fuel filter schedule

   / fuel filter schedule #1  

WinterDeere

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
3,661
Location
Philadelphia
Tractor
John Deere 3033R, 855 MFWD, 757 ZTrak; IH Cub Cadet 123
Deere 3033R (33 hp Yanmar 3-cyl diesel) wears two enormous fuel filters, to the tune of $80 for a full change, which is recommended at 400 hours. If seeing less than 400 hours per year, then they are to be changed yearly.

But given the cost, mess, and wear and tear on disassembling the clear plastic separator into which one of the filters is assembled, I'm wondering if that's really the smart plan. The filters always look clean after a year, and there is zero visible water in the separator. There is a drain cock on the bottom of the separator, so even if there were water, it could be drained without touching the filter.

Does it make sense to just wait for 400 hours, even if that's only once every 4th year, if there's no visible water or dirt in the separator? Or split the difference at 2 years and 200 hours?
 
   / fuel filter schedule #2  
What is it filtering out?
Is it under warranty?
It's your $$$ but if it is not under warrantee I would just buy a set of filters now and run it to the 400 hour mark, have the oil tested, then decide.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #3  
I would wait till 400 hours. I don't remember the last time I changed my fuel filters. My fuel is filtered 2x before it gets to the tractors....
 
   / fuel filter schedule #4  
If you’re not using it much I’d actually recommend changing more often. The crap that grows/accumulates in diesel stored for a while is really hard on injectors. Running often 400 hrs is plenty often.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #5  
If you want to really know the status of a fuel filter, install a vacuum gauge. I added a vacuum gauge to the Racor filter on my tractor, and it generally starts out at 1.5 - 2.0 inches of Mercury (I think that is the scale used). At 10" Hg it's time to replace the filter.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #6  
use a good diesel additive/stabilizer & purchase diesel from a high volume reputable dealer.
maybe mr funnel or similar when fueling. those alone will extend fuel filter interval change
as you mentioned, good to keep an eye on the separator.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #7  
I have a JD 2025r and just changed the main filter at 400 hours. It had a little more crap in it than I expected. Looking through the bowl it looked pretty clean but once I took it off the tractor it was obviously a little dirty. Mostly small pieces of dirt. My tractor is almost 5 years old. I’m not sure every year is needed but more often than 5 years.
 
   / fuel filter schedule
  • Thread Starter
#8  
What is it filtering out?
Not sure. Dirt / sediment, I assume. But I also believe algae/bloom is more likely to cause problems than dirt, in filters installed for several years.

Is it under warranty?
Dunno. It was purchased new in 2019, but I don't remember the warranty terms on each item.

I would just buy a set of filters now and run it to the 400 hour mark, have the oil tested, then decide.
Fuel filters, not oil filters.

I would wait till 400 hours. I don't remember the last time I changed my fuel filters. My fuel is filtered 2x before it gets to the tractors....
Just curious... how is it filtered 2x before it gets to the tractors? Mine is filtered 2x between fuel tank and engine, as described in OP, but I don't do any external filtering before pouring into the tank.

If you’re not using it much I’d actually recommend changing more often. The crap that grows/accumulates in diesel stored for a while is really hard on injectors. Running often 400 hrs is plenty often.
I average 110 hours per year, but that could be 70 hours one year and 150 hours the next. Either way, 400 hours is 4 years for me.

If you want to really know the status of a fuel filter, install a vacuum gauge. I added a vacuum gauge to the Racor filter on my tractor, and it generally starts out at 1.5 - 2.0 inches of Mercury (I think that is the scale used). At 10" Hg it's time to replace the filter.
Now that's an answer any engineer can love. I'll have to look at the arrangement of pumps and filters, and see where it's appropriate to tee a gauge into the line. As noted, there are two filters, and one of them has three lines going in/out of the filter base. It sounds like your setup may have all filtration before the first pump, but I suspect mine has an integral bypass, probably with the first stage fuel pump between the two filter stages.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #9  
...
Now that's an answer any engineer can love. I'll have to look at the arrangement of pumps and filters, and see where it's appropriate to tee a gauge into the line. As noted, there are two filters, and one of them has three lines going in/out of the filter base. It sounds like your setup may have all filtration before the first pump, but I suspect mine has an integral bypass, probably with the first stage fuel pump between the two filter stages.

Mine has the primary sediment bowl filter, electric lift pump, to the secondary OEM spin on filter. A vacuum gauge could be tee'd immediately after the filter and before the lift pump. The Racor has a port for the gauge on the filter housing.
I filter my fuel from a transfer tank with a 17u water separating bowl, followed by a 2u finishing filter. The primary Racor on the tractor is currently 2u, which is not ideal in the primary position. I figure that since I'm filtering the fuel going in the tank down to 2u I'll be ok. So far after maybe 200 hours it's working well.
 
   / fuel filter schedule #10  
I have a filter on my transfer tank that's in my pickup. Then a filter on the 275g bulk tank.
 
 
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