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Northern Lights Generator Fuel Filter Sizing

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Northern Lights Generator Fuel Filter Sizing

Old 11-30-2020, 08:48 AM
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Default Northern Lights Generator Fuel Filter Sizing

as I prepare to replace the fuel tank in my Blackfin, I'm evaluating all of the various fuel related items on the boat.
I have a Northern Lights M643 diesel generator and the specs say that its max flow rate at full load is .5gph
The boat currently has a Racor 500 Turbine primary filter which is rated for 60gph.
The assembly itself looks original to the boat. It may not be, but it looks it. Rusted to all hell and looks like utter crap.
Considering replacing it and I'm not convinced that I need a 60gph flow rate nor am I convinced that I want to stay with the Turbine series.
A Racor spin on type filter might be a simpler approach, plus the 200 series from Racor has a built in priming pump into the filter head. Kinda nice.

Anyhoo, the question is -- do I NEED a 60gph filter on a diesel that burns .5gph? I realize that the diesel flows/returns a lot more than the .5, but I haven't a clue how much. 15gph? 30gph? 45gph?
Old 11-30-2020, 10:24 AM
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Spin on is fine, that’s what I use on my 12.5kw, 30 micron zero issues. The engine mounted filter (5-7 micron I believe) catches anything else.
Old 11-30-2020, 10:33 AM
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I too run a 500 for my NL 643. It is way bigger than needed, but the filters are super easy to replace and available anywhere. That was enough for me to go that route.

I find some of Racor spin ons to be prone to leaks, elements pretty expensive and can be hard to find.

No need for a priming pump, your NL has a twiddle lever on fuel lift pump just for that purpose.
Old 11-30-2020, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Corndog38 View Post
I too run a 500 for my NL 643. It is way bigger than needed, but the filters are super easy to replace and available anywhere. That was enough for me to go that route.

I find some of Racor spin ons to be prone to leaks, elements pretty expensive and can be hard to find.

No need for a priming pump, your NL has a twiddle lever on fuel lift pump just for that purpose.
maybe I’ll just bite the bullet and get a new 500. The spin on setup is cheaper but I’ll probably lose the savings each time I change the filter since the actual filters are more expensive, like you said.
Old 11-30-2020, 02:26 PM
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Could you just Tee it off your engine filter. Did this on my mothership to have one less filter on board.
Old 11-30-2020, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by deckape View Post
Could you just Tee it off your engine filter. Did this on my mothership to have one less filter on board.
hmmm...
Old 12-01-2020, 09:33 AM
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I went ahead and decided to stick with the Racor 500.
With Port Supply pricing at West marine it’s cheaper than anywhere else I can find by about 40$.
Plus, the spin on filters are double the price if not more, so the 500 remains cheaper in the long run.
and the increased capacity is always a good thing.
Old 12-01-2020, 10:19 AM
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You can clean up your old 500 if it is not rotted too bad. Should be able to get all the parts for it. It breaks down pretty easily and each part can be cleaned up.
Old 12-01-2020, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Corndog38 View Post
You can clean up your old 500 if it is not rotted too bad. Should be able to get all the parts for it. It breaks down pretty easily and each part can be cleaned up.
i did a rebuild on my 900s for the main engines about two years. Nothing cosmetic, just all the seals and stuff. But this 500 is beyond anything even a can of Rustoleum can fix. By the time I buy all the seals and a new bowl and spend the time cleaning and degreasing and painting...replacement is probably the better option.
The rebuild factor is actually part of the reason I was considering getting away from these. I guess it’s nice that they are rebuildable, but I’d rather have something simpler and with less maintenance.

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