Water separator question





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  1. #1
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    Default Water separator question

    Hello All,

    I serviced my bakkie over the weekend, it's always fun and never dull. My bakkie is a 2006 Isuzu KB300LX 4x4.

    So I changed the diesel filter, but before I did that I tried to drain the water separator. I opened the little tap quite a ways and nothing. It just sounded like that little boy from the sasol ad filling op his race car, "glug glug glug".
    I found this strange because a few months ago while driving on a rough road the separator light came on, I got home and opened the little tap and the same thing happened as this weekend. Nothing came out.
    What's also strange is that last year I serviced it around the same time as now and when I opened the tap it worked as it should.
    However during the service this weekend, I removed the tap all together and diesel poured out. I re installed the tap and replaced all the filters and so. Swung the key and the bakkie started right up, no idle issues.

    Could it be that the separator is clogged or is there a bigger issue?

    Any inf would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Yip, remove the little tap and blow it out. They do get blocked from dust. Best is if you can get some form of rubber plug to go over it or a piece of clear plastic pipe that you push over the little plastic outlet and screw a bolt into the bottom of the plastic pipe.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    If its blocked, it should be a good motivator for you to change the diesel filter EVERY service.

    Its cheap and good insurance for a very expensive injection system.

    Its not so much that the old filter doesnt filter anymore. A blocked filter means supply is starved and can cause the high pressure pump to cavitate.

    Cavitation ruins the pristine pump surfaves and sends hardened surface material into your expensive injectors.


    I cant stress this enough. I have cut open many filters in my life. Trust me, if you love your diesel engine and what it to last, change all filters every service!

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by MariusFourie View Post
    If its blocked, it should be a good motivator for you to change the diesel filter EVERY service.

    Its cheap and good insurance for a very expensive injection system.

    Its not so much that the old filter doesnt filter anymore. A blocked filter means supply is starved and can cause the high pressure pump to cavitate.

    Cavitation ruins the pristine pump surfaves and sends hardened surface material into your expensive injectors.


    I cant stress this enough. I have cut open many filters in my life. Trust me, if you love your diesel engine and what it to last, change all filters every service!
    Thanks for the reply. I change the diesel filter by the pump on every service. I service the bakkie every 10k km. Is there a filter in the water separator housing? I am sorry if it's a stupid question.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Yip, remove the little tap and blow it out. They do get blocked from dust. Best is if you can get some form of rubber plug to go over it or a piece of clear plastic pipe that you push over the little plastic outlet and screw a bolt into the bottom of the plastic pipe.
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah I thing I'll do as you said and place something over that little tap.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by Welman87 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I change the diesel filter by the pump on every service. I service the bakkie every 10k km. Is there a filter in the water separator housing? I am sorry if it's a stupid question.
    Nope. Im the dumb one. I forgot some cars have a separate water separator. Is it before or after the filter?

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by MariusFourie View Post
    Nope. Im the dumb one. I forgot some cars have a separate water separator. Is it before or after the filter?
    No, no dumbness detected Marius. The water separator sits in line between the the tank and the filter/pump. The 2006 kb300 uses the Bosch VP44 diesel pump and the filter sits on it. Thanks for taking the time Marius.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    What I would suggest is that you remove the water separator unit, strip it and give it a good clean out. Reassemble and pump it full again.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Those water trap/tap housing are expensive from the agents only.

    When I had my Isuzu Go Big, I removed that housing and plate surround and replaced it with a GUD Z188 filter (ford 2.5td and Toyota IIRC), unscrew the water trap section from old and screw into new z188 that comes with a O ring. That became a Service item every 10k with service time and they are dirt cheap. Now you would still have the water trap feature with all warnings as standard, but run 2 diesel filters. Just make another plate protection to go around the new filter, as the old one is a smaller diameter and couple mm shorter.

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the replies.

    So my beloved bakkie has a new problem now.

    I don't drive it everyday as I have a motorcycle, so the bakkie is driven about once or twice a week. Last night I go to start the bakkie and it starts and then dies. Crank it again and it starts but shudders and bellows out smoke. I kill it and try again, doesn't want start. So I ask my landlord for some help. He primes the pump by the filter and the bakkie started. So I took it for a drive and it felt fine.

    I also opened the little tap on the water seperator again and nothing came out. I haven't had time to clean it yet as you guys suggested.

    I didn't drive the bakkie today because I wanted to see if the problem was still there when I got home this evening. Sure enough I go to start the bakkie and the exact same thing happens as last time. I prime the pump and the bakkie starts.


    I really hope its not the pump. The bakkie was serviced by me two weeks ago and it ran fine. The only other thing I did was flush the water system. What could be the problem?

    Thanks guys.

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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by Welman87 View Post
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the replies.

    So my beloved bakkie has a new problem now.

    I don't drive it everyday as I have a motorcycle, so the bakkie is driven about once or twice a week. Last night I go to start the bakkie and it starts and then dies. Crank it again and it starts but shudders and bellows out smoke. I kill it and try again, doesn't want start. So I ask my landlord for some help. He primes the pump by the filter and the bakkie started. So I took it for a drive and it felt fine.

    I also opened the little tap on the water seperator again and nothing came out. I haven't had time to clean it yet as you guys suggested.

    I didn't drive the bakkie today because I wanted to see if the problem was still there when I got home this evening. Sure enough I go to start the bakkie and the exact same thing happens as last time. I prime the pump and the bakkie starts.


    I really hope its not the pump. The bakkie was serviced by me two weeks ago and it ran fine. The only other thing I did was flush the water system. What could be the problem?

    Thanks guys.
    Open the water trap drain tap and remove it. The diesel should flow out the water trap. If not,then it means you have a lot of gunk stuck in the bottom of the water trap.

    Your high lift pump that the water trap is connected to may have a cracked seal ring that is allowing pressure to be lost.

    These suggestions are just my opinion and may be the wrong suggestions, but worth looking at.
    Isuzu STD 2.5d 2x4 rear diffy lock
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  16. #12
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Open the little yellow tap quite far and then turn on the ignition (dont start the van). The pick up pump will push everything out of the separator. Close the yellow tap once the diesel has flowed for a few seconds.
    Last edited by Gav.S; 2019/08/17 at 09:38 AM.

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  18. #13
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Open the water trap drain tap and remove it. The diesel should flow out the water trap. If not,then it means you have a lot of gunk stuck in the bottom of the water trap.

    Your high lift pump that the water trap is connected to may have a cracked seal ring that is allowing pressure to be lost.

    These suggestions are just my opinion and may be the wrong suggestions, but worth looking at.

    HI Hunter26,

    Thanks for the advice. I am starting to think that the cracked seal ring is likely. The problem has become more frequent. I cleaned the tank breather filter today and the water separator. Bled the whole system and drove it about 30km. Got home and left it for about 20min. Went to start it and it did the same as before. So I open the bleed screw and pumped the thing, a hole lot of air came out. Same thing happened yesterday as well. So I am a bit perplexed.

    After the hot bleed this afternoon it hasn't given issues again, but I am sure once it cools down completely there will be a problem again.

    Thanks again for the idea of the cracked seal.
    Last edited by Welman87; 2019/08/18 at 07:43 PM.

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Hi All,

    Thanks again for all the replies.

    Just to give a bit of closure to this thread, it seems my KB is running fine now. Drove to Kroonstad and back today and there was no issues.

    What did I do?

    Well i did three things together and it could be any one of the three or it could have been all three together.

    1. I cleaned the tiny filter that sits by the diesel filler neck. It was a bit clogged and it might have cause a bit of a vacuum in the tank.

    2. I took apart the water separator and cleaned it. Not really sure this actually did anything but I did it and I felt better afterwards

    3. So as a last ditch attempt to figure this out I decided to swap out the diesel filter. I just felt that if I do that then everything up to the pump will be sorted and if the problem continued I wouldn't have to look at those things again. So when I changed the filter I filled it with diesel I got fresh from the garage. When I originally serviced the bakkie three weeks ago I did the same with some old diesel. I put diesel in the filter and screwed it on. I didn't realize that the filter needs a bit of time to absorb the diesel and then you top it off. So when I changed the filter the second time I poured diesel into the filter and turn my back, when i picked up the filter I saw it was only half full. I topped it off and after about 10min of doing this it was full. I put it on and bled the system again and it has been running since.


    For now the bakkie is okay and hopefully it will stay that way.

    Thank again for all the inputs.

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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Water separator question

    Thanks for the feedback, we'll that is how one solves a fault without actually knowing if the method used actually solved the fault. You did 3 different fault solves, out of 3 fault repairs, one did the trick but you may find the the other 2 repairs prevented further different faults occuring at a later stage.

    Welcome to "how I did it I don't know but it works"
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