2001 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ran out of fuel wont start - Now What? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ran out of fuel wont start - Now What?

I have a 2001 Ford E350 van with a 7.3 L powerstroke. It ran out of fuel. Put about 5 gallons of diesel in it but it wont start. Do I need to manually fill the fuel canister up with fuel? I thought they filled up automatically when you turned the key on.

Thanks for help.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your pump may have lost prime. Easiest way to do this is to pressurize the tank - preferably while someone cycles the key. You could open your fuel drain on the bowl to serve as an indicator as to when you have pushed fuel into the bowl.

Different ways to pressurize the tank would be to use an air compressor set on a relatively low pressure (20-30 psi) and place a rag around the nozzle as you pressurize the tank. You could also use a shop vac with the hose on the outlet.

Either way, once you get fuel to the bowl - close off the drain and try to start it. Might still take a little cranking as you have to move the trapped air in the fuel rails through. In the future, try really hard not to run out of fuel - low fuel pressure is really hard on the injectors.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You will need about a half tank of fuel to be able to build enough liquid pressure to remove the air from trhe lines. Take off air breather to get to water seperator. Open cap on separater and cycle the key untill fuel is steady spewing everywhere. Fill up the bowl with diesel the close cap. turn key to on postion for 15 sec and let pressure build up in lines. then it should crank right up... took me a while to figures all this out.. PHEW

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Your pump may have lost prime. Easiest way to do this is to pressurize the tank - preferably while someone cycles the key. You could open your fuel drain on the bowl to serve as an indicator as to when you have pushed fuel into the bowl.

Different ways to pressurize the tank would be to use an air compressor set on a relatively low pressure (20-30 psi) and place a rag around the nozzle as you pressurize the tank. You could also use a shop vac with the hose on the outlet.

Either way, once you get fuel to the bowl - close off the drain and try to start it. Might still take a little cranking as you have to move the trapped air in the fuel rails through. In the future, try really hard not to run out of fuel - low fuel pressure is really hard on the injectors.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Why would he pull the air filter off to get to the fuel bowl? Just pressurize the tank.easiest fastest cleanest way to do it
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the bowl has to be filled with fuel.. if not it will act as a bubble and not let fuel get to the injectors... in order to get to the bowl the filter housing must be taken off to remove the lid on the water separator housing.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The electric fuel pump only runs for 20 seconds on each key ON cycle. The fuel pump runs continuous after the oil pressure comes up. To fill the filter, it takes several key ON cycles, best done with the filter drain open until you see fuel. DO NOT try to start until this is done, very hard on the injectors. Two 10mm nuts to remove on the plastic cover and the dilter is there, drain valve is on the back side.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The OP is working on a van. The fuel drain is opened with a cable that goes to the drain lever - that cable is right under the hood. Spidamike - what are you driving that the fuel bowl is under the air filter?
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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01 e-350 7.3 powerstroke... The water sep. bowl is in front of the breather box. the filter housing and first segment of the breather must be taken off to crack the lid on the water separater. I tried the drain first with no response several times.. so I pulled out the whole breather. Good idea anyway Because I found the brather box in several pieces..cleaned alot of gunk from the breather at the L connected to the turbo...Then I had to put a 1/2 tank of fuel to get enough LIQUID pressure to clear the lines..then filled the bowl with fuel, put the lid back on and it cranked right up....
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just cycle the key a few times with the valve open. No need to open anything up. The fuel bowl returns to the tank so it will not create a bubble.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Im just speakg what worked for me on the specific vehical.... THATS ALL
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to believe that cycling the key was all that was needed, and had proven true countless times until last week. A friend ran out of fuel in his 7.3 Excursion, and by the time we were done we had disconnected the fuel pump, removed it, put it inlet side up with a hose full of fuel attached to the inlet and hooked it up to the battery to manually prime it ad get the air out. I then put caps on it to keep the fuel in it, reinstalled it and then slipped the caps off an hooked up the lines. It couldn't push the air in the pump out to let the fuel in even with the discharge side unhooked and open to the atmosphere. I had no access to a compressor where he was at.
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