fuel filter question - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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fuel filter question

I purchased a 97 power stroke over the summer. I changed the fuel filter when I bought it. I was having issues today so I check the filter and it was BLACK. Can anyone tell me why this would happen so quikley and if there is anyway to prevent it. The truck has had about 5000 miles put on since the 1st filter. FYI it has been in the single digits here in CT and the fuel has been treated...Thanks
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:29 PM
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Probably have algae, bacteria in your fuel tanks. This is a lot more common with the ultra low sulfur diesel you have to buy these days. When there was more sulfur in the fuel it would most often kill the bacteria off by itself. You should look into some anti-fungal additive to add to your fuel tanks. I had to deal with the same issue in my truck a few years back.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:34 PM
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Check the color of the fuel in the bowl as well - if it is dark it indicates possible motor oil in the fuel, possible sign of injector O-ring leaking. Are you using oil between oil changes without seeing signs of oil leaks or oil smoke?

Also injector O-ring material can get into the fuel as the O-rings deteriorate, could be injector O-ring material as well. Have you checked the fuel pressure regulator screen? If this one is the issue there will often be the same gunk in the screen.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jones97 View Post
I purchased a 97 power stroke over the summer. I changed the fuel filter when I bought it. I was having issues today so I check the filter and it was BLACK. Can anyone tell me why this would happen so quickly and if there is anyway to prevent it. The truck has had about 5000 miles put on since the 1st filter. FYI it has been in the single digits here in CT and the fuel has been treated...Thanks
More than likely your truck is suffering from "black fuel" syndrome. Engine oil in the high pressure oil system is leaking into the fuel system cross contaminating the fuel with oil. This is caused by deterioration of the injector o-rings. Your 1997 truck has a generation 1 Power Stroke engine that has a fuel return that recirculates fuel from the cylinder heads to the flter housing and the fuel tank. Take a fuel sample, it will be dark colored or black depending on how old the engine oil is and how new the fuel is. You can also remove the fuel strainer bowl on the bottom of the regulator and inspect for rubber chunks. This will confirm that your injectors need new o-rings.

Good Luck!


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your answers,it does not burn oil and the fuel is of normal color.It has 122k miles on it.the issues i had today was under throttle it was surging or bucking,i cant really explain it.the filter lite came on so i changed it.i will check the strainer and see if its the orings. Also,it wouldn't have anything to do with engine never getting warm would it? The Temp gauge only gets to the first part of the NORMAL. Again thank you.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:34 PM
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Also,it wouldn't have anything to do with engine never getting warm would it? The Temp gauge only gets to the first part of the NORMAL. Again thank you.
The needle on my temperature sits between "N" and "O" all day long. It's getting warmed up.
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You can also remove the fuel strainer bowl on the bottom of the regulator and inspect for rubber chunks.
The fuel strainer bowl was deleted from the fuel pressure regulator beginning with the '96 model year. The only way to see the 'gunk' is to remove the fuel pressure regulator and check the screen.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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My needle barely gets to the 'N',and after idling for 20min and driving to 2 stores, upper rad hose is cold
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:13 PM
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My needle barely gets to the 'N',and after idling for 20min and driving to 2 stores, upper rad hose is cold
A diesel engine needs to be worked to get the water temperature up to normal. Short trips and idling just will not do it. My gauge sits right on the N the only time that I have ever seen it above it is when I was towing heavy with the AC on in July across the Utah desert.

As far as your filter being black and the fuel looking ok I would suspect algae. There are bio-sides that will remove it from your tanks.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:24 PM
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As far as your filter being black and the fuel looking ok I would suspect algae. There are bio-sides that will remove it from your tanks.
Fuel injector o-ring failures were quite common in the earlier models. However, once a fuel sample is taken a quick sniff will indicate if the problem is biological - the growth tends to give off a really funky odor.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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You mean like Powers Services? I put the White bottle in the rear tank.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:34 PM
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Power Service won't work for an algae problem. You can do a search on Google for diesel algae and get all kinds of information. Here is a LINK to a supplier that has a product that will clean it out of the tank. But you do need to determine if it is "O" ring material or algae. Along with the smell algae will be slick and slimy on the filter.

I just looked at the Power Service web site and they do have Bio Kleen for algae

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Fuel injector o-ring failures were quite common in the earlier models. However, once a fuel sample is taken a quick sniff will indicate if the problem is biological - the growth tends to give off a really funky odor.

So if it smelled ok then i should look at the O-rings,thanks. That might explain the siphoning noise i heard when i took FF lid off, and poor milage.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 12:47 AM
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 02:53 AM
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also being a CT guy, run a tank of bio-diesel through it and clean out the system, the stuff that bio fuel can clean out of the tank can stall out the truck from clogging up the fuel filter, (i found it out the hard way, left me stranded) just keep a new fuel filter on you while cleaning the system

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 09:53 AM
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The fuel strainer bowl was deleted from the fuel pressure regulator beginning with the '96 model year. The only way to see the 'gunk' is to remove the fuel pressure regulator and check the screen.
Thank you for the correction - that is correct and the screen is a lot easier to check!


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