Good aftermarket replacement for stock 6.9 water separator? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.9L Diesels Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 6.9 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Good aftermarket replacement for stock 6.9 water separator?

My '85 F250 with the 6.9 diesel still has the leak-prone stock water separator. It now needs to be drained (the "water in fuel" light is coming on), and the last time I drained it, I had weeks of the dreaded "starts fine, runs for a few seconds and dies, and then is hard to restart" problem many seem to have, apparently caused by a leaky water separator. It eventually seemed to self-correct and has worked fine since, but rather than go through that again when I drain it, I'd like to just replace the thing with a decent one.

Having said that, I'm not sure what I need. They seem to be all over the board in terms of cost, GPH flow capacity, etc. Does anybody have any suggestions for an easy-to-fit compatible replacement?

I've seen suggestions to replace the fuel filter assembly with the newer one off of the 7.3 engine, which incorporates its own water separator, but my local wrecking yards don't seem to have any 7.3 diesels (a testament to their durability, I suppose), and I'm sure it would cost a lot to buy a new assembly from Ford.

A local diesel parts place suggested a Racor 230R30 like this one as a generic replacement:

Racor 230R Series

I like the fact that it has a hand-operated primer pump, like my old Mercedes diesel does (and like all diesels should, IMHO), though I notice that the inputs are 1/4" while I believe the stock fuel lines are 3/16", so I don't know if that's a problem or not. I assume a 30 GPH capacity, which this has, is sufficient, right?

Does anybody know if that one would be a good choice, or does anybody have any other suggestions for good models of aftermarket units to use? And is there anything tricky about installing these, or is it as straightforward as it seems (bolt it on, and connect the fuel lines)? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Racor makes a quality unit but they are not very easy on the wallet. Perma cool also makes a water separator thats not to badly priced. Guys have also used Goldenrod water separators and they are available at Tractor Supply.

I would stick with the stock filter over the 7.3 unit as the stock one filter down to a smaller micron rating. If your on a budget you could stick a bolt in the end of the drain tube on the water separator to stop air from entering.

Stock fuel supply line is 3/8"

35GPH is about what the stock fuel system flows.

Installation of a water separator is just that simple to. Bolt it up and hook up your fuel lines
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Cyberluddite,

I have EXACTLY the same problem with my 1987 6.9L. Did you ever find a CHEAP solution? The easy ones are expensive.

P.S. I tried the 7.3L header search and had same results. Either not available or they won't take it off a working engine.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i went to napa and purchased a spin on water seperator and housing. It works fine. I also needed to buy a few fittings and never had problems with it yet. Installed it about 1 year ago.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Jason,

Did you find a spin on fuel filter with water sep for the 6.9L????? Cause they have them for the 7.3L, but not the 6.9L. Please tell me that I'm wrong and that you have a 6.9L with a spin on fuel filter with water sep! Also, please tell me the PART NUMBER. Thanks bud.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasoneschete View Post
i went to napa and purchased a spin on water seperator and housing. It works fine. I also needed to buy a few fittings and never had problems with it yet. Installed it about 1 year ago.
I have the same one from napa, that was installed many years ago. Have replaced the element a few times, but works perfect.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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6.9 water fuel seperator

Yes its a 1986 with the 6.9L. Go to napa and ask for the 3123 napa fuel water seperator. Its a spin on filter with the pet**** on the bottom. Also ask for the spin on housing that will fit this filter. Im not sure of the number of the housing but Im sure they can help you. you will needa few fittings for your fuel lines. I think they were 3/8" npt by 3/8" sae fittings and a couple of female swivel 3/8" sae fittings with a hose crimp for your fuel lines. Make sure you fill your filter with diesel when installing it. It will help with an easier start. Good luck.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Fellas!

I was looking for a direct spin-on to the existing header/housing, but don't think it's gonna happen. Good that Napa has the solution though, they are reasonably priced and available nationwide. See ya on the ROAD!
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Found one of those Napa fuel/water seperator on an '85 F250 in a pick a part recently. It was bolted on the firewall in place of the stock.

My '85 F 350 still has the stock one......nabbed the Napa one as I have read before of the eventual problem that comes from the rubber fittings. Am waiting for the stock one to die.

Paid $3.00 (score) for the 'new' one. It had inbound and outbound lines attached and appeared very straight forward to install. Part number for filter is 3123 as others have said, spin on housing has no part numbers - sorry.

Good luck
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey JCSJR,

Thanks for trying, but I have an E-350 (van!) and the fuel filter mounts off of a header or manifold that mounts to the top of the engine. VERY different from how the truck fuel filter manifold mounts to the firewall.

I've seen the Napa housing and would have to build some sort of vertical piece that would mount in place of the stock manifold and then bolt the new housing to the side of it. Also, I would have to buy adapter fittings as the old fuel lines are 3/8" and the housing takes 1/2".

Lastly, the biggest problem is that there is only approx. 9" space from the top of the engine to the upper firewall. MAN what a hassle! Was really hoping that someone had already figured this out for a van.

Thanks again for trying!

I did read from someone here that they kept the old water seperator and simply threaded and installed a radiator drain plug on the bottom. That way it didn't leak and could still be opened occasionally to drain water. Only potential problem might be a leak from the top O-ring.

Gonna remove mine from the van soon and take a peak - I've heard that some of them could be taken apart and "rebuilt". If not, I could permanently seal the upper O-ring and still install the radiator drain plug for an airtight seal. I'll take pics if I do anything FYI.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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In my 86 F250, the original is in place and buypassed. If I EVER get the time, I'd like to rebuild it, and add a bolt or pet****, on the drain. I want to get the H2o in fuel light working.

I'v driven my 2000 7.3 Excursion 145000 miles and never had H2o, in the fuel.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Since that Racor unit has a plastic bottom, why not use the TSC tractor supply units for fuel at about $30. They are much larger but have a 3/4 or 1" fitting.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't see a primer on the 230R series, the 445R has a hand primer.
I may not be looking in the right place.

You can get the water in fuel light to work with the Racors, that is just an option you purchase.
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