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Fuel heater delete?

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by swald, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. swald

    swald Registered User

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    I get back into the truck this morning when leaving the store, and the smell of diesel is pretty strong. And after a quick inspection with the engine running, I'm almost certain it's coming from the fuel heater.

    So what do I do next? Why hop on youtube of course. And there is what appears to me to be an ingenious fix using an expansion plug.

    First question then is should I do it? We're already down to 20F at night and it will get a lot colder. Do I need that heater or will using something like Archoil's winter diesel treatment suffice?

    If I go that route, and I get started disconnecting lines, are there any springs, balls, or other tiny parts that will come flying out of the items indicated below? And what should I do with the heater connector? I'm thinking i may want to leave it intact in case I change my mind and want to use it again. what would be the best way to stow it out of the way?

    upload_2020-10-24_21-19-57.png
     
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  2. swald

    swald Registered User

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    Bummer. Maybe the expansion plug idea is not so great after all.

    I went to that amazon link to get more details on it, and I see this:

    upload_2020-10-24_21-25-53.png


    Maybe a well nut will work.
     
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  3. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    A popular method is to remove it, tap the hole to 1/2" NPT and install a plug. Don't worry about the cold. This style of heater is almost useless. It heats the fuel at the highest point in the fuel system. This doesn't make much sense because heat rises. It's also a long way from the fuel tanks so it won't help there either. All of this is assuming that it's still working after all these years. As for the wiring plug, just leave it in place. You can wrap electrical tape around it just to be on the safe side.
     
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  4. square1

    square1 Registered User

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    For some reason I'm under the impression if doing the 1/2 NPT plug it is supposed to be brass. That's what I did anyway. I'm sure I read it somewhere or I would not have thought of it. Also ensure any thread sealant is rated for the application and keep it back a couple threads from the leading end.

    In 10 years of owning / operating diesel engines in Michigan there has been one time I had to tarp a tractor and thaw it out with a salamander. It can happen, but proper fuel type and additives will go a long way toward minimizing the issue of gelled fuel.
     
  5. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    Mine was leaking, causing air intrusion also (starts up and then stops). I took it all apart and replaced the o-ring. That fixed it for a couple of years and then it started leaking again. I then read on here that a guy disconnected his wiring plug, cleaned it up really good and slathered jb weld over it. I did that to mine and left the plug disconnected, and it's been leak free ever since and I see no performance difference with it unplugged.
     
  6. swald

    swald Registered User

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

    Although with 14F outside and snow falling, it may have to wait another day or 2.
     
  7. notenuftime

    notenuftime Full Access Member

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    Not sure if this will help but I use a plug and JB Weld. Been good for 5 years. Don't worry about cold, the key to that is good glow plugs, good harness and a little winter additive. Got a block heater also. IMG_20201025_093607151.jpg
     
  8. swald

    swald Registered User

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  9. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I'll add that once, I drove my truck to work 15 miles down the highway at -4 with nothing in the tank other than what came out of the nozzle at the gas station. It did run a little sluggish for the first half mile, but after that, it ran just like normal. I did have it plugged in and did let the engine run for 20 minutes or so before I got in to drive it. I doubt that I'll chance that again though.
     
  10. swald

    swald Registered User

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    That's good to know.
    ~24 hours and 10" of snow later with outside temp almost to single digits, you'd think we were already in the dead of winter.

    And after more reading, i'm inclined to try that well nut idea. Here's a link to a similar application, and stressing the need for the rubber part being made of nitrile, which is apparently better suited for use with things like fuel, including diesel.
     
  11. Black dawg

    Black dawg Registered User

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    The fuel heater does more than alot of people give it credit for, but usually with the proper fuel and the factory filter micron rating you wont have issues.

    the problem comes with sustained negative temps, as wax drops out of the fuel regardless of additive, eventually ending up with a filter restricted by wax.
     
  12. 92 dizzel

    92 dizzel Registered User

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    Just deleted mine yesterday. Put an expanding neoprene plug in it. Doorman helper 02608 I think is the number of it. I posted a pic of it but I don't see my post.

    Took an hour maybe, but I did some other things too.
     
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  13. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I remember seeing it somewhere. It was on here last night.
     
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