7.3 stalls and chokes out at 1/4 tank - 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 04-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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7.3 stalls and chokes out at 1/4 tank

For some reason, my 2000 7.3L seems to basically suffocate itself out, knock real hard few times until it engine dies. when it reaches around 1/4 tank. Fill it back up and its fine. That went on for about 6 months. Now its doing it around half tank. Any troubleshooting suggestions would be great.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hutch Mod:

The Hutch Mods are modifications to the fuel system, on Super Duty pickups, that help with a smooth, more efficient Powerstroke. The discovery was made by Hutchinaugusta and the mod is widely used by many to eliminate air in the system. He put in a lot of time and effort in his research that we all gain benefit from.





Parts
  • 3/8ths union compression fitting, stainless steel preferred
  • 3/8ths stainless steel tubing, 5" trim to fit
  • 5/16ths diesel rated(30R7 minimum) fuel line, +/- 5 feet, 3/8ths will work but is a little loose
  • Hose clamps
  • Pre-filter optional
Tools
  • A/C, Fuel line removal tools(sets available at major parts stores)
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Various wrenches and sockets
  • Reamer optional
  • Tubing cutter/hacksaw
  • Floor jack and blocks of wood helpful

You must remove the pick up from the tank to complete this modification. The bed can be removed in some cases or the tank must be dropped. Dropping the tank makes modifying the fuel pump feed line easier. I ended up doing the in/tank modifications after a load of fuel that got me a fuel filter housing that looked like this.




I drained the tank by removing the hose from the pressure side of the pump with the proper fuel line removal tool and attached a hose to pump it into a fuel jug. I cycled the key on numerous times to keep it pumping. WARNING! If you have bad fuel I donít recommend this. Learn from my mistake, I lost fuel pressure and my pump cannot keep up with the demand of my programming.





Next disconnect the filler neck and vent line. There is a tee in my vent line from a previous owner having an in bed tank.




Since I was alone I used two floor jacks with 2x4's at each end to lower the tank after removing the straps. Make sure you don't put the jack in the center! Try to keep the straps in the same shape as they were a pain for me to get tight enough against the tank during reassembly. You need a disconnect tool for the fuel lines, donít forget to disconnect the electrical connection and vent lines. I placed 4x4ís under each end of the tank to not damage the pick up when it was sitting on the ground. Use a 2X4 and hammer on the retaining ring for the pick up. Some penetrating oil couldnít hurt here I thought.




Carefully pull out the pick up assembly angling it to not damage the float. Now you want to measure the distance from the bottom of the foot to lid.



After removing the pick up I had to use a coffee can to get the last 8-10 gallons of bad fuel out. This is what was left before being swabbed out. The white spot is water separated from the fuel.






Youíll have to cut the crimped clamp on the metal return line. The one on the foot is a regular worm gear clamp. Pull the foot off the mixing valve and pull the mixing valve off the pick up tube.






The union fitting now needs to be attached to pick up tube. I used brass but stainless steel is most preferable. Push the steel tubing that replaces the mixing valve through the foot passed the duck bill indicated. If not youíll still suck air there. Attach the tubing to the union fitting, donít tighten. Measure the distance to trim the tubing. Reaming the inside of the tubing is a good idea. You want the measurement to match the one you took earlier after removal of the pick up. Tighten after you are happy with the length. Too high, youíll suck air easier. Too low, you can damage the pick up assembly. Be careful! Removal of the raised hump(for the quick connect fitting) on the external end of the supply tube is also recommended.



Now we are ready to go back into the tank!


Before the tank can go back up, we need to address these hose fittings that leak air into the system under suction. Thereís also one on the supply side of the pump too.





I cut the fuel pump feed line with a hacksaw, reamed the ends and blew it out with compressed air by undoing the retaining clips that hold it to the frame and removing it. I left the return alone because I didnít have enough fuel line and needed to get finished since I was dodging rain drops. Some people re-route it to the vent line so that it doesnít return aerated fuel directly next to the pickup.




The new fuel line should be carefully routed as to not kink or pinch it when the tank is reinstalled.




The hose before the pump is totally replaced with diesel rated rubber hose. The OEM hose, on my 2001 model, was easily cut off with a utiliity knife at the steel tubing and had a quick connect at the pump. I recommend installation of at least a cheap pre-filter. The filter screens in the white mixing valve have been eliminated. The use of a higher end pre-pump filter would be best.

Happy wrenching!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the pick up foot at the bottom prob fell off, mine used to do the same thing before i did the ITP in tank mods. The foot was laying in the bottom of the tank
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I removed the bed of the truck and opened teh fuel tank access panel.. everything looked great and intact. I removed the screen on pick up tube to see if any cloggs, no obstructions.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The "screen" on the pickup tube isn't the issue. There are some fine mesh screens in the mixer that get clogged. You'll have to get that open to get them out. Go up to the pictures above - the white plastic thing is the mixer. There are a couple of screens inside of it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Look at pic #5 above where the red arrow is. On the stock pickup, there's an auxiliary inlet that's supposed to open when the screen on the foot is clogged. The trouble is, it's located so that it's above the fuel level when it drops to 1/4 tank, and the rubberized check valve looses it's elasticity and opens too easily, admiting air into the fuel pump inlet.

Do the hutch mod. It'll solve your fuel suction problems.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes do basiclly what is pictured and you'll be good to go, and ye the best bet is use stainless steel feul line, can also try inlinetube.com, I believe is the site, used them for my brake lines they also hae fuel lines also!
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hopefully i can get the supplies needed here locally, unless yall know of a place that sells a kit for this modification. do yall suggest removing the bed again, or dropping the tank for this. at the time i had access to a hoist, but not anymore.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I prefer removing the bed as you don't have to blindly fuss with hoses and wires. Can't you get access to the hoist again when you have all your parts?
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I prefer removing the bed as you don't have to blindly fuss with hoses and wires. Can't you get access to the hoist again when you have all your parts?
Changed jobs since the time i used the hoist to remove the bed originally to scope out the pickup tube inside the tank. I have plenty of trees i can toss a rope over and hoist it up that way. whats the average time it usually takes an average mechanically inclined person to complete this mod?
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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30 minutes. Do you have an engine hoist? You can build a "bed lifter" using some 2x4s. Cut two of them so that they are long enough they catch under the lip of the rails on the side of the bed. get another one to go under those two at a right angle. Lift from the center of that board. Shade tree mechanic personified.
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