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Ducato 2.8 2006 Fuel Filter Leaking Problem

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by veevee, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    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.


    Thanks
  2. beachcaster

    beachcaster Funster

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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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  3. Chris

    Chris Funster - Life Member

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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:BigGrin:
  4. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    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.

    Thanks
  5. jhorsf

    jhorsf Funster

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  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Its quite simple

    DIY failure = design fault:thumb:

    Trade failure= cowboy bodge artist:Rofl1::RollEyes:
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  7. veevee

    veevee Funster

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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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  8. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    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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  9. jhorsf

    jhorsf Funster

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    I can say Blue Print is usually a good replacement for any parts and made to a good specification well worth paying a little more sometimes if you can get them
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  10. beachcaster

    beachcaster Funster

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    This is only a DIY job if you have the special tools.
    Most people and quite a few service shops dont have the special tools.

    To tighten up with a large wrench can get you out of trouble......but as this is a filter housing that should have its filter changed several times in its life it does look like a shoddy engineering solution to me.

    I would not let my local fiat shop undertake this filter change without showing me thay had the right special tools....and if they chance it and tighten with a wrench it could fail at any time.......just like my one did.

    If you are halfway through france on a motorway...you really dont want a fuel pouring out from underneath your engine because someone didnt use the special tools to tighten up to the correct torque setting and tightened it with a wrench and hoped it would be ok.

    Its a serious issue and a bad design solution.

    barry:Smile:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
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  11. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    The interesting thing about the Blue Print fuel filter design is there is a warning on the box not to physically touch the filter by hand, rather use the container it comes in to seat it on to the housing... not sure why though?
  12. deemac

    deemac Read Only Funster

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    Leaking Ducato Fuel Filter

    This has happened to me twice now. The first failure was about 3,000 miles after a service in a Fiat garage and happened in Skye. It took 2 days to get a replacement part. That was fitted and there was no problem again for about 3,000 miles, then at the weekend when I turned the engine over, it started again. I brought the filter housing to a Fiat dealership and found out they don't have the tool for tightening the housing.

    The cost of the blueprint tool for fixing this is £33, so I have ordered one and feel that this is a small price to pay to avoid this happening in the middle of France or Spain. I think in future I will carry the tool and a spare filter so I can do a road side repair if necessary.

    Not sure why the repairs fail after 3-4,000 miles. Assume that the thread is loosening due to vibration. Anybody have any ideas?
  13. Techno100

    Techno100 Funster

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  14. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster

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    I've had this problem twice.

    Both after servicing and fitting by Fiat "Professional" service.............. and subsequently rescued by RAC


    Just ordered one of these for when it goes again and my future son in law can do it (his garage now does the van servicing but he admitted that they didn't have one of these so left the filter well alone for a month or two)
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  15. Techno100

    Techno100 Funster

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    The next eBay seller is double that price and I bought one last year :Doh:
  16. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster

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    Glad I got it then!:Smile:
  17. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    You missed my point
    I was hinting that when a diyer has problems with these filters it's always put down to a bad design fault

    When a punter pays a garage to change these filters and they fail sometimes 1000s of miles later,the blame lies firmly on the crap service done by the garage:Doh:
    Even fiat cant fit em right and the original filters are no better, its pot luck every time, no mater who changed it:thumb:
    1 person likes this.
  18. injebreck99

    injebreck99 Funster

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    I have had this problem twice, a year apart, the original filter leaked badly a few months after I bought the van, (2.3, 130bhp, ), then again last year after fitting a genuine Fiat filter, , everything lined up and tightened correctly, I think that the ring is not deep or thick enough, so does not compress enough to give a proper seal, that and a crappy plastic housing/securing ring, what could possibly go wrong, !
  19. Techno100

    Techno100 Funster

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    I believe the reality is that there is nothing wrong with the original filter housing but that it is abuse by mechanics not using the correct tool and a torque wrench. This is evident from many posts on different forums. As for the seal stretching, this will happen in the process of removing the filter housing top as the seal will have stuck to the surfaces and will not come free evenly but as it is meant to be replaced it is not relevant.
    All the filter housing manufacturer has done is make the replacement housing grease monkey proof.
  20. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Hi
    I have waited for years for a sparky with your mechanical foursight to come along,
    "Assuming you have installed a light up there" could you read out the correct procedure and most importantly the torque setting for the filter housing, I see im wasting hundreds of pounds a year on tech data software and they dont even show such info so any help you can offer will be of great help to my and many other Grease Monkeys
    Regards
    G

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