OVER the years I’ve managed to kill an injector pump and, in a separate incident, a set of injectors; all because of crook fuel I’d picked up somewhere on my travels.
Luckily it was on my old Patrol and the repair bill was only a few grand… if you call that lucky. Now with modern high-pressure injectors, throw-away injector pumps and complicated fuel systems, you can expect to spend a lot more, with a replacement injector for the V8 Cruiser costing in the vicinity of $350 for just one... and there are eight of them. Don’t even ask about a replacement injector pump, but we’ve heard horror tales from Outback shops of repair bills in excess of 20 grand because of contaminated fuel.
Water in the fuel, which is common enough, isn’t the only issue. Believe it or not, there’s fungus and bacteria which thrives in diesel fuel, especially warm diesel fuel, where any water condensation speeds up the growth of these fuel bugs. Then, of course, there is any particle matter that gets into the fuel system from old jerry cans, worn 200-litre drums, or junk from the local fuel station’s underground tank. It’s easy to see why an extra fuel filter in the system is a good idea.
Ask anyone in the diesel repair business and I’m sure you’ll get the same answer. I didn’t need to go to that trouble so, before I started clocking up kilometres in the Cruiser, I had the crew at Outback 4WD fit a Flashlube diesel filter to my fuel system.
Terrain Tamer supplied the mounting kit, all the fittings and the Flashlube filter, which is the heart of the system. This filter is a 30-micron unit designed to trap water and any other sediment before fuel passes through the factory-fitted filter, which is rated around five micron. Because today’s diesel engines pump a lot of fuel to the injector pump to keep it cool, with about 80 per cent of the fuel (warm fuel at that) being returned to the fuel tank, it is extremely important the vehicle is fitted with the correct extra fuel filter.
And don’t believe your vehicle manufacturer’s representative when they tell you the OE filter system is good enough on its own, as hundreds of examples exist to prove them wrong, no matter the make or model of your 4WD.
Once you have the kit from Terrain Tamer, any good handyman with the right tools can fit the unit, as it comes with a set of fitting instructions and all the brackets, hoses and connections required. The mounting bracket fits readily on the driver’s side of the engine bay’s inside panel, using existing screw mounts and requiring only minor shifting of other equipment.
The extra hoses are then routed around the engine bay to the original fuel filter and inlet hose. Probably the biggest issue is bleeding the fuel system after fitment of the filter so that the engine runs properly.
If unsure on how to do it, take it to your favourite service centre. Having a similar extra fuel filter system on my Patrol for a number of years – and the fact I’ve never had a fuel problem since fitment – I highly recommend these units. In fact, you’d be crazy not to fit one.