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Old 01-09-2020, 03:02 PM   #21
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fuel pressure isnt on the diagnostics.. however a scraeder is provided under the hood near the bowl for checking rail lift pump pressure... HPOP can be read through the computer

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Old 01-09-2020, 05:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
fuel pressure isnt on the diagnostics.. however a scraeder is provided under the hood near the bowl for checking rail lift pump pressure... HPOP can be read through the computer
That right there would be my first move...

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Old 01-15-2020, 07:24 PM   #23
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Gabrielah7,

Assuming you choose to go the diagnostic route, please share what you learn regarding the actual causes --or combined causes-- and suggested cure for your issues.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
So there's 3 likely things that cause the T444e engines to be hard to start. As mentioned before, the glow plugs may not be working. If you're getting a "Wait to start" and see a fair amp draw during this time, there's a good likelihood they are working. The next thing in the fuel system losing prime, either a fuel line or gasket is allowing a bit of air into the system when it's parked. This may be what he's diagnosing. Bacon mentioned a lift pump and your mechanic is basically suggesting an auxiliary fuel pump to re-prime the system each time this happens. It (probably) won't hurt anything but it doesn't address the root cause, which is likely to get worse over time (and with the electric fuel pump will, eventually, the leak will manifest itself into leaking fuel.) The third possible cause is the HEUI (sp?) draining down and having to pump oil back into the system before it will fire the injectors.


Now if he and you were talking about replacing/supplementing the lift pump with an electric one, that's a fair discussion and it will facilitate easier repriming the system after fuel filter changes. But it still doesn't fix the root issue, it becomes a rigged fix. Might be fine for a temporary use and if you only drive the bus a couple hours a week, a few times a year that might be fine, but if you plan to rack up some miles on it, you may want to correctly fix the problem.



What he said was "extra electric fuel pump in line that would pump a bit of gas", not diesel? Does that make a difference in your opinion?
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:12 PM   #25
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>It's possible this is an '05 bus with a late '04 production date.


It is! How did you know that???
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:14 PM   #26
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What he said was "extra electric fuel pump in line that would pump a bit of gas", not diesel? Does that make a difference in your opinion?
I meant diesel. It's just that I more often use the word gas so that's came out.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by DslCJ8 View Post
Assuming you choose to go the diagnostic route, please share what you learn regarding the actual causes --or combined causes-- and suggested cure for your issues.
I will, thank you.
So far we found bad glow plugs (Thanks BaconFarms!) and a second fuel filter deep under the middle of the bus that I didn't even know I had, and hadn't been changed in a long time.
She's improving but still losing prime a bit, so we're looking for more issues.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:26 PM   #28
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Glow plugs, to include the controller
Batteries
Lift pump
BaconFarms
Changed the glow plugs, you were right, two of them were bad. Still a bit of loss of prime but she's better.

What's a lift pump? Is that the round thing with wires that's on top of the gas tank?
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:03 AM   #29
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>It's possible this is an '05 bus with a late '04 production date.

It is! How did you know that???

Because the emissions laws took effect in '05, and many manufacturers scrambled to produce as many "Pre-EPA" engines as they could, and customers bought 'em, knowing they didn't want the emissions equipped engines to deal with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielah7 View Post
Changed the glow plugs, you were right, two of them were bad. Still a bit of loss of prime but she's better.

What's a lift pump? Is that the round thing with wires that's on top of the gas tank?

"Lift Pump" - the pump that lifts fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. On many cars, this may be the only fuel pump the vehicle has (usually in the tank). Old cars - mid 80's and older - often had mechanical pumps on the engine so the fuel from the tank to the pump was actually being sucked (and many carbureted engines only needed like 3-8 PSI of fuel pressure). I understand the T444e engines use a mechanical fuel pump as well. Which brings me to ...


Losing prime means something, somewhere, is allowing air to enter the system and allowing the fuel to drain back into the tank. It could be the gasket/seals/O-rings your mechanic was referring to, loose or leaking fuel line connections, or degraded fuel line allowing air to seep through. The electric pump is being suggested to pressurize the system before the engine is turned over (which the mechanical fuel pump requires to work). It's a known retrofit and some people do it simply to eliminate the mechanical pump, but that still won't fix whatever leak/bleed-down you have.


I don't know if you have an in-tank pump or not. My bus does not. The "round thing with wires" on top of my fuel tank is the fuel level sending unit. On my Suburban, it was a combination sending unit/fuel pump.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:19 AM   #30
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Because the emissions laws took effect in '05...
Now I feel even guiltier!

But thanks for your explanations. Living and learning.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:39 AM   #31
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Yeah, I know what you mean, it's just that I live in a smallish city and there are few diesel mechanics around here, even fewer who will touch a school bus. I don't have a lot of options, and this guy is really passionate about buses. He's an old guy, decades of experience, and has owned buses all his life. Sometimes people who really know their stuff come up with easy workarounds that work just as well. I'm trying to decide if this is one of them.
As a Mechanic with 40+ Years of experience, I will say this. Any 'work around' that eliminates the need for Starting Fluid, is very acceptable. Most people tend to be cheap about such repairs and, while I have never done such a work around, if someone on a tight budget asked for it, and it could be done safely, I would do it as a favor and only charge for the parts. I would not be proud of it, but people CAN be very cheap!
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:44 AM   #32
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From what I see, they call it a Fuel Supply Pump, and looks like it would be on the engine somewhere. It would supply the injector pump with fuel, and could possibly have a check-valve built in that is failing either or.

Picture of one for a T444E, from the innerweb,

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Old 01-16-2020, 02:47 AM   #33
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While worn fuel injectors can cause difficult starting, there are other symptoms that are not described here, such as black smoke while driving, poor fuel economy, not the usual amount of power, and excessive fuel in the engine.
My 97 F-250 did not smoke, well outside of a little blue smoke for a minute or two if it sits for a long time. As an aside I never had to use starting fluid except the two times I've ran the truck out of fuel because the fuel gauges don't work. I had no idea that the truck was significantly down on power as I had only had it a couple months and never had a 7.3 before.

Started making a funny noise, in hindsight a skip. It got worse. Truck stalled out about 3/4 of a mile later and I got to restart once, but it ran on only a handful of cylinders. No codes, no idea what happened as it did not act like it did when I had run it out of fuel.

The guys I had it towed to said the returns in at least two injectors had stuck open. A hefty amount in injectors later and the truck ran incredibly far better. Now if only that was the only big repair bill or only time it got towed....
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:50 AM   #34
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And they hide it right under the intake manifold to run off the camshaft of course. Nice.

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Old 01-16-2020, 03:05 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by gabrielah7 View Post
Now I feel even guiltier!

But thanks for your explanations. Living and learning.

No reason to feel guilty. These laws are what gave us the Ford 6.0 (terrible reputation unless "bulletproofed", at no small cost or effort), the MaxxForce engines (Emissions refitted DT466 engines, with horrible reputations) and other DPF/DEF equipped nightmares. Many have been de-EPA'd (not legal, of course, but greatly improves reliability).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
My 97 F-250 did not smoke, well outside of a little blue smoke for a minute or two if it sits for a long time. As an aside I never had to use starting fluid except the two times I've ran the truck out of fuel because the fuel gauges don't work. I had no idea that the truck was significantly down on power as I had only had it a couple months and never had a 7.3 before.

Started making a funny noise, in hindsight a skip. It got worse. Truck stalled out about 3/4 of a mile later and I got to restart once, but it ran on only a handful of cylinders. No codes, no idea what happened as it did not act like it did when I had run it out of fuel.

The guys I had it towed to said the returns in at least two injectors had stuck open. A hefty amount in injectors later and the truck ran incredibly far better. Now if only that was the only big repair bill or only time it got towed....

The ol' farmer I started driving for had an old Ford 7.3 - like early 80's, way before the PowerStroke - and it developed a "rattle" that several diesel shops could not resolve, even after an engine rebuild. The power and fuel economy on it was terrible and starting fluid was a daily thing for it (Did I even mention maintenance wasn't really high on his priorities?) Aside from glow plugs, injectors and injector pump, we eventually found the cause of the rattle. At some point the oil cooler had failed (disintegrated internally) and metal shavings went everywhere inside the engine. It was rebuilt with new bearings and lots of new parts, but there's 8 tubes/nozzles that spray oil underneath the pistons that still had metal shavings in them. Took our "mechanic" 3 weeks to find what 3 shops couldn't in several months (he worked on it in his spare time). I use the term "mechanic" loosely with this guy because while he could disassemble an engine and transmission into a million pieces and reassemble it correctly, fixing whatever was wrong with it, a simple problem was beyond his ability (such as major disassembly of the electrical system for a burned out headlight).
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:12 AM   #36
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And they hide it right under the intake manifold to run off the camshaft of course. Nice.

BaconFarms

I think that means that when mine finally takes a puke, an electric pump conversion is about to take place.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:46 AM   #37
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>It's possible this is an '05 bus with a late '04 production date.


It is! How did you know that???
Its fairly common. I had an 04 built out of all 03 parts.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:03 AM   #38
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ive never seen a 444E in a bus marked as 05 unless it was aussie where they sold the 444E through 06...



I think the 04 model year ran a little longer on. medium duty before the 05s came out with VT365s.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:41 AM   #39
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Hpop

I know the HPOP engines are really sensitive to oil quality and oil viscosity, you might try changing the oil to 15w40.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:52 AM   #40
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Issue solved - thank you all for your help

Well Daisy starts up fine now Turns out it was not a gasket, or the lift pump, or the fuel injectors, or the oil pressure, or anything complex. It was a combination of a second fuel filter way deep under the bus which I didn't even know I had and had never changed, a couple of bad glow plugs, and one of the batteries was near death. Took care of all those little things and now she's purring.
Thank you all for your assistance. I've learned a lot.
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