How to wash a diesel fuel filter?

   #1  

Wendi

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May 17, 2007
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Northwest Great Basin, northwestern Nevada
Tractor
TYM T450, Ford 9N
My diesel tractor manual says I can wash the paper fuel filter element but not to use a flammable liquid. What is the best solvent and method to wash the paper element in the fuel filter? And, what is the best way to store a cleaned filter - I have an extra I'd like to save for an emergency.
 
   #2  

SnowRidge

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Jul 4, 2003
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East Tennessee
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Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520
My diesel tractor manual says I can wash the paper fuel filter element but not to use a flammable liquid. What is the best solvent and method to wash the paper element in the fuel filter? And, what is the best way to store a cleaned filter - I have an extra I'd like to save for an emergency.

Stoddard solvent comes to mind, but are the filters so expensive that keeping a new spare in a box on the shelf is out of the question?
 
   #3  

LRH

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Oct 3, 2005
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GA USA
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'97 NH Boomer 1925 HST 4WD, // Kubota B3030 HSTC
My Kubota recommends using kerosene to clean the filter. I would prefer to change out a fuel filter versus cleaning, but I have back flushed a filter before on severely contaminated equipment before. I was surprised to see any equipment manufacturer calling for washing since most would just dunk the entire filter in the cleaning solution; thus getting lots of debris inside to the clean side of the filter, and the Kubota instructions did not explain the chances of this happening, nor how to prevent it. I stand the filter upright and fill container enough to cover about all but the last inch or so, let the cleaning fluid soak from outside to inside, then pick up filter and let fluid flow back outward, washing away the large pieces of debris/algae/etc. Repeat as needed, and as long as the filter flows enough to not starve the system, and has no tears/rips all is well. I have also used spray carb cleaner, but not too much as it may soften glue holding end caps on, and most of the cleaner needs to evaporated away before re-filling bowl, as carb cleaner has not much lubricity for the injection system. If one has an algae problem, cleaning the filter versus replacing is just as good until the fuel runs clear, instead of going through several sometimes expensive filters, as long as the used filters don't get cross contaminated.
 
  
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#4  
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Wendi

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May 17, 2007
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Location
Northwest Great Basin, northwestern Nevada
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TYM T450, Ford 9N
LRH and SnowRidge - thanks for the advice. Yes, a new filter costs only about $5. but shipping is expensive. Guess I should have ordered 2 at a time!!
Since I have some kerosene I will rinse with kerosene as you recommend. Good idea about not contaminating the filter with the washing liquid!
 
   #5  

Doc_Bob

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2003 NH TN70A
Stoddard solvent comes to mind, but are the filters so expensive that keeping a new spare in a box on the shelf is out of the question?


I always keep a spare on the shelf. Nothing saves money like not having to get one in a hurry when the one on the machine gets damaged.
Bob
 
   #6  

DieselPower

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Fairfield, PA
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Personally I wouldn't try to wash it. I would be to worried about getting dirt into the clean side of the filter element. At $5 a pop for a new one I would just order a couple and keep them on the shelf for future use.
 
   #7  

LRH

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GA USA
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'97 NH Boomer 1925 HST 4WD, // Kubota B3030 HSTC
Doc_Bob & DieselPower are correct; get a spare, keep a spare, but should you find yourself in an emergency with a bad batch of fuel, or some severe algae, it is good to know how to clean it. Just remember; anything that manages to fall in the inner (clean) side of the filter cartridge is headed to the injector pump and on down the line to the injectors, and the same clean handling practices go for the new filter cartridge once it is unboxed and unwrapped. The fuel filters don't have to be changed as often as a lot of folks think; as long as it does not become restrictive to the point of not flowing fuel it is OK, and all the junk on the outside the filter paper that you see through the bowl is not going through the paper,it will eventually just stop the fuel flow. You should occasionally look at the bowl carefully to see if there is any water present, sometimes a flashlight shining through the bowl will help due to things like dyed fuel, amber colored bowls that are sometimes used, and faded plastic bowls from UV rays. Algae will sometimes make the fuel look dark. My Kubota and my New Holland neither supplied O-rings with the fuel filter, but I don't know what brand you have, but get some if they are not included.
 
   #8  

LBrown59

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First organized permanent settlement in the northw
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I always keep a spare on the shelf. Nothing saves money like not having to get one in a hurry when the one on the machine gets damaged.
Bob
I keep 2 or 3 filters on hand and when I get down to 1 I restock back to the 2 or 3.
This prvents starting to change oil or fluid only to find out you don't have a filter.
I do this with my tractors and pick ups.
 
   #9  

Doc_Bob

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Wisconsin
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I keep 2 or 3 filters on hand and when I get down to 1 I restock back to the 2 or 3.
This prvents starting to change oil or fluid only to find out you don't have a filter.
I do this with my tractors and pick ups.

You are a wise man.
Bob
 

Bird

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Corinth, Texas
Like LRH said, my Kubota manuals said to wash it in kerosene, but I never did; I just changed to a new one periodically.
 
 
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