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Discussion Starter #1
I have a great 2004 3010 diesel but recently it started to lose power. I changed the fuel filter, air filter, checked all the fuel lines, see no leaks but within minutes after starting it looses nearly all power. Starts with no problem, idles just fine, but at higher RPM it looses power. Looking at the return fuel flow it drops. Any idea sure are welcomed.

CEK
 

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Double check your water drain valve cap on the bottom of the fuel filter. If is is leaking any air at all it will idle and then drop all power at higher rpms. Also check all the suction hose couplings to make sure they are snug and there is no evidence of the hoses hardening and allowing air infiltration. Never use airplane clamps on the suction fuel lines, always use the constant spring pressure OEM type clamps. The airplane type clamps that screw down the band create microscopic air passages at the connections once they hose takes a set.

The other thing to check is to loosen the fuel cap so the tank gets plenty of venting and try it. If that works, then go to your nearest Wally World and pick up a jug of Power Service fuel additive for diesels and treat the tank to pull all the water out of the system. If you do not have a Wally World handy, go to you nearest tractor store and pick up the fuel additive with both the pour point depressor and the water dispersant.

It is a good idea to take the tank cap in where it is warm and dry so it dries out overnight if the fuel has not been treated yet this season. The caps are supposed to vent a small amount of air and water vapor will collect and block the vent, more often in freezing weather.

Another thing is to make absolutely sure the suction line and filter have been completely evacuated of all air. I do this by putting three psi of air pressure in the tank after I remove and plug the return line connector at the tank. I let the return line drain right into a can until I have fully evacuated all the air from the system. I let mine idle and fully warm the engine while it is bleeding out, that way the injectors will clear themselves of any trapped air also.

If you have not built one yet, an air valve connected to a barb and a low pressure gauge like used for ATV tires on a T, and then connected to the return tube on the tank is the way to go. Never go above 3 PSI! Put a baggy over the fuel cap threads and screw it in enough to hold the air pressure. After bleeding then slowly open the fuel cap and let the pressure escape from the tank. Works great to make routine filter changing and the occasional flushing any water that traps in the fuel lines a snap.

This requires you remove the return line during the flushing cycle, but that should be done anyway. Just remember to remove the home-made bleeder valve and reconnect the return line, and remove the baggy from the fuel cap when you are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Have sort of done most of that but not as thoroughly as you described. Any quick way to check for micro air bubbles in the supply line post filter? Had this problem on a diesel in a sail boat, we added a short piece of clear tubing between the filter and the pump intake and sure enough there as a very fine stream of bubbles.

Thanks for the professional advise,

CEK
 

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The best bet for making absolutely certain that the air is out is to find a small piece of diesel resistant plastic tube and a press on union, and then connect it to the return line where it is removed from the tank. Watch for all the bubbles to clear as the fuel spills into a bucket when the tank is pressurized.

You will get a rush of air, then a few seconds of solid clear fuel, then a pop of air pressure and a run of bubbles and then it will clear as the trapped air is evacuated. Let it drain at least a cup after it looks to be clear.

Figure on between a pint and a quart of fuel needing to be caught in the drain container. I use a clean container and then just pour it back in the tank, so there is no waste.
 

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on truck I just remove the fuel vent attach an adapter and pressurize the whole system check for visible leaks. shoould push fuel out anywhere it would be normally sucking it in.
 

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Pressurize the tank and it will pressurize the fuel system on the injection pump and filter intake side, and force diesel out the overflow tube that would normally connect to the tank. If you pressurize the other way around you will air lock the injection pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all for solid approaches. I replaced the whole upstream side with new hoses and a in line filter and power is restored. The leak appears to be in the filter manifold. Inlet, outlet or hand pump seal, doubled checked the filter and bleed seals, so I'll just replace the whole assembly.

CEK
 

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If you are using an inline filter be absolutely certain it is both diesel rated and three microns or smaller. Anything not rated for diesel will dissolve and end up trashing your delivery valves in the injection pump, and that is expensive. The new ultra-low sulfur diesel also contains a lot of suspended crap that is just above 3 microns in size, and you want to keep that out of your injection system.

I would just get a spin-on adapter from NAPA and one of their larger spin on NAPA Gold filters rated at 3 microns.
 

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i just had a simular issue, i noticed that the primer on top of the fuel filter dropped while running pointing at some sort of restriction, and slowly lifting to the normal position after approx 30 sec of not running, when i took the primer assembly out the elbow on the input was full of crap. thank god it was an easy fix.
 
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