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Fuel filter -how often do you change yours?

cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 685 Crazy Baller
Main part of the question is:
Time based?
Hours on motor?

Which is more important factor? I ski behind club boat 99.9% of the season and have put maybe 10 hours on my boat in the past 3 years since the last filter change.

Time for a new one?
Vapor pro 2017


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,115 Mega Baller
    Never, modern boats don't have one (like modern cars). It only has a sock in the tank over the pump.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,639 Mega Baller
    My 02 Malibu has one but I generally only replace it when I think there might be a problem. I have replaced it once in about 12 years.
    Mark Shaffer
    tdusinJack Kinne
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    Nautiques have two. Primary filter is back by the tank. Either an in-line or spin on. The second filter is inside the fuel control cell. You want to change the primary at the first 25 hour oil change when new. That is when any dirt or debris from the new tank gets caught. At least once per year on both after that.
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2017
    Also, Nautiques (other than direct injected) have two pumps, neither are in the tank. (I believe MasterCraft still uses in-tank pumps). The primary pump is outside the fuel control cell on newer engines and the high pressure pump is inside the fuel control cell. On the direct injected engines, there is also a REALLY high pressure mechanical fuel pump camshaft driven (around 2,500 psi).
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 376 Crazy Baller
    I'll change mine every few hundred hours or so. FCC on the Nautique makes it easy.
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,017 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    My Ilmor manual says annually or every 100 hours.
    Scott Calderwood
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 538 Crazy Baller
    I just changed mine last week. My manual says every year or 100 hours, whichever comes first, but that seems overkill to me. My first filter in the line (just above the fuel tank) had 150 hours on it and the second one (just after the fuel pump) had 300 hours on it. A friend of mine hadn't changed his in over a decade on his '98 SN until he started having issues with loss of power at higher throttle levels. Changed the fuel filter and he was all good again. Since hearing that story I've been tempted to wait for symptoms to change the fuel filters out, but the "maintenance" guy in me won't let me go that long. Plus, they cost me only about $15 each and are quite easy to change on my boat.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 249 Baller
    @skiinxs - what year & engine do you have?

    I have an 2006 SN with the Excalibur motor, I only seem to have the filter in the FCC?

    I am changing my filter once I winterize and if there is a second I want to get them both.

  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    @Jmoski My current boat is a '17 6.2 h6 for a couple more weeks. On the '06 follow the line from the top of the tank. You may find an in-line on the starboard side before it heads down into the bilge.
  • j2nhj2nh Posts: 63 Baller
    "I have an 2006 SN with the Excalibur motor, I only seem to have the filter in the FCC?"

    You have two, one in the FCC and the other, hate to say it, is one the fuel line under the floor. between the transmission and the tank. To get at it you need to remove the back seat, unclip the hinges on the motorboat and remove that section of the floor. I have no idea why they did it this way but it is a major pain to change.
  • JAGJAG Posts: 178 Crazy Baller
    Once per year for Fuel Control Cell (filter) in my PCM Chevy small block. I average about 50-75 hours each season.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,255 Crazy Baller
    In 2008 (maybe earlier) they moved the inline filter up to the top of the tank. Easy access.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • TELTEL Posts: 191 Solid Baller
    I have an 08 and the in-line fuel filter is down in the bilge
  • jedgelljedgell Posts: 326 Baller
    I have an '04 196 and can't seem to find an in-line filter. Anyone know if it has one? I followed the line from the tank to the LP pump and don't see anything. Also the holeshot and top speed are way slow for a 196 so hoping to find a clogged filter. Do I need to take the pickup out of the tank, is there a filter in the tank?
    Justin Edgell - Bozeman, MT
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,059 Crazy Baller
    Justin, @ski6jones just had to deal with this. There is a small screen where the hose attaches to the LP pump on the fuel control cell. His was clogged with debris and the boat would not run well at all. Once the screen was cleaned, it runs great now. He is going to add an inline filter to reduce the chances of it happening again.

    On another note, its amazing how much fuel is pumped by the LP pump. Once the FCC is full, the excess is returned to the tank.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 806 Crazy Baller
    edited November 2017
    @jedgell the engine is the Excalibur 330 and the low pressure pump is attached to the side of the FCC . There is a barbed fitting that unscrews from the bottom of the low pressure pump. Inside the the threaded inlet to the low pressure pump is a screen which was clogged on mine. Not sure if yours is that design or not. Some have the low pressure pump separate from the FCC, but still might look at the LPP inlet for a blockage.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • Kdinger838Kdinger838 Posts: 57 Baller
    The fuel/water seperator is PCM part number RP080026 and the FCC filter kit is R077019.
    I recommend you change them annually or every 100 hours. whichever comes first
  • TELTEL Posts: 191 Solid Baller
    These are pictures of the pick up tube out of the tank. This little screen gets clogged very easily pull it out once a year clean it off. Every time somebody’s been low on power this has been clogged
  • jedgelljedgell Posts: 326 Baller
    Thanks guys I'll check the inlet to the LP pump and the pickup.
    Justin Edgell - Bozeman, MT
  • GolfguyGolfguy Posts: 132 Baller
    There is a fuel filter?
  • oldmanskieroldmanskier Posts: 130 Baller
    I changed mine yesterday on my 2014 Carbon pro PCM 5.7. It took me about 2 hours due to I did not know what I was doing and following instructions from PCM manual. The hardest part was disconnecting rubber fuel line from the pump. I loosened clamp but the rubber hose was really stuck. I finally had to take a razor and make a small split and it came right off. I had enough hose to cut the split section off and put back on. The filter had never been changed according to first owner and I changed at 375 hours. It was dirty but not clogged. If it had not been for the stuck hose I could have done the job in an hour.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,255 Crazy Baller
    It has been a common practice for me over the years, if the hose is long enough go ahead and cut it off just outside the fitting, then slice through it and peel it off. Give you new area for the clamp next time. I learned this after damaging a heater core on a car while trying to put on new hoses.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 249 Baller
    @skiinxs - just closing loop, I traced the fuel line from the top of the tank and all the way to the FCC, no inline filter.

    I did pull up the floorboard between the rear seat & the engine compartment to be sure.

    Glad I atleast know it's just the one.
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    @jmoski Yeah, they generally have a primary, but I have seen others without one as well.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,255 Crazy Baller
    Since @TEL has an'08 with his filter in the bilge and @skiinxs says that '06 model is is the bilge however my '08 has an inline filter on top of the tank it appears it must be up to the assembler of the day instead of an engineering thing.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 797 Mega Baller
    For hose removal, a hose removal pick like this is invaluable. I find myself using this thing all the time in the garage:
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 797 Mega Baller
    edited November 2017
    double post.
  • Once a year.
  • Fast351Fast351 Posts: 205 Baller
    So where are the filters on a 2001 (year) 196? I know, I know, look it up. I have also always been of the "don't fix until there's a problem" opinion on fuel filters. They're probably cheap enough though that it's cheap insurance
    Mike van Meeteren
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 806 Crazy Baller
    My 01 196 didn't have one.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
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