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Old 10-22-2013, 04:52 PM
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Out of diesel and can't prime

Hello,
I've been over this and other forums looking for some clues but am at the point of needing to ask for some advice. I have two tanks on my 97' F250 and have a full rear tank and ran out of fuel in the front tank while driving down the freeway. I wasn't quick enough in switching over to the rear tank. I lost power and pulled over. The engine cranks but won't start. I read that one way of priming the tank is to turn the key to ON for 30 seconds and repeat a dozen times. I believe when doing this I should be hearing the fuel pump but I hear nothing.

After getting towed home I filled the fuel bowl to the top and tried again. Still nothing.

The question is: Should I keep trying the key on ON for another dozen times or is it not worth it because I'm not hearing the fuel pump in the ON position?

I'm fairly handy with mechanics but know little about the fuel system. I believe my pump is not in the tank as last year I replaced the front fuel float and don't recall it including a pump.

Thanks for any ideas regarding this.

-Cablet
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:55 PM
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I think your truck has a mechanical fuel pump right? If so then you won't hear it run.

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Old 10-22-2013, 07:41 PM
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No electric fuel pump if the truck is stock.

Is the fuel bowl still full, or does it draw down when you crank it?

Check fuel pressure at the schrader valve.

Of course, make sure it's not something coincidental. Does the WTS light come on? Does the tach move when you crank it?
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:09 PM
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Going a few years back for me, but I remember my '97. Had dual tanks and the switching valve went out more than once. Would drain one tank dry and leave you stranded. Another thing for you to look at.

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Old 10-22-2013, 10:46 PM
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^^^ That is one risk. Another reason to never run either tank below, say, 1/8 tank. We're right now intentionally trying to run the front tank dry, 'cuz the d@mn thing has a leak. Gotta be almost on fumes now, and for just the above-mentioned reason, I'm constantly switching to the rear, just to be sure that I _can_ when she starts to sputter on the front.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:08 AM
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Is the fuel bowl still full, or does it draw down when you crank it?

It seems to be drawing down.

Check fuel pressure at the schrader valve.

The schrader valve let's mostly air out and a couple of drops of fuel.


Of course, make sure it's not something coincidental. Does the WTS light come on? Does the tach move when you crank it?

I'll confirm this tonight.

Thank you very much.

-Cablet
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:41 AM
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Issue resolved!

Thanks for the previous info and tips. My truck is now running again. I did not realize that my truck had one mechanical pump. Once I thought about this I realized I just needed to keep cranking. After hooking up my other vehicle for a jump I cranked twice long and hard and it fired right up.

I was previously thinking how an electrical pump would work and that threw me off.

Thanks again.
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1997 f250, fuel, pump

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