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Old 03-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Red dye fuel

I just bought an '01 Super Duty with a 7.3L to replace a '85 F350 on t our farm. I wanted to know what extra maint. I should for running off-road fuel (red dye) Bio-Diesel in the 7.3L. I have always ran red dye-Bio in my old diesels, and only changed the fuel filter more often than with taxed fuel. But, I want to make sure I'm not going to screw something up with these "newer" computer running diesels.

As a side note: My farm trucks NEVER leave the farm...
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well for starters there is a big difference between red dye and bio diesel. Neither are going to hurt the engine, bio diesel lubricates the injectors better than USLD and red dye. I run usld diesel all the time and add two cycle tcw 3 oil to every other tank of fuel for lubrication. I buy those bottles of oil at walmart buy the case its like 3 dollars a bottle. Injectors cost a little over 2000.00 a set. But you do what you want.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by normanpaul View Post
I run usld diesel all the time and add two cycle tcw 3 oil to every other tank of fuel for lubrication. I buy those bottles of oil at walmart buy the case its like 3 dollars a bottle.
The other statements in your reply are correct but I have a question about this one. Why add something (regardless of what) to your fuel to increase lubricity on EVERY OTHER fill-up? You do not want to improve lubricity in all of the fuel you are feeding your engine?

Secondly, I don't understand why you would dump something in your fuel tank that was never designed to be used in a diesel engine much less offer this as advice. For about the same cost, or better if you are a good shopper, you can use a product like Stanadyne Performance Formula fuel additive for example... there are other good products available as well. I found a case of (6) 16oz bottles on the first link in a Google search for $54. If I spent more than 30 seconds I am sure I could find a better price. Use 1/2 bottle per fill up and that comes to $2.50 per tank. Additionally, the fuel additive is MEANT for your diesel fuel system and offers a comprehensive additive package with many more benefits above and beyond lubrication.

Just sayin.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well for starters there is a big difference between red dye and bio diesel.

I guess I should have stated the red dye/bio section a little better.

The off-road/non-taxed fuel we have delivered to our farm has, of course, red dye added to identify that no motor fuel tax has been added, and it is also B15 Bio-diesel. I know the chemical used to dye the fuel red will not hurt anything. I was wondering the about the bio part. From what I understand, the Bio doesn't spray as fine, compared to non-bio. At least this is from what I have read in diesel mags. Just wondering if any modern diesel mechanics have any first hand dealings or advice regarding the use of Bio in 7.3's. We, of course, use the same bio in our tractors and never had any probs. But, I just wanted to make sure...ounce of prevention type thing!

I went to school to be a diesel mechanic and was one in the Army and a handful of years afterward. So, I know about older diesels (up to around 1990 era), but newer computer controlled ones have me scratching my head!

Oh, and by the way, it's not a "being cheap thing, either." It's just that, since we have a few diesels that never touch the roadways and we have bio delivered to the farm, there isn't much sense in having a smaller tank of taxed fuel just for 1 truck.

Sorry for the mis-wording in the op!
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I may have something to add...

I was told by a Ford master mechanic that bio-diesel has really good cleaning properties, as it will strip all the varnish from the everything, and it will plug up your fuel filter rather quickly (bring an extra or two for road-side changing).
I'm a little dubious into trying this myself, as I really don't want to run the risk of screwing my already wigging out truck, but maybe someone can vouch? A good fuel system cleaning might do it good.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I may have something to add...

I was told by a Ford master mechanic that bio-diesel has really good cleaning properties, as it will strip all the varnish from the everything, and it will plug up your fuel filter rather quickly (bring an extra or two for road-side changing).
I'm a little dubious into trying this myself, as I really don't want to run the risk of screwing my already wigging out truck, but maybe someone can vouch? A good fuel system cleaning might do it good.
I have been struggling with this one for a while now too. Do understand that I do not own a diesel therefore I cannot say from experience that Bio-diesel will clean your fuel system or quickly clog your filters due to some magical cleaning capability.

As a technician of 26+ years I CAN say that unless your fuel system has been contaminated, there really is nothing in your system to clean. Varnish? From what? I have yet to ever see varnish in a diesel fuel supply system. Diesel fuel itself, regular or bio will act like a solvent and I see no difference between the two from that perspective. "Normal" dirt that is introduced to the system is not going to be affected by the type of fuel you are using... Hmmm, unless the fuel itself is the source.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For the record, red dyed diesel is exactly the same as ULSD #2 at the pump. All diesel sold now has to be ULSD regardless of if it is red or highway, as for bio... listen to those above

But bio diesel does have lubricating properties, but its not going to make a world of difference. It can break some crap loose off of the "filters" in the tank and pump, but its nothing to be worried about.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i was told that red dye fuel has more lubricant in it than yellow diesel street fuel ...street fuel is thinner for less emmissions . any opinions ?
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i was told that red dye fuel has more lubricant in it than yellow diesel street fuel ...street fuel is thinner for less emmissions . any opinions ?
No. All diesel is the same now days.
See the following:

Quote:
- Diesel fuel intended for locomotive, marine and non-road engines and equipment is required to meet the Low Sulfur Diesel fuel maximum specification of 500 ppm sulfur in 2007.

- By June 2010, the ULSD fuel standard of 15 ppm sulfur will apply to non-road diesel fuel production.

- Beginning in 2012, locomotive and marine diesel fuel must meet the ULSD fuel standard of 15 ppm sulfur.
Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance Information Center - Government - Industry - Consumers
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A/Ox4...you are correct in stating "...red dyed diesel is exactly the same as ULSD #2 at the pump..." The red dye is merely for identification purposes for taxed vs. non-taxed "off road only" fuel.

Not wanting to cause an argument, since we are straying a little from my OP. But,...

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Originally Posted by ford_doctor View Post
"...I CAN say that unless your fuel system has been contaminated, there really is nothing in your system to clean
If your fuel system was a "closed system" I would agree. However, every time you add fuel, you are introducing something other than fuel. Be it: dirt that fall off the truckers hose, or dirt that falls off the pump nozzle, etc. If "...there really is nothing in your system to clean...", then there would be no need for fuel filters.


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Originally Posted by ford_doctor View Post
"Normal" dirt that is introduced to the system is not going to be affected by the type of fuel you are using..."
I just don't understand this statement...If, indeed, Bio has more "cleaning" properties than dino, as stated.

Anyway, thanks for the input, everyone. After much deliberation and speaking with a couple diesel wrenches, I guess there isn't much difference in my '01 turbo diesel in the super duty vs. the '08 turbo diesel I have in 1 of our tractors. Same basic principle, fuel goes in...fuel compressed....fuel gets hot...fuel goes BANG! I have taken all into consideration and started using the red-dye B15 bio we have delivered to our farm. "If" anything bad happens, I'll let everyone know!
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If your fuel system was a "closed system" I would agree. However, every time you add fuel, you are introducing something other than fuel. Be it: dirt that fall off the truckers hose, or dirt that falls off the pump nozzle, etc. If "...there really is nothing in your system to clean...", then there would be no need for fuel filters.
Your reply confirms what I wrote. If you are introducing dirt to the system, it makes absolutely no difference what fuel is used. Obviously the filters are going to catch the dirt. The implication that bio-diesel is going to strip some sort of mythical buildup or varnish is questionable. All I am saying. The use of bio-diesel is not going to make your filters pick ip that dirt moe effectively


If you want a reply to your original post, I don't see you needing to do anything different service wise for your given fuel situation just because you have a different diesel engine. If I were you I would not be so concerned with the type of fuel you are using as much as I would be with the storage method of the fuel. I am assuming here that you store fuel on your property. When I see fuel related problems I tend to see more issues with tanks that are mounted in the back of trucks and sit on contruction sites and farms. Water, is always a concern as is anything that is dumped into the tank, biological growth and a wide variety of "things" I have found in tanks over the years.

A random fuel sample into a clear jar will tell you a lot. If you know that your fuel storage practices are good and your fuel does not sit in the tank for extended periods then your fuel should be good.
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