About a week ago I decided innocently to change the fuel filter on my 1990 4L XJ40, and since then I’ve been battling with stopping the banjo bolt from leaking when the system is pressurised.
Cutting a long story short, I suspect that I’m using the wrong copper washer sizes.
- What is the size/s of washer that should be used?
- How many washers should be used, and where?
- What material should the washers be (Copper seems highly likely and is what I used before, but see last paragraph below)?
More detail below, but I ramble a bit…
The first new filter came with four copper washers (now all crushed and distorted so I can’t measure them accurately. One that seemed to fit the bolt well, and others that were loose enough to allow a gap at the bottom when hanging out from the assembly. I tried in vein to push them in with fingernails while tightening, but it always leaked. Then I eventually stripped the hex head on that end of the filter trying to tighten it up because it keeps slipping back into its cage as I’m tightening.
I decided that I’d broken the end of the filter, as it looked like fuel was coming from there (I’ve since become suspicious of this, but it doen’t matter now). So I bought a new filter locally (unfortunately the same cheap Wesfill WZ400, but at three times the price). This came with only two copper washers, one wide one that fit the bolt tightly, and an narrow one that didn’t.
Now holding the filter with a spanner on the inlet side while tightening the banjo bolt - so that it doesn’t slip off (but tends to distort the filter a bit).
I tried various combinations of those washers, and reusing the old ones. Four washers, two washers, tight, really tight, really really tight. Always met by a fine spray of fuel either from the flter side of the “collar” (bit between the bolt and the filter), or the bolt head side. My take-away observation is that a new, wide, tight fitting copper washer, and a new, narrow, tight fitting copper washer, both on either side of the “collar”, may be the ticket. But I never got any “narrow, tight fitting” ones, and only one “wide, tight fitting” one with each filter.
So I drove (another vehicle - no trails of fire behind me ) in to the nearest town where you can buy a copper washer assortment pack. The 12mm ones match the description of “wide, tight fitting”, but again the next size the fits is narrow, but too wide and hangs too far out (though it would possibly work if you got it exactly centered, which I’ve already failed to achieve).
I tried again anyway, this time also finding someone to push on the other end of the filter while tightening, so that I could hold the filter on the outlet side and prevent distorting it. Result: the grip on the filter’s hex end still slipped, the pipe going in to the “collar” was pushed against the bottom of the car and bent, so that’s ruined. Got the part from my parts car. Tried again, back to using the spanner holding filter on the inlet side. Leaking again, from the bolt-head end. Final copper washer arrangement was: 1x 11mm wide on bolt-head side of “collar”, 1x 11mm wide and 1x 14mm narrow on filter side (there is by now a round indentation on the end of the filter that I figured might centre the loose washer).
Narrow = ~2mm copper width (outside diameter = inside + 4mm)
wide = ~3mm copper width (outside diameter = inside + 6mm)
The washers on the fitting on my parts car were 12mm ID, narrow (~2mm width), and Aluminium. One per side of the “collar”, Just to confuse things more. It also wasn’t done up all that tight.