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Old 05-29-2007, 09:12 AM   #1
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
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1983 31' Airstream310
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Help! Diesel mo/ho fuel problem.

Hello everyone, we have a '83 310 w/189K w Izuzu turbo. The past year,
we've been eating fuel filters (lower one w/Racor) the last trip out, we ate
one with just 3900 miles. Totally black..the engine quit! What is going on?
In years past 10K is when I replaced filters. I was told a algae could grow
in the tank? Any common experiences? This getting old...she swallows the
filter on steep climbs..where power use is highest & I wonder if the feed
from the tank is at the rear. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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Lots of questions...... Does the vehicle sit for long periods of time? If so, do you store it with a full tank of fuel? Do you add fuel preservatives when in storage? Are you in a high humidity area with large temperature extreems? Have you drained the tank?

Condensation from humidity and temperature swings can put alot of water in the tank if there is a large air volume (empty tank). Preservatives help but do not stop the funk from building up in the tank.

Lastly, where do you buy your fuel? If you go to the Mom and Pop stores where they do not sell diesel in volume, the fuel comes out of the pump already funky. Their filters are shot too. I buy from major fuel centers where the big trucks drain the tanks weekly or sometimes daily so the fuel is fresh.

Drain your tank, get new filters and buy fresh fuel, use additives to get you back to square one.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:10 AM   #3
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I may be off base here, but sounds like you have a serious microbial growth in your tank..the "black stuff" clogging the filter. This was always a problem with marine diesels. Caused by condensation in the partly empty fuel tanks.
Try finding a "fuel polishing" company in the yellow pages under the Marine diesel heading if you live in an area close to boating. They can come out or you go there, and will clean your tanks and fuel system. Always try to add a biocide to each tank after that, and always try to keep the tank topped off, especially if the Moho sits for any long period of time.
FWIW.

Cheers, Jeff
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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A post script...
Mike, I see you live in the greater Seattle area. No problem finding a "fuel polishing" outfit there. Check out those yellow pages. Should be 2 or 3 in the Ballard area, as they service all the fishing fleets and marinas along the ship canal. Good luck. Oh yeah, The Pacific NW is notorious for algae, etc. in diesel tanks. Good luck.
Cheers, Jeff
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:41 AM   #5
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Jeff is right. Algae does grow in diesel/jet fuel. Lear jets were especially prone to this and a fuel additive was always used when refueling one. Called 'Prist'. Your basic fuel algaecide. Follow Jeff's advice and you should be fine.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
Full Timers/Diesel power.
 
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Thanks all...I'm glad I'm on the right track. M
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:42 AM   #7
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Hi, last month I drove my 1982 turbo diesel 280 from Fla to Ma and had issues with the fuel filter somewhere in Pa. I stopped at a NAPA store and tried to look up a replacement element for the filter mounted on the frame behind the front right wheel. The NAPA guy couldn't cross the filter over, but upon close inspection it looked as though it was a stainless screen type, so a few cans of brake cleaner and I thought I was all set. I didn't know then there was another filter mounted on the engine. I limped home with a loss of power climbing hills due to the cloged filter.

The NAPA guy printed out a memo from WIX answering the question "why do my WIX diesel fuel filters need to be replaced more often". Their answer related to the scrubbing/cleaning effect of the new reformulated diesel fuels. I think it is the low sulfur fuels. I will look thru my paperwork and see if I can find that WIX memo, if so I will scan it and post it.

My understanding is that once all the crap is purged/cleaned from the system by the new fuel, the filters should start to last longer.

Regards, Art
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:53 AM   #8
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I have had that problem in Florida with diesels that tend to sit for extended times with partial tanks. I use a product from a company called Biobor, called Diesel Doctor. It is a combination algicide/fuel system cleaner. IIRC, one tube treats 25 gallons.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:19 AM   #9
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Biobor

I used Biobor religiously for the life of my marine diesel(16 years)..over 10,000 hrs when I sold the boat. The engine surveyor said he'd never seen such a sweet running diesel with that many hours on it. Remember, we're talking boats here, and a sailboat at that.(over 45,000 nautical miles) The problem with the algae is that it forms a sludge that settles to the bottom of the tank and is then sucked up into the fuel pick up pipe( the black stuff), then to your filters, etc. A late dosing of algicide sometimes loosens everything and really gums up the system. "Fuel polishers" pump it all out and recirculate the fuel while filtering it over and over, at the same time the recirculation under pressure cleans up the tank. The other method is to drop the fuel tank and clean it yourself, a reall nasty job!
As a side note, most marine fuel docks add a biocide to their supply to eliminate the problem. The theory for vehicles is that the fuel doesn't sit long enough in the tank to grow "stuff". I'm not sure if any additives are present in #2 from the pump.
Cheers, Jeff
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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Mike, the reply from Jeff is right on the mark. Our '84 310 Isuzu now has over 160k and we have clogged the filtrs just once (early on) - after that every tankful gets treated when it gets filled. The problem is that MoHos sit for long periods between uses. The treatment we use is a marine diesel biocide AND a water-absorbing additive (no water = no algae growth = no gunk).
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:38 PM   #11
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jking Do you use 2 additives or 1 that does both.

What products do you use?

I live in a Fishtown and the Marine shop shelves are filled with "Miracle" additives, finding someone who has has good results with a specific product helps eliminate a lot of trial and error.

Jeff I like your byline and I do try to feel at home where ever I go.

ART
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:51 AM   #12
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Lucasoil.com...thats what all the semi's run.Try some FIRST,you can get it at any large truck stop.I've used it for years in my own semi,it will remove all the trash quickly.It's a fuel additive.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajheinonen
jking Do you use 2 additives or 1 that does both.
What products do you use?
I live in a Fishtown and the Marine shop shelves are filled with "Miracle" additives, finding someone who has has good results with a specific product helps eliminate a lot of trial and error.
Jeff I like your byline and I do try to feel at home where ever I go.
ART
We use both a biocide (don't have a bottle handy to look at the name, b ut it is a shelf item at local marine stores) and a separate water absorber (called PPP FuelPower or something similar) that we get from a local diesel truck shop. Hope this helps.
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