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Ducato 2.8 2006 Fuel Filter Leaking Problem

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Old 18-11-2012, 18:03   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ducato 2.8 2006 Fuel Filter Leaking Problem

I have Fiat Ducato 2006 2.8 JTD Maxi, it's the facelift model following the vans up to and including 2005 but befor ehte current-ish 2007 onwards models.

Bought Fiat fuel filter, went to change it and they have given me the earlier one in the metal silver canister, the spin on one. Being Sunday can't do much about it.

My model has an all plastic housing with a small cartridge inside. I noticed the housing looked a little damp but couldn't find any real trace of leakage. On removing the old filter noticed that the sealing ring between top and bottom section had stretched and a fair bit larger than the seat it sat on ( to my shame have not changed the filter before, I have left it the maximum 40,000 miles so it's ok that it has grown over that mileage).

Got a pattern fuel filter from Halfords this afternoon and after cleaning the housing fitted it. The new sealing ring was satisfyingly a snug fit on the lip it sits on. Turned on ignition to run the fuel pump and a gusher of diesel from the filter housing where the top plate and filter container meet (at the sealing joint). They are joined by a plastic ring/collar that is threaded and screws onto the thread on the lower housing.
Tried to tighten the threaded ring and it barely moved, but this sometimes happends of coarse plastic surfaces, they bite into each other and grip.

Tried it again and the same leak.

Long story short. Took everything apart and checked that the parts went together nicely. Checked without the sealing ring to ensure the 2 filter housing mating faces would compress the quite hard sealing ring and it could compress the ring about 50% before it met a stop.

Re-assambled very carefully and this time a good leak but not gushing, I managed to get the threaded ring a little tighter.

Took apart again and lubricated the two faces of the large coarse thread, this time only a small leak, a little tighter and just a tiny welling over several minutes of the pump running, switching on and running again etc.

My guess is a design fault within the plastice housings that make up the filter assembly and that this is a difficult fuel filter to seal, anyone come across this before?

We are making a 2 day delivery starting early tomorrow so Rosie goes on the phone to move it all on a day, hey ho.


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Old 19-11-2012, 07:11   #2 (permalink)
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my 2009 fuel filter went a while ago..........a plastic construction with a plastic lid.

Luckily we were on site and the AA tried a fix.....but ended up getting a new one and fitting it for us ( new cost over 200)

All the experts said it was probably not fitted properly after a new filter was inserted at a previous service.

It turns out you need a special tools ( including a cradle ) to hold the base so that the lid can be torqued to exactly the right level.

Some dealers do not have these tools and over/under tightening the lid can cause distortion or hairline cracks or distortion of the inner "O" ring.

Why on earth this part could not me made of metal........I dont know...as far as Im concerned its a design fault.

A bodged repacement will just lead to it failing again.

barry
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Old 19-11-2012, 07:35   #3 (permalink)
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Mine went in Spain on a 2008 2.3 model.

This was apparently due to a non Fiat part being fitted on a service.

Can't help further though cos I don't do engines
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:37   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachcaster View Post
my 2009 fuel filter went a while ago..........a plastic construction with a plastic lid.

Luckily we were on site and the AA tried a fix.....but ended up getting a new one and fitting it for us ( new cost over 200)

All the experts said it was probably not fitted properly after a new filter was inserted at a previous service.

It turns out you need a special tools ( including a cradle ) to hold the base so that the lid can be torqued to exactly the right level.

Some dealers do not have these tools and over/under tightening the lid can cause distortion or hairline cracks or distortion of the inner "O" ring.

Why on earth this part could not me made of metal........I dont know...as far as Im concerned its a design fault.

A bodged repacement will just lead to it failing again.

barry

Hello Barry, thanks for the input.

I was a mechanic for 20 years including building special engines for 10, but that was a while ago.

I still retain some of my knowledge and understand about over and under tightening etc.

Last night spoke with a mate who has a MoT and repair workshop, he said over the years they have had to replace a couple of filter assemblies after not being able to seal them, but as he employs mechanics couldn't tell me the detail.

I'm about to phone around a few other contacts from way back to try to get to the bottom of this.

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Old 19-11-2012, 18:12   #5 (permalink)
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This type of tool was made to do the job is this any help?
http://www.partinfo.co.uk/files/ADK85502.pdf
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Old 19-11-2012, 20:45   #6 (permalink)
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Its quite simple

DIY failure = design fault

Trade failure= cowboy bodge artist
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Old 19-11-2012, 20:52   #7 (permalink)
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OK, the filter housing doesn't leak anymore, and have learnt a bit about modern filters today.

Exactly as jhorsf has shown, there is a tool and a sequence for this style of fuel filter. I did see a catalogue this afternoon showing tens of tools for different filter applications, no make that maybe more than a hundred.

I was told there are known problems with plastic filter housings including over tightening and distortion due to age, plus sometime not the most robust components that can be easily damaged.

I was also told that due to the nature of the coarse thread on this type of filter housing that my idea of tight was not tight enough, this was universally told to me.

Two workshops said that they don't have all the tools so do what is forbidden, use large water pump pliers as shown with a big red X over them in the diagrams above.

I instantly thought that it would be easy to crack the threaded ring by using grips, but was also told these modern plastics are tougher than in the past.

So took a large pair of grips and tightened the leaking filter housing. It went click once and turned a little more than I could do by hand. Turned it again and another click (this is the breaking away from each other of the 2 thread sections that bite into each other under pressure), this is not the ring cracking. Tightened for the 3rd time and a 3rd click.

At that point I thought I had chanced my arm and tested the filter housing, no leak. I primed the fuel system about 15 separate times, no leak. Ran the engine for a while, no leak.

I did the above having experience of what can break a component and when to stop, I also got lucky. I spoke with 6 separate mechanics I have know for many years and acted on their advice.

Last. I bought another two fuel filters today, different makes to the Halfords one (that is still fitted).
The FRAM one looked identical to the Halfords one just half the price though. Even the sealing ring, was slightly mis-shapen as the Halfords one is.
The second is either OE or a close copy, it is by Blue Print. The filter itself looks different, but the same as the original one removed (OE?). The biggest difference is the sealing ring. Much more accurate in dimensions, but about 50% softer than the Halfords/FRAM one, so much more compression and give. It also has a coating on it which may make it seal better?

My view is the design of this filter housing is very poor but I have to live with it. Moving away from a simple canister must have cost implications as a canister filter as small the the cartridge fitted into this housing would probably weigh less thatn the plastic assembly, so not using plastic due to weight.

I tried at the beginning to get an original fuel filter but the FIAT dealer gave me on presenting them with a chassis number the wrong one. If I had had the original filter then maybe I wouldn't have started this thread? Good job too I hear you say.

Thanks very very much to all.
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Old 19-11-2012, 20:58   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo View Post
Its quite simple

DIY failure = design fault

Trade failure= cowboy bodge artist

Not quite a DIYer Geo, sorry. I did in my murky past work on engine component development, the hands on version, that was after maybe 20 years mechanic. So in my and many of my (trade professionals) mates opinion, design fault from which ever way you look at it.
Trouble is, I now have a very poor memory so I ask people questions about things I ought to know.

Still, out of the motor trade for 15 years and don't ever wish to go back to it, although like the odd play with vehicles from time to time.
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