The classic Detroit Diesel DD15 and DD13 engines are complex systems that require careful maintenance and operation. After doing any kind of service on a DD13 or DD15 engine, you are going to have to prime the fuel system before starting.
To successfully prime the engine and avoid damage to the system, it’s very important that you only use DD approved priming devices. Any air trapped in the fuel system can hinder ignition, destabilize fuel pressure, or damage the fuel pump.
So what is the best Detroit Diesel approved fuel priming device?
To effectively prime a Detroit Diesel DD13 or DD15 engine, use the ESOC 455 fuel primer. This pneumatic fuel primer meets Detroit Diesel OEM requirements by delivering 95 PSI of fuel pressure for 2 minutes.
With a powered DD approved fuel priming device like the ESOC 455, you can prime a DD13 or DD15 fuel system in minutes, successfully start the engine every time, and eliminate the mess and hassle that comes with using a hand pump.
Diesel engines operate with high pressure fuel injection to achieve ignition. This means that the fuel system has to be closed and pressurized to operate properly.
When the fuel supply is emptied (running the engine dry) or engine maintenance is performed, air can get into the fuel system. Pockets of air in the closed fuel system hinders the ability to pump fuel from the tank into the injection ports - therefore impeding successful ignition.
If you attempt to start a diesel engine when air pockets are present in the fuel system, the starter may crank excessively while the fuel pump attempts to pressurize the system. Excessive cranking can unduly wear out the starter and drain the battery. Additionally, diesel fuel is used to lubricate the fuel system including the fuel pump. If the fuel pump is not properly lubricated before cranking the starter, friction can damage the pump’s components and pump failure may occur.
Priming involves delivering high-pressure fuel directly into the fuel system. This ensures that the entire system is pressurized, lubricated, and all air pockets are “bled” from the system.
There are several options for achieving the kind of fuel pressure needed to properly prime a diesel engine.
There are typically three priming options for diesel engines:
The finger priming pump is found on the side of the fuel filter housing on a DD15 or DD13 engine. This small pump is only for emergency purposes when priming is needed and a priming device is unavailable.
Hand priming pumps can be a good option for your casual priming jobs. If you operate a single truck and just need something to prime the engine after a filter change, a hand priming pump can get the job done on many diesel engines.
If you’re running a fleet maintenance or repair shop that performs multiple maintenances on diesel engines, a hand priming pump is not recommended. Achieving reliable pressure levels throughout the engine prime is difficult with a hand pump. Additionally, using human power to pressurize the canister for every prime is neither practical or economical.
No matter the priming method, always use a Detroit Diesel approved priming device for priming DD13 and DD15 engines.
Powered priming devices are the best option for priming diesel engines because of their reliability, speed, and cleanliness. Pneumatic or electric power is used to achieve a specific fuel pressure and maintain it throughout the entire priming process.
For the busy maintenance facility, fuel priming devices like the ESOC 455 are worth more than their weight in gold because of the time and frustration they save.
The 455 uses pneumatic pressure to take fuel from the truck tank, hold it in the device holding tank, and then send the fuel into the fuel system at the precise pressure needed. The 455 is Detroit Diesel certified which gives you confidence that this priming device meets all OEM requirements for priming DD13 and DD15 engines.
The bonus is a built in fuel filter that makes sure the priming fuel is as clean as possible and ensures successful primes on the first crank.
|ESOC 455||Hand Priming Tool|
|Built-in Fuel Filter||Yes||No|
|Priming Pressure||95 PSI Adjustable||Variable|
The priming procedure for DD15 and DD13 engines is straight-forward when you use a fuel priming device like the ESOC 455.
The priming procedure is as follows:
Step 1: Fill up the ESOC 455 fuel holding tank
Step 2: Prime the Engine
VIDEO: See how the ESOC 455 Works
There you have it, the best way to prime a DD13 or a DD15 engine. Your best bet is to use a Detroit Diesel approved fuel priming device like the ESOC 455 so you don’t risk damaging your fuel system in the priming process.
Hand pumps work for emergency or one-off primes, but they are not a great long-term priming solution.
The finger pump on the engine is so small that it should only be used in absolute emergency situations.
Follow the procedure laid out in this article and fuel priming DD15 or DD13 engines should be a breeze.
Fireball Equipment Ltd. is a fuel and lubrication system solution provider – offering top-to-bottom consultation, system design, installation, and continued service.
Fireball Equipment Ltd.
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