Racor 245 fuel assembly

One problem some people have with the CRD is air in the fuel filter assembly. I'm one of those people. I've always had some air and it got worse after I installed the CAT fuel filter. The factory assembly uses a two piece assembly and after it's taken apart some people (myself included) notice an increase of air in the system. I've noticed after it idles for an extended period of time (such as a fire call) that it is very sluggish for a few minutes...almost to the point of being in limp mode.

On the CRD forums better men than I ('retmil46', 'Ranger1', and others) have been working to solve the CRD fuel problems. Two of these solutions are using a better fuel filter assembly and using a lift pump to bring the fuel to the engine instead of relying on vaccuum that can cause air/fuel separation. In conjunction with the new Racor fuel filter assembly I'm installing I'll also be installing a Kennedy lift pump.

Some people have also experienced melting in the heater plug area which has caused air leaks, fuel leaks, and possibly one or two fires. It's suspected the overheating is caused by the heater elements being in an air pocket and not cooled by the fuel. The Racor filter is available in a 2 micron version (like the CAT filter) which beats the 10 micron factory rating. There are many good reasons to upgrade to the Racor assembly and it's an easy swap.

Note: On pre-2005 CRDs Jeep used Racor filter assemblies and lift pumps, but then they went cheap.

Update: After having the Racor assembly and Kennedy pump for a few months I will offer the following advice. If your factory filter assembly hasn't given you any trouble or doesn't leak I'd recommend trying the Kennedy pump by itself first. The positive pressure of the pump should keep air flushed out of the filter assembly, and air in the filter assembly seems to be the biggest negative of the factory filter assembly. If your factory filter assembly works fine then you've saved the money of replacing it and kept the CRD as stock as possible. The Kennedy pump has also almost eliminated the pre-boost lag which is another plus.

I ordered the Racor 245 filter assembly (P/N 245R122) from Bline Filter for $143 which includes a heater element. The replacement filters (R25S) are $20.

Here are top and bottom views of the assembly. The heater element reminds me of the elements in a water heater.

The factory fuel filter assembly. Disconnect the electrical connections, hose connections, and remove the two 13mm nuts and the assembly comes out.

I modified a couple "forked" connectors to plug into the factory heater power connection. I'm going to see about getting the mate to the factory connector.

The two assemblies are similar in size. I chose the Racor 200 series because the mounting head will fit the factory mounting bolts.

Here is the new Racor unit in place. The primer knob unscrews and the primer plug is removed to prime the unit. It took about a half dozen primes to get fuel to the bowl and about a dozen more to fill the filter.

I have an aftermarket temperature sensor ordered that will go into the plugged outlet on the right side. I'll post more info when it arrives. For the time being I'm using the stock puck.

Update - Click here for the installation of the aftermarket temperature sensor and fuel pressure gauge.

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