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Thread: Air Leak in DAVCO 382 Fuel Filter

  1. #1
    Mountain Flyer's Avatar
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    Default Air Leak in DAVCO 382 Fuel Filter

    Hi Guys,

    I have had my truck in about 4 times to the shop now, and am finally taking matters into my own hands. I have a 1999 International 9400 with an N14 Cummins. This truck has a DAVCO 382 heated fuel filter installed. Had no problems until last summer when I noticed that if the truck sat a few days between trips it was hard to start. It would start, run a few seconds, then quit and I had to crank it quite awhile to start it.

    As fall came on and colder temps, I decided I best get this fixed. In to the shop she went. First effort on their part: No change. Don't know what they did, but it didn't fix it.

    Second effort: They replaced the check valve on the ECM. Surely that would fix it. Nope.

    Third Effort: Took apart the inlet to the DAVCO and cleaned the check ball and spring. Surely that would fix it. Nope.

    Fourth Effort: Told me to take the truck to the Cummins dealer to see if they could fix it. They charged me $200 to say, "Yep, the problem is somewhere in the filter". Their solution: Replace the filter $750, add labor $550, and assorted other charges for a total of $1300. I paid them their $200 and left.

    At this point, I, the non-mechanic, got involved with my own salvation. I called a nice lady at Davco who said there is no way the "whole filter" needed replaced. She overnighted me a repair kit including new O-rings for the top and bottom, and a new check valve kit.

    I took them to my original mechanix and thought, great, problem will be solved. They replaced the upper parts and the mechaninc told me he "would have broken the bottom ring trying to get it off so left it alone". I had to make a trip so took off hoping problem solved. Nope.

    I am now home. I went to the shop and asked for my bottom O-ring back. I am going to spray some energy release or penetrating oil on the bottom tightener tomorrow, and get it off and replace that gasket. I will also check all the other fittings and use some new teflon tape or whatever.

    Does anyone else who has worked on these units have any good ideas before I go berzerk? :roll: Thanks guys! 8)
    "It is not the critic who counts,
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
    or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
    whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows the great enthusiasms,
    the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
    who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
    and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
    who know neither victory or defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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  3. #2
    yoopr is offline Board Icon
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    did you put some diesel around the filter before you put it on?
    Also-you might have just bought a bad filter.

  4. #3
    Mountain Flyer's Avatar
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    It's a whole different kind of filter; the filter sits inside a housing that has clear plastic dome and a spring to hold it down... if you look at the Davco website it shows it well there. Really a neat idea; heats the fuel to avoid waxing in cold temps. When it works. :?
    "It is not the critic who counts,
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
    or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
    whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows the great enthusiasms,
    the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
    who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
    and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
    who know neither victory or defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #4
    ken_o is offline Senior Board Member
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    this could be a array of things. ill list some for you.
    first go to an international dealer. have them plug it in check for codes.
    could be anything tps, injector pressure sensor.ambient air sensor an array of problems could cause this.
    or maybe even the fuel pump is on its way out.
    i hope your engine isnt surging.and if it is. any smoke out the stack?.
    of course you can always disconnect the battery for 30 seconds and try to reset it.
    fancy fuel filters what ever happened to just insulating the lines.

  6. #5
    One's Avatar
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    That sounds like the problem I had in a Freightliner century once...while sitting i could watch little bubbles filling the sightglass till it was full of air, then when I cranked,it would run long enough to suck the air to the engine instead of fuel and would then have to crank for 30 secs to restart it with much sputtering. The problem started when the fuel filter element was replaced and I was told that they must not have tightened the thing down right again....I have no idea, but i figured, I share that incase a :idea: comes to your head :wink:

  7. #6
    Mountain Flyer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion fellas. Pretty much does what One expereinced with the Freightliner. Runs fine once I get it going. Problem started right about the time I had an overhead done on it at the mechanic's shop, if that has anything to do with anything, who knows... I tried today to get the bottom off the filter to replace the O-ring, but it is on too tight. Will need to get a bigger wrench!
    "It is not the critic who counts,
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
    or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
    whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows the great enthusiasms,
    the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
    who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
    and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
    who know neither victory or defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #7
    ken_o is offline Senior Board Member
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    if air was leaking in wouldnt that still cause a problem while you were in transit.

  9. #8
    thejunkman is offline Member
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    Not necessarity. I had the same problem with a B series Cummins on a smaller truck. Hard starting but once it got started, and passed the initail air it idled fine and ran ok. Problem then got worse at one point where the truck wouldnt start at all, and came to fine a fuel line rotted, and bam there it was. now no hard starting.

    Like one said, check your sight glass on that 382. Also check your fuel level. With a new filter, one of ours runs about 2-3 inches of fuel up the sight glass. You also need o check that for air bubbles. To me it very well sounds like air, however all other things should be checked 1st, ie fault codes, etc. I admit I am not the best with the newer engines and fault codes, etc. But we have a few of those Davco units, and havent had any problems. The system is suppose to raise fuel level in the glass as the filter gets dirty. You problem may or maynot be the Davco unit, but air entering at another point in the system, if thats what it is. You need to check for air bubbles.

  10. #9
    bob h's Avatar
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    if all else fails;

    run a line from the inlet of your fuel pump directly into a "known-good" supply of clean fuel... bypassing the davco.

    Start and run engine long enough to smooth things out/de-aerate the fuel system. Then, shut it down and wait; if the problem still exists, you know where the problem IS NOT. If the problem is gone, then the problem IS in the low pressure side... at least that will narrow it down.
    Bob H

  11. #10
    Mountain Flyer's Avatar
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    Hey all... just a quick post, "problem fixed". What it turned out to be was that the bottom O-ring, which the factory mailed to me, was the wrong one. When we put it in, the problem got WORSE. Turns out it was a too thin O-ring. After talking to a factory rep, we got a new O-ring that is the same size as the one on the top (filter). Installed it, she works fine now.

    In any event; those of you with Davco filters, if they give you trouble, replace BOTH the top and the bottom O-ring. They are both interchangeable. :P
    "It is not the critic who counts,
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
    or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
    whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
    who knows the great enthusiasms,
    the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
    who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
    and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
    who know neither victory or defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  12. #11
    JoeyB is offline Member
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    Default Re: Air Leak in DAVCO 382 Fuel Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Flyer
    ...I, the non-mechanic, got involved with my own salvation...
    This happens a lot with Owner/Operators.

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