03 6.0l Air in fuel system????? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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03 6.0l Air in fuel system?????

03 6.0L Air Getting in Fuel After Inj/FuelPump Replacement and Tank Inspec.???

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, I have an early build 2003 6.0L F-250 (This is my first diesel). I bought the truck four months ago and have had problems from day one. It had 203K miles when i bought it, and it currently had 207K (Changed oil first day i bought the truck). So now I'll get into the nitty gritty:

Problem 1 (Has been solved, just more background on truck for your knowledge) When I bought the truck it was all stock. First thing I did was cut off the muffler and hollowed out the cat and welded a 4" straight pipe from the cat back, I also added a K&N cold air intake. This was prep to help with EGTs when I added the SCT livewire programmer. Once this was all added truck ran great but i notice after a couple of days that the truck was losing power upon acceleration and the turbo was only boosting to 10-11 tops. This cause of this problem was a blown up pipe coming from the exhuast manifold to the turbo. Up pipe replaced and problem solved.

Problem 2


-What has been done: +Replaced all 8 injectors w/ OEM ford inj. +Replaced fuel pump +Dropped Tank Replaced all internal parts, screen and that black cone piece (sorry don't know the name of part) and tank was clean minus the broken cone piece. +Inspected Injector Wiring harness for chaffing +Tested the FICM Voltage and they matched Ford Specs +UNRELATED, Also replaced bad ICP, IPR sensors (screen was not broken on the IPR and not many metal shavings so i suspect that the HPOP is fine).

-Current Problem: +Truck will start and idle but once I try to accelerate it is loosing fuel pressure (as low as 10 psi WOT) and has more than 2" of striction (as high as 15"+). When truck dies and I pull the cap off of the fuel filter on top of the engine and it is full of air, so I cycle until I see Diesel then truck starts right back up. Once I start driving it starts stalling and dies again and is full of air again

-My Questions: +Is it possible that one of the injectors isn't sealed properly and combustion gas is being created in between the copper seal? Would this cause Striction in between the tank and fuel pump inlet? +Even though the tank was dropped and clean is it possible that somethings restricting flow from the tank? +Any other ideas??????

Here we go....... -Once the up pipe was replaced the truck ran awesome, turbo would boost to 22-24 and great acceleration all was well. I took the truck on a hunting trip to that weekend and drove about 500 miles that weekened. Truck ran great on the way there but on the way back i was traveling at about 75 mph and the truck all of the sudden started loosing power and began missing. ran the check engine scan on the programmer and it was faulting the cylinder three injector.

-Had a former 6.0 ford mechanic hook it up to the legit ford computer and he confirmed that I needed a new injector. I went the costly route and replaced all 8 with OEM injectors from Ford (I've heard to many nighmare stories with aftermarket injectors). I did not put these on like I said it's my first diesel. I let a former ford diesel mechanic who has 20+ yrs experience put them on while I watched so I could learn myself. He installed the passenger side while he had his buddy (former military mechanic) install the driver side for time sake since it was all eight. (This concerns me greatly because from what i've heard it's harder to torque the injectors down on the driver side and I honestly don't know his buddies background with diesels).

-Once the injector job was done I drove the truck 40 miles into town to take the cores back to ford. Truck ran great no missing on the way to the dealership. On the way home while merging on the the highway the truck had a loss of power and completely died out. I tried to start the truck back up no luck so I began cycling the key on and off to allow the fuel pump to cycle fuel assuming that maybe air was in the system. This was the case after a few fuel pump cycles the truck fired right up. Truck seemed hesitant but got it home. So I tried to drive it around a few times thinking with time the air would get out, not the case air kept getting in and stalling the truck. So I called the guy who replaced the injectors and he came to look at it. He drove it and it died on him and when he was trying to cycle the fuel pump to get it to start he said he couldn't hear it running and couldn't get the truck to start at all and said it was a bad fuel pump.

-So i replaced the fuel pump (Horizontally mounted on the rail). Once I replaced this it would start and ran better but once I got around 70-75mph it would not accelerate any more and would begin to miss. So my next course of action was to hook a PSI guage to monitor idling and running fuel PSI and a striction guage between the fuel pump inlet and the tank to see if there was something restricting flow.

-Idling PSI showed 55 PSI and around 4" of striction so this led me to believe that something in the tank might be restricing flow. I decided to drive with the guages and PSI went all the way down to 5 and the striction went all the way to 15"!!!

-So I had a guy drop the tank and he told me and showed me that the cone (don't know if that's what it's called) inside the tank by the screen was broken and big pieces were getting sucked against the screen. (other than that the tank was clean as a whistle). Ok so this made sense in regards to the high striction so he replaced the screen and cone and blew out all the fuel lines.

-Once the tank was back in I took it for a spin with the PSI and striction guage still hooked up. The good news was i could get the truck past 75 mph I accelerated to 110, but the bad news was i could tell the truck was lacking acceleration speed and HP and the PSI guage dropped down to 15 PSI (which i know shouldn't be under 45 PSI WOT) and striciton still at 15". So what the hell??

-I decided to drive the truck around a couple days to see if it would clear up, but no it only got worse and now I can't even drive half a mile without the fuel filter housing on top filling up with air and causing the whole truck to shut down
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-09-2013, 02:47 AM
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There are several possibilities. When blowing the lines out they may have blown the little o-rings out of the quick connect fittings or otherwise damaged them. One or more fuel lines is not correctly seated, either will cause it to suck air.

If a floor jack was used to hold up the tank during mounting and it wasn't positioned properly the new foot valve could have been crushed. [Don't ask how I know about that]

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-04-2013, 07:49 AM
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Very Puzzled with Air in my System!!

Good day, I just read your issue that you had months ago. I am having what sound to be a very similar issue with my 2003 6.0L F350 Dually.

I am very curious to hear what you finally figured out to solve the Air getting into the Fuel System!!!!

Please respond with the details when you have time.

The Following are the details of my issue if you care to read.

Thanks Scott 561-598-9900 if you care to chat!!

I have a 2003 F350 6.0L Dully that will start up idle and then upon driving any faster than 20mph (about 1 mile) it will get air into the system. Once that happens I must stop, park and cycle the ignition 3 0r 4 times to get the air back out of Filter Bowl to then re-start and drive back to house.

List of parts replaced to attempt fixing this Problem:

Main Frame Fuel Pump, Pressure Regulator Upgrade Kit

The Secondary Filter Housing is getting air into it from the Large Bottom Line to the left when looking down over the housing. Bubbles will come out of this line and the Fuel level will drain down to about 1/4 full.

1) Is it possible that this is a internal Injector Sealing Ring or Cylinder head Passage Leak????

2) Or is this most likely a striction issue that the Frame Pump is sucking air into the system every time it is cycled???

3) Or some other simple fix that I have not been able to think of??

Anyone that can help will make my day.

I could attempt to drive the Truck back to the Ford Mechanic for him to install Gauges on the System to find the Leak. The only issue with that is I feel that I could cause injector damage getting it to him.

Thanks Scott (Very frustrated at this Point)
Any advise would be great at this point. 561-598-9900

Long Detailed version Below if you car to read.1)

I Had a Certified Ford Mechanic replace the Main Fuel Lift Pump on the Frame. (Complete housing and New Ford Filter Assy with Cap)

He said that the pick up in the Tank most likely was broken and was causing the Striction in the supply to the old pump, thus caused it to fail.

I filled the tank up after I picked it up with the new Pump installed and got about halfway home (About 6 miles) before it started acting the same way as described above. I was able to limp it home buy stopping several times and cycling the ignition. I then let the truck set for a few weeks.

2) The Mechanic did not replace the Secondary Fuel Filter during the replacement of the Pump. So I decided to replace it myself.

So I took the cap off and noticed that and old filter was dry and not a drop of fuel was in the Pressure regulator housing.

I cycled the ignition with the cap and filter out 2 times before I starting seeing fuel. Once the fuel was to the top of housing key off I looked for Bubbles and drain back. Many bubbles were present and the level drained back to about 1/4 full. I repeated this 3 times before installing the new Filter and snugged the cap in place.

I started the Truck let it idle until it sounded smooth. Then attempted to drive it and had the same Original issue of what I am Assuming is Striction in the Fuel Supply to the Frame Pump.

3) Days later I cleaned the Fuel Grime off the Secondary Filter Housing with Brake clean and started her back up to check for any leaks around the Pressure Regulator manifold and fuel/line fiittings. I found that Bubbles were present at the Gasket flange area of the Pressure Regulator Manifold.

I hoped this was my source of the air leak. I bought the Fuel Pressure Update kit from Ford and installed it. Before putting the Filter back in the Housing I cycled the Ignition many times to fill the filter Housing. I noticed once it was full that Bubbles would come out of the Large Bottom Line (the farthest Left one looking down at the Filter Housing). This troubled me.

I Put the filter back in and snugged the cap. Then cycled the Ignition 3 times and started it up. it ran quite rough at first so I shut it off and cycled Ignition a few more times and started it again. This time it seam to clear the air out of injectors and finally idled smooth. Took it for a drive and the same thing happed with air in the system. This time I could drive real slow and get back home without stopping several times.

I did have a couple of injectors replaced over a year ago. I will try to call the Mechanic that did it and ask him witch ones if that would help any.

Thank You to anyone that can offer some insight to help me fix this Truck!!!
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-05-2013, 05:23 AM
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From the Ford book:

Air in Fuel
• Air in the fuel supply system can cause rough run, white smoke and low power.
• To check for air in the fuel system, remove the return line (to tank from fuel pump module) from the fuel pump module.
• Install a 1/4” ID hose to the fuel pump module and place the other end of the hose into a diesel fuel safe container.
• Turn the ignition to the on position. The fuel pump will run for approx. 20 sec.. Continue to cycle the key to the on position until fuel flows from the attached hose.
• Start the engine, run at WOT, and observe the returning fuel for air.
• If air is present, the fuel will appear white, foamy, or non-transparent. If no or very little air is present in the fuel, the fuel exiting the return hose will appear clear/transparent.

• Were to look?
a) Fuel pick up in the fuel tank.
b) Fuel supply line entering the fuel pump module from the fuel tank.
c) Fuel return line entering the fuel pump module from the engine.
d) Combustion leaks past the copper washer on the injector.

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post #5 of 5 Old 11-27-2013, 09:17 AM
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I have a similar problem on an '04 F250.

What i've done is put a hose on the inlet at pump and submerged in a can of fresh diesel. The outlet is ran back to can. Both hoses are clear tubing. I am getting air from pump outlet. Could the pump have an internal leak and need replaced?

This problem started about 3 days after i changed the filters with Motorcraft brand. I also replaced the cap after i tried to re-seat the original cap several times.
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