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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 02-28-2010, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Water Separator Drain Bowl

I'm attempting to change my fuel filter but the Water Separator bowl is TIGHT. I was thinking about using a spanner wrench but I'm not sure how that will work. Anyone have ideas?

There is a leak at the fuel filter but I'm not sure if its an oring or not. The assembly is TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT from the previous owner. There is a wire that goes into the top right of the assembly and the plastic connector looks a little rough but I don't see fuel leak while idleing.

Anybody that can shine some light on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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THe hard part about getting the bowl off is getting it lose. A spanner will probably work.

Over time the bowl may become pitted and not seal well. It happened to me at about 5 years. If I remember correctly, the replacement bowl was about $80 in 1997.

You may want to check with NAPA if you have one nearby. They have a replacement filter with a drain on the bottom that eliminates the need for the bowl. However, it does not have the terminal for the water sensor. It's cheaper than the OE replacement.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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take the filter with the bowl off the header assembly and then you'll have more space/leverage to get the bowl off.

You can replace the oem filter and bowl with a wix filter, one of them has the built in bowl and the wif port. Those filters are more expensive than the oem, so if you can reuse your bowl, it's cheaper.

The wire on top of the assembly is for the heater, look for it to be wet. If it is, you'll need to replace the 2 o-rings in the heater itself (still haven't done mine).

What I;ve found is that mine sucks a little air when it sits more than a day, and it gets a bit hard to start. Waiting for warmer weather to pull it off. I'd get a shop to do it at this point, but it's hard to find a shop willing to do that job.... altho if my ip went out, I bet they'd find time to fit me in!
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To remove the filter base I will at times place it in a vise....... then rotate the filter off it. I have had the filter cartridge body rotate without the filter loosening from the base also.. sometimes one must get a little brutal when removing the old filter...... To ensure the filter removal is easier next time use oil on the base gasket and tighten hand tight to seal.

Fuel leaks may be seen but air leaks are not usually......

I do use a filter wrench on the filter to header sealing......but again use only enough torque to seal and oil the gasket.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I do believe it is sucking air because especially on colder days/nights if its not plugged in its a little harder to start than normal.

For the heater element, how would you take that off? I'm guessing take the filter off to access the o-rings?
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