Comparison of Diesel Fuel Filter Media Capacity

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 00:07
ThreadID: 41559 Views:9239 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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Out of interest I cut open 3 different manufacturers diesel fuel filters to see filter media. The filter fits an Toyota 2H and 12HT engine, and possibly others and is the Z169A model.

I have no way of measuring the fineness - ie micron rating of any of the media, though Ryco have told me theirs is 15 micron. All were constructed with the filter media folded into pleats around a central steel mesh core, a heavy spring to hold the filter against the top plate and rubber gaskets to complete the internal sealing. All were the same height - 60mm, none of them were obviously copies as is shown by the results.

Valvoline VF5
50 pleats with a total unrolled length of 1600mm
Cost around $12

Ryco Z169A
62 pleats with a total unrolled length of 2090mm
Cost around $14, or $10 in bulk

Donaldson P550057
82 pleats with a total unrolled length of 2170mm
Cost around $10 bought from a truck supplier, maybe Cummins in Bayswater WA.

I also cut open a Delphi 296 filter which goes into the common CAV adaptor or as a standalone auxiliary filter. It is of a different type of construction but has by far the greatest surface area of all the filters. It is 5000mm long and unfolded to 100mm wide. Cost upwards of $7. I've cut open a number of the 296 filters before and there are clear differences in the length of the filter media, but don't have the results at hand.

What does it all mean?? The filter experts will have their say no doubt, but my measurements tells me not all filters are the same and high capacity doesn't mean the highest cost. Now you can all sleep better knowing there is yet another challenge to get the very best for your 4WD :-)

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Reply By: Grungle - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 08:45

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 08:45
Hi Tim,

My thoughts are that the filtering capability is what they are rated to in microns and the flow rate and ability to withstand blocking up is guaged off filter media area.

The higher the micron rating the better but this will restrict flow unless you increase the filtering area. Also, in the case of a tank of dirty fuel for example, a filter with a small amount of filtering media will suffer from restricted flow quicker than a filter with greater amounts of filtering media.

Would like to hear from others on this though. I believe it is a shame that manufacturers don't list things such as surface area and filtering capacity in microns on the packaging.

By the way I have a CAV filter adaptor and use the Delphi type filters on my GU Patrol. Reasons are better filtering and they cost me $4.00 each from a diesel supply shop.

AnswerID: 217424

Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:27

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:27

I believe it is a shame that manufacturers don't list things such as surface area and filtering capacity in microns on the packaging.

A bit like food labelling eh! Some companies have responded to my queries about micron rating (where the lower the number the better) and just said they manufacture to OEM standard, Ryco said 15 micron nominal.

I'd be reckoning the reason they don't is that normally no one bothers, they just see a filter and whack it on, but cut them open and there are obvious differences. re the $4 296 filters, cut one open and measure how long the paper is. From memory I compared a Westfil, owned by GUD as are Ryco, and it came up quite a lot shorter than the Delphi.


FollowupID: 477881

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:24

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:24
Thanks for the info.
Over the last 5 years I have all sorts of dirty fuel problems, and tried to research filters with out much success.

I am told some trade magazines do comparisons on a regular basis of fuel filters using these types of figures.

Any one seen any of these comparisions?

I ended up installing a 2nd filter off a toyota and an electric pump to help stop the dirt getting to the main filter, and letting my main filter act as a back up before the injector pump.

Agree with you, it is a challenge to get a good system. One trip to corner country I ended up with a load (a good handful) of hair and sand in the tank. That was after the filter clogged and I drained and flushed the tank.
AnswerID: 217444

Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:40
I had/have a CAV set up as an auxilliary filter and a facet pump to help things along. When the engine would lack power or stop, I'd change the CAV filter, but sometimes that wouldn't solve the problem, so I'd have to change the main filter too.

I assumed the CAV would block first, incorrectly. What it raised was the difficulty in working out what was actually the problem. One time I found the pump plunger had some crud in it for example.

So, how do you tell where the problem is??
One way is to install a vacuum/pressure guage so you can see what is pumping and sucking and where. But that seems like too much for most of us.

I went back to the single filter and no pump for a while.
Then added an agricultural 100 micron prefilter underneath the car, then added back the Facet pump, so the 100 micron would protect the Facet from clogging.

Now I can be reasonably assured when I get a blocked filter it is the main engine filter. It's a simple spin on that I can do in office clothes in about 5 minutes. I might leave the CAV out of the system until it's all sorted out.

Why do I have so many filter issues? Call it all part of the 'veggie oil fun and hands on fuelling system' I have. The filters are mostly clogged with very fine sediment that even after a couple of tank drains I can't rid of. I'm filtering to 5 micron before it goes into the tank but still get blocked main filters each few weeks, and will now try to let the oil settle for a few weeks before pumping off the top and letting anything settle down to the bottom of my storage drums.

Lesson 243:
Don't do veggie unless you like tinkering!

FollowupID: 477886

Follow Up By: Flash - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 22:15

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 22:15
If you have issues with dirty fuel NOTHING beats a Frantz (or similar) fuel filter. Yes, the same as used for bypass oil filtering- cheap to replace and will filter down to a few microns.
I've been running one for many years prior to my factory fuel filter and the results are outstanding-also extends the life of fuel pumps and injectors.
You've got to see the crud on top of the "toilet roll" filter to believe it. Bloody amazing- yet I only need to replace it every couple of years.
FollowupID: 478033

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