Fuel Filter and Element Question

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Dan S
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Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by Dan S » Thu May 31, 2012 7:22 pm

Question: What holds the fuel filter element up or to the top of the bowl?

When I place the element onto the top of the bowl to install it, the element falls to the bottom of the bowl. I got it back together by sticking the element up onto the casting, then putting the gasket on the bowl and then installing the bowl. Does the bowl gasket hold the element up onto the casting??


Mule was running OK. Died and acted like it was out of gas. Checked fuel dip stick. It was empty. Added fuel. It started and ran for a minute then began to choke and die. I managed to limp it back into the shop. Checked everything and realized it was not getting any fuel to the fuel pump. Took bowl off of fuel filter and found that the element was plugged and the bowl was filled up all the way to the element with thick sediment. I mean filled and packed. I had to scrape the bowl clean with a screw driver. It looks like this fuel filter really works. Well, it works up to the point that it is full of sediment.

Is your mule running poorly or dieing frequently. Before you do anything, service your fuel filter.

Dan S

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by nickd » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:51 am

Looks like you should drain the fuel tank before you replace the fuel filter. Do not forget there is also a fuel filter in the fuel tank. To replace it you will need to disconnect the fuel lines and loosen the 4 bolts holding the tank to the bed. The filter is below the round hole cover on the top of the tank.
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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by usmc434 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

the fuel filter is pushed onto bottom of filter filter housing.. use a little force to set ....then the gasket.....if the gasket does not seal it will suck air.and engine will stall or not run...had this same problem my self.....
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Chuck W.
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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by Chuck W. » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:47 pm

The engine fuel filter is one of those things that's almost leak-proof........if done right! I've seen them with silicone gasket maker gobbed on and running down the sides and still leaking gas, but all that was wrong was the gasket was installed on the wrong side of the filter element!

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Unscrew the bail nut and remove the bowl. Twist the old filter off the base, the rubber gasket should come with it. Here are the parts: the base and bail, the filter, the rubber gasket and the bowl.
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Make sure the base is clean, any silicone is scraped off and the rubber gasket is removed. The filter will fit onto the "nub" on the base.
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Twist the filter onto the "nub", paper-end in. It may take a little force to make the filter slip onto the "nub". Filter is a WIX 33034.
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Now slip the rubber gasket over the filter and into the base. The gasket helps hold the filter into the base. On the mule, you can slip the gasket over the filter and then use the bowl to lift it into position on the base.
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Install the bowl and the bail and tighten the bail nut. Hand-tight is enough, don't use plires!
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A couple of things to think about, if the bowl was full of rust and crap, chances are, there's a hole rusted through it and that may be where your gas leak is. Holes can be soldered up if they are not too big and the bowl has been completely cleaned of any gas.

As Nick said, if you are finding lots of crap in your engine fuel filter, chances are, the in-tank filter is full of crap, too, and needs to be serviced. This will require that the tank be removed from the mule, and this opens up a whole 'nuther can of worms! (twisted-off screws on the pickup assembly, etc.)
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By the way, make sure the rubber grommet is in the oil filler neck support where the fuel line goes through it. If you need one, I have plenty for $1.00 each + postage, just like the ones selling on e-bay for $5 - up!

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by emmado22 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:39 pm

Great post, thanks Chuck!
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Dan S
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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by Dan S » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:59 pm

Thank you Chuck! You clearly answered my question and provided a future reference for other mule owners.

Dan S

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by 13bravo » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:06 pm

Great post, and it always amazes me that people use RTV anywhere near gasoline.
I clean a great many parts in gasoline and seeing RTV/silicone afterwards all stretched out makes me cringe when I hear of people using it to seal pieces used near gasoline.

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by WLEIT » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:56 pm

Thanks for this posting, Chuck. I just dropped the filter in the bowl and put it on. The whole time it didn't seem right but I looked up G503 and now see how stupid that was. Thanks again.

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by Chuck W. » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:50 pm

I want to add a link to the thread about a fuel filter problem that I encountered, just for reference. viewtopic.php?f=79&t=260225

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Re: Fuel Filter and Element Question

Post by muleman7 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:40 pm

The post above references another post that had issues with a Gasket that was blocking fuel flow through the Wix 33034 filter. I will post pics of the original filter that I found in many of the mules I have worked on. Yes these preformed filters used a gasket between the top of the filter and the top housing of the sediment bowl. As pointed out this gasket should not be used with the Wix 33034 filter. I hope this helps answer where this gasket came from that caused the Wix 33034 filter to fail.
I have edited this post to show where the small rubber gasket is used that caused the Wix 33034 filter to fail. Again the small rubber gasket should not be used with the Wix 33034 the composite top of the 33034 functions as a gasket seal for the center section of the Sediment Bowl top.

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Close Up of the Original Sediment Bowl Filter

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Showing all the parts associated with the original pre-formed filter

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Small rubber gasket installed on top of the Filter

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Small rubber gasket installed onto the Top Section of the Sediment Bowl

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Filter installed into the Top Section of the Sediment Bowl

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Sediment Bowl gasket installed

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Side view of the 2 Gas Tank filters I have in stock

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Top view of the 2 Gas Tank filters
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