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Old 09-30-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
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Location: Fulltimers from - Simpsonville, SC, USA
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I suffered an engine dusting back in 2005 on my 1999 Alpine Coach 36FDS and had to have my engine rebuilt, almost $12,000 with 47,214 miles on the odometer. The problem was identified as dirt ingestion. I bought the coach in Oct 2004 with 36,661 miles on the odometer.

Unfortunately it seems my problem may be returning with 68,219 miles on the odometer (21k on new engine). I am seeing more blow-by oil in the bottle I installed on the blow-by tube and a slight increase in oil consumption. I recently had a dyno/blow-by test performed and the coach passed. An oil sample was taken as a precaution and now I find I again have dirt ingestion contributing to higher wear in the ring liner area with iron, chrome, aluminum and dirt at urgent levels. It has become apparent that the source of the infiltration was not explored by the Cummins dealer who rebuilt the engine, only the rebuild was performed.

My own investigation has discovered that the wrong air filter AF25547 had been installed as far back as Nov 2000 with 29,821 miles on the odometer. Thankfully to the records left behind by the previous owners, I can trace this back to various Cummins Dealers who have used that same filter as a replacement when doing maintenance. When looking at that filter's dimensions and the dimensions of the filter housing, a noticeable problem is found. The gasket end of the filter, that provides a seal to the back of the filter housing, has a diameter of 4 " and the diameter needed to slide over the threaded fastening assembly and seal tightly against the rear of the filter housing is a minimum of 6". Therefore a gap of 1"exists; the gasket thickness accounts for " leaving an opening of approximately " all the way around the filter that allow unfiltered air to enter the air induction system, which is the source of the dirt ingestion. The proper air filter is an AF22548 which has a larger opening at the rear to be able to slide over the threaded fastening assembly and make a positive seal against the filter housing and prohibit this dirt ingestion. So now I wonder just how much dirt is in the "system" and on its way to the engine and if frequent oil/filter changes will correct this?

I have much documentation backing up this claim and I intend to go to Cummins and seek restitution. Not sure if I should try this myself of seek a lawyer?

I urge each of you to check your air filter to make sure it is the right one. Especially the owners of earlier coaches 1998 2000. I would love to hear from owners of the older coaches as to what filters are installed on their coaches. When I checked with WRV I was told the proper filter was an AF25549. This turns out to be wrong as this filter is several inches to big to fit in my filter canister (10" diameter). The problem is that a Nelson 70471-N is specified in the owners manual and somewhere along the line it was improperly crossed referenced to the AF25547 filter and not the proper AF25548.

Hopefully no one else out there will discover this same error.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Fulltimers from - Simpsonville, SC, USA
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I suffered an engine dusting back in 2005 on my 1999 Alpine Coach 36FDS and had to have my engine rebuilt, almost $12,000 with 47,214 miles on the odometer. The problem was identified as dirt ingestion. I bought the coach in Oct 2004 with 36,661 miles on the odometer.

Unfortunately it seems my problem may be returning with 68,219 miles on the odometer (21k on new engine). I am seeing more blow-by oil in the bottle I installed on the blow-by tube and a slight increase in oil consumption. I recently had a dyno/blow-by test performed and the coach passed. An oil sample was taken as a precaution and now I find I again have dirt ingestion contributing to higher wear in the ring liner area with iron, chrome, aluminum and dirt at urgent levels. It has become apparent that the source of the infiltration was not explored by the Cummins dealer who rebuilt the engine, only the rebuild was performed.

My own investigation has discovered that the wrong air filter AF25547 had been installed as far back as Nov 2000 with 29,821 miles on the odometer. Thankfully to the records left behind by the previous owners, I can trace this back to various Cummins Dealers who have used that same filter as a replacement when doing maintenance. When looking at that filter's dimensions and the dimensions of the filter housing, a noticeable problem is found. The gasket end of the filter, that provides a seal to the back of the filter housing, has a diameter of 4 " and the diameter needed to slide over the threaded fastening assembly and seal tightly against the rear of the filter housing is a minimum of 6". Therefore a gap of 1"exists; the gasket thickness accounts for " leaving an opening of approximately " all the way around the filter that allow unfiltered air to enter the air induction system, which is the source of the dirt ingestion. The proper air filter is an AF22548 which has a larger opening at the rear to be able to slide over the threaded fastening assembly and make a positive seal against the filter housing and prohibit this dirt ingestion. So now I wonder just how much dirt is in the "system" and on its way to the engine and if frequent oil/filter changes will correct this?

I have much documentation backing up this claim and I intend to go to Cummins and seek restitution. Not sure if I should try this myself of seek a lawyer?

I urge each of you to check your air filter to make sure it is the right one. Especially the owners of earlier coaches 1998 2000. I would love to hear from owners of the older coaches as to what filters are installed on their coaches. When I checked with WRV I was told the proper filter was an AF25549. This turns out to be wrong as this filter is several inches to big to fit in my filter canister (10" diameter). The problem is that a Nelson 70471-N is specified in the owners manual and somewhere along the line it was improperly crossed referenced to the AF25547 filter and not the proper AF25548.

Hopefully no one else out there will discover this same error.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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gmfryer - Sorry to hear about your filter problems. Hope you can get restitution from the appropriate party. I have a 2001 and the filter is an AF25549...and fits in the canister. I assume the gaskets seal properly since the filtered area within the canister seems clean while the unfiltered area is clearly not clean.
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:02 PM   #4
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I always apply a little grease on the seating area on my filter no matter what vehicle. I just feel a little better in my own mind by doing that.
But in the case of gmfryer having a 3/4" gap that would not help.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great tip. I do a lot of my own maintenance and have found that, just because there's an "X-3777" filter on the engine, it still pays to check the OEM recommendation when replacing filters. For example, if you replace coolant with "fully-formulated" coolant, you should replace the original filter with one that does not add SCA to the coolant.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:32 PM   #6
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GM- IIWM, I'd remove the intake air assemblies (tubes & intercooler from filter to engine) & clean them out. Chimney sweep type brush for the tubes where I can't reach entirely inside; full water bath for the intercooler w/as much velocity as reasonably attainable, both directions. There is bound to be more dirt in the intake air path than is good for business.

Oil changes will remove dirt that is in the engine; shouldn't take more than two.

Cummins has a humorously high level of oil consumption as a "standard" before it is considered serious. IIRC it is something hilarious like a quart every 250 miles. Doesn't sound like you are there, but it does sound like you have some ring scoring, & maybe valve wear (probably more of the former as that is the usual choke point for improper filtration; the extremely high compression of diesel combustion really drives the dirt into the ring/cylinder interface). If so your oil changes will need to be more frequent than standard schedule would indicate (as the increased blow-by will increase diesel soot in the oil), til you get the next overhaul, & IIWY I'd subscribe to regular oil analysis & keep a chart on the results. If the blow-by is well managed, you shouldn't have much in the way of operating issues w/the engine outside of oil consumption & the more frequent oil changes.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:23 AM   #7
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Wow.. thanks for this post - it solved my dilemma.

I am a new owner of a 94-Newmar on a Spartan chassis (8.3 Cummins 300HP) and was changing filters and doing some general maintenance. I removed the old air filter element which was showing bad on the filter minder. I couldn't find any numbers on the element itself so I referred to my Spartan Chassis book.

The book clearly calls for a Nelson 70470N filter element for the Nelson 78515N Air Cleaner Assembly. I cross referenced it at NAPA which comes back as a NAPA FIL 6737. The diameter of the mounting base or mouth is about 1" too small to slide all the way against the filter housing. Even after tightening the wing nut until its snug, to the untrained eye and or mechanic, you would assume its installed properly.. which is far from correct. There is about a 3/4 to 7/8" gap between the gasket and the mounting base. Its impossible to look into the end of the canister and see that the surface of the gasket is mated to the canister end housing creating a proper seal. The filter feels attached firmly, all seems well - but its not.

The mounting base opening on the correct 6644 filter is 7.94 inches versus 7.16 inches on the incorrect 6737!

The correct filter for these is definitely the NAPA FIL 6644 aka Fleetguard AF25548.

Fortunately, my existing/old filter was the correct one. The intake tubes are very clean and show no dust or dirt anywhere. I am fortunate that I found your post and double checked BEFORE driving it anywhere. If I could buy you a beer I would.

Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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Just checked mine and Cummins Atlantic did install a NAPA 6644 when the air filter was changed some time ago. Don't know why Cummins have to go to the NAPA store for a filter instead of using Fleetguard, maybe it's actually better!
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
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Fleet Guard #AF25549

This is what came out of my 2004 and is what I replaced it with. I did look at the sealing surface in the bottom of the housing and found the filter seal was making contact as it should.
It sounds like there might have been a change in the canister at some point.
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