Pre Fuel Filters and/or water trap experiences

Submitted: Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:44
ThreadID: 100622 Views:4381 Replies:10 FollowUps:24
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Hi,

I’ve been looking at secondary filters and water separators and like most things on the net there are lots of differing opinions. Now I have seen all the horror stories about bad fuel etc and realise that while there are many that have had problems, there are a lot more that have never had a problem.
What I would be interested to know is, has anyone fitted a second filter or waterwatch and still had their injectors or pump fail after they were fitted?
And those that have fitted an alarmed system, How many times has the alarm activated since fitting it?
I would like to know from peoples own experience and not from “I heard about” or “I was told”

Thanks in advance.
Tony
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Reply By: Cruisevessel - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:34

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:34
Hi Tony
Mate I have fitted extra fuel filters to my 120 Prado to cover my arse as I have seen and worked on vehicles that have done damage to the fuel system from dirty fuel on both Diesel and Petrol engines.

I prefer the first filter to have the water trap/light switch fitted to it for the idiot light on the dash to operate and the second filter to have a glass base to see the fuel for yourself.

The way I see it is put the extra filter or filters on and if you still do damage with dirty fuel well you couldn't of done any more to prevent it
AnswerID: 505013

Reply By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:13

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 18:13
Tony,
no I haven't had a problem with bad fuel, but I have seen the results especially at work from water in the fuel. They just replace the injectors and don't worry about it. Costs them around $5000 a vehicle and they may get 4 or 5 vehicles a year with the problem.

I have only just fitted a water watch and I hope I never hear it go off.

Here is an example. Grader operator reroutes his a/c drain hose and it ends up dripping on top of his hot fuel tank. Now cold water and a hot tank we get condensation in the tank.

2 pumps and 2 sets of injectors total cost of $30,000 from just a simple thing.

As you said many have never had a problem, it is just when they do it can cost big dollars.

Another thing now with these poly fuel tanks is they don't have a drain plug. I know that won't stop water but if you do get contaminated fuel the tank has to be pulled out to be cleaned.

Have a good one,
RA.

AnswerID: 505018

Follow Up By: moamajohn - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:07

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:07
Mate call me a pain but this is a caravan web site and I belong to another site specific to my tow vehicle that site tells me all I need with regards to my tug . I think that you can get bogged down with too many suppositions when you delve into mechanics .
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:43

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:43
Mr John,
what the hell are you on about. You lost me anyway.

Drugs are a wonderful thing if you are the one who is on them.

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FollowupID: 781938

Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:49

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:49
Don't worry about his reply Rockape - I think he's a Julia Gillard supporter - which should explain it !


Gazz
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FollowupID: 781939

Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:52

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:52
Gday Rock A
Many years ago I fitted a filter system on a 50 ton Euclid because of a water problem. This filter system could not be touched by the operator and ran for 15 minutes after the truck had been refueled and turned off . The site manager and I were the only ones that knew the system was fitted. Water problem fixed...




Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:55

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:55
Gazz,
All I want is some of those drugs he is on.

RA.

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:08

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:08
Muz,
Cummins or Detroit. Both would just about run on water. Ha.Ha.

RA.
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FollowupID: 781944

Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:21

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:21
RA
We found the problem was the watering can next to the overhead tank. The tank had a water trap and the water was processed .


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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:22

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:22
RA
Sorry, it was a 1271 detroit.

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:29

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:29
Muz,
Many hate them but I love them. What a beautiful noise. They just got up and boogied. No wonder I am deaf now.



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Reply By: garry r - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:43

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:43
hi Tony - I don't run a pre filter in my lux, but i do change the fuel filter every 10thou
to be on the safe side. Filters are cheap in comparison to injectors. Always fuel up at a main distributor or a truck stop. Truckies arn't fools and you can almost gaurantee the fuel is good. If you see a tanker filling the main tanks at the fuel stop - keep going to the next as the new fuel will surely stir up the sediment in the bottom of the tanks.
AnswerID: 505021

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 21:56

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 21:56
I don't see that there is any benefit for preventing water ingress by changing filter every 10,000k over changing it every 30,000k say.
It wouldn't matter if you have just changed your filter and next batch of fuel you got was contaminated, the same result will occur.
The OEM Hilux filters do not prevent water ingress.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:07

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:07
Fuel filters will not remove water unless they are a stripping filter that is designed to do it.

Most don't have this feature at all, they are just a micron filter that prevents certain size crud getting through.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 06:19

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 06:19
Just on that point Rockape, I have a FM100 per filter and alarm fitted with a 30 micron cartridge. I spoke with the technical services dept for them and they confirmed that their filters will filter water from the system
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FollowupID: 781979

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 09:51

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 09:51
AlbyNSW
A 30 micron filter isn't small enough to be of any great use on a CRD engine as a pre filter. If around 10 or less then it does reduce what gets to the OE filter but a 30 is the same size as used on conventional diesel injection and just doesn't cut the mustard. Perhaps ok as a pre strainer but not as a pre filter even if it does dewater.

Ross M
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FollowupID: 781989

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 22:15

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 22:15
RossM
I have no expertise in this area but on research and advice I came to the conclusion that
The Toyota OEM filter works fine as a sediment filter it is just water that it does not stop. I have not heard of any cases of injector failure from poorly filtered fuel apart from water ingress.
The other concern with a finer filter was restricting fuel flow and also damage to the fuel pump which I understand are expensive to replace
My main concern was detecting water in my fuel before it reached the motor so any additional pre filtering is a bonus.
I have the Standyne FM100 unit fitted with the audible buzzer and light warning system

As I said I am no expert myself so happy to be corrected if I have this wrong
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Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:54

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 19:54
tonysmc
I have a pre filter fitted for that purpose, it both traps contaminants and dewaters the fuel.

Stats on how many times someones alarm has gone off or if their system failed after fitting is of no consequence and although it seems nice to know info, for your particular situation someone elses experience will have no bearing on your situation.
Some travellers have had no water or contamination problems and others have had water and crud into their tanks on a number of occasions.
You might fit a pre filter but the dealer has never changed the original filter and it has degraded and IT stuffs the system. A pre filter isn't an anti dealer filter.

A water watch does water watch but doesn't stop emulsified water from going into the system. It might tell you it is there but it is already where you don't want it by the time it signals you. They are a good thing, just don't cover enough possibilities.

If you get water in your tank it is possible to pump it out without removing the tank.
There is more than one way to skin a cat. Sorry cat lovers.

Some systems are far dearer than others, some are finer filters than others and some are not worth having.
2micron is great but it has to be a BIG filter area to have the capacity to pass enough fuel /hr but it will block more easily. That is ok I suppose.

Some filters are bigger eg 10 micron and dewater so only finer stuff can perhaps pass and be grabbed by the OE filter. The dewatering is of equal importance as it is the emulsified water which hammers HP pump internals, scores and fractures the inner surfaces of the pump, of course you don't want abrasive particles either.

YES, clean dewatered fuel is preferred by engines.
AnswerID: 505023

Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:03

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 20:03
Ross, I have to ask you what stops emulsified water going into your system. How does it alarm and how does the filter stop the emulsified water.

Water watch will pick up emulsified water in the fuel. Then you stop and remove the problem.

RA.
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FollowupID: 781942

Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:18

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:18
RA
The water watch does pick up water in the system and because it flows into the filter housing at the top, it is also going through the filter/gauze at the same time the water watch is detecting.

If it is large gobs of water then the probes will detect that immediately. The concentration has to get to 200PPM before the waterwatch will detect emulsified water. So when it detects it if the filter doesn't have some dewatering ability the emulsified stuff has already passed through the filter and on it's way to the HP pump.
Yes you stop and drain but the horse has already run down the lane.

My system uses a dewatering filter and that is designed, nothing is perfect, to attract and hold water emulsified in the fuel so it collects on the filter medium, hopefully on the outside and when built up/collected sufficiently enough it drops into the bowl. Claimed removal 95% of free water removed. So how emulsified that means is subject to discussion. Trust eh! We all trust something.

Either a large filter, larger than most recommend, or two in parallel will allow for the water to have enough time to settle somewhere and not keep trying to go to the engine so urgently. The flow on a V8 LC is higher than a 3litre engine so I see the filtering ability and dewatering to be particularly important because of the flow rate which can occur.

Mine doesn't have a warning the water is there, I look I see.

The OE filter does have both a water level in bowl sensor and also a restriction sensor which activates when the system pressure begins to go below zero.
This feature also works if the pre is clogged or waterlogged and therefore restricted.

I can be corrected but to my knowledge, the waterwatch while a good product cannot actually stop the water, either emulsified or droplets, from travelling onwards. Only the alarm and the stop and drain is the controlling factor. Perhaps I have missed something and it does stop it. I would like to learn more.
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FollowupID: 781959

Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:39

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:39
Ross,
as you say water watch doesn't stop water at all, it just warns of that it is there before it gets to the water trap/filter.

Most of the systems just use a float and by that time it is to late, others have no warning at all like yours that rely on you climbing under the vehicle to check for water and hope you have caught it in time.

For my vehicle (and I haven't checked ) it most probably uses the stanadyne fuel management system as used in the ford transits, this combined with the water watch gives pretty good protection.

RA.
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FollowupID: 781966

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 23:58

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 23:58
Guys,
Ive used Chemtech diesel additive for donkeys years mainly as a biocide, and to reduce smoke. But one of its claimed benefits is:

"Handling of water in fuel more effectively for greater engine protection, by facilitating the break-up of stable fuel-water emulsions."

So it strikes me that you can't do much else about emulsified water. So on the 200series my plan is to keep the factory filters, and just continue to use Chemtech.

Comments?

Cheers
Phil
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FollowupID: 781975

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 09:57

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 09:57
Phil G
Chemtech products are recognized as good stuff. However, if the additive "breaks up stable fuel water emulsions" what does it do with it then?
It might break up something, unsure what" and the water is still there so it needs to be reduced if possible. If you don't have a filter which both filters and at least attempts to dewater then you haven't gained any additional protection and continue to place all you faith in only one line of defence, the OE filter.

Ross M
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FollowupID: 781990

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:43

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:43
Gday Ross,
I just phoned the Chemtech helpline and was put through to a helpful person in the lab. He explained that the Chemtech formulation was changed a few years ago, so it is no longer "water absorbing" and is now "water rejecting". The idea is that emulsified water will form droplets that will drop to the bottom of the tank or the filter housing, rather than be passed through to the common rail pump.

Phil
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FollowupID: 781993

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:41

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:41
Phil G
Thanks for that Phil, it seems Chemtech, is formulated to aid precipitation which is what many dewatering filters try to do. Nice to know the characteristics of the product.
The main trouble I see is the fuel flow rate through any type of filter has to be slow so the precipitation by whatever means, has time to take effect to minimize any water content from going to the expensive bits.

That means a BIG filtering area or the fitting of a cheaper two filters in parallel so you have twice the water sump capacity and also lower flow rates through, so it can all have time to happen.

Ross M
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FollowupID: 782006

Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:10

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:10
You shouldn't need a second filter if you get the correct one to suit you car find someone in your area that specialises in filters They will set you up with the correct one. I'm in Mackay and get mine from Filter Wash for my GQ it replaced the original filter so no modifications needed it's just a 2 piece unit a filter on top with a plastic bowl on the bottom and a drain valve. Easy to replace unscrew the filter remove from the car unscrew the bowl from the filter wash and dry out the bowl attach new filter then put it back in the car easy reliable and cheap insurance. I have never needed an alarm because I visually check mine when I check the oil and never have had to drain it between changes. I only get a very small amount of water and sediment in the bowl when I replace mine at 30,000km intervals which is 10,000km under the manufactures recommendations.
AnswerID: 505040

Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:18

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:18
ps. 400,000km the pump and injectors have failed yet.
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FollowupID: 781977

Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:32

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 04:32
should be haven't failed yet
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FollowupID: 781978

Reply By: Wotacroc - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 06:44

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 06:44
If you do decide to invest in a Racor seperator/filter, try eBay first and look for USA sellers. You will save, even when you include excessive postage. In my case two hundred dollars.
AnswerID: 505042

Reply By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 11:48

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 11:48
I have a water sedimenter fitted by Gold Coast Diesel

It has an alarm which sounds if water is in fuel.

It looks like this

Good insurance

Pedro
AnswerID: 505055

Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:14

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:14
Gday Peter
That looks like it slows the velocity of the fuel and give the water a chance to drop to the bottom.Possibly no restriction in the flow of fuel.

Muzbry
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Reply By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 13:31

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 13:31
Muzbry,
Fortunately it has never been triggered but the instructions I received was to stop and drain (nut at botom of unit) and if it sounds again when restarting to stop and seek help.

Pedro


AnswerID: 505063

Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 13:13

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 13:13
[youtube]<iframe wid[/youtube]

see if this works, a bloke using a racor fg500 filter/seperator adding water
AnswerID: 505169

Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 13:18

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 13:18
filter which will separate water from diesel

try that again
AnswerID: 505171

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