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Old 08-26-2010, 01:06 AM   #1
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Biodiesel cleans tank and plugs fuel filters

Even though biodiesel has been available in Oregon for several years, I have avoided it for as long as I could. When I contacted Cummins they said we can run up to B20 ok. B2 (which is 2%) biodiesel became mandatory for the whole state of Oregon on Oct 1 2009. According to the Biodiesel Magazine 150 bills were introduced in 36 states for various uses this year. There are several other states going to B2 to B5 this year. The first problem, even 2% biodiesel acts as excellent natural solvent, and any deposits in the fuel tank will be cleaned out and end up in your fuel filters.

When I bought my Alpine in Jan 2010 and brought into Oregon, it had 12,000 miles and I am sure it never biodiesel in it. I did install a Cummins fuel filter gauge (part #3892577S) on a tee on the out fuel line on the suction filter. (I don't how to post a picture of it on this website) In 1200 miles using biodiesel I have changed 2 suction filters and is 1/2 way through the third filter on the gauge. I changed my pressure filter once. When I had the same gauge on my 2000 Alpine for 10 years and I never once had a problem plugging fuel filters.

The next problem is biodiesel is rich food source for microbes (bugs) that produce filter clogging sludge. Also condensation is more of problem with with biodiesel and they recommend keeping tank topped off. If is stored more than 6 months you should add a stabilizer. In cold climates biodiesel will gel and you may have use an antigel. Also biodiesel can damage paint and plastics and you should clean it off right away. Also B2 will reduce your mileage some.

I know this isn't isn't an Alpine problem, and that it is already coming to more states. All I can say is when you first start using biodiesel you should change filters more frequently and carry spare filters because of the biodiesel solvent properties.

For over 40 years I have diesel trucks, equipment and motorhomes and never had filter problem or used additives. To me, times have changed and I started using an additive now. I am not making any recommendations on what to use. I talked to a local distributor and he recommended to me Diesel Clean (www.powerservice.com). He said it is readily available many stores including truck stops. I am sure there is other good products available.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
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Hmmm, I try to avoid Biodiesel like the plague. I also put in fuel stabilizer when I know the coach won't be used within 30 days, regardless of fuel level. I try to keep the tank topped off, and won't let it sit for more than 30 days (treated) without topping it off.

Now, let’s thank all the politicians again, for directing our life, because like alcohol in gasoline, it reduces the BTU's (in the case of diesel - cetane) of the fuel, decreases the fuel mileage of said gas powered vehicle and you guessed it, cost more per gallon than straight gas. So the oil companies win, and some farmer can grind up his corn for alcohol instead of marketing it on the market for human food.

Now BD is coming, again being forced down our fuel necks, and we don't have a say. It does not in my opinion improve anything much less the air we breathe. It's just another way to reduce my performance, cost me more in fuel so the oil companies get more of my money, and to use up vegetable oil, which would be thrown away. But vegetable oil is biodegradable and will break down in the soil, because it's made from corn and canola beans.

I wish politicians would mind their own business and not mine.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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Picture of Cummins fuel filter gauge 3892577S mounted suction filter outlet.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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Krag,the last several times that I've gotten fuel in,some pumps have said that you may be getting up to 5% bio and a lot more have said that you are getting 5% Bio.I have filled my PSD Excursion in Oregon a number of times and had no noticeable drop in mileage,pulling a 9500# TT, and now with the MH,the only thing that I have noticed is that most of the people following me,head for the nearest fast food outlet.
I would also check your engine manual before adding any additves to see whether or not they reccomend them.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Fuel Treatment won't hurt the engine, and will keep the fuel up to snuff. It will keep the water down, algae from forming, and won't allow it for 60 days or so. I always treat my fuel if I'm not going to use the coach for over 30 days, and if it's going to sit for a couple of months I always treat and fill the tank. I try to run the coach for 50 miles about every 30 to 45 days, this exercises the whole system.
When I return it to storage, I cycle the leveling system, and put out the slides and then retract them, and store the jacks. I believe the manuals on all these components say they need to be exercised regularly. You should also run the genset 2 hours a month minimum and run the a/c's and or heat pumps for two hours a month. This keeps the oil in the coolant in suspension and doing its job. This also keeps the reverse cycle valve working ok.
So what I do is run them both on heat for one hour, then switch them over to cool. Since I have the HH furnace, it needs to run as well, so it runs for an hour or so each month. It's easier to just use the coach then everything gets used regularly enough so I don't have to spend time doing the above. Regardless, you should move the coach every two to three weeks so these systems get cycled.
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