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In-line Fuel Filters – October Special Offer

The Filter Guys

For October we are practically giving away In-line Fuel Filters. Our general purpose paper in line filter, GF2018D, that comes with 6mm/8mm ports are just 85p each.

Why not take advantage of this offer and drop in to see us and grab them. This offer will end on Halloween. Avoid any horror and fill your in line fuel filter stocks up today!!

Covid-19 precautions are in place at our trade counter but we are allowing customers in, one at a time, to see us as long as you are wearing a face covering and you observe social distancing rules. Hand sanitiser is freely available.

In-line Fuel Filters – October Special Offer

The Filter Guys

For October we are practically giving away In-line Fuel Filters. Our general purpose paper in line filter, GF12, that comes with 6mm/8mm ports are just 75p each.

Why not take advantage of this offer and drop in to see us and grab them. This offer will end on Halloween. Avoid any horror and fill your in line fuel filter stocks up today!!

Covid-19 precautions are in place at our trade counter but we are allowing customers in, one at a time, to see us as long as you are wearing a face covering and you observe social distancing rules. Hand sanitiser is freely available.

 

Water and Draining Fuel Filters

The Filter Guys

Most primary fuel filters have drains that allow the operator to drain the water that has been separated by the filter. The frequency with which the primary fuel filter needs to be drained is ultimately dependent on the quality of fuel that is being used. Most OEMs recommend draining your water separator daily. It is also recommended to pay attention to how much water is removed at each drain and adjust the frequency of servicing accordingly.

Why Remove Water in Fuel?

Water in fuel can prematurely wear and oxidize the steel components within the fuel injectors, leading to:

  • Rusting and corrosion of components
  • Governor/metering component failure
  • Sticky metering components (both pump and nozzle)
  • Injection component wear and seizure

Free or emulsified water must be removed from the fuel to prevent corrosion and damage to the fuel system. Fuel additives may claim they remove water, when really they dissolve the water. Which in turn, will pass through the filter and enter fuel injectors.

Types of water contamination in diesel fuel:

1) Emulsified water: water suspended in the fuel

2) Free water: water separated from the fuel and generally collected at the bottom of the fuel or the fuel storage tank

3) Dissolved water: water chemically dissolved in the fuel

Maintenance Recommendations & Guidelines

  • Drain water from your primary filter daily when refueling
  • Carry a spare set of fuel filters in case you receive a “bad” load of fuel
  • Never switch to more open filter to get longer filter life, you are trading away fuel pump and injector life
  • Never use fuel to lube the gasket. Fuel isn’t as slick as oil and if you use fuel it could cause gaskets to bunch or pinch when it is tightened, causing the filter to leak.

If using biodiesel:

  • make sure your fuel supplier meets current fuel standards
  • make sure your engine is compatible with the concentration (or percent) biodiesel you wish to use
  • When using your own fuel storage tank, remember that removing contaminants before they reach the vehicle is the best practice. Ensure you have effective bulk storage tank filtration.

 

What’s the Difference Between a Single-Stage and a Two-Stage Air Cleaner?

The Filter Guys

Air cleaners are defined into two types based on the stages the air and contaminant flow through the assembly. These types of air cleaners are considered single-stage and two-stage.

 

Single-Stage Air Cleaners

A single-stage air cleaner filters contaminant from the air through a primary filter without the use of a pre-cleaner. The contaminated air enters the air cleaner through the inlet side and flows directly to the primary filter. At this point, the contaminant is filtered out by the media and the filtration is completed. Single-stage air cleaners are typically used in light dust environments such as on-highway applications.

Two-Stage Air Cleaners

A two-stage air cleaner uses both a pre-cleaner and a primary filter to remove dust from intake air. The contaminated air is first sent through a pre-cleaner, which is considered the first stage. The pre-cleaner will remove 75-98% of the contaminant from the air. Pre-cleaners can be a separate add-on accessory or built into the air cleaner. Once the air is pre-cleaned, it is sent to the primary filter where the contaminant is filtered out by the media, completing the second stage. Two-stage air cleaners are typically used in medium- to heavy-dust environments such as construction and mining.

 

Fuel Filtration F.A.Q’S

The Filter Guys

Q1: Please explain the differences between the primary and secondary fuel filters in terms of the type of medium used, micron rating, and so forth.

Differences between primary and secondary filters vary from system to system, but in general, primary filters are used to separate water and larger particles (7-25 μm efficiency). Secondary filters are for final filtration (3-5 μm efficiency). Primary filters usually will have treated media to provide water separation performance. This can be either cellulose or a multi-layered synthetic media called melt-blown coupled with cellulose like Donaldson’s SynteqTM media. Secondary filters have untreated, multi-layered cellulose or purely synthetic media. These differences mainly have to do with the water separation requirements placed on primary fuel filters.

 

Q2: Have micron (μm) ratings become smaller and smaller as injection technology has advanced? When replacing filters, how do you make sure you have the micron rating that’s appropriate for your generation of engine and its injection system?

As injection technology has advanced and injection system pressures have increased the filtration

requirements have become more demanding. These systems have required filtration technology to be more and more efficient. When replacing your filters be sure you use an OEM approved replacement or a direct cross from a reputable filter manufacture to ensure you are using a filter that is appropriate for your engine.

 

Q3: Some truckers used to use a fine primary filter to avoid changing the secondary, while the original equipment concept was to use a coarse primary (on the suction side) and a fine secondary (on the pressure side). This took extra changes, but they liked the idea of avoiding changing the secondary. Is doing this impractical on modern engines?

Primary and secondary filters are usually balanced to provide the required engine protection and the optimum filter life. Placing a fine filter in a primary (suction) filter location is impractical because they can not tolerate as much pressure drop and will need to be changed very often. Generally, fine filters do not contain the required water separation in a primary filter.

 

Q4: How have new engine designs affected fuel filtration?

In the past, diesel engines had either mechanical fuel injectors or unit injectors. The drive to develop engine that meet emissions regulations has led to the application of common rail fuel injection systems. The higher pressures of common rail systems enables more precise control of fuel delivery and control of the combustion process. The goal of the new technology is to reduce the particulate matter and NOx coming out of an engine system, thereby reducing the burden on after treatment systems. The very high pressures in the common rail systems require tighter tolerances, elevating the requirements for cleanliness and efficiency on new and future fuel systems. This has created the need for increasingly better fuel filtration technology. Donaldson offers a range of products for those demanding conditions and is developing solutions for tomorrow’s requirements.

 

Q5: Will common rail systems bring any changes in terms of fuel filter requirements? If so, can you say what will they be?

Most fuel injection systems today are already common rail or close derivatives. The technology itself does not drive specific changes, the injection pressures and desired filter service intervals are more influential.

 

Q6: How important is filtering fuel stored in bulk tanks?

It’s becoming very important and can reduce future vehicle maintenance downtime. If you’re using a bulk fuel tank, filtering the fuel BEFORE putting in your vehicle is another great practice that can reduce contaminant and water from the fuel before refilling your vehicle tank. Over time, tanks can corrode, water condensation can build up, contaminant could enter the tank opening during fills.

 

Q7: I’ve been handling my diesel the same way for years. Why should I change the way I store fuel?

With the exception of reducing sulfur content, fuel standards have not changed substantially in over a decade. Engines, however, have changed dramatically. In order for new equipment to run trouble-free, they require much cleaner fuel. This means an increased need for filtration. Manufacturers are insistent that damage caused by fuel contaminants is not a factory defect. Therefore, it is in your best interest to filter your fuel prior to use.

 

Q8: Shouldn’t it be my fuel supplier’s responsibility to deliver clean diesel?

More than likely, your supplier is delivering perfectly in-spec diesel. The problem is that diesel cleanliness specifications are woefully out of date when compared to the needs of the modern engine. Some distributors are starting to go the extra yard and filter diesel prior to delivery, but this is not an industry requirement. An additional note of caution: the term “clean diesel” can also be used when referring to ultra-low sulfur diesel. This is not the same as reduced contamination levels or fuel “cleanliness”.

 

Q9: My fuel filters are plugging up really quickly. Should I change brands?

It is important to use high quality fuel filters to protect your engine. In most cases changing filter brands will NOT solve your fuel problems. Remember, a plugged filter did its job. Rapid filter plugging is an indication that there is a problem with the fuel, not the filter. The key to resolving rapid plugging issues is to determine how filterable solids are getting into or forming inside your fuel tank, and then fixing the root cause. Switching to a lower efficiency filter, regardless of brand, will simply spread the problem throughout your fleet.

 

Q10: The injectors and fuel pumps on my new equipment keep failing; what can I do?

The first step is to speak with your Original Equipment supplier. If you suspect that dirty fuel is behind the problems, a simple test can verify your fuel cleanliness level. Make sure you put the cleanest fuel possible into your equipment and protect your engine with a high efficiency fuel filter. This should eliminate injector and fuel pump problems due to dirty fuel.

 

Q11: Diesel is diesel, right? Why not buy from the cheapest source?

As with anything, you typically get what you pay for. Diesel is expensive, so it is tempting to minimize operating expenses by purchasing the cheapest fuel possible. While this fuel may meet minimum industry standards, that may not be adequate. Small differences in handling practices can have a huge impact on overall fuel quality and cleanliness. Saving a few pennies on your fuel bill may end up costing you far more in downtime, lost production and equipment repairs. Partnering with a good supplier is one of your best defenses against unforeseen fuel quality issues.

 

Full-Flow, By-pass or Two-Stage Filtration

The Filter Guys

The difference between the various lube filter configurations can be confusing. There are three common filtration approaches.

Full Flow Filtration

Full flow filters receive near 100% of the regulated flow in an engine lube system. Full flow filters provide essential engine protection for maximum cold flow performance and filter life. Most lube filters available today are full flow.

By-pass (Secondary) Filtration

By-pass filtration is when a small portion of the system’s oil flow (usually 5-10%) is diverted back to the sump or oil pan before reaching the primary filter. A by-pass filter captures smaller particles than the full-flow filter. Because of the increased efficiency of a bypass filter, they are more restrictive. To optimize restriction, a bypass filter should be located in a separate flow path, as illustrated on the right.

Two-stage Filtration

A two-stage filter design attempts to combine the features of both a full flow and by-pass filter. The two-in-one design significantly increases restriction, causing shorter filter life and decreased cold flow performance. Poor cold flow performance starves the engine of oil during start up, leaving the engine temporarily unprotected. This may lead to increased engine wear that could result in premature repairs or even engine replacement.

Fuel Filter Problems in Cold Weather

The Filter Guys

Encountering poor quality or unconditioned fuel is inevitable, so some precautions should be made when operating in cold weather. Depending on the severity of winter operating conditions, many operators may choose to protect their equipment through the use of fuel additives, fuel heaters, and fuel water separators.

I use a good cold flow improver, so why do I continue to have so many problems in the winter?

Cold flow improvers, by design, stop small diesel fuel crystals from growing into large diesel fuel crystals (also known as gelling). This in turn lowers the temperature at which the diesel can still flow and be used in the fuel system. With today’s HPCR engines, filters are becoming more efficient, and the smaller diesel crystals that used to pass through filters now get trapped just as particulates do. This can cause premature plugging of the filter and decreased life. Most fuel related winter problems can be avoided using a #1 diesel or a winterized diesel blend.

Engine Power Loss

Diesel engine power loss during winter operation is a common occurrence. Unless there is a component failure within the engine, the problem can usually be traced back to paraffin crystal formation in the fuel which restricts the flow through fuel filters. Freezing temperatures can also cause emulsified water to form a fuel/ice slush, further restricting filters. Often, fuel filters are blamed for the problem when, in fact, the problem is caused by the effect of cold weather on grade #2 diesel fuel.

Cloud Point

The Cloud Point is the temperature at which paraffin or wax, which is naturally present in diesel fuel, begin to form cloudy wax crystals. When the fuel temperature reaches the cloud point, wax crystals flowing with the fuel coat the filter and quickly reduce the fuel flow, starving the engine. Typical cloud point temperatures range from -18°F (-28°C) to +20°F (-7°C), but may occasionally be as high as +40°F (4.4°C). Grade #1 diesel fuel (or kerosene) contains very little paraffin, and therefore has a cloud point near -40°F (-40°C).

 

Extended Oil Drain Intervals

The Filter Guys

Extended Oil Drain Intervals Oil service intervals are pre-determined by engine manufacturers (OEM’s) and are designed to provide maximum engine protection under a wide variety of conditions. While a majority of equipment owners follow these guidelines there is a growing trend to extend oil service intervals beyond the OEM recommendations. However, Extended Oil Drain Intervals (EODI) are not for every application. To fully understand the risks involved you must look at the key factors affecting EODI’s.

 

Engine lubricating oil is often referred to as the life blood of the engine. This analogy is not made simply because the oil circulates through the engine but more importantly because the oil performs critical functions necessary to maintain engine performance and maximize useful service life. There are two basic types of oil available today: mineral and synthetic. While these oils are completely different in composition, they must still meet the American Petroleum Institutes (API) qualification criteria recommended by the engine manufacturers. There are many suppliers of oil in the market today and not all meet the stringent requirements of the API standard. Insuring your oil meets these requirements and understanding the factors affecting the engine oil is the first step before extending your oil service interval.

 

Equipment operating extremes of heat, cold, idle time, airborne contaminants, and engine load adversely affect engine oil. Excessive Heat will break down engine oil and create deposits in the engine adversely affecting engine life. Severe cold will limit the ability of the engine oil to lubricate at start-up and may add unwanted moisture and unburned fuel to the oil. Extended Idle Time can result in increased amounts of unburned fuel entering the oil resulting in oil dilution and inadequate lubrication. Extreme dust conditions may tax even the best air filtration system adding fine contaminants to the oil overloading the additive package that keeps them in suspension. Heavy loads on the engine can produce extra heat putting a greater demand on the cooling system and increasing the importance of cooling system maintenance during EODI’s. Off-road operation will likely see more of these extremes than on-highway operation.

 

Engine designs today are cleaner burning with reduced emissions and make excellent candidates for extended oil drain intervals. However, most customers cannot afford to buy new equipment every year and normally fleets have a mixture of equipment varying in vintage and service life. As piston rings and valve guides wear in the engine, combustion by-products increase. These combustion by-products end up accelerating oil additive depletion and can create harmful deposits on internal engine surfaces making the engine less likely to benefit from an EODI.

 

Oil filters remove contaminants from the oil before they generate wear on engine component surfaces. There are many filtration products offered in the industry today with some claiming to allow for extended oil drain intervals. The fact is, the filter alone will not extend the life of engine oil. The filter has one function, and that is to filter contaminants from the oil. While most filters today do an excellent job in filtering, the trend of extending oil drain intervals 2 to 3 times the normal service interval has pushed the materials used in the manufacture of filters to the limit. Adhesives, rubber compounds, filter media, and even the steel construction in spin on filters needs to be designed to meet the extended period of time they are expected to be in service.

 

Before considering an EODI make sure the filter manufacturer will warranty their product when used in this manner. If after considering all the factors affecting extended oil drain intervals you feel your equipment is a candidate for EODI’s you will need to develop a test program to determine what length EODI is right for your equipment. To determine the correct length EODI you must first implement an oil analysis program to develop history on each piece of equipment scheduled for extended oil service. This will allow you to determine if there is any usable life left in the oil. The primary indicators will be silicon (dirt), viscosity (oil film strength), soot (combustion by-product), and total base number (TBN). Most engine manufacturers have oil analysis guidelines.

 

Typically you will want to keep your silicon within 15ppm of the initial oil sample, your viscosity within the original oil grade specifications, soot below 3%, and the TBN number above 3. Each piece of equipment will vary and the key is to look for trends in the analysis. If oil analysis indicates you can extend your service interval you then need to move out in steps. Oil analysis should continue at the normal service interval and in increments of 20% thereafter until the analysis shows the useful life of the oil deteriorating. Once the maximum limit on the oil is reached the change interval should be set at the mileage of the previous sampling prior to indications of oil deterioration. Example: Normal service interval = 16,000 miles (25,000 km). Oil analysis performed at 16,000 (25,000 km), 19,200 (30,000km), 22,400 (35,000 km), 25,600 (40,000 km), and 28,800 (45,000 km). If oil analysis indicates problems at 28,800 (45,000 km) the change interval should be backed off to 25,600 miles (40,000 km). This will allow for variables in operation and environment.

 

Extended oil drain intervals are not without risk and short term cost savings benefits should be balanced equally with engine performance and reliability. With all of the factors affecting the engine oil it is easy to see why OEM’s have traditionally been conservative in setting oil drain intervals. If you think your equipment is a candidate for EODI program, do some research. Check with your filter, engine, and oil manufacturer for guidance. If you’re not doing oil analysis, start a program. Review your filtration package and most of all understand the potential risks involved. If not properly implemented EODI short term savings are offset by expensive repairs and downtime further down the road. Always dispose of used engine oil and filters properly.

Filter Servicing Steps

The Filter Guys

Listed here are recommended practices from Donaldson for servicing and handling engine liquid filters. This servicing information is provided as a best practices guide. Donaldson recommends that where possible, follow the filter service instructions supplied by your original equipment manufacturer. It is not intended to replace or supersede the service instructions supplied by your equipment or vehicle manufacturer.

 

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