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  #1  
Old 04-24-2003, 03:39 PM
Gregg B
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Fun with fuel filters.

Hi all. Sunday night I had an unusual breakdown. I was driving down the highway and noticed, that I had used about 1/4 of a tank to go 60 miles and the last few cars that passed me all had their wipers on. Turns out there was a huge plume of fuel following me down the highway and I could actually see the fuel guage dropping. oddly there was no smell until I slowed down to below 40 mph. About a month ago I had replaced the fuel filters and the new metal one was slightly dented, "What could possibly go wrong?" As luck would have it the filter had ruptured on the bottom tiny crack about half inch long, amazing that it was flowing probably more than 1 gpm. The next day I replaced the filter with an undented one from NAPA and interestingly enough printed on the side of the NAPA filter was something to the effect that a dented filter may rupture or burst, no kidding. I shudder to think of spewing fuel like that in a gasoline car. So beware dented fuel filters, unless your car needs an undercoating.
Gregg

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  #2  
Old 04-24-2003, 04:04 PM
rickg's Avatar
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Eeeuuuw! Glad you caught it before it drained your tank all the way!
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'67 230
'84 SD
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'96 Corvette
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2003, 05:34 PM
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I had an injector line come off the day I bought my car. It probably happened in the inspection, I'm not sure. I also couldn't smell anything, but when the low fuel light came on, I knew there was a problem.

On the upside, I never realized what a great cleaner diesel is! I had the cleanest spankinest engine after that!

Thanks for the warning on dented filters! One more tidbit of knowledge for the data bank!
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2003, 09:09 PM
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Been there, done that. A leaking filter can spray an amazing amount of fuel in a short time. This was back when I first got the car. The filter had a little wrinkle in it which was where it split. In retrospect, I probably caused the problem by tightening the filter with a filter wrench instead of by using the top bolt. You can bet I don't do that anymore. Yet another good reason for carrying spare filters in the trunk.
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2004 C240 Wagon 203.261 Baby Benz
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2000 F-150, Destroying the Planet @ 20 mpg



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  #5  
Old 04-24-2003, 10:56 PM
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I got a leak in a secondary fuel fliter too. It was a small round hole and looked like it rusted thru from the inside. The filter had no manufacture's name on it and was installed by the PO so I didn't know where it came from or I would have taken it back for a replacement.

The filter had 40,000+ miles and showed no signs of fuel restriction. I know it had 40,000+ because PO had written the mileage on the filter can. I was low on fuel and lucky to get home before I ran empty.

P E H
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2003, 08:20 AM
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Too bad you were'nt dragging a chain behind you like some trucks do to dissipate static. Makes lots of sparks. Of course, a cigarette butt in the right place........

Ken300D
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2003, 09:35 AM
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Ken300D,

Have you ever tried to ignite Diesel fuel with a cigarette?

P E H
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2003, 11:35 AM
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I know. I was just dreaming.

Now, kids - don't try this at home. But diesel fuel will work pretty well in a pinch if you don't have any charcoal grill lighter fluid.



Ken300D
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2003, 07:04 AM
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Had the fuel return nipple on the last cylinder (closest to the firewall) of my 300D rupture once with similar results. I kept a spare one in the glovebox after that. Interesting to note that my E300 still uses a small piece of the same braided fuel hose. I would have hoped they would have engineering something more durable since they need replacement every 5-7 years.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2003, 09:48 AM
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Ockman,

My old 190D had a solid metal line for the injector overflows. It never leaked nor did it ever have to be replaced.

It also had a secondary fuel filter case that had a drain on the bottom thet could be opened to let out any water and a primary filter in a can that could be taken out of the can, cleaned and replaced.

Some advances in engineering equal decreases in quality and reliability.

P E H

Last edited by P.E.Haiges; 04-26-2003 at 09:54 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2003, 10:21 AM
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Yes, I remember that on my old 200D. The injector return lines were metal and there was no rubber cap on the last injector as it was all metal. The fuel filter cannister had a drain plug so you could drain out any crud or water. It had a bleed screw to bleed the air out as you pumped it up with the hand pump. The hand pump was solid too, not like the leaky $10 plastic pumps in the later ones. If you get water in your fuel with one of the spin on filters, there is no real way to know it is there, and no way to get it out except by changing the filter.
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2004 C240 Wagon 203.261 Baby Benz
2008 ML320 CDI Highway Cruiser
2006 Toyota Prius, Saving the Planet @ 48 mpg
2000 F-150, Destroying the Planet @ 20 mpg



TRUMP .......... WHITEHOUSE
HILLARY .........JAILHOUSE
BERNIE .......... NUTHOUSE
0BAMA .......... OUTHOUSE
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2003, 10:47 AM
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Palangi,

Isn't progress grand?

P E H
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2003, 10:54 AM
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Ockman,

I just had the return hoses from injector to injector let go after being abraded by contact with the inside surface of the cover and the normal engine vibration (63kmiles). That cover may look nice but it hides such damage and leads to discovering problems after they have had time to mature into bigger problems. Also, once one of these new models leaks at the injector return hoses, the fuel collects in those deep wells the injectors are sunk into, and does not become apparent until the whole area is flooded with Diesel fuel. At that point you don't get a faint Diesel fuel smell, it gets overwhelming as making a left turn allows a bunch of the stuff to leak onto the exhaust manifold. And it is more difficult to change the hoses with the injectors recessed like they are, not to say how you get the fuel out from around them.

Like PEH says, there are some changes that make things less reliable and robust. While the engine compartments these days are looking as spiffy as the interiors of the cars, they are full of poor compromises for the long term owner's perspective. Some hardly seem like engineering of any sort was involved (like the changes to make things look neater by covering it all in plastic) while others are just lame engineering solutions to either get the job done by a deadline or meet a cost reduction goal. Changes like having to take the intake manifold off to do damn near anything but change oil fall into the latter category.

Well, now that that is off my chest I will go to Home Depot and spend money on products to grow a thicker lawn faster so I can spend time chasing my sons down to mow it all summer. Jim

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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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