop. We’ve had no problem on runs as long as the 40 mile, 5 hour run from La Paz to Isla San Francisco, but the fuel level has gone down in the housing each time.  That’s not a big deal when we are doing short runs, but will become a real problem when we need to make multi-day passages.

Refilling the housing has become part of the departure checklist, and now that we are here in Puerto Escondido, I plan to add a section of clear tube to the fuel line going in to the Racor manifold, just like I had last year. If the fuel going in is clear and without bubbles, I will know (again) that it is the manifold. If there are bubbles in the input line, that means that there is an air leak upstream of the manifold. More to come, I’m sure…

5 thoughts on “Racor Fuel Manifold Update”

  1. Larry, It’s so good you have all of these complex scientific and analytical problems to exercise your brain on. Without them, I fear you might get bored on your idyllic cruises and long to go back to the challenges of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously there is no end to things that can go wrong! Hope you can figure it out before the long run home 💕🤗💕🤗

    Sent from my iPad



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