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Old 02-13-2020, 09:43 AM   #1
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Spring Diesel Maintenance

With the 2020 camping season only a couple of months away, I have been going through my owner's manual for my Cummins ISB 6.7 diesel engine and making a checklist based on the manual's recommendation.

Besides an oil change, which I will be doing my self, I have saved up large cardboard boxes and broke down to use as a "drop cloth so to speak", and oil and fuel filters, are there any other seasonal maintenance that I should be aware of for a first-time diesel owner?

One area that I'm not sure of yet is the after exhaust particle filter. Is this something I need to clean, or does it clean itself while on the highway and the heat from the exhaust?

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
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Don't forget to clean or change the air filter. The particle filter should clean itself with highway driving
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:14 PM   #3
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You should have a maintenance schedule in your Diesel Supplement Book for your truck/motorhome. This schedule list at mileage/age (in months) what should be serviced. Such as oil changes, filter changes, fuel filter changes, air filter, engine coolant and servicing the EGR system if required.

When changing oil I take a sample of the oil and send this into a lab for an oil analysis of the engine oil. Among other items this will tell you if you have diesel fuel in the oil and or a coolant leak. Which if caught early will save some money down the road.

Another item which makes change oil easy is to purchase a 5 gallon oil catch pan from Walmart or NAPA. This will capture all of your engine oil allowing you to transfer this into a 5 gallon disposable container. I also installed in my oil pan a Finger touch oil drain valve. This prevents you from getting an oil bath when removing the drain plug from the pan. The Finger touch oil drain valve stays in the oil pan for your next oil change.

There are several different types that will work, check the internet for them.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:30 AM   #4
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Jim34, I plan on putting a Fumoto drain valve on my rig when I do the oil change. I'll get one with a nipple to attach a hose to it so future oil changes I can just dump the old oil into saved jugs from laundry detergent etc. to take to a local gas station that heats the place with an old oil burner furnace.

While talking about oil change, is Rotella the most commonly used? I saw a four-gallon box at BJ's for $79.99. How about filters, oil, and gas, online?

Seadog, thanks for the reminder about the air filter, dually noted!

Although my rig only has 18,500 miles on it, now six years old, I plan to take it somewhere this summer to have the whole cooling system flushed and fresh coolant.

I haven't gotten to the maintenance schedule if any, yet in my Cummins owners manual.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:26 PM   #5
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Any Cummins approved oil will work fine. Your manual will list the spec and grade, should be Cummins CES 20081. I use Rotella T6 5W40 in our Ram 2500 as we see -30 to -40 quite a bit in winter time, and with their rebates and regular sale price it's just about the best price I can get.

Edit: Careful where/if you buy filters online. Some vendors on Amazon for example sell 'OEM' filters which are actually chinese knockoffs. My local RAM dealer actually gives a pretty good price on oil filters.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Don't overlook the brake fluid if it has not been flushed in the past 3 years or so.

You have your ducks in a row with the oil, oil filter and fuel filter. Maybe have a bottle of injector cleaner on hand for the first trip. I personally run additive in every tank.
FWIW, my opinion is that the oil and filters should be changed before it is put away for the winter. That way, the fresh oil (with high TBN) is covering the internals all winter long. Instead of the old oil.

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Edit: Careful where/if you buy filters online. Some vendors on Amazon for example sell 'OEM' filters which are actually chinese knockoffs. My local RAM dealer actually gives a pretty good price on oil filters.
I cannot emphasize that enough! I know one guy that wrecked his fuel system to the tune of $10,000 because of fake filters.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:20 PM   #7
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For all your filter needs contact Genos garage they carry fleet guard filters in a kit, Cummins brand, they also have what you need to clean the egr system when time comes.

Have the valves adjusted every 60k as the manual calls for or you will have to have the lash caps replaced which ain't cheap
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:40 PM   #8
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EvilTwin, yeah just today I was checking out Amazon and I noticed some fuel filters and water separators at $16 then noticed the mid-price point in the mid $30's going all the up to over a $100 for the pair. I don't think though anyone needs to buy official Cummins or the biggie seemed to be Mopar just because those two names were stamped on the filters. Right now my thought is Napa or Fram, I have always had good luck with both even using Fram's on my 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 with 9000 original miles on it.

You are right too about changing the oil out at the end of the season leaving fresh oil in the oil pan. A practice I used to be used to from my boating days before RV'ing!. However, I just bought the DP this past May just before Memorial Day Wknd. and because of different family issues, this year didn't get the nights in with it like we are more used to. Only put about 3500 miles on the fresh oil the dealer had put in at purchase, not sure if the filters were changed though.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:40 PM   #9
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Check out Genoa prices you might be surprised with what you can get
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman12 View Post
EvilTwin, yeah just today I was checking out Amazon and I noticed some fuel filters and water separators at $16 then noticed the mid-price point in the mid $30's going all the up to over a $100 for the pair. I don't think though anyone needs to buy official Cummins or the biggie seemed to be Mopar just because those two names were stamped on the filters. Right now my thought is Napa or Fram, I have always had good luck with both even using Fram's on my 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 with 9000 original miles on it.

You are right too about changing the oil out at the end of the season leaving fresh oil in the oil pan. A practice I used to be used to from my boating days before RV'ing!. However, I just bought the DP this past May just before Memorial Day Wknd. and because of different family issues, this year didn't get the nights in with it like we are more used to. Only put about 3500 miles on the fresh oil the dealer had put in at purchase, not sure if the filters were changed though.
Former boater here too! I grew up on the water. Still miss those days.
Donaldson makes excellent filters. I cannot confirm they make them for Cummins, but they make fuel and oil filters for a ton of OEM branded filters.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Former boater here too! I grew up on the water. Still miss those days.
Donaldson makes excellent filters. I cannot confirm they make them for Cummins, but they make fuel and oil filters for a ton of OEM branded filters.
I've heard the name Donaldson and Racor thrown around for filters. I would stay away from Napa or Fram with my very expensive engine and fuel system.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:08 AM   #12
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I suggest you check your local Freightliner dealer for all your filters. My local dealer was equal to or less than what I saw online. Also download the Freightliner app “24/7 Direct” for your phone. Maintenance schedules are in the app. Most of the responses here are from diesel truck owners not motor homes, similar but not always the same.
Another good source of information is from a Berkshire owner at his blog which can be found at dragonship.blog
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:26 AM   #13
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Dont forget to get out the grease gun. Some vehicles still need certain points greased. You could have a few to a few dozen. Also check the drive shaft, heavier duty vehicles still have grease points at the joints in the drive shaft.

As far as the particulate filter, they self clean (aka regen), but do only last so many miles before needing replacement. Your book on the truck should mention it. If I remember right, an M2 chassis, it like 250k miles, a pickup may be less.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:01 AM   #14
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I've always thought and still do that NAPA and NAPA GOLD filters are quality filters, as are many of their replacement parts. Fram is an old name that has been out there for a long time

For the chassis lube, what I did with my Ford F53 and now the Freightliner chassis is have that done at the garage I take the rig to for its yearly safety inspection
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman12 View Post
I've always thought and still do that NAPA and NAPA GOLD filters are quality filters, as are many of their replacement parts. Fram is an old name that has been out there for a long time

For the chassis lube, what I did with my Ford F53 and now the Freightliner chassis is have that done at the garage I take the rig to for its yearly safety inspection
I belong to Turbo Diesel Register .Com. This group is tied into the Cummins engine and publishes a quartile magazine with very technical articles on every thing from engine oil to diesel fuel.

One of the quartile magazines did a exposé on several different oil filters and then fuel filters. When they did the review on oil filters it was amazing the junk that is produced under brand names. Such as the number and area of the holes in the filter base plate, either too small or not enough of them. The second issue is the removal of the BEVEL WASHER at the bottom of the filter can or replaced with a plastic washer. Third issue was the filter media and the ability to retain the micron particles in suspension of the filter media. Also the flitter base plate was not the proper thickness along with a thinner side wall of the can.

The engine/equipment manufactures spend Hundreds of Thousand dollars a year on filter research for their products. These filters are made to meet the requirements of full filtration and the micron filtration that is required to protect their products.

So, do you want to go and purchase your low cost $5 dollar filter to protect your $9,000 to $15,000 diesel engine for you vehicle? I don't, I will but either Fleetguard, Caterpillar, Baldwin or Donaldson filters which meets the manufactures filtration requirements .
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:47 AM   #16
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Ok, so I'm about to order my filters to do the Spring oil change. However, I'm confused about the fuel filters. My owner's manual says the "primary fuel filter is Fleetguard # FF63008 (now 63009) and my pre-filter is Fleetguard FS1065. Further reading for oil and filter change intervals mentions the fuel filter change as the "spin-on" type. Is that the FS1065 which almost looks like an oil filter, or do you change the more expensive FF63008/9 yearly?

Cummins is closed due to the covid-19 emergency.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:13 AM   #17
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I just did my first diesel oil change yesterday. I bought Fleetguard filters from Amazon, they seemed to have the best price. The local Advance Auto Parts had Rotella T4 15W40 on sale for 14.99 a gallon, which seemed like a very good price. I had also bought from Amazon a Fumato drain valve, but I returned it after I got under my rig to notice the bottom drain. I felt the Fumato would stick out too much so I'm going to just go with the standard plug. Once a year changes, no big deal. I also got from Amazon a 5-gallon drain pan. Here I ordered to quickly, I should have got one that holds at least 6-gallons to have a little leeway room, and handles to lift and pour the used oil into gallon jugs. With my DW's help though it wasn't too bad.

The toughest part of the whole process was putting oil back into the rig! What a p.i.t.a! Though there was enough room to tilt the gallon jugs, with the oil hole angled it was impossible to add the oil straight from the jugs into the engine. After trying several different funnels I finally used one with a length of clear tubing. Again with an assist from my DW holding the funnel and hose, I poured the new oil in. The slow process took more time to add than to change the oil and filter. Thank You, YouTube for showing a filter wrench used with 3/8 ratchet extension to loosen the old filter.

Changed the primary screw-on gas filter, also Fleetguard. Surprised at how much diesel poured out when removing and got caught off guard without something to catch the fuel. Again, to the rescue my DW giving me an old baking pan to at least drop the old filter full of diesel into. Although that filter should've been changed when we bought the rig last May, it looked like the old filter had been on for a while and it was hard to break the seal to get it off. It figures that I had 24mm, 27, and 28mm sockets, but not a 25mm hex head to fit snuggly to remove it, however, a regular socket fit good enough to do the job. Finally, the other fuel filter with water separator I could not remove. It appears to be the original OEM from the factory. I don't have a filter wrench big enough to get use on it. The new filter is also a Fleetguard. In May I'll have to take the rig in for it's annual safety inspection. I already intended to have the shop do a chassis lube at this time and I'll ask them to change the remaining fuel filter for me.

When shopping for filters, there was no cross-reference for the main fuel filter FG 63009 to Donaldson, Baldwin, or other filters. I believe only the oil filter had across. Happ with the Fleetguards and price seemed reasonable on Mr. Amazon.

Next task, changing the diesel generator oil and filter.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:40 AM   #18
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my experiences, too, and while a great cost savings, it can be quite the mess... I also could not get either fuel filter off, and didn't want to risk twisting too hard - these are also hard to come by, at least the 'additional' filter added by THOR, which Cummins says was not provided by them, only the primary one was.

I still have not changed the fuel filters, although the oil and trans fluid has been - and yes, adding OIL is a real pain for these rear-radiator compact diesels, but I love mine and don't care!

When I know I really 'need' to change out the fuel filters, I'll cruise in to Speedco, on a slow day, and let them do it from their 'basement'... easy. They also have a much easier way to fill the filter with diesel before attaching it, too. Having a little oil on my hands is one thing, getting some diesel on you is something else all together.

The generator was maybe more problematic than the engine, simply because it's so tight to get into... but, I eventually did, and even changed/cleaned out the 'spark arrestor'... just don't be looking up into it when you do!
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