Originally Posted by rover215
elibenson: Thanks for the info! You've probably guessed I am not familiar with these models- I'm more of a VW TD guy, but I love diesels and have driven a turbo PSD and loved it. Wouldn't mind having a good, big van if the powertrain is sound.
Anyways, my friend is even less knowledgeable about his van than I am. He said it was "prone to vapor lock" but it sounds like you know better. Can I just bleed the air off? I'm hoping it's something I can do with a few simple tools. If I need to replace lines, again- I hope it's just time consuming and not too difficult. I have been tinkering with cars, trucks, and motorcycles for years (even replaced and engine and transmission successfully!) but I would still not say I'm a mechanic. I have lots to learn.
Sounds like the replacement of fuel return lines and their washers, o-rings, and clamps is money well spent.
I haven't heard back from my buddy yet but I'll post an update when I do. Thanks again-
btw, are these pretty solid motors if maintained?
The old IDI (In-Direct Injection) engines are quite long lived. I have one that is at 239,000 miles and it runs better than some of the others that I have.
The o-rings I told you about will cause the truck to be hard to start due to the air in the fuel system. It will take a little cranking to get it going. It doesn't really cause a problem once you get the engine warmed up though. They are not hard to change. If you pull the "dog house" (engine cowling) off the van you'll see the air cleaner. Pull the air cleaner off too. That will let you get access to the entire top of the engine. The high pressure fuel lines that go to the injectors will need to be taken loose while you are changing the o-rings and plastic "T" fittings. I would suggest you only take one off at a time. Keep them as clean as possible while you have them off. I blast them with Brake Clean before I start working on them. One of the injectors, I think it is the "#4" (driver's side second from the front) has a fitting that also has to be removed and replaced when you are done. It is for a timing device that you don't have.
All of this is pretty easy. All you have to do is make sure you put it back the way you took it apart. There is not special tricks here. While you have the air cleaner off, check for other fuel leaks on top of the engine. Check the oil for fuel in the oil (oil being overfull). These trucks have a mechanical fuel pump sort of like an old chevy. If it is worn out, it might cause the symptom you mentioned. More importantly it might cause fuel to leak into your oil through a bad diaphragm if it it is worn out.. While you are working inside the truck, you might as well replace the fuel filter. There is a cap that goes on the bottom of the filter to make a water drain and "water in fuel" light. The thing is notorious for wearing out (it's nearly 20 years old, it lasted pretty long). Ford doesn't offer any replacement parts for it any more. If the drain is leaking, you will probably just have to epoxy it up and change the filter if the "water in fuel" light comes on. That is what I had to do with my 2 Ford IDI trucks.