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Old 11-21-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
emeryville , California
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1981 280 Excella Turbo Diesel - engine quit....

Hey Folks,
I was wondering if anyone out there knew off hand how many fuel filters were on a 1979 280 Turbo Diesel. The motor quit on me the other day. I replaced the fuel filter up under the passenger side front wheel well - topped off the filter housing - pumped the prime pump up. It started and ran for about 30 seconds and quit again. I dumped 6 gallons of fresh fuel in it in case I ran it out somehow - re-did the top off filter housing/prime pump. etc. And it started again - for about 30 seconds.... Wondering if there's another filter I should be looking at.....



Cheers,
-don
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dlcain View Post
Hey Folks,
I was wondering if anyone out there knew off hand how many fuel filters were on a 1979 280 Turbo Diesel. The motor quit on me the other day. I replaced the fuel filter up under the passenger side front wheel well - topped off the filter housing - pumped the prime pump up. It started and ran for about 30 seconds and quit again. I dumped 6 gallons of fresh fuel in it in case I ran it out somehow - re-did the top off filter housing/prime pump. etc. And it started again - for about 30 seconds.... Wondering if there's another filter I should be looking at.....



Cheers,
-don
If you remove the doghouse cover you will find another filter on the front right top corner of the engine. You have to get to the panel forward of the hinge where the doghouse cover lifts. The panel is held down by about ten 1/4-20 bolts. Once these bolts are removed the entire doghouse cover can be removed. Then you will see the filter. It is an Isuzu part. I find it easiest to remove the fuel lines and then remove the entire housing and then change the element. It is very difficult to get the canister aligned correctly while the housing is mounted on the engine.

The part no. I have listed for the filter element is NAPA 3260.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #3
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Keep us posted about whether this filter replacement works for you. Couple of us 'diesel' freaks out there who WISH that their AS motorhomes were the Isuzu!
Thanks, Derek
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:57 PM   #4
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Have you verified that your fuel pump is working?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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1983 30' Airstream 300
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I show NAPA 3260 to be the fuel filter on top of the motor on my 83 Isuzu as Dan stated. In Sept when we changed both fuel filters the motor acted the same run a minute and die. Finally my son in law, Marvin started it then quickly got down and pushed the primer until it started running smooth . If you dont push the primer down and screw it down, apparently it will allow air to enter and lose it prime again. Be sure you fasten the primer down.

Hope this helps. You may not have to replace the top filter but it is a good idea. It just may need more priming. Kay
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:18 PM   #6
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Another point that was made to me about diesel for our old engines. They were built to run on higher sulphur fuels and need to have a treatment added to work good. WE were told this by a very reliable sorce when so many older diesel tractor motors were failing. About 10 years ago our fuel distributor was adding it to the off road fuel at the terminal for the tractors. He no longer adds it as his off road farmers have upgraded to newer low sulphur deisel tractors. we buy the additive and add it ourselves when we buy a 500 gal tank from him for farm use. we also add a little to the motor home when we fillup. My Husband was a diesel person We had 18 wheelers, tractors and a 3/4 ton pu. He was convinced this additive was a major reason the older motors continued to run so well. Kay
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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If you have a Racor Filter? They are great for that. Check the petcock on the bottom of filter. I the old day as Machanic we replaced it with a spin-on. Good luck
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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I show NAPA 3260 to be the fuel filter on top of the motor on my 83 Isuzu as Dan stated. In Sept when we changed both fuel filters the motor acted the same run a minute and die. Finally my son in law, Marvin started it then quickly got down and pushed the primer until it started running smooth . If you dont push the primer down and screw it down, apparently it will allow air to enter and lose it prime again. Be sure you fasten the primer down.

Hope this helps. You may not have to replace the top filter but it is a good idea. It just may need more priming. Kay
As Kay said the priming pump plunger should be down and screwed down in the running position. If you do not pump the primer enough to fully fill the filters and prime the system you will have problems. Once you get enough fuel going it may start and run rough for a few minutes until all the air is purged from the system. On some engines this is fast and easy, on others, not so much.

Another point is the Racor filter in the fender well can be fitted with different elements. The 2010SM is a 2 micron filter, the 2010TM is a 10 micron filter and the 2010PM is a 30 micron filter. The NAPA 3260 is a 10 micron filter. If you use the Racor 2010SM element it will plug up very rapidly and the engine will act like you are out of fuel. At the same time if you run the Racor 2010PM at some time you will need to change the filter on the front of the engine which is a bit of work.

My solution was to install a truck filter head with a NAPA 3118 element. This is a very large spin-on, 21 micron filter. I moved the Racor to the top of the frame rail for easy access and use the 10 micron element. The fuel runs through the NAPA 3118 and then through the Racor and then through the NAPA 3260 filter on the engine. This way the fuel is clean before it reaches the Isuzu filter which is much harder to change. I've got over 30,000 miles on this set-up without a filter change.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:20 AM   #9
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On Bess,I've found one does not have to use the primer if you're only changing the bottom filter. Changing that top one is, indeed, a bearcat. The NAPA # for the upper is 3260, the Isuzu # (GM) is 94037008, it's called a "element kit".
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #10
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I might have missed it, but there is a bleeder screw forward of the priming pump that must be opened and bled until no air shows. Not to be done on driveways, as a lot of fuel will be spilt.
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Wow, thanks for all the replies. Sigh - I just pulled and replaced the dog house when I tightened up the alternator belt. Here I go again.... Will keep you posted on what happens - which won't be until after T-day. Happy holidays all....

-don
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Old 11-23-2011, 05:05 PM   #12
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You should be able to get at the bleeder without taking the doghouse off.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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OK.... She's up and running again. I pulled the doghouse and switched out the fuel filter mounted to the engine, primed it a whole bunch and........ She wouldn't stay running. I noticed that when pumping the primer pump it didn't feel like there was any or very little liquid being pushed through - just felt like air. So, I tracked down everything that could be a potential place that could let air into the fuel system and found - the damn plastic tube that goes from the filter housing to a vacuum gauge on the dash had somehow come loose from the back of the gauge.... At least now I know what that gauge is for(if it starts pulling high vacuum - time to replace the filter) and now I know where the other fuel filter is...

Thanks for the help....
On a side note anyone know the belt size for the alternator belts? Might as well replace them while I've got the doghouse off.....

Cheers,
-don
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:35 PM   #14
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OK.... She's up and running again. I pulled the doghouse and switched out the fuel filter mounted to the engine, primed it a whole bunch and........ She wouldn't stay running. I noticed that when pumping the primer pump it didn't feel like there was any or very little liquid being pushed through - just felt like air. So, I tracked down everything that could be a potential place that could let air into the fuel system and found - the damn plastic tube that goes from the filter housing to a vacuum gauge on the dash had somehow come loose from the back of the gauge.... At least now I know what that gauge is for(if it starts pulling high vacuum - time to replace the filter) and now I know where the other fuel filter is...
Take a pic of that gauge, it was not stock, that I know of. In later models, a gauge was installed to indicate water in the lower filter canister. If you've replaced the upper filter and change the lower one every oil change (I do), problems should be over. The primer pump can go bad, I've replaced mine.
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