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  #1  
Old 11-27-2006, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA
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FM100 pre-filter upgrade: easy install, adds water seperation, inexpensive...

Overview: this upgrade addresses the concern some have over the absence of a fuel/water separator in 123s, and adds an excellent pre-filter that should increase both the final filter’s efficiency and life.

Top View (install details follow):


Parts:
Stanadyne FM100 30 micron pre-filter water seperator assembly (3/8" NPT ports)
go to www.reliableindustries.com or call 800-693-4583, order part#33641 - LINK for a measely $32.68

other parts you'll need:
  • ~4' 5/16 fuel hose
  • 2 hose clamps
  • brass fittings: 2x - bushings 3/8 to 1/8, 2x - 3/8 plugs, 2x - 1/8 street elbows, 2x - 1/8 to 5/16 hose
  • teflon tape
  • stainless steel mounting hardware: 2x - 5/16x1-1/4" bolts, 4x - flat washers, 2x - 5/16 nuts, 2x - 5/16 self-locking nuts

the install:
1. assemble all brass fittings on the filter head.

2. attach the short section of hose to the intake and the in-line pre-filter

3. mount filter
drill 2 5/16" holes
insert 1-1/4 bolts from the back, put a little permanent locktite (red) on the first 1/4 inch of exposed threads, then tighten down nuts over the locktite against the sheetmetal (this creates your filter mounting posts), then add flat washers, filter head, flat washers, self-locking nuts



4. attach remaining fuel hoses

5. pre-fill FM100 with a good fuel additive (unscrew large black filter assembly cap by hand and pour additive in).

6. prime system with OEM hand pump

7. drive - you're done!

additional images:


in-line's already catching crud:


Clear Bowl Water Reservior Option:
you can see in the pics that i have an additional clear bowl water reservior installed. this is an easy screw-on option - part#29899 $26.96 from reliable. i happened to have this one already, so i installed it but it's hard to view so i will probably leave it off when i replace the filter.

FM100 water removal efficiency:
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Last edited by SUNRG; 11-27-2006 at 03:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2006, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North central Texas
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Very nice install!
Any idea what the filter elemnts cost?
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2006, 12:47 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeydan View Post
Very nice install!
Any idea what the filter elemnts cost?
thanks!

the 4.3" element that comes with the assembly is part#31865 - $11.17
a 6.0" replacement element is part#31869 - $13.06.

i will probably go with the 6.0" when i replace the filter since it should last even longer.

FWIW - i have a FM100 installed as the final filter on my VW TDI and did this writeup:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?p=1121994

cheers!
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:11 AM
makin' a mutt
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 20
Nice install. Thanks for posting! Are you going to put in the drag-pointer restriction gauge on your 123, too, like on your VW? And if so, please post up your WOT restriction numbers so we can all be lazy.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:16 AM
ForcedInduction
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Nice! Too bad that corner of my bay is so cluttered already....
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarweasel View Post
Nice install. Thanks for posting! Are you going to put in the drag-pointer restriction gauge on your 123, too, like on your VW? And if so, please post up your WOT restriction numbers so we can all be lazy.
Thanks! I'm not going to install drag-pointer restriction gauge on my MB just because the MB filter (30-micron) should have much less restriction than the VW (5-micron) and the fuel flow rate on the MB is much less than the VW. The VW uses less fuel of course, but it relies more heavily on fuel to cool the injection system - so in the VW fuel that's not injected passes through a fuel cooler and returns to the tank at a relatively fast flow rate (compared to the MB).

And, if you go with the 6" replacement filter restriction will be even less...

Cheers!
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:13 PM
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Does anyone know the filtration micron size of the stock MB filter(s)?
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:48 PM
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R, nice pictures and write-up !! Why is there so much crud in that pre-filter?? Did that car sit a long time?
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2006, 12:50 PM
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Doesn't the filter on VW diesels have a water separator built-in? It probably wouldn't be as stout as the setup you installed but would probably be a lot cheaper to just grab the filter assembly from an old diesel VW.

Edit: Just read this:
Quote:
FWIW - i have a FM100 installed as the final filter on my VW TDI and did this writeup:
So I guess the VW one isn't sufficient.
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2006, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeydan View Post
Does anyone know the filtration micron size of the stock MB filter(s)?
yes, the 123 final filter (spin on) = >20% at 5 microns:



Quote:
Originally Posted by uberwgn
R, nice pictures and write-up !! Why is there so much crud in that pre-filter?? Did that car sit a long time?
yes, i purchased it from a guy that wasn't using it anymore. the revitalization has begun! i'm going to drain the tank and replace the tank strainer the next time the fuel guage gets down near E.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justperkins
Doesn't the filter on VW diesels have a water separator built-in? It probably wouldn't be as stout as the setup you installed but would probably be a lot cheaper to just grab the filter assembly from an old diesel VW.

Edit: Just read this:

Quote:
FWIW - i have a FM100 installed as the final filter on my VW TDI and did this writeup:

So I guess the VW one isn't sufficient.
the FM100 replaced the OEM filter in my TDI - and i added an MB in-line pre-filter to the VW setup.

stock A4 VW TDI fuel filters do have a water seperator, BUT, the filtration efficiency is no where near as good as a FM100 5-micron. for example: OEM = 58% at 3-5 micron; FM100 5-micron: 92% at 2-micron, 95% at 5-micron, 95%+ of emusified water and 98% of free water.

replacing the FM100 (~$14) elements is cheaper (and much easier) than replacing VW A4 OEM filters ($29).

cheers!
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Last edited by SUNRG; 11-28-2006 at 02:31 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2006, 02:41 PM
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R:

I am very curious to see how much water you capture. I'll be checking in with you periodically
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2006, 03:54 PM
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Excellent! Iíll add that to my list of things to do.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2006, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberwgn View Post
I am very curious to see how much water you capture. I'll be checking in with you periodically
FWIW - which fuel additive you use (if any) can have a great effect on whether you can capture and drain off any water. If you use no additives you're probably going to be able to capture and drain off water. Stanadyne Performance Formula is one of the few additives that will enhance your fuel filter's ability to remove water. Most other additives will increase the fuel's ability to hold water in a micro-emulsion that can safely pass through your fuel system.

Here's some interesting reading regarding the type of micro-emulsion that Total/Elf, Primrose and FPPF additives use:

Quote:
I inquired about how this new Elf Diesel Performance Additive "eliminates" water, and below is the excellent response from one of Elf's engineers. But first some technical vocabulary - I only post this because I looked the words up to confirm I was understanding their meanings:

surfactant = a surface-active substance

oleophilic = having a strong affinity for oils rather than water

oleophobic = lacking affinity for oils

micelle = a submicroscopic aggregation of molecules

Quote:
It's not so much that water is eliminated; water is actually emulsified or encapsulated into the fuel and therefore stabilized. This is the way it works:

The surfactant based additive technology enables water, a polar liquid, to be dissolved in hydrocarbon fuels such as diesel and gasoline. The surfactant additive molecules achieve this by surrounding the water molecules with their oleophobic (polar loving / hydrocarbon fuel hating) groups, whilst their oleophilic (hydrocarbon fuel loving) groups point outwards into the bulk of the fuel. Effectively, the surfactant molecules form a micelle with the water molecules at the center. Since the olephilic groups point outwards into the fuel, the droplets formed is soluble in the diesel fuel or gasoline.

Vast numbers of these droplets are formed and held in suspension in the fuel. This is called a micro-emulsion. The micelles formed are very small and not visible to the naked eye. They are able to pass through fuel system and be burnt in the engine without blocking filters or causing any problems. By holding water in the bulk of the fuel in this manner, the additives prevent water from separating at the bottom of the fuel tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Byrnzoil
yes I really do rinse and re-use my primary filters
this sounds scary - i don't think i want to know the details...

FWIW - i have a CAT fluids analysis lab just down the road from both my home and office. oil analysis can help you determine and take actions to minimize engine wear. providing your engine with clean fuel and clean air greatly enhances your oils ability to perform optimally - and do so for an entire extended drain interval. this of course results in better performing, longer wearing engines. knowing this, i never take shortcuts regarding fuel and air filtration. [re: clean air, i recently discovered that the Hengst air filters have probably double the filtration area (twice as many pleats) as the Purolator 123 filter available at my local auto parts chain.]

cheers!
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2006, 07:46 PM
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Very interesting, I've been wondering about options for water separation systems. Thanks for the great writeup. Once I've got the 300D back on the road, I'd love to catch up and take a look at what you've got.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2006, 07:50 PM
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Nice setup.. I might have to buy that as a Christmas gift to the Mercedes.

so far the car is getting about 80% of my christmas wish list
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