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Old 05-15-2021, 02:59 PM   #1
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Stuck in Cape Charles... need help

Well we're on our first RV trip since Sept; arrived at Cherrystone CG on Thurs. Engine seemed a bit "off".. just no accel like what it should be, and we have no toad with us. So I'm thinking the fuel fill I did last Sept, may be the problem... maybe bad fuel or old. This morning I shut off the fuel line valves right at the filter housing, removed the filter, cleaned out the water-sep bowl (dirty). and emptied the filter into a clear container. It looked very dark.

Installed new filter, being careful to make sure the new o-rings were lubed and in place, and made sure the old one on the threaded boss, was removed prior to installing the new.

Opened fuel shut-off valve, and turned the key. Fired up as expected, then died. Many attempts to re-start (cranking 15-20 seconds, rest for half minute, repeat. Cranks, but no start.

I pulsed air from my Kobalt compressor air hose into the fuel fill. Then checked the filter bowl, and it is full. Repeated the attempts to start, but still no go.

Looked for mobile mechanics in the Cape Charles area, and found no one available. Looking for suggestions. This was to be a quick weekend getaway, and I did not bring tools this trip. I have only a small adjustable wrench, pliers, screwdriver. Not much, to get me out of this mess.

Anyone?
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Old 05-15-2021, 03:15 PM   #2
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You need to tell us what ENGINE you have if you want anything but generalities.
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Old 05-15-2021, 03:54 PM   #3
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Yes, sorry, that would help. 2002 Cat 3126B, only has a primary fuel filter with water sep bowl. No secondary filter and no manual prime pump. There is fuel to the new fuel filter I installed today. If the fuel is to the filter, it probably should be to the lift pump, as I used compressed air at the fuel fill neck. So I thinking that unless the HUEI pump is bad, the engine should have started by now.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2021, 04:07 PM   #4
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Correct. Do NOT assume your HEUI pump just happened to fail at exactly the same moment you changed the fuel filter.


Charge chassis battery overnight and try again in the morning.


Separate question-- is your primary filter housing Caterpillar YELLOW? If so there will be two bolts holding a blockoff plate where a manual primer pump can be fit. Yes, Chassis makers ARE ruled by bean counters, so they would not have ordered the manual primer pump. Any Caterpillar dealer will have the primer pump and gasket in stock, but you can likely find exactly the same pump on any Caterpillar equipment from the last 20+ years.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:24 PM   #5
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Are you sure there isn’t a second fuel filter. Took service personnel 7 years before they found “well what is that doing there” on my C7.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:38 PM   #6
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Brett,
Thanks for the reply. The filter housing is just an unpainted aluminum block. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-15-2021, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firedoc View Post
Are you sure there isn’t a second fuel filter. Took service personnel 7 years before they found “well what is that doing there” on my C7.
I'm pretty sure; I've had this rig for 18 years, but anything is possible. I'll know more tomorrow, as I am tired and not digging any further until morning.

I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:52 PM   #8
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During my years of construction and boating , we started diesel equipment and boats that were run until empty .

If you can access the air intake , we sprayed WD-40 into the intake . It would start the engine long enough to prime the fuel system .

This was on naturally aspirated diesels , so I don't know if it would work on a turbo .

But hey , it could be worth a try .
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:57 PM   #9
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If your rig has grid heaters I wouldn't spry WD40 into the air intake, it might go Boom!
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:37 PM   #10
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What is the fuel color in the filter today? If the MH was stored with a partial tank of fuel it could have became contaminated with water/condensation in the empty space in the tank.
This moisture contamination can cause microbal growth which caused major fuel problems.
reference:https://criticalfueltech.com/faq
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:27 AM   #11
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CaptBill, We had a 2003 Journey 36LD. First filter change I did did not fill the filter with diesel before I put it on. Ran 30 second and died.
Filled the filter with diesel then put air in the fuel fill until fuel came out the exit port on the fuel filter. Still would not start. So opened the line at top of the engine until full come out.
Thinking back if I remember right the engine finally started when I just pulsed the starter a couple of seconds instead of several seconds. Be careful and don't over heat the starter.
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Old 05-16-2021, 04:00 PM   #12
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Update:

I spoke to my good friend last evening; a retired auto and diesel equipment mechanic and retired jet engine mechanic. He drove the nearly 3 hours to Cape Charles early this morning, with a bag full of tools, ether, and a gallon of clean diesel fuel. After seeing/hearing it try to start, and seeing clean fuel in the new fuel filter bowl, he decided to remove the large duct on the intake side of the air filter, then introduced short pulses of ether into the air filter as I hit the starter. Fired up right away, and ran as long as he kept pulsing the ether. After close to a minute though, she picked up the diesel fuel and I had accelerator response and she kept running.

So as others have experienced, in spite of Cat's instruction NOT to pre-fill fuel filters, I think the consensus would agree to do pre-fill, carefully so as not to get any fuel in the large center opening. I have a tapered rubber stopper that I can use to plug that, or I think better may be to buy a short pipe nipple of the correct thread, and screq it in place for the pre-fill.

I do wonder if a fuel filter can be "pre-filled" just as effectively by using compressed air into the fuel filler neck, forcing fuel into the filter. Since I have shutoff valves on both the inlet and outlet side at the filter, I'm thinking this idea may work just fine.

Also wondering if any of you have installed a drain valve at the bottom of your fuel tank, in order to drain water and dirt that probably has accumulated over all the years. Thoughts, comments?
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Old 05-16-2021, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captbill View Post


Glad you got it going!


So as others have experienced, in spite of cat's instruction not to pre-fill fuel filters, i think the consensus would agree to do pre-fill, carefully so as not to get any fuel in the large center opening.


That advice (install dry) assumes (ya, assumes) that you have a manual primer pump. Your chassis maker choose a less expensive option.





I do wonder if a fuel filter can be "pre-filled" just as effectively by using compressed air into the fuel filler neck, forcing fuel into the filter. Since i have shutoff valves on both the inlet and outlet side at the filter, i'm thinking this idea may work just fine.


Yes, this works. Do not tighten the filter. Apply 3-5 psi to the filler, blocking off the vent if separate. Tighten the filter when fuel with no bubbles comes out.


If you choose to pre-fill the filter, make sure you only fill the outer holes (the inlets), not the large center hole (the outlet).

BTW, using ether/starting fluid on your engine-- actually any engine with an intake manifold heater is really NOT recommended. Ether on red hot wires......




Reply in bold.
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Old 05-16-2021, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
What is the fuel color in the filter today? If the MH was stored with a partial tank of fuel it could have became contaminated with water/condensation in the empty space in the tank.
This moisture contamination can cause microbal growth which caused major fuel problems.
reference:https://criticalfueltech.com/faq
Ray, and everyone else here, thanks for your contribution to this thread. The fuel I drained from the old fuel filter and sediment bowl, was very dark gray. Looked terrible, but the fuel being drawn from the tank this morning has a light clear amber color, so it looks fine.

I did add a bottle of K100 fuel conditioner this morning, but I regularly also add a bottle of Amsoil performance improver and injector cleaner at every fill. I'll use the rest of what's in the tank before I do another fill, and I'd like to see if I can add a drain valve/petcock, to know there no water or contaminants in the tank.
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