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Discussion Starter #1
Is the factory fuel filter really a bad design? If so, give your thoughts and oppinions as to why.
 

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Fatcat,


I have been sitting on the fence for quite a while on this filter thing. (I hope not too long.) After getting information overload from all these posts, today I went by the dealership and asked the diesel tech what he thought. His response was "They have some problems with injectors and pumps. I believe that GM is making some changes on their filters. In the meantime if you want to keep your truck past the 100k mile warranty I would suggest adding a filter. If you get one, bring it by and I'll install it."


That is all I know. I ordered a filter kit today.


Lee
 

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I think it is a great design, so long as your goal is not clean fuel or effective water separation.
I am not even an expert, but the first time I held a replacement filter in my hand my honest reaction was....You must be kidding!!!!. That was BEFORE I learned about the forums!!!!
In my opinion if it was as effective as they claim it is, we would all still be better off with secondary filtration. When I'm out of warranty I will look to replace the factory filter. SPICER
 

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IMHO it's not really that bad, for it's size. I don't believe you can get where we need to be with one filter if it can't be considerbly larger than the stock one. My opinion is that you need two filters. First one should be about a 10 micron or so and the second should be about a 2 micron. Water seperation should not be done in the filter. If water is a problem then a seperate seperator should be in place prior to any filters. I realize this is in a perfect world and we don't live in one. No I don't currently have such a system, but a machinest I met here is making me an adapter so that I can replace the stock filter with a 2 micron and I intend to run a 10 micron similar to the nicktane setup. Maybe even a nicktane, I haven't decided yet. I believe once the fuel is in your tank it's too late to seperate it. You need to disperse it so I don't intend to have a seperator. My opinion and probably worth what it cost.


glclary summed it up pretty well.
 

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Let's see, rusted right out of the box, and they've been known to come apart internally, allowing the fuel to self-clean the dirty side and carry the accumulated crud right out the outlet. Yep, Racor makes good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was just curious about it's filtration abilities because everyone seems to hate them soo much. I realise it may be a little on the small side, but as far as its ability to clean the fuel?


I did not realize that the element has been known to come apart inside. Never seen one do that. Obviously that would create some serious problems. But for one to get a hole sucked through the element, wouldn't it have had to have been plugged really bad? And the truck be run with a plugged filter long enough for the suction pump to pull a hole in the element?


I guess my thinking here is that if the filter can get plugged solid within just 10-20K miles or less, to the point where the truck looses power from fuel starvation, then the filter is actually doing it's job very well.


To get plugged that bad and that fast, it has got to be stopping a very large amount of crud!


I would be more worried about the filter if it could go for 100,000 miles without pluging up solid because then it is obviously not stopping the crud. Just letting it pass through the element.
 

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There are probably more threads on this forum and others then one could read on the inadequate OEM fuel filter. Numerous fuel tests have also been done with and without secondary filters ... enough information to convince me the OEM is inadequate for our engines. If GM is in the process of providing a secondary fuel filter setup (and they are) IMO this only reinforces the fact the OEM filter is not adequate to provide the protection the injectors need.
 

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Racor makes quality filters. Racor is very well known in the diesel industry. They are used in ship, boats, and big generator sets to name a few.

The OEM filter is produced to GM/Isuzu specifications, including cost. Racor should be careful with this specific filter cause I don't think it's helping their reputation. On the other hand, the people that use the industrial Racor products probably don't know about this end of their business.

I run a big Racor R90S fuel filter that no doubt is an entirely different animal than the stock filter.

Here are a couple of comparison pics...

Comparison

Here are my install pics

I don't promote my particular filter setup as being any better than the other choices. I do feel it is protecting my fuel injection system from excessive dirt that the OEM has been proven to let by. As far as the OEM filter falling apart.... I think that is a very rare occurrance.Edited by: hoot
 

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Based on independent Fuel Test Results for the OEM filter alone, the RACOR OEM filter is not as efficient as claimed. It may perform well in a lab environment but test results from at least two fuel samples taken from in-service filters indicate other wise.

See Kennedy's and Mdrag's test results for the OEM filter ALONE and compare them to the pump fuel values (pre-filter) in the Fuel Test Results file. The numbers tell the story…

OEM Only, ISO Codes (2u/5u/15u Target ISO 15/13/10)
JK: 16/14/11
Mdrag: 19/17/10

OEM >2u Efficiency - OEM ONLY filtered output compared to unfiltered pump fuel input
JK: 44%
Mdrag: 16%

Also see ISO Contamination Code Table for an explanation of the ISO codes.

Edited by: jbplock
 

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1FatCat, I want to commend you for asking this question. It shows that you are interested in the content and basis of some of the concerns we've been voicing and the beginnings of an unbiased approach to the questions.
 

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I believe the single filter design on our trucks is marginal (Not saying it is bad, just marginal). The quality of fuel varies from station to station, city to city, etc.


There was a study/test conducted several years ago (SAE Paper # 980869 - High Pressure Injection System Wear Study) that evaluated a Cummins fuel injection system. The end result supported the ISO Cleanliness Code of 15/13/10 that George Morrison (the sites lubespecialist) has been pushing as a goal for our trucks. In the study, when fuel was above the 15/13/10 level, injector wear was above normal.


Now look at the Fuel Analysis Spreadsheet that has been maintained by forum members. You will see that, when the OEM filter is used by itself, it fails to meet the 15/13/10 goal. Its close but never meets the 15/13/10 criteria. That is why I say it is marginal. There is room for improvement.


By adding a supplemental filter, (example - CAT, Baldwin, Stanadyne or Racor) the additional filtering supplied is enough to push the fuel cleanlines below the 15/13/10 criteria and allow sufficient margin for the varying fuel cleanliness from station to station.





Thats my 5 cents worth,


Alan
 

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If we knew the OE filter would hold together (VERY isolated instances of failure) a system running pump fuel that is relatively clean like mine could likely live a long life on the OE as a single.





Even adding a second FACTORY filter will help, and in my case should (assuming based on the statistics) provide decent results.





Adding a simple Filtermag to the OE shell will do wonders and a 2 minute installation. Note: does not help with anything other than ferrous metals...
 

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I am impressed with the dealership who knew about adding a second filter. Everytime I ask the dealers in my area they look at me like I am nuts. Yesturday I asked the parts guy if the injectors had any problems he said yes...they had three Duramaxs down at the same time. Then on the way out I asked the Service Manager the same thing he said they had no problems with them at all. That is good?


It sounds like you have a good dealership....I would keep the truck with them.
 

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I got to tell ya that most of the guys at the dealers are not thinkers. I asked the service manager what he would recommend for secondry filtration. He said, "do yuo know that these are high pressure systems?? They are not like the old systems. I would not recommend any mods to those systems." Well, no S...., but we are not talkin' about modifying the high pressure system. In the case of the Nicktane (my choice) we are takin' working at the tank outlet, probably under some degree of vacuum. The pump is sucking.

My position...Cleaner is Better...
I do not think there is an over the road rig that does not filter the stuff in two or more stages. Diesel Fuel is...
.dirty, and to clean it seems right!!
If GM two satges their filtration, good on them, they get the point. If not spend the 200 bux, and enjoy the ride!
 

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1fatcat,


The filter is probally fine with most clean fuel. I see the problem being a numbers game. If you always run clean fuel the stock filter is fine and you could run your truck forever. If you always run dirty fuel that is a whole together different story.
 

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YA KNOW ITS FUNNY TO ME I CAN GO TO AN OUTDOOR SUPPLY SHOP AND BUY A HAND PUMPED WATER FILTER SYSTEM (25 BUCKS) FOR THE OUTDOORS AND DRINK VERY CLEAN WATER FROM A MUD HOLE AND GM CANT DESIGN SOMETHING TO CLEAN THE FUEL ON A TRUCK EVEN AT 48 BUCKS A FILTER......
 

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rickles04,


That is very true!!



But you are scaring me with all the yelling.
 

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rickles04,

I roger that, would seem that the technology was advanced enough to do that. Was thinkin' though, when was the last time you drank water from a mud hole at the rate of 3-4 gallons per hour? I doubt that hand pump would keep up.


Mind you I said water, not beer, now that would be quite another story
 

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The oem filter is a joke! OK lets think for a second...fuel water separation-would you use a metal that would rust as water would potentially sit in the bottom of the filter for a month? I bet you won't find Racor filters on any German diesels (Toureg Benz etc).






Smokeymax
 

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HEY SMOKEYMAX, I SEE ON YOUR SIGNATURE YOU HAVE TRANSFER TANK AND NICTANE FILTER. HOW ARE YOU HOOKED UP? MY THOUGHT WAS AUX TANK THROUGH FILTER THEN TO OEM TANK. THIS WAY I DONT HAVE TO CUT FUEL LINES( WARRANTY ISSUES). IF YOU ARE SOME OTHER WAY...TALK TO ME...THANKS
 
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