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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Y'all - Long time, no sea. I need your help in diagnosing my truck’s problem. So here goes.

SYMPTOMS:
My fiancee' & I were driving here in town with the A/C blasting. We were parked at a restaurant about 4 miles from home about to go in when we changed our minds and decided to eat at home.
• Truck seemed to start up roughly, more shuddering than you usually get with a diesel engine.
• Low Fuel light had come on as it usually does once fuel needle was at 1/8 of a tank but needle was well above E line.
• We were driving back when I noticed shuddering had returned and was getting progressively worse.
• Acceleration was almost non-existent.
• Shuddering got really bad about a block from home. Engine was going duh-duh-duh-duh and shaking badly.
• Truck barely got back to usual parking spot when it literally died and coasted to its Final Resting Place.
• Engine would turn over, run for 15 secs but wouldn’t stay on.
CAUSES OF PROBLEM?
• Possible water contamination in fuel and it caused engine to run rougher and rougher as diesel was burnt off and mostly watery mix was left in bottom of tank?
• Possible that sludgey contaminants are at bottom of tank and that sludge was progressively clogging injectors worse and worse? Prior to this, I hadn’t run tank down this low for at least a year. I was always refueling at ½ or 1/3 tank.
SOLUTION(S)?
• Buying a 5gl jug and some diesel additives. Will add fuel and additives.
• Buying a new fuel/water separator and installing that too.

***PART TWO***
I bought the fuel and additives and new fuel/water sep filter and installed it…..

1. Went to Advance Auto. Bought a 5 gl fuel jug, new fuel/water sep filter, Diesel Kleen water/sludge getter ridder, CRC Total Fuel System Cleanup
2. Filled jug with diesel at local fuel station. He gets a LOT of truck volume thru there so their fuel is always fresh.
3. Dumped Diesel Kleen into tank.
4. Poured 5 gls into the Behemoth
5. Turned ignition to on but didn’t crank it. Low Fuel light went off and gauge is now slightly over ¼ tank mark
6. Removed fuel/ water filter and old gaskets.
7. Fiancee' brought me paper towels, a cheap turkey baster and a cheap cup. She didn’t bring me a beer, dammit :surprise:
8. Sucked all the fuel out of the bowl. Baster is clear plastic so I saw water (clear), diesel (slight blue), rust particles, rust coloured water. The total fluid was 12 oz. Sucked it dry.
9. Installed new filter with gaskets, lubed gaskets with diesel. Turned key to on for 1 min to pressurize system and fill bowl. No leakage observed from fuel bowl.
10. Cranked engine. It’s still running rough. When I attempted to rev it, it seemed to idle slightly smoother when I took my foot off the gas. I’m going to dump in another jug’s worth of diesel after work.

Okay, what do y'all think is the possible cause or causes of the problem? And what solution or solutions do y'all recommend?

THANKS!
Catch :sick:
 

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I'm having similar ussues. Mine never died but lacks powers and shutters a lot. Have you checked fuel pressure? Mine is a constant 60 but still runs like crap.
 

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Well, at this point all you can do is assume you ran it out of fuel and got air in the lines. I think you need to go ahead and run it and try a few heavy throttle accelerations to see if it clears up. If it does, you need to do a better job of keeping it above 1/4 tank. Pulling the tank and doing a Hutch mod or cleaning the screens and making sure the pickup foot is ok would be advisable.

If running it doesn't make a difference, this may not be a fuel issue at all - maybe a UVCH connection issue or oil pressure issue or one of a dozen other things. This is another case where having a fuel pressure gauge would have made a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
KP & RT - thanks for the replies.:smile2:

RT - your advice worked! When I cranked it last night, the Behemoth started up normally. But revving it a little the shuddering was still there. But as I let it continue to idle, I noticed it was beginning to run smoother. So I revved it to 2000 rpm, let it idle, revved it, idled, and so on. Within 5 mins it was revving and idling smoothly.

THen I put it in 1st and ran it around the neighborhood for 10 mins then I took the Behemoth out on the highway for 10 mins. Now it runs smoother and accelerates quicker than it has in a long time.

I credit the quart of ClearDiesel fuel & tank cleaner additive from Power Services (available at Advance Auto). It is labelled specifically to emulsify and burn off moisture and slime.

Draining all the fluid from the fuel bowl before installing the new filter helped too. Look at the pic - it shows the metallic rust particles left over from the fuel bowl.

My lesson learned :nerd: is to tap open the fuel drain valve once a month. And put Clear Diesel in the tank quarterly.:thumbsup:

Catch
 

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I agree 100% with RT! It also sounds like a good cleaning of the filter housing, replacing the o-rings, etc., would be in order. Check here for parts and instructions.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dangit - Part II

Well, it's almost a year later and I'm still having the same issues - if fuel level is below a 1/4 tank and not even at Low Fuel idiot light stage - the engine runs rough.

The Water In Fuel idiot light has never worked so what I do is every three months I remove the fuel water filter cap, remove the filter, use a turkey baster to suck out all the fuel & water in the bowl, replace filter & cap. I also replaced a sticky fuel drain valve with a new one from NAPA.

BUT.......today is Friday May 5th and when I hopped in the Behemoth to drive to work, it immediately began running rough and after only driving a block the CHECK ENGINE SOON idiot light came on. Fuel gauge needle was barely below 1/4 tank. In the ten years I've owned my truck, that light has never come on.

I'm only a few blocks to work so I waited to get into the parking lot to have a look-see. I didnt have a turkey baster to suck out the fuel & water but with the engine off I opened the fuel drain valve for 60 seconds, closed it, put two 5-gal jugs of fresh diesel in. Put the key to ON but didnt crank, waited til I could hear the pump stop priming, cranked it....and the damn engine was still running rough and the CHECK ENGINE SOON light remained on.

I'm tired of screwing with this thing - draining the bowl with a turkey baster, constantly adding Clear Diesel to every fill-up, etc. I can't depend on my truck and caint trust it for long drives.

I'm going to take the previous advice and take it to a diesel mechanic. I want to have them drop the tank, clean it out completely - after 17 years I reckon there's got to be a fair amount of crap & sludge built up in there - and have them repair or replace the tank's internal guts.

Before I do this, I want to make sure that I'm not going to get into a situation where the mechanic starts throwing parts at it until they finally fix it. So I have a few questions to ask y'all first.
1) Is the fuel tank on a 2000 F250 7.3L made of steel, aluminum or plastic? Reason I ask is if it's steel or aluminum, it may be corroded and have a few holes in it, allowing water from outside to get into it. I used to have one of those damn plastic bedliners in it and after I'd get back from fishing, I'd clean my fish at the back of my truck on my tailgate. TO create a super-cold slushing brine, I'd add rock salt to the ice and a little water. Some of that extra-salty water over time would get under the bedliner and run forward to the right front corner of the bed. Over time, it rusted through at that spot. If the fuel tank is metal, that salty water may have corroded some pinholes into the tank and that's why so much water is getting into my fuel system.
2) if the tank is metal and not corroded too badly, can it be patched and put back into service?
3) What is a rough estimate of what I should expect to pay a) if my tank just needs dropping, internal cleaning and new internal screens/filters? OR b) if the tank needs to be dropped, holes patched, internal cleaning and new itnernal screens/ filters? OR c) if the old tank is totally shot in the ass and I need a new tank installed?

As always, thanks for all the help. Y'all here have saved me a ton of money over the years and helped me to become a better mechanic.

Catch
 

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Its a poly tank, so no replacement needed if it isn't cracked. I've never seen one cracked that wasn't hit.

You need a new pickup foot and you'll need to clean the internal screens. Alternatively, you could do the hutch mod: Welcome to guzzle's In-tank Hutch Mod Web Page

You'll need to put some sort of filter before the pump if you do this to keep the large crap from clogging the screen on the inlet to the pump.

As to cost - are you going to do this yourself? If you pay someone, I'd expect about $100 plus the cost of the pickup foot. FORD Fuel Tank Pickup Foot Original Equipment

If you don't want to clean those filters, Bob has new ones as well. You'll need two of them - #7-029 In-Tank Mixing Chamber filter - Fuel System Parts & Filters - 1999-2003 Ford 7.3L
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RT - that's reassuring news. Thanks. A new fuel tank would run me anywhere from $450 to $750, plus labor. I'm still puzzled

I don't have a lift and so dropping the tank is probably beyond my abilities & resources. I am resigned to taking it to a mechanic and have them drop the tank, empty it, clean it out of all the sludge, replace the Pickup Foot ($35-40, plus labor) and replace the two internal screens ($9 each, plus labor). $100 labor seems a bit low for all that. Is this a one-hour or two hour job for a professional with a lift?

"You'll need to put some sort of filter before the pump if you do this to keep the large crap from clogging the screen on the inlet to the pump." Are you saying I need an additional filter besides the Pickup Foot and its screen plus the two Internal Screens? (Keep in mind here that I'm a mechanical dumbass)

Thanks,
Catch
 

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If you do the hutch mod you will never have to worry about this again. RT is saying that if the hutch mod is done you would need a pre pump filter.
 

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And you don't need a lift. Even if I had a lift at the house, I'd still do this job on the ground. You want to do this with an empty tank. So many ways to empty it. I use a mityvac evacuator. You could use the pump or an old fashioned hose siphon. A floor jack and a board are all you need to help lower the tank.


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X2 on what RT said. I had a similiar problem but after dropping the tank, replacing the foot, and cleaning the filters. The truck ran better than ever before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
unfuxated

Thanks evabody! I said screw this noise and took it to a local shop recco'd by some friends.

RT was right about the fuel pickup foot - it was in pieces inside the tank. Which explains the ****ty running issues below 1/4 tank. The tank was also sludgey as hell but it got drained and cleaned out.

The main cause of the rough engine was the injector harness - the mechanic showed me where the old one had shorted out leading to two different cylinders.

$1300 later and I'm back on the road. Stay tuned for my next thread - rear differential??

Catch
 

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I was surprised to hear you drain the fuel and water from the filter bowl each filter change. The part that suprised me was that you have water each time. I change my fuel filter every 10k and when I drain the fuel bowl there is never more than a few drops of water that settle out of what I drained. It sounds to me like your getting more water than most in your fuel.
 
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