Ram fuel filters

Shortly after getting the 2017 Ram, I noticed that its computer says the fuel filter is at 13%, so I started looking at replacement filters. This truck has two of them — one in the engine compartment and one under the truck by the back axle.

The consensus on the Cummins forums is that you should get the name brand (either Mopar or Fleetguard) filters available at Geno’s Garage. Even though the name brand filters are expensive (about $50 each), stay away from aftermarket or no-name filters. This is an expensive fuel system and engine and you can void your warranty if you use the wrong filters.

New Ram 2500

Last Thursday, June 6, I traded the 2018 Cruze for a 2017 Ram 2500 with the 6.7L Cummins and 24,007 miles. It’s still in manufacturer bumper-to-bumper warranty until 36,000 miles (and powertrain to 5 years / 100,000 miles).


Loving it so far. On the third trip up Sedillo Hill west of Socorro, at the top of the hill the check engine light came on. When I got home, I scanned for codes and got P2281 (“leak between MAF and throttle body” — which, translated into Cummins terms, means a possible boost leak somewhere between the air filter and the intake, so it could be any number of pipes, boots, or the intercooler.)

I cleared the code and drove it again, and it didn’t come up after another trip up the hill. I’ll keep an eye on it.

F-350: heat exchanger and thermostat

I complained on the Ford Trucks alternative fuels forum that I was getting lots of smoke and black goop from the F-350’s exhaust pipe when running on WVO, and someone recommended I install a 20-plate flat plate heat exchanger (FPHE).

So I bought a 20-plate used FPHE made by DudaDiesel on eBay.

2018-09-28 20.30.32

I also bought from DieselSite a 203° F thermostat, a new water pump outlet and upper radiator hose.

I insulated the FPHE using pipe insulation and hooked it up. Also replaced the thermostat and outlet and hose.

2018-09-30 11.58.04.jpg

The truck is running noticeably better on WVO now, though the smoke does still come and go. It doesn’t seem to heat the WVO up any faster than it used to, strangely.

But I do seem to have a coolant leak from the vicinity of the FPHE. I’m not sure whether a hose or fitting is leaking or if the FPHE itself is leaking.

I also found — in my Ford service manual because I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE on the Internet — a coolant flow diagram for the 7.3L PSD:

2018-09-30 12.32.47

Of course, it’s missing several key details, such as the hose coming out of the passenger side head that then goes into a tee and into the heater core, and then back from there into the water pump. But the key is to understand that the hottest coolant comes from the passenger side head, and therefore that’s where you want to hook up the FPHE. You don’t want to hook to the hose that goes to the water pump because that’s relatively cooler coolant — it has already lost heat into the heater core.


Kevin’s Shovelhead

So the oil leaking issue does indeed appear to be the “sumping” issue that Shovelheads are notorious for. I started the bike yesterday afternoon (after having run it on Sunday), and while it leaked a little oil from the vent, it wasn’t very much. I simply caught it in a Seafoam can and put the oil back in the reservoir.

It does appear the carb needs to be cleaned and/or rebuilt, since the bike will run fine on choke (with a bit of backfiring) but won’t run at all when you give it throttle.

Burning oil to haul oil

I found a guy on Craigslist who was giving away 30+ cubies worth of WVO. He met us at the Dollar Tree at Central & Atrisco. We got 32 cubies of oil!

2018-09-16 15.12.58.jpg

… which then required Kevin and me to rearrange the shed to make room.

2018-09-16 16.35.34.jpg

… and the really cool thing was, I did the whole trip on WVO.

Breaker panel and circuit documentation

When I had my new windows installed by Andersen, they managed to somehow cause a circuit to stop working. That circuit turned out to have a LOT of stuff on it — most of the outlets in the garage, the garage door opener, the upstairs bathroom GFI, the east porch outlet (which is how the shed gets its power), etc, etc. I searched for a tripped GFI but couldn’t find one. So I decided to take a day to document where every circuit went and label every outlet in the house.

This gadget, a Klein Tools ET300, made the job a lot faster. You plug in the transmitter to an outlet and then go back to the breaker panel and can immediately find which circuit that outlet is connected to. Much faster than turning off breakers and searching for dead outlets!

Anyway, it turned out there are multiple GFIs on that dead circuit, and I had failed to find one of the GFIs — which was in the garage. That one was tripped. Resetting it made everything work again.