How to Change the Fuel Filter in a Series 60 Detroit Diesel

by Jeff Woodward
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Trucking image by JASON WINTER from

The Detroit Diesel Series 60 was the most popular on-highway, heavy-duty diesel engine sold in the United States between 1989 and 2008, the year Detroit Diesel ceased production. With hundreds of thousands still on the open road, the demand for replacement parts and maintenance items is still there. Preventive maintenance, such as periodic fuel filter changes, is key in keeping the Series 60 running, lowering downtime and prolonging the life of the engine. Series 60 fuel filters should be replaced every 15,000 miles.

Step 1

Locate the fuel filters on the engine. Depending on what model the Series 60 is, there will either be two spin-on fuel filters (primary and secondary) or one spin-on (primary) and one element cartridge (secondary).

Step 2

Place the filter wrench over the primary fuel filter. Turn it counterclockwise until the filter is loose enough to continue by hand. Remove the filter and place in a bucket. Using the same steps, proceed to remove the secondary fuel filter. Place the secondary fuel filter in the bucket.

Step 3

Find the secondary fuel filter housing and bowl assembly on an element type fuel filter system, located on the right side of the engine. Place a bucket beneath the filter housing, and turn the drain valve to the open position to drain the diesel fuel. Using a Davco filter wrench, loosen the black ribbed collar which is connecting the plastic filter bowl and the filter housing. Turn the wrench counterclockwise until the collar is loose. Remove the filter wrench and continue to remove the collar by hand. After the collar is removed, lift up on the plastic bowl, and remove the filter cartridge. Place the filter cartridge in the bucket..

Step 4

Apply lubricant on the rubber seal of the primary fuel filter. Spin the primary fuel filter onto the threads of the fuel filter housing in a clockwise direction until the filter is tight. Use the same steps for the secondary fuel filter. If the secondary fuel filter is an element cartridge, push the element into the filter housing. Place the plastic bowl over the element followed by the collar. Tighten the collar hand-tight. Remove the access plug in the top of the bowl by. Pour the diesel fuel into the bowl until it is the same height as the element. Screw the plastic access plug back into the top of the bowl.

Step 5

Locate the primer pump located on the primary filter housing. The primer pump will be a black rubber button, about 1 inch in diameter. Continuously push the pump up and down until it stops pumping. The engine is now primed.

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