6.9 IDI won't start - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.9L Diesels Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 6.9 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 10-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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6.9 IDI won't start

My friend has a 86 6.9 liter diesel.

It started "surging" yesterday (as if you are letting on and off the gas pedal), and this a.m. it won't start.

We're guessing a fuel pump or lift pump issue - we pull the fuel filter and crank it over, and no fuel comes out (whether or not this is a valid diagnostic on this truck - I don't know).

Cranks over fine, newer batteries, etc - any suggestions on what to do next?
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check for fuel at the lift pump, pull the outlet and crank the engine see if you get fuel, this would also be a good time to do a volume test and a pressure test. Post back where you get O.K.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks.

Plot thickens - this is a dual tank tilt bed truck, so we were able to get to the fuel lines at the top of both tanks. Pulled both internal pumps - pickup looks ok / is not broken.

Neither pump is pumping fuel / appear to be operating (so something electrical?) - is there a relay / etc we should look at next?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The tanks Don't have fuel pumps. Known issues with the 6.9 diesel fuel system is the water seperator on the firewall. The drain is known to not seal after time and allow the lift pump to draw air and not fuel. Stick a bolt in the drain and hose clamp it there temporaraly to see if that fixes the issue. If that doesn't help then do this lift pump test:

Do a pressure and flow test of the fuel pump at the Schrader valve on the filter header (FSS- fuel shutoff solenoid disconnected on IP). Remove the tire valve core and hook a hose and pressure guage on it should see 4-6 psi when starter cranking engine over. Then do a fuel quantity test same place, should see 1/3 pint in 10 seconds of starter engine cranking, route fuel to a suitable container with a hose. When all finished hook up the FSS wire .

Some IPs have an ability to pull fuel....... if your installation of the new lift pump is incorrect it can fail ASAP after install. There should have been a paper in the box re this info.


The FSS is the electrical conector on the top of the IP D/S FRONT connection.

Also check that the selector valve isn't stuck in the middle of it's travel.
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Last edited by chuckster57; 10-05-2011 at 11:41 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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replace all the lines between the fuel injectors. they are similar in size to vacuum line hoses, but you cannot use vacuum line hose.

napa has a return line kit for like $100 that has all the hoses and even some new o rings for the injector hats.

surgin is often a cause of air intrusion, and the no start is likely cause all of your fuel has run back to the tank and you aren't crankin long enough to get it back to the IP
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We're hauling this truck to our local diesel experts (not my rig, and my buddy needs it for work) - I'll update the thread with the findings.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope the expert knows the ins/outs of these old engines, since there isn't anywhere to plug in the "tell me whats wrong" thingy!!
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
Train Horns: Pictures here

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Old 10-07-2011, 12:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The local guys (Davis Diesel) are pretty good - way better than having me and my buddy work on it I am certain - I'm a decent R&R guy, and can diagnose old Mopars (and Subarus with computer thingys), even my F350, but I don't have time for this one .
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