Fuel What is the best fuel filter for a Davco?

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
There are a ton of filter replacement options for the Davco, but which one have you found to perform the best? Or do you think they are all the same.

So far, all I have used are Fleetguard and Baldwin. Up until my current truck, really didn't notice which was better because the Davco wasn't the primary filter, so it was a 25 micron filter. Filter never came close to being clogged up between oil changes (40-50k miles).

Now, running a 7-10 micron filter (I would prefer to stick with a 7 whenever possible), filter life has become an issue, at least during the winter months.

A couple weeks ago, I found out that Fleetguard had 2 different 7 micron filters for my truck. I have the Davco 382, small housing. One is the Elemax, easily identifiable, and other one that Speedco tried to put in my truck that is a fleetguard, without the paper on the outside like the Elemax. Not sure if it is some bulk item that they are getting from fleetguard or what. They told me it is cheaper than the elemax, but lasts longer. I told them to remove it and put the same filter in there that I had in the truck when I arrived. They weren't happy, but they did it.

So, that got me to thinking as I was sitting and looking to order some filters. Which is the best brand to go with? Baldwin? Wix? Fleetguard? Donaldson? Luberfiner? Have another preference?

One thing I know about fuel filters, just because they plug up faster, doesn't mean they are working better. Sometimes, the material on the inside is just inferior.

I have always liked Donaldson filters, never used on in a Davco though. No reason why, just haven't.

Curious as to what your preferences might be though.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
To be honest, my own belief is these tiny micron filters and aftermarket name brands are just so much snake oil. I have been using the shop filters the entire life of this truck and have had trouble only one time: when there were contaminants in the fuel I put into the tanks. Obviously, I wouldn't have used that fuel if I'd known. I ended up throwing away 60 gallons of diesel over that.

I still have the same injectors that came with this engine. The only maintenance they have ever needed was to be gapped last year. The oil samples come back golden and it runs as smooth as a baby's butt. I have a nice, healthy Cummins ISX and I don't overthink or overspend my filters.

Services are done every 25K miles since 500K. Every 30K before that.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I don't care the brand. I carry wix. I got them for $4.52 each a couple years back. They are a 10 micron rating.

What matters to me is that they are a fuel/water separator.

Detroit also spec's 7 micron for injector protection.


I generally try and stick with the fleet guard, Donaldson, wix, Napa filters.


And as you've found out, the oil change racks will try and put a 25 micron filter on there in a heart beat. Fleet guards are easy to ID the wrong one. They write the micron rating right on the paper ring on the top.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
And as you've found out, the oil change racks will try and put a 25 micron filter on there in a heart beat. Fleet guards are easy to ID the wrong one. They write the micron rating right on the paper ring on the top.
Not the case with speedco. They are getting Fleetguarf filters that have no markings on then at all. Not sure if these are available to everyone, or of it something that is being packaged specifically for speedco.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
To be honest, my own belief is these tiny micron filters and aftermarket name brands are just so much snake oil. I have been using the shop filters the entire life of this truck and have had trouble only one time: when there were contaminants in the fuel I put into the tanks. Obviously, I wouldn't have used that fuel if I'd known. I ended up throwing away 60 gallons of diesel over that.

I still have the same injectors that came with this engine. The only maintenance they have ever needed was to be gapped last year. The oil samples come back golden and it runs as smooth as a baby's butt. I have a nice, healthy Cummins ISX and I don't overthink or overspend my filters.

Services are done every 25K miles since 500K. Every 30K before that.
Not quite sure I follow. Different shops buy different brands, so you are using some brand, and they have some micron rating.

The Davco is the only fuel filter on the truck. As for price, they are mostly competitive.
 

bustabo

Well-Known Member
@mndriver does your s60 only have one fuel filter? Mine takes a Baldwin 1259, I seem to blow thru them every 5k miles, I tried a Mann filter, same thing. Can't get more than 5k out of them
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I used to go 7-9,000 miles on a filter. I run a DAVCO 382. I use the Wix 33651 fuel filters.

I then gave my truck a "flu shot". This was back in Dec 2013. I was using a fuel filter a DAY.

in the right tank only....

1- 80 OZ bottle of Diesel 911 (removes moisture)
1- 80 OZ bottle of PS Clear Diesel. (Cleans the tank)
1- 16 oz bottle of Kill 'em biocide

I then filled the tank and let it sit over the weekend. drove on Monday running on the left tank ONLY. On Monday night I cross pumped the fuel from the right tank to the left tank with a 12 v transfer pump I bought and a 7 micron filter.

This was the result on a NEW filter. Watch the hose by the pump turn BLACK from the crap that came out of the filter.


use a strong FLASHLIGHT and look into the tank. It should be nice and shiny aluminum. If it's black, you have a film build up.

The other issue MIGHT be in your hoses. If they are old and delaminating from the inside, that will cause issues as well.

In 2014, I had ALL my fuel lines replaced with new. They don't last forever.


I can now get 30,000+ miles on a fuel filter. So long as I don't pick up a load of bad fuel. Then I just run it out and replace the filter.

Near as I can tell, that black scum in the tank is "asphaltene" It accumulates over time and the only way to get rid of it is get rid of the fuel.

This will sound foreign compared to what we were "taught" but once a quarter or more, run your tanks to the point you are afraid you will run out of fuel. It will help keep the asphaltene buildup in the system to a minimum then. I have twin 120 gallon tanks. I have put in at more 218 gallons on a couple of fills. It just weird seeing 1400 miles on a fill up.
 
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JunkYardDog5958

Well-Known Member
Ok, when I had my freightliner I used Wix (10 micron). Fuel mpg was 6.25-6.5. I then switched to Donaldson (5 micron) bc it's what was available in my little area that day. I instantly dropped to 5.5-5.75 mpg. Filter also went 2/3 up filter instantly. This was in December so cold fuel also. I got busted because no prosthetic so never did get to put wix back in and play around with. Could've been freak timing who knows. Just telling my story.
 

Copperhead

Well-Known Member
Detroit does primarily specify a 7 micron at 98% efficiency, but will allow a 15 micron as long as it is rated to 99% efficiency. I run Donaldson filters, a 7 micron in the warm months and a 15 micron in the cold months.
 

gearjammer

jammer
Mike, put a bypass filter on your truck [I have a harvard] any you will be amazed ai how good they are. keep an eye on your oil samples, change your primary every 7 to 10 thousand miles any you can extend your oil changes out, way out.
I once tried to see just how far I could go and at 80000 miles my samples were still showing good. I didn't go further because I just didn't feel right about not changing the oil but I am sure I could have got a 100 k out of it if I wanted too.
normally I change at 50000 and change the bypass filter at the same time;
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Mike, put a bypass filter on your truck [I have a harvard] any you will be amazed ai how good they are. keep an eye on your oil samples, change your primary every 7 to 10 thousand miles any you can extend your oil changes out, way out.
I once tried to see just how far I could go and at 80000 miles my samples were still showing good. I didn't go further because I just didn't feel right about not changing the oil but I am sure I could have got a 100 k out of it if I wanted too.
normally I change at 50000 and change the bypass filter at the same time;
I have an OPS on for the oil filtration.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Detroit does primarily specify a 7 micron at 98% efficiency, but will allow a 15 micron as long as it is rated to 99% efficiency. I run Donaldson filters, a 7 micron in the warm months and a 15 micron in the cold months.
Really learned a lot about fuel with these small micron filters.

I've learned that fuel in Texas can really plug one of these 7 micron filters up quick. It's not just coincidence from one or to fill ups. Be it pilot or TA, the fuel struggles to get through a 7 micron filter when cold. I guess it's a combination of the bio content, and lack of winterization.

I fueled at the new TA in Hillsboro, TX on my way to Laredo, and topped off their again on my way back up. Weather was really warm (almost 90). Checked my fuel filter when I got home, and it was only 1/3 full. Temp dropped off cold while I was at home, and I ended up having to put a new filter in 50 miles from my house because the filter was totally plugged up. Had the weather not gotten colder, I would have been fine.

Even with the new filter, restriction gauge was reading 5. Ran the fuel down really low and fueled again in Brooklyn, IA. Restriction immediately dropped down to 1.

Before this truck, my Davco filters were just a 25 micron filter because I always had a 2nd filter in the system, so the different fuels were never an issue.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I have actually thought about running a secondary filter and using a combination of filters in the davco's one being a 5 or 7 Micron and the other being a 25 micron
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Picked up a 10 micron Baldwin filter to use when my current Fleetguard gets plugged, also got a few 7 micron Donaldson filters to try after that during the warmer weather.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I have actually thought about running a secondary filter and using a combination of filters in the davco's one being a 5 or 7 Micron and the other being a 25 micron
If I ever change anything, I'm yanking the davco and installing a FASS
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
I understand that. But I have learned so much more about these 60 series Detroit then I ever thought possible talking with him.
 

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