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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 12-10-2010, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Leaking Fuel Filter/water separater

I had a mechanic install the fuel filter about two years/10,000 miles ago. Now I noticed it's leaking fuel. Before I change it out myself, I thought I check here and see if someone can tell me how do I check to see if its on tight enough or if something else could cause it to leak. Just in case I need a new filter I bought a NAPA Gold 3217 filter.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Where is it leaking from? If it's leaking from the top of the filter where it screws onto the filter header, then it might be on TOO TIGHT..
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like the fuel is seeping out between the bottom of the filter and the screw on cap on the bottom.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Both sides of the filter have a rubber gasket and IIRC the bottom one is like an O ring. Lots of people think you have to put these things together with a filter wrench and torque it..I would just replace it after you coat the new gasket with fresh fuel or petroleum jelly.
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Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Are you talking about replacing the entire filter or just the gasket? Is there a rule on how tight to make the connection? Like for regular oil filter, you hand tighten it three quarters of a turn after the rubber gasket touches the base. Will three quarters turn also work on the fuel filter?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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most of the filters have instructions printed right on them, for how much to turn past contact point

if the filter is leaking underneath at the bowl, it is leaking from either the drain port, or the water in fuel sensor port.

You can fix both these with new orings.

however, you can also get around the problem by purchasing the WIX filter with the built in bowl. That's what I did and it eliminates leaks. I used the one without the water in fuel sensor, as they don't come with a new sensor, you have to use your old oem one, and if that's what's leaky, it'll keep leaking

I do plan to fix my oem bowl at some point, but for now, the wix built in bowl filter works great

plus after 2 years, it's time to change yours anyway
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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At my local Napa the filter with the built-in bowl is $10 cheaper than the one without it. YMMV. I had to buy one (or go looking for a new bowl) because the bowl was overtorqued on the filter on the truck when I bought it, and this apparently straightened threads on the filter or the bowl to the extent that it could not be backed off. Works great.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, and, they don't come with a new sensor but they DO come with a new O-Ring for the sensor. The sensor should be readily available if you hunt the occasional junkyard and I think we'd all like to know if we have water in our fuel.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'll get to work today to replace the filter. Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. Your inputs were very much appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I cannot seem to find anyone who can tell me where to get the drain pet**** assembly or just the o rings. all i can find is a kit for later powerstrokes ( ive a 1988 NA IDI myself). any help here? im tired of getting the blank stare from parts counter guys.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I cannot seem to find anyone who can tell me where to get the drain pet**** assembly or just the o rings. all i can find is a kit for later powerstrokes ( ive a 1988 NA IDI myself). any help here? im tired of getting the blank stare from parts counter guys.
Evidently petc-o-c-k is a naughty word
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah it is
If you look up Tousley Ford parts ( site sponsor) and then just look in 1990 f350 and then type "fuel" in the search field, you can scroll down and find a part listed as "fuel/water seperator" 88-91 for $30.77..If nothing else call them, VERY easy to talk to and verify if it's the right part
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
Train Horns: Pictures here

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Old 01-24-2011, 08:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah it is
If you look up Tousley Ford parts ( site sponsor) and then just look in 1990 f350 and then type "fuel" in the search field, you can scroll down and find a part listed as "fuel/water seperator" 88-91 for $30.77..If nothing else call them, VERY easy to talk to and verify if it's the right part

thanks, man. although it is a small achievement, you have just proved yourself smarter than a busload of partshouse employees
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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thanks, man. although it is a small achievement, you have just proved yourself smarter than a busload of partshouse employees
Thanks but I'll hold on the big bow and applause until It's verified to be what our looking for. I have worked on autos for the last 35+ yrs. and sometimes you have to use different logic to arrive at the same place.
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
Train Horns: Pictures here

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks but I'll hold on the big bow and applause until It's verified to be what our looking for. I have worked on autos for the last 35+ yrs. and sometimes you have to use different logic to arrive at the same place.
Yeah, I'm sure we've all seen someone in Autozone or O'Reilly asking for a "high beam switch" and getting the deer-in-the-headlights look from behind the counter til someone mentions "dimmer switch." Which is really a misnomer, since AFAIK high beams don't put out more lumens, they're just aimed differently.
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