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Old 11-02-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Bremerton, WA
Posts: 53
Additional thoughts for DIY'rs re: fuel filter change-out

Learned a few new practices after reviewing all posts re: changing fuel filters on my "new" (used) '06 34' Alpine that you DIY'rs may find helpful. My coach has the Fleetguard FS1003 remote filter and the FF5488 engine mounted filter (Cummins ISL 400). I found both filters installed with extreme torque (probably due to perception of possible loosening due to vibration), thus the primary reason for opening this thread.
With respect to the remote filter, contrary to the 'Books'" implication that the lift pump will prime the sytem, I strongly recommend pre-filling the filter with clean diesel (before removal of the old filter) to avoid starting issues. Also note that without any filter isolation valves (my coach), you will lose about a quart and a half of fuel (drain back from the engine filter and lift pump, and siphoning from the fuel tank) - be prepared with a catch basin and installation of the new filter promptly. Prior to tackling the engine filter, cycling the lift pump several times through its 30 second run time is mandatory before attempting engine start. After successful engine start and smooth run, then move on to the engine filter.
My engine filter was jammed metal to metal against the filter housing - a standard Sears oil filter wrench would not break it free. The KD (Part #2320) heavy duty oil filter wrench will just wiggle onto the bottom of the fuel filter. CAUTION: Lift the battery negative lead when working above the starter motor. Note the mods (plumber rubber pads to reduce effective minimum diameter) required to the wrench (see pic #1).
Again, contrary to the engine manual not to pre-fill the filter, I strongly recommend pre-filling the filter with clean diesel fuel. If not, more than a dozen cycles of the start sequence (without starting the engine) will be required to purge all the air through the air-bleed orifice fitting in the fuel pump actuator housing (the operative word being "orifice"), and finally provide adequate suction head to the high pressure injection pump to pressurize the fuel rail.
Due to inadequate access to the filter, hand tightening to filter specifications is not possible. Further, the 2320 wrench willl not fit over the filter in the direction required to tighten the filter. Thus it is recommended that a standard automotive oil filter wrench be modified as in picture #2 by drilling out the appropriate pivot rivet to permit slipping the wrench strap behind the filter, inserting a substitute bolt for the rivet, and completing the filter tightening to specs with a modified filter wrench.
I now understand the $250 estimate for filter change-out alluded to in other posts, but now past the first time will make the next time much easier.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 427
I have discussed this with a Cummins rep. There is no problem, prefilling the remote filter, but the engine mount filter should not be prefilled. If you prefill the engine mount filter, you are putting unfiltered fuel in the injection system. I do it the Cummins recommended way.

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Old 11-03-2015, 12:21 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Bremerton, WA
Posts: 53
Understand. However, note two important words in the post - "clean" (I filtered the fuel put in the remote filter, which is also appropriate for the engine filter), and "recommendation". In my opinion, it's an easier task and less of a system challenge to prefill the engine filter (especially since the engine filter is on the suction side of the lift pump and the lift pump is probably not designed to pump air well).
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