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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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Old 11-16-2008, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fuel Filter Light

I have been reading a lot in the search area and no one ever seems to come up with a solution to the light so here we go again.

"Fuel Filter" Light comes on at around 1800-1900 rpms stays on when I go 65 and eventually the truck will flat out run out of fuel if the light stays on long enough. Basically I can only go 65 for maybe 8 minutes and the truck dies, I pull over let it idle till the light goes off then off I go.

I changed the fuel filter and cleaned the gunk out of the canister. No luck.

It seems as though something is restricting the fuel flow causing a vacuum and causing the engine to run out of fuel.

Is it something to do with the front tank? I haven't put diesel in the rear tank to test it yet. Any answers would be greatly appreciated!

Matt
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be that the first stage of your lift pump is crapping out and can't keep up with the higher flow rates required for highway driving.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think I'll put some diesel in the rear tank and see if it still does it. If not I guess we are looking at that vacuum switch on the bowl, the fuel pump, and the FPR screen.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD97 View Post
Could be that the first stage of your lift pump is crapping out and can't keep up with the higher flow rates required for highway driving.
I also think that's what it is. It's easy enough to check. Take it out and drive it hard until it dies, shut it off and take the cap of the canister, If the bowl isn't full it's probably the 1st stage of the pump is out. When you sit at an idle the fuel demand is low so the pump will keep up and refill the bowl but at speed it can't maintain enough fuel to supply the 2nd stage of the pump. The 2nd stage creates a vavuum and lights the filter light.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hardest thing I have ever done to the truck = take out the fuel pump. (well technically taking the turbo off).

I just don't have the tools here in Orlando to do it. I remember last time having to use swivel extension and a swivel socket. And everyone knows how cheap those are. I would love to talk to someone who has gotten the pump out without removing the turbo. Some custom wrench maybe?

I really hope that isn't what is happening but its hard to believe it could be something else.

Thanks guys!
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You can change the pump without pulling the turbo. I use a 1 1/4 in combination wrench the angle on the box end is just right for the banjo bolt. It just takes patience. I have done my truck twice and have got it down to under an hour. Search for write up by Sam Miller on this forum or Ford Truck Entheusist forum it is a step by step. Piece a cake.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here is the write up by Sam, it's one of the most helpful ones that I have saved.

FUEL PUMP REPLACEMENT by Sam Miller

I recommend disconnecting batteries. There is no way to work around the glow plug relay without touching it. Then set up a parts tray, run a good light, throw a pad over the radiator and go for it.

Also, if you have a HPX crossover hose installed, it is easier if you disconnect it from the passenger side oil rail and tie it out of the way. Remove "Y" pipe (compressor manifold) from turbo, taking care not to lose the rubber O-ring inside the fitting (Marmon clamp). If you loosen only the lower clamps on the two silicone hoses the whole assembly can be removed easily and set aside. Cover the openings with rags or plastic wrap and secure with rubber bands.

Draining the fuel filter/water separator canister. You will want to either place a container under the vehicle to catch the diesel (a hose pushed on to the drain tube sure prevents a mess), or pump the canister dry once you get the filter out, in which case you wonít slide the yellow lever to "DRAIN." This is a good occasion to inspect and clean the interior of the canister, so removal of the filter and heater is advised. (Remember, the plastic heater standpipe is LEFT HAND THREADS.) A 7/8" crowís foot wrench works best, but I have loosened it with a regular open-end wrench. Pull off the heater wire connector with needle-nose pliers. Now you can clean the canister and check for cracks or leaks. Youíll be amazed at the crud in there.

Disconnecting hoses. There are two hoses connected to the top of the pump and one at the bottom. The two top hoses are protected by a removable clip-on heat shield (just yank it off). You can only get to the clamp on the pump side of that bottom hose. And finally, the water drain hose at the front passenger side of the filter housing.

Remove the two bolts attaching the fuel pressure regulator with 10mm and carefully pry it back from the filter housing, taking care not to lose the O-ring. Good time to clean the screen and examine condition of O-ring. There is also a short section of 5/16" hose that may need to be replaced.

Separate the wire harness connector on the passenger side of canister and remove positioning clamp with 8mm. It will NOT slide off the tongue of the clamp as you think it might, since the tongue is barbed. (Remind you of anyone?)

Disconnect wires connected to the canister, two on drivers side, one at bottom rear. (So now you want to know what they are? Aw geez, youíre one of THOSE GUYS: Oh, all right: on the driverís side, the top connector on the side of the Water Filter/Water Separator Assembly is the fuel heater connection; the connector directly beneath it links to the Water Sensor; and the connector on the bottom rear of the Assembly is for the filter restriction sensor. I believe it is a vacuum switch. Note: In 1996 the fuel filter restriction sensor was moved to the fuel pressure regulator, driverís side of filter housing. Happy now?)

To continue: Two bolts holding down the filter canister are 13mm. You can lift the whole filter assembly up and forward out of the way with the long blue hose still connected at the bottom.

Getting the pump out is not difficult, using a 1 1/4 inch box end wrench, heated and bent to clear the turbo pedestal, while removing the large banjo bolt. You just have to be patient and content with getting only small incremental turns on it. It takes a while. The two metal ring-gaskets will sometimes remain stuck to the banjo fitting. You can remove them once the pump is out of the way. You do not have to remove or loosen the fuel supply tubes connected to the banjo fitting.

Remove the two 10 mm bolts holding down the pump and carefully remove the pump from the crankcase bore. It will take some twisting and pulling. Be careful here so as not to lose the tappet into the cam crankcase. That would not be good. Examine your new pump to see how the tappet connects. Eventually you'll be able to lift the pump straight up and out of the engine.

Cover or stuff a rag into the pump hole and it's a good time to clean the entire valley. Kind of like being on a treasure hunt, you'll be amazed at what you find down there; valve caps, wire ends, wedding rings, cat hair, baseball gloves, wrenches... It's a lot of fun getting back all your tools.

Check out the exterior of the fuel filter canister. Clean the three wire terminals, check for leaks or cracks and clean everything so if a leak shows up later you'll know exactly where it originates.

Time to put things back together. Remove the two metal banjo gaskets if you haven't already. You might need a knife blade to get them loose. Be sure the interior of the banjo fitting is clean and free of debris.

Hoses: I got 3/8 inch 400 psi fuel hose from NAPA by the foot (by the inch, actually) and simply cut new hoses to match the old ones, three altogether on the pump and a 5/16 inch hose on the regulator. I installed them at this point, along with the clamps. I recommend tightening the clamps just enough so they are "pre-positioned." When the time comes to give them a final set it makes it easier not to have to chase them around with two hands. (One exception: the hose clamp on the bottom of the filter assembly must be tightened completely. You just canít get to it once everything else is in place.)

If nothing fell into the hole or onto the cam then lower the new pump. I use a little anti-seize on the housing, thinking it might make removal next time a little easier. Grease should already be on the O ring, but if not, I'd grease it. Tighten the bolts carefully and evenly to secure the pump. Make sure the pump does not get in a bind. Just tighten evenly and it should go into the bore ok, regardless of how the cam eccentric is positioned.

The hardest part of the whole operation, for me at least, was getting the banjo bolt restarted. You will quickly come to understand why the shop manual calls for removal of the turbo pedestal for this operation. (Plus, more shop time equals more money. duh!) You will wish you had a Dremel tool and could cut away some of the "webbing" between the legs of the pedestal. Itís a bit of a struggle, figuring out how to position your hands and fingers for the most efficient way to start that large bolt.

Slide one new metal gasket onto the bolt, insert it into the banjo housing and have the second gasket ready to slide into the slot on the interior side of the fitting as you push the bolt in. It may take a couple of attempts to get that second gasket onto the bolt. Just be sure it doesnít slide on through the fitting and disappear on top of the manifold. Now you just have to carefully turn the bolt with some pressure behind it to "catch" the threads. Once it's started, then it is just a matter of wrenching it in, one tooth at a time. Here's where patience comes in again. Eventually you'll get it in. Then snug it down, recheck the pump hold down bolts for tightness and you're through the worst of it. Time for a congratulatory coffee break. Sometimes even an adult beverage is deservedly appropriate hereÖ

Adjust all the hoses and be sure the clamps are on and positioned for easy access. (Once again, the lower hose will have to be clamped securely to the filter canister at this point since you wonít be able to reach it once the assembly is bolted down.) Lower the filter assembly back onto its pedestal, connecting the lower hose to the fuel pump as you go. Check that the wiring looms and connectors on both sides are positioned correctly. Adjust all three short hoses correctly and tighten the clamps. Remember to "aim" the clamps for easy access later, just in case there is a leak and you need to get to them with a screwdriver or ľ inch socket. Donít forget to reconnect the drain hose also. And CLOSE THE YELLOW WATER DRAIN LEVER.

Install the two 13mm bolts securing the filter housing (I use just a touch of anti-seize) and tighten. Plug in the three wire connectors to the canister and join the loom connectors on the passenger side. Reinstall the 8mm hold-down bracket. (or probably like most of us do, just wire-tie the connector to the GP loom).

Re-attach the FPR, being careful to install the O-ring. Tighten the two 10mm bolts evenly so the O-ring sets properly.

Reconnect HPX hose, the "Y" pipe (donít forget the O-ring) and whatever else you might have removed or disconnected. It is a good time to also re-dry the manifold. Looking for leaks will be a lot easier if everything underneath starts out dry. A long screwdriver and some paper towels work great. Just be sure to get them all back out before you finish.

Check everything twice. Pry back up whatever wires and brackets and connectors and hoses you mashed by laying on them. If it all looks good, reconnect the batteries and you are ready to start.

I leave the heat shield covering the two tops hoses off at this point, just so I can look for leaks once things are up and running. Donít forget to eventually snap it back on, cause there is a lot of heat back there and the hoses will definitely last longer.



A couple of notes here: If you shimmed the FPR, I would remove the shim at this point and start over with a stock set-up. Once you are up and running again, you can work the pressure back up towards the 70ís, using whatever shims work best.

A NOTE OF CAUTION: The FPR housing is very fragile. It is extremely easy to crack the housing by over tightening the Schrader valve or any fittings you might insert to accommodate a PSI gauge. BE VERY LIGHT ON THE TOUCH WHEN TIGHTENING ANYTHING INTO THE SCHRADER VALVE OPENING.

If everything is working ok, it should fire up within a few cranks. Thereafter, it takes a while to purge the air, usually a couple dozen miles of driving before things begin to settle back in to near normal.

WARNING: You will want to take a good light and look for leaks after the engine is running. BE CAREFUL. The fan and belt can change your nickname to Three-Fingered Jack in a heartbeat.

With any luck at all, you are dry as a bone and ready to roll. Check it again after your test-run.

Good luck,
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the same problem when using the front tank, light comes on.

I drained all the fuel out of the front tank and put in the rear tank (the only tank I use now)

I have done some research on this and it seems like it is probably a restriction somewhere in the tank or possibly something external of the tank.

One of these days I will drop the tank to see if I can find anything.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If the pumpchecks out you may have junk in the tank and be clogging the pick up foot.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is there any easy way to test the pump? At idle my fuel pressure is about 50psi, can you just rev it up to get the 2nd stage pressure?

Matt
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Has the front tank been replaced recently?????? I went thru you're exact symptoms after a tank replacement,.........turned out the vent portion of the filler tube got kinked or twisted on the re-install. could not tell anything from a visual on filler hose!..... Just another option to check before you go fuel pump changing
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well I put some Stenadyne Performance formula in the rear tank added 10 gal. of diesel and the problem is gone. Fuel light disappeared and the truck runs great.

Therefore I am assuming the problem lies with the front tank. Something clogging the pick up lines maybe. Has anyone ever had this happen before?

Matt
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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how much fuel is in the front tank? have tried to see if it is a vent problem? is it worse when full ? can you drive around with the cap partially unscrewed and see if it still does it?
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EOT MOD FOR COLD STARTS
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SD STARTER
STANDENS FULL 3 LEAF FRONT SPRINGS
1990 25th Anniversary 5.0 GT
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