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Filling/Priming replacement diesel filters on the road

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This topic came up on another post on carrying extra fuel on board in cans, which lead into what is carried in a Diesel coach to prime fuel filters. I figured I'd share this to help others that are faced with that challenge. Not all engine are equipped with electric fuel pumps or manual hand primers, so this can be a challenge depending on your specific coach.

I carry one of these and a plug for the center of the filter so I do not introduce unfiltered fuel into the engine, and of course a box of rubber gloves and all of the tooling to get the job done. I keep everything (tool wise) in a tote so it stays clean.


I guess this wouldn't work on every DP due to fuel tank access on certain manufactures can be tough.


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Yup - our filters also need to be filled before installing. No electric pump or manual primer on our rig. Instead of carrying a can of diesel, which some do, I carry a simple rubber bulb fuel siphon that is diesel rated. If there is need to change fuel filters on the road, I'll siphon some fuel from the tank into a small bucket to use for pre-filling.

Everyone with a diesel engine should familiarize themselves with the process of changing a fuel filter, including how to pre-fill or prime the system. It's hard to predict when & where filters will clog and cause a problem. Preventative maintenance is very helpful, but it only takes a small amount of contaminated fuel to really cause a filter problem, and it seems that the filters choose the worst possible place and time to clog up.

Great reminder for everyone with a diesel.

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I don't have this problem, as Cummins engines have an electric lift pump. My old Duramax had a primer bulb atop the filter housing. When changing the fuel filters on Dad's old Detroit engine, he always had a quart bottle of kerosene sitting around. Five gallon can of kerosene was kept around for the kerosene torpedo heater in the workshop and for the tractors in cold weather, so filling a quart bottle was easy. As soon as the engine fired and oil pressure registered the the engine was set to 1,500 RPM until it smoothed out so we were sure the fuel system was  purged of air.

I have added that siphon pump to my Amazon cart though, JIC I run out of lawn mower gas again, my pickup/towed is parked right beside the mower.

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