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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 12-01-2006, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smell Diesel Fuel

I just developed a leak from somewhere. I noticed the smell of diesel was pretty strong. I can see a puddle of something (diesel) after taking off the fuel filter shroud and I look down behind the fuel filter and through all the wires on the engine block.

What are the likely culprits? The o-ring on the water separator? The turbo is leaking? Any ideas from any one who has been here? I have a 2000 PSD. My most recent change was switching to the new air filter system.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

I had a similar thing...
I was at the store and noticed a dripping under my truck..It was diesel.
I drove to my buddies shop and nothing, no drip, nada, zilch....
Do these things xome and go ????
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

ive got almost the same problem. I can smell the diesel in the cab. but there is no puddle under the truck. there is a small amount of (i believe) oil in the valley under the turbo. But as for diesel.. i cannot find where it is leaking from.
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

Robertth,

I would vote first for the o-rings around the water seperator. There's a very good write up (a sticky, no less) at the top of this forum with pics.

RobertJohn,

I had a fuel leak that was traced to the vibralok gaskets on the fuel lines going to the cylinder heads. If these seals are moving, that could easily explain why your fuel leak would come and go. I copied a write-up that I made when I chased down, found and repaired my leak. The info might help you to look for possible problem areas. Here's that write up:

I JUST finished fixing a leak that is exactly as you are posting. Mine was only much smaller, but coming down in the same spot. The fuel was running down the back of the cylinder head, over/through the exhaust manifold, down the block and over the starter and onto the ground.

Apparently the fuel line that supplies the cylinder heads enters in at the rear of the RH head (viewed as if you are sitting in the driver's seat ) and the front of the LH head. It's a 1/4" metal line that has a fitting that needs a 9/16" wrench. This fitting goes into a check valve that goes into the head. To see this little s**t, look a little left of your turbo, and right next to your exhaust pipe. You should see a little metal line disappearing out of sight. For me, I loosened the one pipe going to the cooler and the exhaust clamp. This gave me enough room to get my hand and arm down in there and take off that fitting. Once the fitting is loose, you'll see a little rubber seal/donut/whatever. Ford sells a kit (F81Z-9C387-BA) that will have four 1/4" seals, one 3/8" seal and one 5/16" seal for around $17-20. (One of the other guys suggested going to NAPA and for about 50 cents each, you could get the same thing, or maybe try a hydraulics shop. They're called "vibralock" fittings, and what you want is the rubber ferrule. The fuel return line is 5/16" OD. They’re also available from McMaster-Carr on the web.) I had a ROUGH time getting the seals on and off because I could only get one hand in there. Also, it was in the low 30s when I did this so I warmed up the seals in the microwave with water. This made them more pliable. BUT, I still had to loosen the other end of the line, which is coming out of the filter housing. (Also, there's a clamp for this line next to the turbo pedestal.) Lube the seals with engine oil and you're all set.

One other possibility...on the BACK side of the cylinder head (that is to say, farther blow and outboard of the above fitting.) is a plug that has a ( I think ) female fitting that can also be another possibility. Between the two though, I would point a finger at the first one.


I hope this will help both of you guys.
Jon in American Fork
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

Thanks,

I'm going to switch to the other thread (sticky) since this seems to be duplicative.

Bob
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

I'll try the "O" ring then move on if that doesn't help....
Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

In my case it started after the change-over to the ULSD fuel in mid October, turned out it was leaking only when it was running from the fuel filter. Tightened the fuel filter a quarter turn and it went away.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

Lots of post on this ULSD induced fuel leak. My truck was rented out to the mice in the barn for all of last summer. (side note off point - even though I have stored my 86 diesel ranger in the barn and then checked the air filter for a mouse nest and had mice in a stored 92 I went DUMB and just cranked and drove - many swear words later I removed the heater fan and cleaned and re-oiled the air filter)
Anyhow was talking to an Intl. Mech as he checked my coolant and he told me about ULSD and how they were replacing the O rings. Went in one ear and out the other.

Then trying to prep myself for pulling RV trailers to Canada (pulled one to NB and another to Edmonton AB) I decided for the first time after 60,000 miles to drain the engine FW separator (even though I have a Racor spinOn). Not that caused the problem but seemed to me to be the cause. Other post have recommended opening and closing the yellow lever while the engine was running which I too did even though had not read post at that time. It seemed to work. Also I started the engine in the morning and ran for about 5 min an then shut down to let the heat migrate. Also plugged in for the night when I could. The colder the temp the worse the problem.

Finally in Sun Valley Id at 9 F it got so bad that I had to do SOMETHING.

After a mirror and flashlight confirmed that ford would make it as difficult as possible I saw that the screws needed what I have now learned is a #20 torx bit which I did not have with me. Neighbor did though. I DUCT TAPED the bit to my 1/4 in ratchet and just tightened the little bast#$%. So far so good. Gets warm though I for sure have a job to do.

For me most of the rest of the fuel lines are metal to metal connections (modified from tank to rails)
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

I just did mine.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

[ QUOTE ]
I just developed a leak from somewhere. I noticed the smell of diesel was pretty strong. I can see a puddle of something (diesel) after taking off the fuel filter shroud and I look down behind the fuel filter and through all the wires on the engine block.

What are the likely culprits? The o-ring on the water separator? The turbo is leaking? Any ideas from any one who has been here? I have a 2000 PSD. My most recent change was switching to the new air filter system.

Thanks,
Bob

[/ QUOTE ]

No fuel goes near the turbo. This puddle below the fuel filter leads me to think your fuel drain value is leaking. Clean everything up, than use a small mirror to trace this leak with engine running.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

I wish I could figure out how to do it! I have a small torx t20 bit meant for a 1/4" socket, but couldn't get it to work. I looked for the L-shaped posted in the "sticky" discussion of this problem, but could not find - have tried sears and autozone. So, I'm going to go back to the socket method tomorrow and hopefully I'll be successful. I found a hydraulics place here in Tucson (Howard's) which had the Viton 75 in brown for $2.

I couldn't find the removal of the drain valve documented in the shop manuals. I'm wondering whether I should just remove the whole fuel filter housing, for which I did find a procedure, so I can clean everything and get access to the drain valve. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

I can tell you that the dealer fixing this is very costly ...for a couple of o-rings and a plastic valve.
I had it done before I found these forums . it is 99% labor.

the drain valve is on the back I believe..be careful with the housing I think it costs about 600 bucks..though I think it would be hard to damage .
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Smell Diesel Fuel

Had same prob on 2000 Excursion. O-rings for the water drain and wala no more prob. Parts from Ford way spendy, got mine from IH dealer for 15.00 or so. some one said that you could get o-rings from Cat. try searching for fuel filter housing leaks.
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