Fuel Bowl Heater Leak? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:38 AM
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Fuel Bowl Heater Leak?

Spent 2-days replacing the fuel pump on my 1997 E350,and it still leaks fuel and will not start.

I bought the van earlier this year with a small fuel leak that seemed to be coming from the fuel pump. I put 2400-miles on it like this with no issues. This past Sunday I started it up in the morning and it seemed kinda weird,like it was down on power. I figured it was just cold and kept on with my trip. Well it kept loosing power and bogging down,even at high-way speeds. (no smoke of any kind out of exhaust)

I got to within a mile or so of where I was going and the engine just quit,and would not restart. I assumed the fuel pump finally told me to eff off. While I was trying to get it started though,the wait to start light no longer was working and a large puddle of fuel formed underneath the vehicle. I assumed the leak ust got much worse.

I waited for a friend and we towed it home on his trailer.

Fast forward to today,I finished up the fuel pump last night. A pain in the *** because on the vans you have to remove the turbo. And it still leaks fuel and still won`t start.

I did some searching with a mirror and found a leak at the electrical connector on the side of the fuel filter housing for the fuel heater.

I read that a short can cause the heater to blow the pcm fuse,which would explain the no-start & wait to start light not functioning.

I have read everywhere,but I can not find a single post or article tells you how to repair the leaky connector. Everything I found is either for the `98-up style or tells you how to remove or replace the element itself.

So,how do you remove/replace this leaky connector/plug/sensor?
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:02 PM
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First, make sure that it is the Fuel Heater Feed-through that is leaking. There are 3 wires on the driver's side of the fuel bowl. From top to bottom, it will be the fuel restriction sensor (located on the fuel pressure regulator block), below that the fuel heater feed through, and finally below that the Water-in-Fuel sensor.

The fuel restriction sensors love to leak. It is 1/8 NPT threaded and can be replaced with an NPT plug (if you change filters regularly, you don't really need it ... just don't overtighten it and crack the regulator housing!).

The Fuel heater Feedthrough (sometimes called the fuel heater thermostat) has an o-ring seal and is held down by the Water-in-Fuel sensor.

The Water-in-Fuel sensor is also o-ringed, but screws in.

If the fuel heater feedthrough is leaking, it's probably damaged (they can get damaged when trying to pry off the spade connector (don't ask how I know this).

Here's the part numbers:

Fuel Filter Restriction Sensor
(Ford) E8TZ-9S283-A

Fuel Heater Element
Old Style: (Ford) F5TZ-9J294-A (94-97)
New Style: (Ford) F81Z-9J294-AA, (International) 1831196C92, (Dorman) 904-210
(Ford part requires some mods to fuel bowl, Dorman does not)

Fuel Heater Thermostat (Feedthrough)
(Ford) F4TZ-9J294-A

You will need to remove the fuel bowl for repairs (except for maybe the restriction sensor). Cheers!
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:46 PM
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I can see the restriction sensor clear as day and it is dry as can be.

No reason for the heater feed-through to be damaged since I never pried on it. PCM fuse pops as soon as key is turned.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:01 PM
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If you can't see it leaking, you'll probably need to pull the bowl and check the feedthrough for possble damage and check the o-rings for the feedthrough and WIF sensor. Heck at that point you may just want to get the Fuel Bowl reseal kit from Diesel O-rings.com or Ford. Make sure the bottom of the bowl hasn't rotted out either. As far as the fuse popping, make sure that the external wiring to the fuel heater is not shorting on anything and check the heater element inside the bowl to make sure that it is not shorting (I'll bet it is). Cheers!
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