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Old 01-29-2017, 04:08 AM   #1
jackbombay
 
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Default Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

So, I have been dealing with some bad injector issues for a little while now, in May I purchased 5 new injectors and the van ran better, black smoke was eliminated, and I got better fuel mileage.

7,000 miles later I began to develop some smoke at start up again, and a bit of a gallop to my idle....

I checked the smooth running at idle and found the #2 injector to be the culprit, I swapped in one of my old ones and things got notably better.

I have replaced my fuel filters more frequently than the manual suggests for the last 100,000 miles, I replaced the fuel filter about 100 miles before I replaced the injectors, and I've always been meticulous about cleanliness when I have the fuel system open in any way, a full pressure wash of the area where I will be working....

So, it seems like I have fuel contamination issues, so I installed a Caterpillar 2 micron fuel filter downstream from the stock filter, I have now driven about 200 miles with that set-up and want to get my already failed new injector rebuilt, so I make some calls and find a place in Texas that offers a 2 year warranty on their rebuilds and they reuse only the body of the injector, every orher part gets replaced, great.

The guy says the problem is debris in the common rail, and insists I will continue to have problems if I don't send him all the connecting lines downstream of the HP fuel pump, so all 5 injector supply lines the line from the pump to the rail and the rail itself. He cleans them all in an ultrasonic acid bath.


So, my question is how does debris get into the rail if the only thing that has ever been in it is filtered fuel?


I did have my HP fuel pump rebuilt by Andy Bittenbinder about 6 years ago, I suppose there is a chance that material is coming from the pump, but I'd expect that to be somewhat catastrophic which is not what I am experiencing.

Anyone ever get their fuel rail cleaned?

Should I just get the #2 injector rebuilt install it and see how it goes?

The van is a 2003 with 175k miles on it...
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Water in fuel can damage your high pressure fuel system like that. I had a similar problem in late '14 when I picked up some contaminated fuel (required a new fuel rail (new pressure sensor & pressure control valve too) and decontaminated tank to fix). Mine did set off the water in fuel light, but, since ULSD disperses water, water can easily make it through the filter w/o setting off the light. I now preview all fuel by taking a small sample before pumping. Green, cloudy fuel indicates water contamination and I recently aborted a fill because the preview sample was green & cloudy. It's rare (1 in 31 previews so far), but it does happen, and if you don't preview, you won't know when you pump in water. You might be able to find a combination of filters that would break the water-in-oil emulsion and remove the water so you wouldn't have to preview sample to guarantee no water damage, but I don't know of one.
Acid cleaning would remove the rust, but I'd be concerned about possible damage to the sensor and/or valve.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

As TH43 indicated, not all junk gets caught by the filter or there wouldn't be injector and other high pressure component problems from bad fuel. Some stuff does get by.

The fuel rail is an accumulator, so I suppose that it could be contaminated. I haven't seen other posts indicating that special fuel rail cleaning has been necessary.

I didn't see anywhere that you mentioned dropping the tank and cleaning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
...

Should I just get the #2 injector rebuilt install it and see how it goes?

The van is a 2003 with 175k miles on it...


Since you asked.

I would address the known problem and clean the fuel tank. If you don't clean the tank the contaminants may keep returning even after a special fuel rail cleaning.

vic
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
Water in fuel can damage your high pressure fuel system like that. I had a similar problem in late '14 when I picked up some contaminated fuel (required a new fuel rail (new pressure sensor & pressure control valve too) and decontaminated tank to fix). Mine did set off the water in fuel light, but, since ULSD disperses water, water can easily make it through the filter w/o setting off the light.
I have never had the WIF light come on, but I have of course been running ULSD for many years now :-/


When we get a little further into spring I'll pull the rail and supply lines and have them cleaned and send the injector off for a rebuild.

When you dropped the tank what did you find in it? I know cleaning the tank would be the "belt and suspenders" approach, but any water contaminated fuel is long gone at this point and any particulate matter will get taken care of by the filter, especially now that I have a 2 micron filter in the fuel system, but injector issues are far from cheap, so I'm not not totally opposed to dropping the tank, but I'd rather not...
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

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Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
Acid cleaning would remove the rust, but I'd be concerned about possible damage to the sensor and/or valve.
Sensor gets removed before cleaning I believe.

Quote:
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I would address the known problem and clean the fuel tank. If you don't clean the tank the contaminants may keep returning even after a special fuel rail cleaning.

vic
If I just plan ahead and let the tank get low it won't be too much work to drop and clan the tank, but I'm sure it'll be annoying!
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Quote:
When you dropped the tank what did you find in it? I know cleaning the tank would be the "belt and suspenders" approach, but any water contaminated fuel is long gone at this point and any particulate matter will get taken care of by the filter, especially now that I have a 2 micron filter in the fuel system, but injector issues are far from cheap, so I'm not not totally opposed to dropping the tank, but I'd rather not...
I had the dealership drop and clean the tank since the offending truck stop was paying the bill, but they said they didn't find any water. The level sensor fell apart when they removed it, so that had to be replaced. As far as the presence of water contaminated fuel in your tank, that can happen at any time, since if you don't preview sample, you never know what's going into your tank. I know I haven't pumped in any water since my problem and my fuel system issues (occasional miss at idle) gradually went away.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
if you don't preview sample, you never know what's going into your tank.
Do you cut the bottom off a clear plastic water bottle for this? And then use a funnel to add that fuel to the tank if it isn't cloudy? The one time it was cloudy what did you do with that fuel?

Its a little inconvenient, but not too bad, just wondering how you have streamlined the preview process :-)
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Curious here too as to particulars :-)
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Do you cut the bottom off a clear plastic water bottle for this? And then use a funnel to add that fuel to the tank if it isn't cloudy? The one time it was cloudy what did you do with that fuel?

Its a little inconvenient, but not too bad, just wondering how you have streamlined the preview process :-)
Much more detail in my thread entitled "Water in Fuel - Preview Samples". But, I use an old, clear plastic orange juice container with a screw cap and opening large enough to accommodate insertion of the hose nozzle. I pump in less than a quart of fuel and let it settle down for a bit to let the entrained air separate before making my judgement. I then put the capped bottle in my kit (a large plastic tub containing other liquids, etc.) and dump the contents into the tank just before the next fill (using a funnel). I guessed that the cloudy fill sample would be sufficiently diluted by the ~20 gallons of fuel in the next fill, so I did the same for that. Just in case I find 2 cloudy previews in succession (or a fuel sample with large drops of water), I also carry a spare plastic bottle.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ultrasonic acid bath cleaning for Fuel rail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
Much more detail in my thread entitled "Water in Fuel - Preview Samples". But, I use an old, clear plastic orange juice container with a screw cap and opening large enough to accommodate insertion of the hose nozzle. I pump in less than a quart of fuel and let it settle down for a bit to let the entrained air separate before making my judgement. I then put the capped bottle in my kit (a large plastic tub containing other liquids, etc.) and dump the contents into the tank just before the next fill (using a funnel). I guessed that the cloudy fill sample would be sufficiently diluted by the ~20 gallons of fuel in the next fill, so I did the same for that. Just in case I find 2 cloudy previews in succession (or a fuel sample with large drops of water), I also carry a spare plastic bottle.
Thanks for the details!

Thats a nice way to take care of it :-)

I'll search for your other thread too.
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