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Old 12-01-2009, 07:25 PM
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Fuel Bowl Heater

Hey guys, have the early '99. Recently replaced my fuel filter and was trying to clean the bottom of the fuel bowl out and broke the fuel bowl heater element off of the plate down in there.

I've searched and have gotten mixed answers as to whether or not you have to replace the entire fuel bowl ($600) or if you can just replace the heater element. Someone said they got one from International for $42??? It wasn't clear whether they were referring to the early '99 heater element or the late '99 heater element, though.

So what's the deal? Can I replace the heater element at the bottom of the fuel bowl? Or do I have to replace the entire fuel bowl?
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:05 AM
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You can replace the element, but you don't need it. I would just unplug it on the outside of the fuel bowl, tape the plug up and be done with it. But if you really want a new heater, look here and he has an affordable replacement.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:59 PM
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I've already unplugged it. It was 32 degrees today and had a little bit of a fit starting after sitting for a couple days, but not much at all. I'm just worried about later this winter when it gets down into the single digits with ice and snow and everything.

It makes me think that it hasn't worked the entire time I've had the truck. It's always been a pain in the *** to start when it's super cold outside. It probably needs glow plugs and glow plug relay too, though.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:59 PM
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Is that "new style" heater element bolt right in? Or does it take any modification?
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:38 AM
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Anyone know for sure?

I just want to know if it's something I can do in my driveway in 10 minutes or something I'll have to take to a shop.

Especially since it was 12 degrees this morning...
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:25 AM
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The new style will work and it'll be easy to replace. If you know what you're doing it should be a ten minute job give or take a cup of coffee at 12 degrees outside.

Go to dieselorings.com and look at the writeup he has there on how to rebuild the fuel bowl. You'll see what it takes to do it. Basically, drain the bowl, remove the filter, remove the wire connected to the heater in the bowl, remove the two screws holding the center post and heater in, pull out the old and put in the new heater, connect the wire to the heater, retighten the mounting screws that hold the post and heater in, put the filter back in and or put the lid back on, close up the drain valve, cycle the key a couple of times to refill the fuel bowl with fuel and then you should be good to go. Caution: That center black post has got little parts in there under spring pressure so try to keep it all together inside of the post as you remove it or you'll be picking up little pieces here and there and wondering how it all goes back together (dieselorings.com has a good exploded view picture that shows the correct order of the parts if things do pop out all over). In fact, if I remember correctly, if you're careful, the post can be held in so as to stay in the bowl while you slip heater in and out of the bowl over the top of the post. Hope that makes sense.

ALso, I don't think that the fuel heater would really effect so much the starting of the motor as it helps the running of the motor(???). If you're having troubles getting started then you're probably needing to look at the glow plug relay and glow plugs first.

Last edited by losfinch; 12-04-2009 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:51 AM
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Right on, thanks a lot for the quick post.

I plan on replacing the glow plug relay as well to start with. I found a Stancor replacement online for $40 and will be ordering that pretty soon. the previous owner kept all records of maintenance and repairs and the glow plugs and GPR have never been replaced (truck has 235,000 miles).
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:09 AM
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FWIW, we've had highs in the single digits for the last 4-5 days here. My truck hasn't been started since Thursday, and even though I plugged it into my timer this morning it still took a while to start, but it did start. I think you'll be fine.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:36 PM
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Yea, we've had highs in the low 20's recently and it's started without much hesitation at all. It maybe cranks for 2-4 seconds and fires. Tonight will be the real test (suppose to be single digits and snow a few inches).

Thanks again guys.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:55 PM
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The fuel bowl heater is not so much as for starting as keeping a good fuel flow and not jelling up while running down the road. If it shorts out, it kills the computer (on the same fuse) and here in the MT,you can't run her without it. You can unplug the heater, but with the daily high at zero right now(-8 avg), it just won't start.
Just drain the bowl, two #30 torx, and a spade plug and she's done.
I found it easier to pull the stem in the center when inserting the new heater (just put the stem through when the spade is connected,(otherwise you would really stretch the wire )
I picked mine up for around 34.00 at the local International dealer.

BTW, I drive an E'99, '01, and '03, besides the one in my sig, all strokers.

Good luck
As far as starting, I'm cold blooded, so I leave a cord in the bumper all the time
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