Fuel bowl keeps emptying. Why!? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-12-2013, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel bowl keeps emptying. Why!?

You might have been reading the other threads I've posted lately. the truck keeps dying from an empty fuel bowl. I've replaced the fuel pump, the cam sensor twice because one was bad right out of the box, and found two small pin hole leaks in the suction side of the fuel line. It ran great for a week, then today out of theblue the fuel filter light came on, which means low fuel pressure. It acted fine so I kept driving, but it died going up a hill just now. The fuel bowl was empty. It filled back up when I ran the starter, so the new pump is working. Is there ANY reason other than a hole in the line that would make the fuel bowl empty itself during hard driving? I'm sitting here now waiting for AAA cause I don't trust it to get me home without dying again.

1996 F250 eclb, 4x4, 7.3L PS
420,000 mi and counting
Viair 444C/6g air tank on frame, Hadley air horn, Hella auxiliary reverse light, DIY WVO conversion; Efuel, dual FuelLab FPR's, 90g RDS tank, aluminum tube-in-heater hose, hotfox heated fuel pickup, copper coil-wrapped filter, 40-plate FPHE, auxiliary coolant pump, 2000lb winch-crane bolted to the frame. Ranch hand front bumper.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-12-2013, 03:25 PM
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How does it act after switching tanks.


B] 97 ford f-350 Powerstroke[/B]
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-12-2013, 06:46 PM
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Is the valley dry?

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-Bean's: 160/100 (FF Injectors), 2/ 6-POS chips (TW & Beans tunes), Overboost controller, E-Fuel
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-13-2013, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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The valley isn't completely dry, but it's because I buggered up the o-ring on the fuel filter the other day. It isn't leaking anymore, and the diesel is drying, but slowly. It definitely does it more on the rear tank than the front, but the fuel filter light still came on during hard acceleration when it was switched to the front tank. It died when I was "experimenting" on the rear tank.

After I posted (actually when it got up on the rollback), I found a fuel leak in the rear tank return line--right at the switching valve, where I had found the first air leak and installed a hose clamp, the line split. But, it still doesn't solve my problem because the fuel filter light was coming on before I switched the tanks, and it shouldn't have been sucking air from the return line. I couldn't tell whether the suction line also was leaking, because it was also covered in fuel, being right next to the leaking line.

1996 F250 eclb, 4x4, 7.3L PS
420,000 mi and counting
Viair 444C/6g air tank on frame, Hadley air horn, Hella auxiliary reverse light, DIY WVO conversion; Efuel, dual FuelLab FPR's, 90g RDS tank, aluminum tube-in-heater hose, hotfox heated fuel pickup, copper coil-wrapped filter, 40-plate FPHE, auxiliary coolant pump, 2000lb winch-crane bolted to the frame. Ranch hand front bumper.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2013, 08:37 AM
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I believe the fuel filter light is to denote a restriction in the fuel system on the suction side. This happens when the suction between the fuel pump and the tank has gotten above normal levels, thus triggering the light. I would look for an obstruction in the fuel pickup lines in the fuel tank(s). Perhaps the in-tank screen is blocked due to dirt or microbes. A blockage also may be in the fuel selection valve and/or the fuel line itself.

A restriction would cause low fuel pressure on the pressure side because the pump is starved of fuel and could cause less fuel in the fuel bowl.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-03-2013, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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I should've posted an update to this.

Well, you're right about the light being a restriction in flow, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the fuel line is clogged. The screen is on the return line, which shouldn't cause the light, as it would make the pressure higher than needed, rather than lower than needed. Along with blowing out the fuel lines with compressed air, I the screen was well cleaned out before this happened--this was part of an extended-duration "issue" shall we say. I also had to do the fuel pick-up inlet screen(broken) before I posted this problem. I had fixed the problem (a hole in the suction line, sucking lots of air bubbles into the fuel bowl, eventually draining it completely) but my repair (a new hose clamp) ended up splitting the flex-line that I should have completely replaced instead of cutting off the end, and wound up causing a bad fuel leak, and air in the fuel line. It was my own fault. I was just trying to keep from replacing the whole section of flexible hose. I ended up having to replace it, as well as the fuel tank selector valve, also known as the pollack valve, because I broke it pulling off the damaged flex-line. Seventeen years of diesel through the valve made the plastic VERY brittle. Expensive lesson learned. All better now.

1996 F250 eclb, 4x4, 7.3L PS
420,000 mi and counting
Viair 444C/6g air tank on frame, Hadley air horn, Hella auxiliary reverse light, DIY WVO conversion; Efuel, dual FuelLab FPR's, 90g RDS tank, aluminum tube-in-heater hose, hotfox heated fuel pickup, copper coil-wrapped filter, 40-plate FPHE, auxiliary coolant pump, 2000lb winch-crane bolted to the frame. Ranch hand front bumper.

Last edited by Woodturner Nate; 02-03-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-05-2013, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for the followup. I hate to touch the original parts for the very reason you cited. A piece of plastic that old is a fragile jewel indeed. As it turns out, I doubt you could have fixed your problem without breaking it.

Kind of like in Nam: we had to burn the village in order to save it.

Glad you got the fix.
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