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Old 05-12-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Air Filter Vac Gauge

Say,....(RE: 08 4502 Essex, w. 500 ISM & 10,702 mileage) That see through vac gauge (re-settable) that indicates when it's time to change out the filter drum in the air handling system is presently about 3/4 of the way up from the bottom (ie., yellow float indicator).

Isn't 11,000 miles a little early to have to change out the filter?? Although....we did encounter one heck of a Monument Valley dust storm last April !!

I've never removed the filter but was wondering whether it's life can be extended by so removing it and blowing it out with air nozzle ??? BOY, they're costly!!!

Thanks. Steve
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:20 AM   #2
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It all depends on what conditions you encountered. I did 20 miles of a very dusty road in rural Wyoming and that totally did it for mine. That dust storm you hit may be all it took. Order it from Spartan it is about $90 through them. I haven't found a cheaper alternative even if you go with the Rayco part number through a local parts house. NAPA is something like $180 special order.

I would not under any conditions blow it out. That was the good old way of doing things before engines got so darn sophisticated, sensitive, and expensive. You'll find that warning someplace in all our documentation as I recall too.

Bite the bullet and order another, you've got plenty of time at 3/4.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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Steve, I'm on my third filter on my 2006 DSDP with 23k current mileage. The Spartan factory changed them both times. The original was 12 months old with 7k miles and the gauge was in the red. They said it was dirty even though I had never driven off the pavement. Then 12 months later and another approx. 7k miles it was in the red again and they said the filter's glue had released and it was collapsing inside. Now the third filter is approx. 11 months old and has 9k miles on it and the gauge is still only at 11. Maybe I finally got a good one! I would like to find a higher quality replacement if anyone has any suggestions?
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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harm - I have heard that K&N (if you are a fan of oil filters) can make one. I can try to find my notes on that if you are interested. I don't know what you mean about "higher quality"? It's a Racor filter and you're not gonna do much better.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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The first thing you want to do is reset the air filter gauge and look at it after your next drive. A gust of wind or driving in rain can drive the gauge towards the red zone. The gauge indicated the worse case restriction while driving and it stays there until you reset it. I have seen the gauges show a high restriction, but after resetting they show a low restriction.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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I reset our gauge a couple times when it was near the top just to be sure. I changed the filter this past weekend. Although the element did not appear to be dirty ... after bumping it on the ground a couple times .... there was right much stuff on the ground that came out of the filter. If your filter is encased like ours, blowing it out would not be a good idea.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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RVDude, I would like any info you have on the K&N and thanks. I didn't know they made one for it. I have read many pros and cons on the K&N. I have used them on motorcycles for many years with good results. A couple of years ago at the Spartan Homecoming a vendor was selling the AFE washable filters (like K&N's) and they looked like a quality unit. However, when I asked the Spartan reps about them, they didn't recommend them so it made me leary. I'm sure the Racors are a quality item also but I was upset that the glue inside holding it together would fail after only one year and 7k miles. They get expensive replacing them every year.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:35 PM   #8
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harm - I'll go look....
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:59 AM   #9
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Since my 2004 DSDP, that now has 45,000 miles on it, has been new, the air indicator gauge has always read high. It stays right at 15. I talked to the service foreman at North Trail about it. He said not to worry about it and that most owner's replace their air filter before it is necessary.
I checked numerous gauges on brand new MHs everytime I am at North Trail and Lazy Days. Some are low readings while others are as high as mine and these MHs have only been driven from the factory to the lot.
I do my own periodic maintenence, so last year I changed the air filter, just out of curiosity, to see what the new reading would go to.
It still reads right at 15. After every trip, I reset the gauge. When I had the filter out I looked into the air intake tunnel to see if it was clear of debris, no problem. No kink in the gauge hose. I also get great mileage, so I am through worrying about it, until it starts to approach 20 on the gauge.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
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Here's some filter scoop. If your filter measures 13.5" x 18" the Racor/Ecolite part num is: 062891-004. You might find these locally (HD truck supply) and is worth a check. For me, Spartan seems to be the cheapest/easiest source. NAPA has a special order listing at a whopping $180.

I saw one custom made K&N filter a year or so that looked very slick ago and the guy said these folks did it for him: aFe Filters. I don't know what the scoop is now. Probably worth a call if you want to go that route. Franky, I see no reason for the oiled filter hassle when the paper cartridges are, well, at least easy.

Good luck and good air!
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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RVDude: I have checked with AFE and they quoted $259. with free shipping. I agree it's a hassle to wash out and re-oil plus that's roughly the cost of 3 filters from Spartan. I also agree Spartan has the best prices and being a SCIC member gets free shipping.
Thanks again for checking.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:33 PM   #12
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I would highly UNrecommend a K&N type filter. These are "low restriction" filters that you oil and can see a lot of light thru. The high compression of a diesel engine means that grit is about 5 times as destructive as in a gas rig. Last thing you need is an early rebuild due to cylinder scoring.

Lets see, $100/11,000 miles = 1 per mile for air filters. Rebuild = ~$18,000. OK, I'll buy stock air filters.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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After four years I barely get my vacuum gauge to show any vacuum. It makes me think that the gauge is broken or I have a leak. After checking it is neither. I believe that it is just the design where I have a large filter for a small engine, Cummins 5.9. I change my filter regardless at 3-4 years because the paper filter could become damages or deteriorate. There is no way to know when that happens unless you are running a measurable vacuum and suddenly there is no vacuum. On larger engines or with smaller filters you will see a vacuum and that is what I believe is being described in this thread. Twelve months is too short a time to require a filter change, and at least three years should be good for a filter change. In my opinion, the labor the change an air filter is the real factor. My access to the filter is poor and I expect that many others are the same way on DPs.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #14
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I have a '96 Sahara with a 300 CAT. The air filter is rated @ 1500CFM. About twice what a 7.2L CAT needs. The input and output holes are 7". I have 40K miles on this filter and presently my "vacumn gauge" reads 11. My air intake is under the rear bumper. Probably the worse location available.

On the Yahoo CAT engine forum, there was a discussion about the oiled filters just a day or two ago. Please, continue to use paper.

Ask your engine mfg. what the cfm requirements are, then see what your filter rating is. Then decide from there. Some M/H mfg's are installing filter systems that are just too small.

Jim
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