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Old 05-05-2022, 01:43 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 127
Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
Question bus will not start

Back story
The bus ran fine 3 months ago. I have parked it with ramps under the rear tires so I could change the shocks and then got busy with other stuff. I started it about 2 months ago to charge the battery and it ran fine but havenít started it since then. With the new starter it usually starts right up.
A couple of days ago I tried to start it, after it sat for 2 months; it ďkicked once or twice on about the 2nd or 3rd revolution but it didnít stay running. Nothing since then. Iím being careful not to burn-out my starter and Iím recharging the battery so it cranks at full speed. The starter was replace about 4 months ago.


I research and found a few Tricks;
1) hold the pedal part way down. Not sure what that is suppose to do.
2) bleed the fuel filter, there is a schrader valve on top of the fuel filter housing.
but nothing has worked. Iím working alone.



Activity:
After I crank I run around and press the schrader valve and I hear is slight ďpsstĒ. Not sure what that is telling me. I think it means that there is air in the line between the mechanical fuel pump and the tank and its being pushed into the filter.
I drained the water at the bottom of the fuel filter and only fuel came out. So there is fuel in the filter.


Status:
ē Iíve got the dog house off
ē there is no sign of diesel leaking. No smell or wet spots that I have found yet.
ē The fuel tank is about Ĺ full;
ē the battery is full charged;
ē air temp is about 70f;
ē The glow plug relay is clicking;


Not sure what to try next.
1. The easiest place to add some clear tubing as a temporary hack is at the LH-rear injector and see what I can see. See image #1


2. Looking under the vehicle I see what looks like some sort of disconnect on the fuel lines, see image #2. Not sure what to expect if I separate the line there or if I can hack in some kind of electric pump to prime with. Is it one of those things that will forever leak if I disturb it because of old o-rings?


3. Iíve also heard of a fuel shutoff solenoid, donít know where it is or what it looks like or how to test it.


Any ideas of how to proceed are welcome. Iím new to diesel work but I have rebuilt chev 350 gas engine before.


Iím looking for ideas or theories as to what is wrong. I suspect its air intrusion between the tank the filter but how do I track it down?
Attached Thumbnails
Injector-A.jpg   fuelDissconnect.jpg  

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Old 05-10-2022, 11:35 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 127
Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
Question testing fuel pressure

Iím looking for advice, errors or improvements in my strategy or logic.


Back story
Iíve been working on figuring out why my bus wonít start. My current working theory is that itís not getting fuel or there is air in the fuel line. It ran fine a few weeks ago and it has just been sitting in the backyard.


Activity:
Iíve been using this as a learning opportunity to learn about the fuel delivery system and the best way to test it. Iíve found all the lines, and reminded myself why I said I would never buy another van right before I bought this one. Iím going slow to learn and because I donít want to make more problems, just find and fix this one.


Status:
ē The engine cranks at full speed.
ē I recharge the battery after ever few attempts so that it always cranks a full speed.
ē I found a schrader valve on top of the fuel filter.
ē The fuel filter was new a few months and about 30miles ago.
ē Iíve bought a fuel line separator tool and a fuel pressure testing kit; cheap stuff at Harbor Freight.


The Plan:
Connect the fuel pressure tester to the schrader valve, it has a bleeder valve on it.
Crank the engine and I should see air or fuel coming out the bleeder valve and I can get a pressure reading.
This should allow me to determine if the problem is in the supply Ĺ of the system or in the Injection pump /return half .
This seems like the least invasive procedure and should let me decide which half of the system at fault, tank, lines and pump or IP, fuel shut off valve, injectors and returns.


Questions:
How long is a reasonable time to crank?
What kind of pressure should I see?
Is this schrader value before of after the filter?
How much smoke should I see when cranking?
Attached Thumbnails
fuelPressureKit-A-img.jpg   fuelFilter-A-img.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2022, 01:32 PM   #3
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here is what I think is happening

You have not cranked enough to get air out...

I dont think you have a manual primer pump

that means electric pump in or near the fuel tank..

find something called a "core removal tool" used to take out the core from tire valve stems.......

remove the core from that valve on the filter housing...

crank engine like you have been doing in the same manner as you have been doing like ten or twenty times.... see if you get fuel.

if not --

then suspect something not working right with fuel priming system.

could be bad hoses on suction side of pump.... sucks air right through the walls of the fuel line...

bad fuel pump....

no electric power to the fuel pump..... feed the pump power and see what happens....

Use youtube university to help you do these things...

try the simple stuff first.... then go deep and involved as you go.....

william
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Old 05-10-2022, 02:35 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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thanks for the imput, I definitively don't have a manual primer pump but there is an engine driven fuel pump on the side of the engine.
Don't know if there also is a electrical pump in the tank.
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Old 05-10-2022, 03:27 PM   #5
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more testing, no conclusions yet

I just hooked up the fuel pressure gauge to the schrader value and no sign of pressure when I crank. I put the bleeder hose in water to double check for bubble, nothing.
I've tested the gauge on my bike and it works.
I've tired to remove the schrader valve stem just to make sure the meter had a chance of showing something but its stuck and I'm trying not the break more stuff.

My next step is to remove the fuel line at the inlet.

size of fuel line?
What size is the fuel line going to the fuel filter from the mechanical fuel pump?
I've mic-ed the OD to be around .375 or 3/8 but is that the size it goes by? or is it a 2x4 type of thing?

also what is the flare?
I notices some tick marks on the fittings, does that indicate left-hand threads?

My plan is to make a short piece of hard-line, some flex hose and use a external diesel fuel pump and external fuel can just as a test to make sure my problem is a mechanical fuel pump or other supply side problem.
This should add some fuel into the fuel tank via the return lines. I'm not going to drive it, I just want to see it run to prove the hypnosis.
any suggestions for improvements in the plan are welcome.
Attached Thumbnails
fuelPressureTestSetup-V0.jpg   fuelInlet-A-V0.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2022, 03:57 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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I've had poor to no results trying to hypnotize my bus back to life.

(I couldn't help it....)

There should be no left hand threads on the fuel system. Worst case you might install an electric fuel pump somewhere near the fuel tank and push fuel to the engine. I've always heard the IDI engines were bullet proof-- I bet you have air getting into the fuel lines somewhere.
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Old 05-10-2022, 05:17 PM   #7
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maybe a plug pick up tube in the tank?
disconect the line from the tank going into the pump.
put a rag around an air compressor hose drop it in the fuel neck of the tank.
the rag is to help seal like a cap and put some pressure in the tank and see if you can force fuel out of the tank?
how much fuel is in your tank?
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Old 05-10-2022, 07:27 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
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a little less than 1/2
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Old 05-10-2022, 07:31 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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I have a love/hate relationship with spell check.
hypothesis
a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences
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Old 05-10-2022, 07:33 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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thanks, I can stop worrying about left-handed stuff. I ran into that working on LPG and welding stuff. fuels were left-hand
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Old 05-10-2022, 07:41 PM   #11
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the thing sat for 2 year but i've had it running since then but maybe something has flaked off and plugged things up. I'm having trouble finding info on these fuel disconnects. They seem different from the "ford disconnects" I see all over the internet.
It is a 30yr old vehicle after all.


I afraid to disconnect and maybe break something that I cann't find. There is a regular band clamp at the fuel pump on the engine but it is hard to get to.
Attached Thumbnails
fuelDissconnect.jpg  
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Old 05-10-2022, 11:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
the thing sat for 2 year but i've had it running since then but maybe something has flaked off and plugged things up. I'm having trouble finding info on these fuel disconnects. They seem different from the "ford disconnects" I see all over the internet.
It is a 30yr old vehicle after all.


I afraid to disconnect and maybe break something that I cann't find. There is a regular band clamp at the fuel pump on the engine but it is hard to get to.



Cant tell real well but it looks like those are just locking clips that snap on over the standard internal finger type fittings. A secondary means to keep things together. If so they should pop right off with just some moderate finget pressure or a screwdriver blade slipped under them and twisted. Then apply the proper tool to depress the internal fingers and it should come apart.
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Old 05-14-2022, 04:04 PM   #13
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bus wonít start

Just curious if you found the problem yet.
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Old 05-15-2022, 05:16 PM   #14
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7.3 idi

I have had a lot of experience with that engine in my pickup.
Do you have more than one tank? I had problems with my back tank pickup tube breaking off higher and higher. It got to the point where it would run out of fuel with three quarters of a tank in it . Then I had problems with the tank selector switch stuck between tanks. Must have been a problem because other ones I got at the junk yard were also stuck. I just hooked up to the front tank only.
My truck would not start without glow plugs working when cold . After the first start of the day it was fine but even when in the 70s I need glow plugs.
Never use ether to start even for a second. It will burn out all glow plugs. Only 10 each to replace and easy to do.
When I had problems starting I used a gasoline soaked rag over the intake to give a little boost and encourage the fuel pump to start chooching.
My suggestion if these ideas dont work is take the fuel input line off the mechanical pump and put it in a bucket of fuel to bypass the tank and switch. If that's it then the problem is further back.
There is an electric fuel cut off solenoid on the injection pump in the top front middle of the engine. Check for 12 volts there when the key is on. If not you can run a jumper from the battery to it and run it.
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:34 PM   #15
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Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
not yet, real life got in the way
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:37 PM   #16
Skoolie
 
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thanks, I put the pressure gauge on the schrader value and it showed to pressure. so now I'm focusing on the fuel pump. Boy is that thing hard to get too. Right now I just need time to get to it again.
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Old 06-04-2022, 04:34 PM   #17
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back at the fuel problem

I got some time to work on this problem again.
I disconnected the fuel line going into engine fuel pump. There was a nice old fashion hose clamp and rubber hose going from the end of the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump.
It was sort of easy to reach from the ground. There was a plastic clip holding the brake line and fuel line just before the band clamp. Image 1.
After slipping the hose off diesel came out of both sides so I now know that there is fuel available from the tank and it was getting to the fuel pump.

After reattaching everything I disconnected at the filter, attached a clear hose and cranked the engine; nothing came out. This is consistent with what I observed then I attached a fuel pressure gauge to the schrader valve on the filter. No sign of pressure.

Soooo, I guess I have a bad fuel pump.
I looks hard to get to. any tricks?

I have heard of folks bypassing the whole engine mounted fuel pump and adding a electric pump and trigging it off the fuel cut-off circuit.

Is that a valid long term solution?
What are your thoughts?
Attached Thumbnails
gasLine-0.jpg   fuellineDisconnected-0.jpg  
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