With all the potential risk out thereof receiving a tank load of poor quality diesel, particularly from a remote service station, I started to research how best I could protect my truck, hopefully avoiding a very expensive repair bill. And whilst I’ve mentioned remote service stations, it should also be noted that fuel qualities in major cities and regional areas have also been getting some bad raps recently. Choice magazine has been writing about contaminated fuel issues highlighting that repairs can cost around the $20,000 mark! If an incident occurred in a remote part of Australia costs would be exponentially higher.
What I found was there are two types of extra diesel filters you can easily install yourself to add some protection beyond your standard factory fuel filter. There is a ‘Primary’ filter, which filters fuel prior to going through your factory filter, or a ‘Secondary’ filter, which filters post the factory filter. The Primary filter type is generally a 30-micron filter, which means it is relatively large in filtration terms, but it will separate larger dirt particles and water, prior to your factory filter having to do the finer work. In a reverse manner, the ‘Secondary’ filter is often a finer grade filter of around 2 microns and there are benefits to either system. The Primary will take out any heavy work so your factory filter can concentrate on finer grades without being clogged. The Secondary filter gives you peace of mind knowing anything that passes your factory filter should be caught in the Secondary filter before damaging anything major in the engine. Good to know if you get an alert on your dashboard. Regardless either system will give you ‘peace of mind’ when driving on your next adventure in this great land.
On the market at the moment there appears to be a number of DIY kits covering the majority of 4wds. Companies such as Diesel Care and Flashlube are two such kit suppliers. My experience was installing a DIY kit from Diesel Care Australia on the Landy, and it was a Secondary filter, which is the only DIY kit for the Landy I could find. The reason for this is the Defender’s factory fuel filter is fitted right up next to the fuel tank, and it would be difficult to fit the primary type prior to this.
Well, let’s start with what is included in the kit. The kit comes with everything you need to get the job done, apart from tools obviously. It came with mounting brackets, fuel line, filter, all the connections, clamps, thread lock, bolts and screws required. The instructions were easy to follow and decent colour photos were provided (always handy if you are trying to find something in an engine bay or under a car and you are not quite sure what they’re on about). In the case of the Landy, the secondary fuel filter needs to be mounted from underneath behind the fuel cooler on the passenger chassis rail. The Land Rover Defender Puma models for whatever reason, do not have a manual pump or bleeder pump, unlike earlier TD5 models which by all accounts could be primed by pumping the accelerator pedal a number of times. Nor do they have an electronic bleeding option, which is kind of stupid in my book. Diesel Care fixes this factory issue by including a manual priming pump on top of the secondary filter housing.
While the location of the install is not as easy as working in an engine bay, the job itself took me about 2hrs, and I wouldn’t call myself particularly skilled in vehicle mechanics. The installation of the brackets and fuel lines were no issue. The most difficult part was unclamping the factory fuel supply line connection which has a small blue plastic clip which has to be depressed for the connection to be released. This was just a little inconvenient to get to as it is located next to the chassis and above a cross member. All up, I only lost less than half a cup of diesel during the entire process and it is simply a matter of plugging the supply line straight into your new fuel hose.
I won’t go into the specific instructions as they are provided with the product, but I have added a few photos for interest if you happen to have a similar model and want an idea of the job. What I can say is I was very impressed with Diesel Care’s package and customer service from my initial contact on the phone to the overall contents contained in the package. It arrived with everything, solved a manual priming/bleeding issue or lack of one, and importantly came with quality underbody protection for the kit.