Diesel Slime
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Thread: Diesel Slime

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    RobC's Avatar
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    Diesel Slime

    Perhaps this is well known issue to most of you, but it is new to me. So hopefully this helps someone.

    I did an oil & filter change on my 2008 3720 this weekend. Also changed the fuel filter, and cleaned the sediment bowl. I noticed some slime in the sediment filter and got concerned. After cleaning and reassembly, and starting the tractor, the fuel appeared milky, and I could not even see the red ring in the bowl.

    Next, I drained fuel tank by removing the hose and screen at the bottom of the tank. Screen was full of snotty slime and fuel drained slowly. I inserted about 18 inches of a braided cable into that drain hole cleared a bunch of slime. Fuel then drained as expected.

    I bought some Bio Kleen at Tractor Supply, and added it to 5 gallons of new clean (highway) diesel. I used the sludge / shock proportion. Reassembled cleaned drain screen, fuel line, ...etc and refueled with the treated diesel. Took a rigorous drive down gravel road to slosh it around. Fuel looks clear in the sediment bowl.

    Letting tractor sit till next weekend. I’ll be adding Bio Kleen to all future fill ups. I hope I’ve dodged a bullet.
    Levi, keane, Yamaguy and 2 others like this.
    - Rob
    2008 3720, 300cx FEL, 485 BH, Artillian Forks & Grapple, Woods Brush Hog, Curtis FEL Plow, JD Weight Box, CountyLine CarryAll, EA 5’ Box Blade, JD 59” Snow Blower, WoodMaxx WM-8H Chipper

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Yes, diesel fuel and grow an algae that will plug filters and pumps. Good you caught it early, but keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t return.
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    Kenny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post


    Yes, diesel fuel and grow an algae that will plug filters and pumps. Good you caught it early, but keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t return.
    It always pays in the long run to use some kind of quality fuel additive. Gasoline and diesel both have down sides to them.

    In cold weather Diesel fuel can also jell blocking the system. Another good reason to use an additive in every tank.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post


    Yes, diesel fuel and grow an algae that will plug filters and pumps. Good you caught it early, but keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t return.
    Thanks Kenny. I’m wondering if anything downstream from the filters is slimed up, and if so, will this fuel treatment clean it up. Surprisingly, the tractor was running ok on this gunked up fuel.
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    - Rob
    2008 3720, 300cx FEL, 485 BH, Artillian Forks & Grapple, Woods Brush Hog, Curtis FEL Plow, JD Weight Box, CountyLine CarryAll, EA 5’ Box Blade, JD 59” Snow Blower, WoodMaxx WM-8H Chipper

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    Keeping fuel tank as close to full as possible cuts down on condensation. It's my understanding that the slime you referred to requires water to exist.
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    I've spent the past few evenings reading through threads on fuel quality, additives, algae, ...etc. I've learned alot, and appreciate all those who have posted their expertise to help others. Hard to imagine that this issue has gone under my radar.

    These past couple of years have seen low hours on our tractor due to other priorities; and so less fuel turnover. Going forward, I'll do a better job at keeping the tractor tank topped off, and using additives to prevent this issue from recurring.

    Given the reading I've done, I don't think the biocide will clear up the existing growth in the fuel tank (will it?). So, I will likely empty the tank again and do a better job of flushing it clean, with gasoline or some other detergent. I'd figure out how to remove the tank if it helped the process. I've already changed out the fuel filter, and don't mind doing that more frequently.

    The '08 3720 has the sediment/separator bowl with a cleanable filter, a spin on filter, and an inline metal filter. I cleaned the separator filter, replaced the spin on filter, but did not replace the metal inline filter (I'll need to do that).

    Tractor is running fine, however I am concerned that the downstream fuel lines may also have growth; not because it passed from the tank thru the filters, but just occurred in the fuel while the tractor was sitting idle in the garage. Do I need to flush the fuel lines or will the biocide and fresh fuel flow take care of it. If I need to flush the lines, how would I go about doing that?

    Thanks again folks, appreciate all the advice.
    - Rob
    2008 3720, 300cx FEL, 485 BH, Artillian Forks & Grapple, Woods Brush Hog, Curtis FEL Plow, JD Weight Box, CountyLine CarryAll, EA 5’ Box Blade, JD 59” Snow Blower, WoodMaxx WM-8H Chipper

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobC View Post
    I've spent the past few evenings reading through threads on fuel quality, additives, algae, ...etc. I've learned alot, and appreciate all those who have posted their expertise to help others. Hard to imagine that this issue has gone under my radar.

    These past couple of years have seen low hours on our tractor due to other priorities; and so less fuel turnover. Going forward, I'll do a better job at keeping the tractor tank topped off, and using additives to prevent this issue from recurring.

    Given the reading I've done, I don't think the biocide will clear up the existing growth in the fuel tank (will it?). So, I will likely empty the tank again and do a better job of flushing it clean, with gasoline or some other detergent. I'd figure out how to remove the tank if it helped the process. I've already changed out the fuel filter, and don't mind doing that more frequently.

    The '08 3720 has the sediment/separator bowl with a cleanable filter, a spin on filter, and an inline metal filter. I cleaned the separator filter, replaced the spin on filter, but did not replace the metal inline filter (I'll need to do that).

    Tractor is running fine, however I am concerned that the downstream fuel lines may also have growth; not because it passed from the tank thru the filters, but just occurred in the fuel while the tractor was sitting idle in the garage. Do I need to flush the fuel lines or will the biocide and fresh fuel flow take care of it. If I need to flush the lines, how would I go about doing that?

    Thanks again folks, appreciate all the advice.
    I would think that the biocide will kill it, but who knows? If you want to get the tank really clean, get some cheap ATF and mix it with acetone, fill the tank, leave it for a few, and then drain.
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