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Old 06-27-2015, 08:26 PM   #1
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Prime Fuel Filter?

Thinking of doing my own maintenance to save about 200 bucks. Oil filter, oil and lube doesn't look like a problem, but the fuel filter sounds like it might be a challenge. My CAT 300 3126B has two fuel filters and I've read somewhere that one of them needs to be primed, so is it the regular filter or the water separator filter?? How difficult is it? Or am I better off letting Freightliner do it all for just under $300??
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:32 PM   #2
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I do my on just fill the fuel filters with clean fuel pour it in the little holes not the big center hole if possible.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:11 PM   #3
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Thinking of doing my own maintenance to save about 200 bucks. Oil filter, oil and lube doesn't look like a problem, but the fuel filter sounds like it might be a challenge. My CAT 300 3126B has two fuel filters and I've read somewhere that one of them needs to be primed, so is it the regular filter or the water separator filter?? How difficult is it? Or am I better off letting Freightliner do it all for just under $300??
sgtjoe,
Most maintenance on diesel units is actually quite easy. Once you do it for the first time, it will be old hat to you. As you've noted, your 3126 will have two fuel filters. There's been just a few novels written on here about changing them. It's pretty basic and straight forward.

1st, if possible, have the coach full of fuel and, sitting level. Believe me, it makes quite a difference. Second, if you can, have the primary one, the one with the water separator ready. By that I mean, if you can afford it, purchase another water separator and, have it already screwed on to the base of the new filter. Then, have that new filter already filled.

As has been stated, when you fill or, "prime" a new fuel filter, do your utmost best to block the center hole with your thumb, something that seals it but, will not deposit lint or any other particles and, then using whatever means you have at your disposal, fill the new filter using the small holes. A couple-two or three, clean "Catchup squeeze bottles works great.

Then, when your old filter is removed, you simply set it down and, pickup your new filter, pre-filled w/water separator and, install it. You have the least amount of chance to contaminate that system by not having apart too long. It's not an Indy Pit crew tire change, it's merely a fuel filter change.

Now, as far as your secondary filter, on some coaches, that one is one serious pain in the a$$ to get to and service. Winne, Itasca and many others must of thought it was real funny when they built that engine bay so close to the proximity of that secondary fuel filter. But, it can be done, with some patience and, a few words you don't want the kids to hear.

About 99% of the secondary filters have right along side them, a priming pump. It's a little knob that you can push-pull in short strokes to prime the system, after you change that secondary filter.

I'd do the work and change it if I were you. That way you get to learn the coach, see where things are, inspect things that you would normally not see, check out the general conditions and all that. Not to mention, that's a few hundred bucks that you can use for diesel fuel and TRIPS!
Scott
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:19 PM   #4
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Thanks Scott, I thought the separator was going to be the PITA and it's easy access. I'll look for the other fuel filter in the morning.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:29 PM   #5
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I change my oil filter & oil, 2 fuel filters and greased all of the Zerk Fittings on my 330 CAT and Freightliner frame this spring and it cost me $152.98. I surprised Freightliner only charges $300.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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I changed my filters on my 2009 Safari Chetah with a C-7. Cat is pretty adamant that you should not prefill the filters, you can get contamination in the filters. Even the diesel that your filling it with is not filtered.
What they recommend is that you put them on dry. I changed the water separator one first and then changed the particulate filter. Make sure your fuel tank is full so the fuel doesn't siphon back to the tank. Once the filters are changed use the priming pump. It takes a lot of strokes to prime it, probably like close to 100. Once it becomes hard to pump, pump it a few more times and start it up. Mine didn't skip a beat and all the fuel is filtered as it should be going into the engine. By the way they recommend putting the oil filter on dry as well.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:18 AM   #7
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Do NOT prime, you are putting unfiltered fuel in your system, I'm sure some will read differently.........
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:24 AM   #8
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There are those who have airlocked and those that will. Carefully prefill and save yourself some grief.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:46 AM   #9
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I don't think the term " air locked" is correct. It sounds so final. You can loose prime, but there are procedures to prime engines.

Otherwise what would you do, if you ran them out of fuel. Yes, I know, pull the filters and fill them with dirty fuel.

30 years servicing diesels, never filled a filter and always got them running.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:09 PM   #10
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Well Gang,
CAT can be as "adamant" as they want in not filling the filters before starting but, it's NOT THEIR ENGINE, IT'S MINE! And, if any of you had read my story on the "no start after fuel filter change" thread, you'd see what I'm talking about. People say your filling your filter with "dirty fuel". Well, guess what, you're doing the same exact thing when the filters get their fuel from the tank.

That's why folks with any experience, fill them utilizing the small holes, not the CENTER ONE. But, anyway, we can argue filling or not filling them 'till hell freezes over but, I learned my lesson. I will fill them every time for the rest of my life to prevent the troubles I encountered.

One of you mentioned "drain back" into the tank if the tank is lower and, not full. Well, that's EXACTLY what happened to me. Talk about a serious pain in the a$$ to re-start with an empty filter, and empty tank-to-filter line and, an empty-line-to HEUI pump.

The one time I followed the instructions in a CAT engine book to NOT FILL THE FILTER, it created all kinds of havoc. So, after about 24 hours of non-start and different approaches at remedies, the wife and I finally got it started by pressuring the fuel tank and, loosening various lines at various points to allow air to escape and fuel to flow. Once I had that situation at the HEUI pump, I was basically good to go.

But, to NEVER HAVE THAT SITUATION AGAIN, I installed fuel shut-off valves, one before the ONE AND ONLY filter I have and, one AFTER it. Now, when it comes time to change that ONE AND ONLY FUEL FILTER I have, all I do is, one quarter turn on each shut-off valve and, there's positively no drain back and, no siphoning of fuel from the base of the HEUI pump.

I fill the filter with fuel in the small holes, install it, open both valves and, that engine never even knows the filter was changed.
Scott


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Old 06-28-2015, 01:24 PM   #11
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Well Gang,


I fill the filter with fuel in the small holes, install it, open both valves and, that engine never even knows the filter was changed.
Scott


That is an awesome idea
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:11 PM   #12
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I have done the same thing to mine.... easy to replace fuel filter.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:13 PM   #13
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Great idea. Thanks for posting pics guys
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:34 PM   #14
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The first time I changed the filters on my Cummins (dry), I did all the things they say to do and couldn't get the coach to start. That was the first and last time I did that. I always prefill my filters. It doesn't make sense to say you can add contaminated fuel. It;s the same fuel the engine gets from the tank. Matter of fact, my 2 gallon plastic container is probably cleaner than my fuel tank.


Lastly, I would NEVER install an oil filter, as large as these engines take, dry. My Cummins filter holds just shy of a gallon. Do you really want to run your engine while you're waiting for a gallon of oil to fill the filter????
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