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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2019 3500 drw, right at 6k miles. Long story short I was towing my toyhauler last week, loaded light so roughly 14k pounds. Outside temperature was averaging 96-98 degrees all day. I left Florida in the morning and had been in Georgia and into Alabama when suddenly I see smoke showing around my curb side trailer wheel. Thinking I had a brake issue I slow, find the nearest safe place on the shoulder. When I get almost stopped the smoke starts coming from under the truck. As soon as I stopped I shut the truck off, make sure it is safe to exit and all I smell is diesel fuel and all I see is raw fuel dripping from under the truck. When I determined there was no fire I open the hood, everything looked good so I start looking and trace the leak to the fuel filter area. I get under the truck, dripping fuel and all thinking a line had came off and I find the top of the housing where the heater goes in pushed up and dislodged. I will not go into all the details of getting to a dealer etc. but after a quick housing replacement I was back on the road. Trailer covered in diesel, a mess everywhere as the trailer was drawing everything under the truck and out the back of the trailer.

I have towed hundreds of thousands of miles and keep a close eye on everything and I must say this has me very concerned as everything points to the housing material weakening from heat and the screws being dislodged from the fuel pressure. I am home and it is at the dealer as it damaged the rust inhibitor under the truck and everything is a mess.

Now I am very concerned on the safety of the vehicle towing in the heat and I must say I am confused on what direction I need to go for safety as well as reliability.
 

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What's the likelihood of a road debris impact?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did not get any pictures, it was hot and there was fuel everywhere and I was so caught up with what was going on I did not think about trying to take pictures.

I would say that the chance of something impacting it was 0%. It is mounted up high and behind a bracket. I had all I could do to get my arm up in there to reach the top of the housing to feel what was going on. Also the dealer made no mention of any sign of an impact.

It was the original filter in place as the truck only had 6k miles on it so it had never been touched. It was a failure of the housing plain and simple. I am not sure if the truck was doing a regen or not at the time of the failure but I truly believe it failed due to extreme temperatures.

I was fortunate that it did not ignite and I would have lost the truck and trailer and all of the contents, it was a very scary event.
 

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Fuel temps will never get hot enough to fatigue the metal it's made of, IMO.
I'm still leaning to debris impact. Something as small as a loose bouncing stone.

We lost a manual transmission once, rear wheels locked up on the freeway, 20 minutes from home, at the end of a 300+ mile run. (deer hunting in the Nueces river bottom, outside of Uvalde, Tx)

We lucked out in the end. Even though it had skid plates on all the major components, the Tech working on it found a nick/gouge on the drain plug head. Impact rock hit at just the right angle and force, to spin the drain plug loose and it slowly lost fluid over the 300 miles until everything melted and seized up.

That Tech's keen eye wound up having our insurance foot the bill.
 

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Are you talking about this?

You said it was all pushed up and dislodged.

Sounds like the heater malfunctioned, softened the plastic, and the in tank lift pump pressure blew the top out.

If you dont find why the heater was either supplied too much voltage, or voltage for a extended period of time.... your new part will probably meet the same fate as the original part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fuel temps will never get hot enough to fatigue the metal it's made of, IMO.
I'm still leaning to debris impact. Something as small as a loose bouncing stone.

We lost a manual transmission once, rear wheels locked up on the freeway, 20 minutes from home, at the end of a 300+ mile run. (deer hunting in the Nueces river bottom, outside of Uvalde, Tx)

We lucked out in the end. Even though it had skid plates on all the major components, the Tech working on it found a nick/gouge on the drain plug head. Impact rock hit at just the right angle and force, to spin the drain plug loose and it slowly lost fluid over the 300 miles until everything melted and seized up.

That Tech's keen eye wound up having our insurance foot the bill.
It is not a metal filter, it is a composite with a cartridge inside. There was no damage to the exterior of the housing and the screws that hold the heater into the top of the canister had pushed out of the material.

I received a letter from the NHTSA wanting details
 

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on my 2017 replaced filter housing that holds filter with aluminum, you can find on ebay, no rock will hurt it!
 
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