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Old 06-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Unhappy FUEL FILTER on Diesel Winnebago Vectra

I drained the water from the fuel filter and apparently I have overdone it. When I started the engine it run for about 20 seconds and turned off by itself. I was unable to start it again.

I tryied to start it pressing the gas pedal, without, short cranks, long ones however all under 30 seconds at the time. Now my battery gave out and I am using a charging unit.

I replaced the Fuel Filter with a new one and filled it with diesel. I do not see any shut off valves around the fuel filter and do not know how prime or to bleed the system.

Please help,


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Old 06-04-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Hi Allen... it would help if you modified your signature line to include the chassis and engine you have. The process for priming the fuel filter is different on Cat than for Cummins for example.

I just replaced that filter on my 07 Ellipse and it went well so I'll share what I learned about the process for my Cummins ISL400.

Cummins, for most coaches made after around 2000, states that the filter should NOT be prefilled but rather their priming process should be used. I believe this is to avoid introducing unfiltered fuel into the engine... and because it is not needed because there is an electric fuel pump to prime the new pump.

The process for priming as I understand it is to replace the filter... remember to replace the O-Ring type gasket which goes around the shaft. Turn the ignition key to the on position but do not crank. Leave the key on for 15 seconds or so and then turn it off. Repeat this process 6 times. This is supposed to prime the new filter but I had to do it about 10 times... and then crank the engine. I had to crank for 10 or 20 seconds a couple of times before it fired up but then all was ok.

I don't think you wanted to be cranking it with the accellerator pedal depressed so I hope you didn't introduce too much fuel into the engine by doing that but that's kind of over my head.

Keep up posted and good luck.


Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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You need to give the year and model of your coach. Also engine make and model. Different engines bleed air in different ways.
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:21 PM   #4
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Year and engine in year Vectra? In general diesels have a priming system that you need to follow. Your post lead one to suspect that you created an air leak on the low pressure side of the filter which is sucking air in causing a lost of prime. Or something just failed. Also wonder about the water. I have owned diesels for over ten years and never drained more that a ounce or two of water. And if you just opened the valve on the bottom of the filter you should not have caused the problem. However, you possibly left it draining for a while allowing the filter be filled with air which would be a problem. If it is a system which has an electric pump in the tank then you turn on the pump and let its pressure force the water out. Need more details.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:57 PM   #5
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Can't help with your question. But welcome to the forum. Many happy and safe miles.
2011 Coachmen Concord, Ford E450
DRosedale, BRosedale and Yorkies, Max, Molly, Harley
Pineville, LA
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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Our Horizon/Vectra with the Cat 300 has a priming pump accessed through a panel under the bed. The pump is on the passenger side of the engine near the fuel filter. The handle must be turned counter-clockwise to unlock, pump as many times as necessary until it is pressurized. Be sure to lock the pump handle in the full down position.

Once the system has been pressurized, the engine should start.

It doesn't take long to do the actual priming, it takes more time to clean out under the bed and remove the access cover so I usually prefill the filters.

Hope this helps.
Denny, Connie & Shadow (former barn cat made good)
2006 Tiffin Phaeton, Cat C7, Freightliner Chassis
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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I would like to first say Thank You to each and every one of you sending help my way.

The coach is 1995 Winnebago Vectra 35RQ with Cummins 225HP.

It finally got started! In the process the battery got weaker and I replaced it. Before touching the fuel filter the engine was running perfect. I began my attempts to re-start after draining the water from the fuel filter that is located next to the spare tire about 5 minutes worth, by holding down the gas pedal (not pumping) while cranking. Unsuccessful many attempts.

I replaced the fuel filter by the spare tire with a new one, filled it with diesel and many attempts of key on 15 seconds and off (thanks to RickO's suggestion) almost started for about 3-4 seconds and off again. After each "start" I had to add fuel to the fuel filter.

Then I took Martin's suggestion to look under the bed for the shut off valve. I was not able to see anything that resembled a shut off valve; however I discovered a short hose bent 90 degrees sitting above the second fuel filter that was badly damaged and broken. There was nothing around it to rub against and the way it was damaged was unexplainable. I took it to Freightliner Truck parts and the clerk said it could be a water hose. I was unable to tell what kind of fluid passed through it since it did not smell like neither coolant nor Diesel. The cost of the small 4" hose was $25(!?!).

At this point I also replaced the second Fuel Filter that was next to the engine (near the rubber hose mentioned above), filled it with fuel and repeated the 15 second on and off rule. After about 3 attempts it started.

I gave as much info as I could to hopefully find the real reason behind it not starting. Was it that small hose? Is that water as the clerk suggested or fuel? Why was it so badly damaged?
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:43 AM   #8
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Not sure about the hose but we went through the same thing with our Vectra with a Cummins 350 ISC. I went to drain the water from the fuel filter/water separator, got none, and it quit after a few seconds when started. I uderstand Cummins suggests not priming the filter but a friend that works for Detroit Diesel told me it is not a problem just pour the fuel in the small holes in the filter, not the center since the small ones are where it normally enters. I just plugged the middle with my thumb and had DW carefully pour the fuel. Bingo! Started and ran NP that was 1600 miles ago.

We carry both filters and a gallon can of diesel for this just in case.

Mark & Nancy
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40KD
Shep dog, R.I.P. Kenzie dog Toad 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
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fuel filter change, won't start

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