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Old 01-16-2014, 03:55 AM
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Fuel filter maintenance question

My 2008 F250 is new to me (1 month), and it was time to change the fuel filters so I tackled the job last night. It was a royal PITA as everybody says but I have a question for the experts here.

When I drained the water/fuel separator, it dumped a bunch of fuel into my container as expected so I continued with my change and when completed I looked at the fuel in the container which surprised me. There was gunk that settled to the bottom that looked like black grit and a 1/2" x 1/4" black glob of something. Is this normal, should I be concerned? I am a diesel noob so this is very new to me. The previous owner changed fuel filters every 4k miles so it's not like it has been forever on these filters. Both filters were moderately dirty but not black or clogged.

I took a bit of a diesel bath as the fuel dumped out of the primary housing when I took the filter out, my wife is not happy with the smell!
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:21 AM
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Depending on how full your tank is that may be why you got soaked. Try to be under half a tank. Next time get 2 feet of extensions to your 36mm socket and it becomes a good bit easier to take the cap off the primary underneath. You can run a tube from the water separation/drain valve to a bucket that will also help some.

The funk you found may be from the previous owner being lazy, bad fuel, or who knows what.

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Old 01-16-2014, 04:23 AM
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I highly doubt the fuel filters were changed every 4K. The norm is oil at 5K. Fuel filters every 10K.

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Old 01-16-2014, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpDyDaVe View Post
Depending on how full your tank is that may be why you got soaked. Try to be under half a tank. Next time get 2 feet of extensions to your 36mm socket and it becomes a good bit easier to take the cap off the primary underneath. You can run a tube from the water separation/drain valve to a bucket that will also help some.

The funk you found may be from the previous owner being lazy, bad fuel, or who knows what.

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I had about 1/8 tank when I changed them. I def need to use the extensions to get out into free space, i'll try that next time. I didn't have an issue draining the separator but should it drain until it stops or I did 30 seconds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpDyDaVe View Post
I highly doubt the fuel filters were changed every 4K. The norm is oil at 5K. Fuel filters every 10K.

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The prior owner owned a diesel performance shop so he was anal with maintenance, he changed them every 4k. The owner before him though, i'm not sure. These filters were 5k old as of last night.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:30 AM
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I learned real quick to climb under from the passenger side. When I was removing mine, I've had my F350 for 6 months, I climbed under from the drivers side and was drenched with diesel. Had to finish removing the filter with my eyes closed. I keep a large bucket under it the whole time but the fuel followed EVERY path that it could. Putting the filter back in with my arms extended over my head and my toes pointing out on the passenger side helped for me. I drained the water seperator but didn't release the pressure when I removed the filter. Lessons learned.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:51 AM
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The extensions are key to taking the filter cover off and you might get up to a gallon fuel depending on how much pressure there is on the primary filter. Putting a hose on the drain nipple is a huge help to keep from getting a delightful/smelly bath during the initial drain of the primary filter underneath.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpDyDaVe View Post
The extensions are key to taking the filter cover off and you might get up to a gallon fuel depending on how much pressure there is on the primary filter. Putting a hose on the drain nipple is a huge help to keep from getting a delightful/smelly bath during the initial drain of the primary filter underneath.
Should the valve remain opened while changing the primary filter? I didn't get a bath from the valve, I got my bath after closing the valve and unscrewing the primary filter's cap, as I kept loosening, more fuel kept draining out and once I started to pull the filter out, even more fuel came out which drained down the frame rails, and anything in the way causing fuel to go all over the place, lots on the floor and some on me. I want to know how to keep fuel from coming out of the primary fuel filter housing, that was the #1 biggest problem when performing this job last night. Everything else was alright.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:05 AM
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Your housing wasn't fully drained by the sounds of things. I would have definitely left the valve open until it was dripping. You will get some from the filter housing and I've never found a way to keep the fuel off of the frame rail.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpDyDaVe View Post
Your housing wasn't fully drained by the sounds of things. I would have definitely left the valve open until it was dripping. You will get some from the filter housing and I've never found a way to keep the fuel off of the frame rail.
The valve was open for 30 seconds. It was flowing full flow when I closed it. A little drip would have been acceptable but it was excessive and made a mess.

Do you have any comments about the grime I asked about in the first post?
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:17 AM
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You totally needed to leave it open longer up to 10 minutes or longer and grab a hose to route the fuel into a bucket or catch can. It's not draining from the fuel tank, just what is in the filter system and fuel pump. I save the fuel to start fires and such on my farm and detar cars lol (hillbilly degreaser). Chip and seal roads kinda suck.

As for the grime I would suggest checking the filter in about 500 miles and see if there is build up. Dirty fuel would be my best guess. Post a pic if you took one. Change your fueling spot for a full tank?

Are you using additives? It might help?

Stanadyne performance blend has been the proven best off the shelf. It's what Ford private labels. You can find rarely at truck stops or a diesel service station.
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