7.3 IDI out of "gas"? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-23-2007, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question 7.3 IDI out of "gas"?

I just bought a '91 non-turbo F-250. Tanks were low (1/8 tank) and I was driving up a steep hill and it just died on me. Being a diesel, I figured the problem has got to be fuel (or a safety?). I have been unable to find any information on what to do when one of these diesels runs out of fuel. It will be below freezing tonight so I suspect getting it off the road tomorrow will be a chore. Do I need to prime/bleed air? Any safeties I should check? I am pretty good with engines but new to diesels... I will have more questions as I catch up on neglected maintenance but this is a start. Engine by the way has about 160000 miles and I know there is some leakage around intectors but figured it was O-rings on the return (banjo fitting swivels easily). Glow plugs all read resistance with meter but I plan on replacing as I do not know history (this also does not explain engine cut-out).
Thanks,
Jay
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-24-2007, 01:44 PM
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I like to unscrew the filter and fill it with fuel before doing any cranking. After cranking it for a few seconds (8-10 sec), take a small screwdriver or pen and press on the air release valve that is right on top of the fuel filter housing. It looks like a valve stem on a tire and it will let out the air in the filter. It may take a few tries but should start fine after that.

Derek
94 F-350 IDI DRW 4x4 Dump Truck
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-24-2007, 06:30 PM
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I agree, best to fill filter, then bleed while cranking engine, that should do the trick. Hopefully it does'nt get too cold to start it with out plugging it in. If you get it bled out where there does'nt seem to be air coming out while cranking and it still wont start because the weather is too cold you can always pull start it, this almost always get them started if it is a standard trans. that is. Good luck!

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-26-2007, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Poor mechanical fuel pump?????

Thanks to you both. It worked and now runs great. The battery terminals also needed cleaning. Another question, the truck was between 1/8 and 1/4 tank when it ran out on of fuel. Does this mean my fuel pump is poor (remember, this engine has the mechanical pump, only) and I should replace it or is this more a geometry/elevation problem that occurs when going up a hill on a low tank? Thanks, again.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-26-2007, 04:52 PM
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Which tank was it running on? I would guess the front tank would be more susceptible to steep grades. You may have a bad sender. Check the fuel pressure also. It should be around 3 to 5 psi.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-27-2007, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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sucking air or "sender"?

I was on the rear tank. I was wondering if the pick-up/suction tube might be in the front of the tank and can suck air if the truck is going up a steep hill on low tank. Is that what you mean by "sender"? I will check pressure. The mechanical pump is not expensive so I may replace it and fuel filter since I do not know the age or history. Thanks, again for the advice.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-27-2007, 05:03 AM
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the sending units on those models are notorious for reading wrong

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-27-2007, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94OilBurner View Post
I like to unscrew the filter and fill it with fuel before doing any cranking. After cranking it for a few seconds (8-10 sec), take a small screwdriver or pen and press on the air release valve that is right on top of the fuel filter housing. It looks like a valve stem on a tire and it will let out the air in the filter. It may take a few tries but should start fine after that.

Schrader valve........just thought Id let u fellas know what they call them. Im ocd like that when I dont know the proper term for something.

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post #9 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 01:26 PM
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If you find that you want to replace the high pressure fuel pump, you might as well change the fuel line from the pump to the filter also. I had starting issues and a fuel leak that lead to a rotted fuel line from the pump to filter so I replaced the line and pump while I was in there. The pump was $28 and available next day from NAPA and I used brake line for the fuel line which I bent to the same shape as the old one. Once you remove the passenger side tire and wheel well liner, it is easily accessible.

Payne, thanks for the correct term.

Derek
94 F-350 IDI DRW 4x4 Dump Truck
Now where's that fuel pump screw...
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-19-2007, 10:10 PM
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Jay, I don't know if you still have the problem were you ran out of fuel with 1/4 tank showing on the gauge but there is a fuel strainer on the pick up tube in the tank and there is a check valve around 1/4 the way up the pick up tube. The purpose of this check valve is to open if the strainer on the bottom of the pick up tube would become blocked from your fuel jelling or algie growth. You may want to drop the tank and see if it is blocked or dirty because if it is the engine will start to suck air around 1/4 tank.
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