Dirty Diesel (the fuel, that is!)

Posted by Doug Shiner 
Had a long term problem with the new Common Rail Hilux of mine. When it was new, the power was good, the economy was fantastic, had no real complaints. Over the past 10 000 kms (20000 kms now on clock), the economy has turned to sh*t, power at idle has been iffy, developed a miss from time to time. Complained about it to the local dealer, they found nothing untoward. Took it in for service twice, and asked that it be addressed. Twice, they reckoned they couldnt find anything.

Finally, this past service, the problem was addressed. The fuel filter, which supposedly didnt need changing 'til 80000 kms, was absolutely black and clogged. It appears that its not a problem with particles of dirt or rust, or even water contamination, so much as a component of the diesel itself. It may only be a problem with diesel in this area, I mention this as a warning!

The solution, which is also a recommendation from a few dealers, is to fit a prefilter inline, and to use a fuel additive from time to time. This is what I wanted to do originally, based on my experience in the workshop with Merc Common Rail diesels, but I was told by the then Toyota workshop manager that I wouldnt need to do that, and that it wouldnt fix anything as the OE filters were extremely fine and ordinary filters wouldnt trap enough material to be useful. Now it would appear that there has been a change of heart on the subject, and prefilters are recommended, as is fuel additives.

The local dealer has been pretty good to me so far, and they have been as honest as they can be, so I cant complain. I just wish I had done as I wanted to do, and not believed all of what I was told when common sense and experience told me otherwise.[:@]

Will fit a prefilter setup soon, and post details and pics of what I did and how I did it, in case people are interested.
I bought a 60 series Cruiser a year ago, and after 5000km I took it in for an oil/filter change. I'd unwittingly put a tank of Gull Bio-D through it (they'd just changed over), and I'd heard that this can dislodge stuff in your fuel lines. As a precaution, I had the mechanic replace the fuel filter while he was at it.
What do you know, all of a sudden my car was getting 10% better mileage. That new filter paid for itself quickly.[winking smiley]
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I'd unwittingly put a tank of Gull Bio-D through it (they'd just changed over), and I'd heard that this can dislodge stuff in your fuel lines. As a precaution, I had the mechanic replace the fuel filter while he was at it.

Is this because B-diesal is cleaning the lines or breaking them down Micheal?

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Finally, this past service, the problem was addressed. The fuel filter, which supposedly didnt need changing 'til 80000 kms, was absolutely black and clogged.

Does this mean the injectors maybe effected Doug?

In deisel engines what else is done apart from oil, filters and injectors?

Is it a TD Doug?

Andrew
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Is this because B-diesal is cleaning the lines or breaking them down Micheal?

A bit of both, Andrew. In my case, it would have just cleaned them (if that). Long term use however can cause deterioration of seals etc.
Road Patrol surveyed car manufacturers as to what percentage of Bio Diesel could safely be run through their vehicles. Some said none, some said 5%, some said 10%. Nobody said 20%, which is the percentage used in Gull's Bio D.

I'd love to use it. I've got a Gull 24hr roadhouse just up the road, and their Bio D is a bit cheaper than the regular stuff. Unfortunately "It'll probably be fine" isn't good enough for me. I'd rather pay the extra few bucks per tank and play it safe. Particularly with an 18 year old TD.[winking smiley]
It amazes me that manufacturers haven't allowed for B20 in the production of their vehicles.
Heres our recycle companies saying we cant get rid of this stuff and the manufacturers aren't encouraged to build for this product?

A product that runs cleaner, recycles product, produces less emissions?

You have to ask whether industry is serious about providing environmentally friendly product when governments are asking for lower emissions as time passes?
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Does this mean the injectors maybe effected Doug?

Possibly, only time will tell, it seems. Though if the filter is as fine as they claim, it may have stopped most of the potentially damaging stuff. We can only hope. Will be interesting to see what the additive does.

Speaking of additives, Toyota market a recommended diesel additive to suit later diesel engines, not able to get it here. Anyone know much about it??

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Is it a TD Doug?
Yes, 3.0 TDi Common Rail. Same as the new diesel Prados.

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In deisel engines what else is done apart from oil, filters and injectors?
Only oils and filters are regularly checked and changed, injectors & pumps etc shouldnt need much attention if the filters are done regularly, and the fuel is kept clean and water-free.
These days a good few manufacturers have extended the service intervals of vehicles with better oils, filtration and engine management systems. In theory, mine should only need checking and and an oil change every 7500, filters and oils are scheduled for every 15000. Because mine does a lot of very short trips, ie less than 3kms in any one town run, interspersed with monthly or fortnightly 200km runs towing the boat, it comes under the severe service banner (in my view), therefore it is serviced every 5000kms

In a common rail diesel, a good number of things can suffer if contamination makes its way past the filters, the pump and the injectors usually suffer the most. Pumps especially dont like water at all, failure is very rapid, and expensive. Wish I had the photos we took when a Common Rail Mercedes Sprinter came in after its brain-dead owner tried to run it on butter or margarine. Allegedly, he tried a warranty claim against Mercedes, fairly sure it would have amused them before they wrote him a polite letter of refusal. I'm not sure of his reasons for trying, margarine or butter would have been dearer than diesel per litre, even up here, and would have been a b*tch to get in through the filler neck.

I cant blame Biodiesel for my problems, no B-diesel up here

I think I will start a biodiesel thread soon, have been following the developments overseas and locally with interest.

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It amazes me that manufacturers haven't allowed for B20 in the production of their vehicles
It amazes me that anyone is producing B20 for mainstream consumption. As far as I can see from the current Diesel Progress Journal, there is no standard set for B20. B5 and B10 have standards, as do the ethanol equivalents, E5 & E10. I would assume that as soon as the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and CE (Council of Europe) certifying engineers have researched, tested and set standards for B20, it will be accepted by vehicle manufacturers and systems/engines will be designed to take advantage of it. Until then, I can only assume that B20 is aimed at the older light diesels on the road, eg, Toyota B, 2B, 3B, H & 2 H, and other manufacturers equivalent engines. Pretty sure that early HZJ diesels would be OK too, but I dont know for sure.
I am glad you got it sorted, got me worried for a minute (didn't read the subject correctly at first)

I too own a 2006 SR5 Hilux D-4D have been fairly happy with it.

Be sure to take a gander at my Hilux site www.newhilux.net - might be worth while to let the guys on there know of your experience if you don't mind? would be much appreciated.

Cheers
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I bought a 60 series Cruiser a year ago, and after 5000km I took it in for an oil/filter change. I'd unwittingly put a tank of Gull Bio-D through it (they'd just changed over), and I'd heard that this can dislodge stuff in your fuel lines. As a precaution, I had the mechanic replace the fuel filter while he was at it.
What do you know, all of a sudden my car was getting 10% better mileage. That new filter paid for itself quickly.

Interesting comments Michael. I filled up at "A gull near you" on my way to Exmouth and although I didnt take any numbers re mileage I am confident I had a 10 -20% drop in mileage after that. Appears I need to look at my filters.
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might be worth while to let the guys on there know of your experience if you don't mind?
If I dont do it soon, you can cut and paste from here to there, if WAngler dont mind.
Looking at "Re-chipping/Re-mapping" soon, got a particular unit in mind.

[link=http://www.steinbauer.cc/index.php?select_id=94&umenu=]P-box[/link]

Note that it got at least one positive review .
[link=http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/ArchiveView.asp?ForumQID=31845]P-box Review[/link]
HI doug, i work as aforestry, grease monkey, all the new c/rail diesel gear we use hate, i mean hate dirty fuel, try a serious filter straight out af the tank if you have space, best one is a balwin 1o1w, and assembly, we put one on our grader and its awsomely efficent, if thats 2 big ,i suspect it will be, try an fleetguard fs 1000, which is common should have them everywhere and cheap, this filter housing will also fit an fs 105 (same filter smaller dimensions, any cummuins dealer should be able 2 x ref these to a donaldson no.
good luck
The advice I have from local diesel mob, who by the way are Baldwin agents, is to use a Parker/Racor for the fuel, as Parker/Racor actually make one that is sposed to be finer than any of the current Baldwin stuff. Will be ordering the complete kit next week, will let you all know what the go is then.

[[/quote]
It amazes me that anyone is producing B20 for mainstream consumption. As far as I can see from the current Diesel Progress Journal, there is no standard set for B20. B5 and B10 have standards, as do the ethanol equivalents, E5 & E10. I would assume that as soon as the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and CE (Council of Europe) certifying engineers have researched, tested and set standards for B20, it will be accepted by vehicle manufacturers and systems/engines will be designed to take advantage of it. Until then, I can only assume that B20 is aimed at the older light diesels on the road, eg, Toyota B, 2B, 3B, H & 2 H, and other manufacturers equivalent engines. Pretty sure that early HZJ diesels would be OK too, but I dont know for sure.
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Must be why my shorty runs so well on it. Run the bio 100% most of the time. Mixed with a little avtur occasionally. Runs alot cleaner.
I am glad this topic came up.

My 4.2 turbo diesel patrol was running sweet last year until I leant it to the in laws for a week during which they filled it with Gull Bio Diesel. Performance went to crap. Took it to the mechanic who had to replaced the injectors and filter. He said that Bio Diesel was not great for these vehicles and suggested that I give it a miss in future. Car ran great after that.

Well, on the way back from Exmouth last year we filled up at a Gull in the mid west area. Forgetting that they only serve Bio Diesel (stupid me). Within a few 50km's the power went to crap. I have a 4.2 litre turbo diesel patrol and was happily getting up all the hills at 110km/hr in 5th gear with a headwind. After filling up I noticed that I was dropping into 4th gear and struggling at 90km/hr up slight inclines.

Needless to say that upon my return my mechanic said "I thought I told you to avoid Bio Diesel".

As much as I want to do the right thing by the environment I wont be using Bio diesel in the near future.
Yeah agree with everything said here. We have big problems with dirty diesel in our work vehicles up north. Replacing fuel filters, injector pumps after 40,000kms. If you loose grunt i would just go and replace the fuel filter straight up. Diesel they use in mining equipment is not supposed to be used in light vehicles. The Client has a couple of those new diesel powered prados. I will be keen to talk to the lv mechanics when i get back. I reckon they will be running pretty rough after a couple of months
Good Pre-filtering components seem to be hard to find up here.
Have asked my local Marine dealer to order me a kit to suit the Common Rail Marine Diesels.
The Automotive/Industrial mobs here dont keep too much in that line that isnt OEM specific and hard to adapt.
Marine stuff looks like its mostly universal, given that most of it is remote mounted for ease of access.
As soon as I get it, will post pics of the results., and some idea of how I went about it, part numbers etc.