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Old 10-14-2007, 05:01 AM   #1
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I am not replacing my fuel filter, I am cleaning it. I clean it every year. First I hold it up with a light and look in the outlet end just to see how it looks. You can see first half of the filter. Then I blow it out with compressed air, reverse flo direction while holding it up to a white back ground so I can see when it comes clean. I then spray carb cleaner in and blow it out once or twice. It usually comes clean with the first time. I look in it again to see if the element looks ok.
30K miles, three years or three times and everything is ok.
I realize most of you won't agree with this but you might be able to use this procedure on the road as a emergency procedure.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:01 AM   #2
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I am not replacing my fuel filter, I am cleaning it. I clean it every year. First I hold it up with a light and look in the outlet end just to see how it looks. You can see first half of the filter. Then I blow it out with compressed air, reverse flo direction while holding it up to a white back ground so I can see when it comes clean. I then spray carb cleaner in and blow it out once or twice. It usually comes clean with the first time. I look in it again to see if the element looks ok.
30K miles, three years or three times and everything is ok.
I realize most of you won't agree with this but you might be able to use this procedure on the road as a emergency procedure.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:31 AM   #3
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Ron,

A fuel filter, or most any filter is only designed to flow in one direction. I am suspect and concerned that the long term viability of the filter media will become degraded.

The procedure you describe as a field expedient method in my opinion would logically be a choice that I would made as well. As regards routine filter maintenance, I believe that I would break down and buy a new filter given that you haven't purchased one in 3 years. $20.00 a year to filter thousands of dollars of gasoline does not seem unreasonable.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:40 AM   #4
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I agree with DriVer... Take a look at the photo of the filter I cut a part. Although it looks clean it is not as you will have particulate stuck in the media, as it should be by design. As much as I hate to pay up to $60 for a filter I would ONLY put on a new one. Clean the old one and keep for emergency use only. This one reason that I made the Husky Jack mod and use the GF481/652 style filter.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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Like I said, I visibly inspect by looking in the outlet and it has been working good for 3 times, 30K miles It works for me! Would be better than waiting to be towed and trying to fine workhorse service.
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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By using compressed air, I would believe you have compromised the filter material inside, causing decreased filtering, or maybe no filtering. JMHO.
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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I would'nt do it as a regular maintenace procedure. But it's probably better than nothing if you can't get a new filter. I've cleaned my Onan air filter with brake cleaner when I had no desire to drive 50 or 60 miles RT for it. I've also done my lawnmower air filters that way. Brake cleaner has lots of the same ingrediants that dry cleaners use.
It appears to clean them but I doubt if they are 'like new'.
WH sure made life more difficult for their customers with their brainstorm fuel filter tho.
I think they they think too much. WH has so little experience, they should be following, not trying to be so creative. If they don't know how to build their own engine, use the filter of the company that does.
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:12 PM   #8
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If ya got the filter off, why not replace it?
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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It's pretty common to clean tractor air cleaners on the farm using a similar method. No brake cleaner, just blowing out from the inside. It is very easy to tear the filter material if you aren't careful though, and the tears can be very hard to see. If it is working OK, then you will never have a problem. If it isn't, you may have some clogged injectors prematurely.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:30 PM   #10
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When I replaced my fuel filter a year ago (20,000 miles) I ran gas through the filter in the reverse direction and recaptured the fuel. It showed no coloration nor particles. My thinking was that the original filter was no where near restricting the fuel flow. I placed the old filter in a zip-lock bag and carry it as a spare.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:46 PM   #11
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I don't know about you, but my 65 year eye balls don't do "micron" level specks anymore.

Also I would suspect that the dirt is trapped in the media as it should be. The only way to check would be via flow test and/or some sort of media test.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:12 PM   #12
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Okay all-- Heres the scoop

After worring to death about my filter failing, after reading these threads, on a trip, I decided to put a new one on.
I have an '02 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', W-22, 8.1 Vortac, 30,000 miles.
CarQuest carries a WIX made filter-- their number is 86481, the price was $12.82 + $.87 sales tax, Total price $13.69.

Tools needed:
1-16mm open end wrench - fits the line fittings.
2-13/16" (or 20mm) to fit and hold the ends of the filter.
3-1/2" socket, 3/8" ratchet 6" extension.This is used to loosen two clamps, one around the filter and the other to loosen a clamp just aft of the filter itself.

The hardest part was crawling behind the drivers side rear wheel while holding up the mud flap while manuvering into position. The filter is mounted (on my rig) on the inboard side of the frame rail-on the rail. It is just behind the shock absorber frame mount. I didn't loose a half cupful of gas. The entire process was less than 12 minutes. I ran the engine and all is well.
The original filter is a Delco GF-481 (not sure about the G, its rusted over). Nothing abnormal about the fuel that drained out of either end over a white paper towel. This is a trick I learned while flying airplanes, piston engine, to ensure you weren't mis fueled with jet fuel. Gasoline evaporates quickly and dries clear. Jet fuel doesn't dry and leaves an oily circle. It is also heavier than gasoline and settles to the bottom of the tank where the drains are . I taught this to all my students.
Enough on airplanes.

Good luck to all-- "It was a piece of cake"

Max H
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for the ultra power upgrade, the works - minus the Banks Mod. I have a true dual, 3" exhaust system. Banks has a single 4" exhaust. I'll look at that mod when and if my stock system fails.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
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You don't have to 'rub it in' , Max , we '04 and newer mohos can't just run up to Carquest for our filters. We have to find a WH svc cntr, dig much deeper into our wallets, and 'order' one , maybe pick it up in a few weeks
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #14
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I agree Dale, I can't see micron size particles either. My only point was that my filter flowed gas just fine and likely would have gone 40,000 miles. Having said that I installed the new filter.
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