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Old 03-28-2013, 06:37 AM
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Clogged Water Separator?

The past few times I drove my truck I noticed it starting to idle rough/surging at red lights and such. I have no warning lights on dash yet. So I am going to change my fuel filters today, but when I try to drain the water separator beforehand nothing came out. I am assuming it is clogged. Can I run a piece of wire in it to try and get it to drain or will that hurt something inside? I don't have a new gasket today so I can't just remove the plate and clean it out. Job for another day. If I remove the frame rail filter without draining first can I expect a diesel shower? Also how much fuel can I expect to need to catch during the process?

I have read some advice saying to loosen the engine bay filter cap first. Will this help hold down the fuel spray/loss?
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:04 PM
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Well, when I first got my truck nothing drained out of the water separator either, so I turned my truck on, crawled under and then opened it while it was running, That seemed to clear it out. I don't know about poking a wire up there.

Different people have different results when changing the filter, some get a bath some (like me) get a couple cups max. I have heard to do it with as little fuel in the tank as possible and to park facing uphill (I think). I have heard to change the top filter first, but for me it doesn't seem to make much difference which order I change them in.

Good luck!


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Old 03-28-2013, 07:00 PM
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Got them changed today. Here is my results for the guys that are new to these trucks and have not done this yet. I had about 1/4 tank of fuel and parked uphill on a slight incline. I loosened the filter cap on the engine. I then crawled underneath with an aluminum roasting pan, the type your wife cooks a turkey in, I got at Dollar Store for $1, making it disposable. Even with my drain not draining I still only lost about a quart of fuel when I loosened the filter cap. Since my truck is 2WD, the cap and filter came out and went back in, in one piece. Took about 20 mins including talking to the maintenance man while I let the lower filter drain into the pan. If only everything was this easy on these trucks.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:16 PM
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Good job, bro..

Fwiw, fuel level doesn't matter.. these aren't sump tapped tanks.. they draw from a top tube.. even if there is a siphon effect, the tank is vented to reduce it.. what's leaking is what is in the housing and what falls back from the bowl- which absolutely can have a siphon effect from north of the hmfc.. swapping the top filter first should eliminate that siphon, but I don't know that for certain..
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewactual View Post
Good job, bro..

Fwiw, fuel level doesn't matter.. these aren't sump tapped tanks.. they draw from a top tube.. even if there is a siphon effect, the tank is vented to reduce it.. what's leaking is what is in the housing and what falls back from the bowl- which absolutely can have a siphon effect from north of the hmfc.. swapping the top filter first should eliminate that siphon, but I don't know that for certain..
Sorry bud, but thats wrong. Anything above a half tank on a flat ground will POSSIBLY flow out like hell. Ive seen this with 3 6.4s. I seen one have a full tank and probably close to 4 gallons came out before we screwed the HFCM back tight and waited till the fuel level was lower to finally change it.

What 44magnum said was a good point and works. I have seen them be so clogged up that they didnt work so with the drain open, take a nail or anything and just poke up in it and then cycle the key and some gunk come out and it started draining with the key cycle. You can buy a kit from Ford for a few bucks that you take the side plate off and it comes with a new side plate IIRC and gasket and allen heads so that you can clean it out. A lot of people dont understand how long their truck may have sat on the lot before they bought it with that same fuel and it started gunking up.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodBoy View Post
Sorry bud, but thats wrong. Anything above a half tank on a flat ground will POSSIBLY flow out like hell. Ive seen this with 3 6.4s. I seen one have a full tank and probably close to 4 gallons came out before we screwed the HFCM back tight and waited till the fuel level was lower to finally change it.

What 44magnum said was a good point and works. I have seen them be so clogged up that they didnt work so with the drain open, take a nail or anything and just poke up in it and then cycle the key and some gunk come out and it started draining with the key cycle. You can buy a kit from Ford for a few bucks that you take the side plate off and it comes with a new side plate IIRC and gasket and allen heads so that you can clean it out. A lot of people dont understand how long their truck may have sat on the lot before they bought it with that same fuel and it started gunking up.
I appreciate your candor, but I can't buy into it.. there is something else causing the diesel bath other than the fuel level. The fuel feeds from the top of the tank, not the bottom.. diesel doesn't defy gravity...
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by drewactual View Post
I appreciate your candor, but I can't buy into it.. there is something else causing the diesel bath other than the fuel level. The fuel feeds from the top of the tank, not the bottom.. diesel doesn't defy gravity...
That doesnt even make sense? Are you talking that the line comes out the top of the tank?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by drewactual View Post
I appreciate your candor, but I can't buy into it.. there is something else causing the diesel bath other than the fuel level. The fuel feeds from the top of the tank, not the bottom.. diesel doesn't defy gravity...
That doesnt even make sense? Are you talking that the line comes out the top of the tank? It still picks up fuel from the bottom.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:14 AM
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The feed comes from the top of the tank, through the basket. The basket has a hard line that goes to bottom of tank, which has a screened anchor on the end, which sits in a slight depression..

Fuel is pumped out of the tank, it does not freely flow. If it did, it would have to magically flow up and then across through the lines on its own volition... That would be easy with a siphon effect, but that ain't going to happen because the tank is vented.. the vent may be the issue with rigs you've had experience with.. I've read it here a lot, about fuel level before swapping filters.. maybe people with those issues have obstructed vents? I dunno.. but what I know is that fuel or any other liquid (while it's in liquid form) is not capable of defying gravity..
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:05 AM
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It does siphon out. The vent being stopped up with cause it NOT to do this
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