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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel


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  #1  
Old 10-14-2019, 05:19:06 PM
llafro llafro is offline
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Default Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

I am thinking I need to put bigger fuel filters on my Detroit Diesel 3-71 generator. We got a bad load of fuel, and it pretty much killed the filters. Until we got the tank drained and refilled, it would foul out a set of filters in a matter of hours. With bigger filters the engine should be able to stay running longer. The current setup uses a fuel/water separator Napa #3123 that's about 6-1/2" long with a fuel filter Napa #3122 that's about 3-3/8". What would be a good setup to use that won't break the bank to change the filters each time?
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:58:53 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

If there is a lot of crap in the fuel tank, or the fuel itself, you wil foul filters until its cleaned out. biggger filters will help somewhat but you also get a better chance of smaller crap getting thru and messing with your pump and injectors. Water in the engine is a piston killer for sure Dump the fuel, clean out the tank and lines, install fresh filters. If you have oi heat, you might be able to use the fuel there, an oil burner is more forgiving than your engine!If you do not clean out the tank, you wil never get rid of the contamination, you will just keep ruining filters.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:59:19 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

IF it was my set, I would use the NAPA filters you have, but install two sets of them with 3 port selector valves. Those filters or other brand replacements are commonly available, larger versions may not be.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:19:13 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

Buy clean fuel, keep it clean, is the only real answer. If you put bigger filters on it, they will just find a way to deliver more dirt in your fuel and plug them anyway.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:42:20 PM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

It would seem to me that the filters are cleaning up the fuel, since it recirculates clean fuel back to the tank while the engine is running. What is the cost of filters vs value and disposal of the fuel? Run it long enough, and the fuel in the tank will be clean.

I like the idea of two sets of filters, for the instant switch over to a clean set, allowing you to change the clogged ones while the engine is running.

Keith
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:27:25 PM
llafro llafro is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

The fuel that was in the tank has been drained and refilled now. I'm only wondering for future use what I should do with the filters, if anything. We've put 11,000 hours on the generator using the current filtration setup. We change them every 500 hours and it hasn't been an issue - until it was...

It's bad enough to have to pay for fuel, it's worse when you have to pay someone to drain it from the tank and then pay to dispose of the contaminated fuel.

It could have been much worse. The genset powers a railroad passenger car. Most of the work we do is in Canada. In the winter. A generator failure there can cause a lot of damage to the plumbing. We can drain the water, but you never quite get it all. The only thing it hurt this time was a fridge full of spoiled food.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:06:57 AM
miltruck miltruck is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

I agree with everyone to drain, flush and refill the fuel system with clean fuel (which I guess you have done).
Go to the WIX site and look up your filters (#33123 and 33122) and then you can go to their search engine and check on longer filters with the same base dimensions. If you have room I would install the longest filter I could fit in place of your current filters. Quickly, I found a primary filter #33418 which is 8.4" tall and a secondary filter #33920 which is 7" tall. But this is entirely your decision, don't just take my selections as gospel.
Good luck
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:02:50 PM
llafro llafro is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by miltruck View Post
I agree with everyone to drain, flush and refill the fuel system with clean fuel (which I guess you have done).
Go to the WIX site and look up your filters (#33123 and 33122) and then you can go to their search engine and check on longer filters with the same base dimensions. If you have room I would install the longest filter I could fit in place of your current filters. Quickly, I found a primary filter #33418 which is 8.4" tall and a secondary filter #33920 which is 7" tall. But this is entirely your decision, don't just take my selections as gospel.
Good luck
Thanks. I will take a look at those. The secondary filter is mounted to the wall of the generator housing, so longer is not a problem. The primary may be an issue to go longer in its current location. It can be moved if not.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:04:16 PM
enginenut2 enginenut2 is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel filtration for Detroit Diesel

Our plant was assigned an older crane from our fleet in the deep south coast area that immediately became a big problem from the carrier engine filters plugging in a very short time.The upper engine with a separate tank had no problem--it ran a lot more since the carrier was almost always driven only a short distance, then after setup was shut down--maybe for days. The tank was found to have the algae living in it that we hear about but had never experienced personally. The filters were plugging with a fine black powder like material. No satisfactory cleaning was found until the tank was removed-pressure washed and steamed through a sizable opening allowing direct cleaning with the pressure washer. I hope you don't have this mess. As I understand it the algae lives in the interface between the fuel and water under it. Algaecide to help prevent it is available but is not a help in removing what is already there.
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