Ultra Low Sulfur Problems - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:46 AM
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Exclamation Ultra Low Sulfur Problems

We recently changed over to ultra low sulfur diesel here and within a week both my 1995 7.3 Powerstroke and my 1997 VW TDI developed fuel system leaks. I know of 5 other vehicles with identical problems. The Powerstroke now refuses to run at all. The block heater works fine and I'm getting plenty of fuel to the fuel bowl. The truck will start on ether, but dies as soon as the ether runs out.

A websearch returned quite a few websites about injector pump seal failures caused by ultra low sulfur fuel. I found someone who will replace the VW seals. Does anyone know what might have failed on my Powerstroke and what it will take to fix the problem?
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:20 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about the problems your having, are you running additives in them? That is supposed to be a big help as far as the lubrication of the system goes, which as far as I know is the big problem with the new fuel. I will let one of the techs answer this one, I don't feel knolageable enough in this field to help you. But I do want to welcome you to Powerstroke. and wish you luck getting it fixed up.

Gord.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:27 AM
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The problem with ULSD is lack of aromatics

The Chevron and several VW websites say the ultra low sulfur diesel is much lower in aromatics than the old diesel fuel was. They say rubber seals absorbed the aromatics and swelled. Now, with less aromatics in the fuel they shrink. Both Chevron and the VW sites say the problem isn't lubricity, it's lack of aromatics in the new fuel. They say the same thing happened in 1983, when they last reduced sulfur in diesel fuel. What seals are in my Powerstroke injection system that come in contact with the fuel and that might be failing now? A few days after switching fuels I noticed fuel leaks from both vehicles. The VW still runs, but my Powerstroke won't start at all.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:50 AM
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What did they say could be done to combat this problem with the aromatics, and I wonder why they have not made the public aware of a pending problem of this magnitude, and put some effort into doing something about it as far as additives in the fuel supply at the pump. Something like this is going to cause a lot of people a lot of grief, as well as heavy, unexpected expense. Smaller companies with several trucks will be badly hurt just with downtime, not to mention repair expenses.

Gord.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:09 PM
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Good Question!

Apparently in 1983 they replaced the older seals with a different polymer or compound. I'm going to have an injection expert put new seals in my VW injector pump. My local VW repair shop has 3 leaking Passats and Jettas waiting to see if new seals will do the trick.

I don't know what to do with the Powerstroke. It seems to be getting no fuel at all.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:05 PM
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Drain the water seperator, or look in filter.
If black in color. Replace injector o-rings.
Check crankcase oil for fuel.
If fuel found. Replace injector o-rings
If no fuel i would look into the lift pump. Possibly the seals in the pump took a dump.
The lift pump is a low pressure and high pressure pump.

Bill

Last edited by MADVAN; 02-03-2007 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:42 PM
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As well as the things suggested by Madvan, if the water separator/fuel filter does have a black tint from the O rings, you might want to check the screen on the regulator as well, just to be on the safe side.

Gord.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:09 AM
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Lightbulb Low Sulfur Problem Solved - for now

Thanks for all the suggestions. Seal replacement on the VW injection pump solved that problem, at least for 2000 miles so far. The Powerstroke cam sensor was OK, but the water drain valve and rubber fuel lines were all leaking. They all had to be replaced, but the truck still wouldn't run. My mechanic replaced my low-reading oil gauge, but the new gauge still showed low pressure. Then it hit me, DUH! The oil pump wasn't delivering oil to the injectors. We replaced the oil pump, refilled the oil reservoir and the truck fired up and runs better than ever.

I've got 4 other diesel-powered machines, but I run them on off-road diesel and have had no problems.

On the advice of my VW mechanic I'm adding cetane booster to the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel I run in both my car and the Powerstroke. With some luck that will do the trick.
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