Really frustrated right now. I wanted to pre-filter my fuel with a fuel water separator before my fuel pump to keep moisture out of the pump. AEM
told me for maximum pump life I should not exceed 30 microns filtration level if I was going to use a vacuum filtering configuration. Apparently, 99.999 percent of all filters are 10 microns. After an exhaustive search, I contacted John Redmon at Diesel Filters Direct
He was very gracious in providing his time trying to help me with what I needed; even sending some product for testing. The products he sells are what the dieselfiltersdirect.com name implies; they are for Diesel. He was not sure how the plastic drain bowl would do when subjected to gasoline. The filter bowl did not like E85. You know, that inefficient, worthless crap that nobody wants that kills parts but gives politicians an avenue to buy votes by subsidizing farmers with taxpayer money. Anyways, I can't guarantee that I will find non-E85 fuel when I am on the road.
There is a coast guard regulation for inboard engine filters to have a metal, not plastic, drain bowl. Easy, I'll just get a metal bowl. That has led me into a labyrinth of incompatibility. Everything John had was too large; like 14-16 inches tall. No problem, I'll go to the internet. All I wanted was a filter unit with a 30 micron filter and metal bowl. After days spent searching, I found filters with metal bowls that I had no way of knowing whether it fit the head unit I had, other plastic bowls that may or may not work, tons of 10 micron filters and complete units that I would have had to purchase, discard the filter and replace with a 30 micron. When I did find what I wanted, it was $100 more than a 10 micron unit. For whatever reason, less efficient filtering costs twice as much or more. I called Racor (Parker-Hannifin) and got similar news. Either I run a 16 inch tall unit, a plastic bowl or get an entirely new unit with a 10 micron filter and throw it away. Where to compromise? I found a good deal and purchased a complete 10 micron filter set-up. Since I am using it from the large tank as a transfer pump, it will not run continuously so I think it will be ok. I had planned to have a switching valve so I could also feed the engine directly from the large tank; that might change until I can replace the filter with a 30 micron replacement.
The reason I bored you with all this is to demonstrate how difficult it can be to accomplish simple things when building a project; especially when you are on a tight budget. It is always going to take longer, cost more and expand the scope well beyond anything you imagine when you head down that road. It may sound like one project, but the one project is actually dozens of smaller projects happening all at once.