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stalling even with new fuel pump
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owllhouse
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: stalling even with new fuel pump Reply with quote

So...My '84 Seattle van stalled out in Tucson just over a month ago. The whiring sound, stalling in traffic, restarting after sitting a bit- led to a new filter first. The problem returned and two weeks ago we had the fuel pump replaced.

Since picking the van up from the mechanic, I've thought it sounded funky- a slight whiring similar to what we heard just before the first stall. My partner convinced me it's just a new piece of equip with a different sound. I was skeptical- and sure enough, our van faded again (in traffic) yesterday. We'd only been driving about 20 minutes. We sat for a while, inched it a few blocks at a time all the way home.

It's been 400 miles since the new pump- trouble free driving except the new sound.

Thankfully we're still camped out in Tucson, so I bought it back to the same mechanic (though I have some doubts about them). Rusty gas tank and clogged filter have been ruled out.

I read the recent thread of a similar issue- but am not sure it's the same problem. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks. ~nora
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gut feeling is you have rust in your tank. Easy to check. Remove the the filter and pour the feed end into a rag and bucket. Look at what comes out and is left in the rag. I bet there is black crud. If so, you need to, at least, clean the tank. You may wish to replace the tank.

To get you down the road, either back flush the filter or stick a new one in. Also, stick a pre-filter before the pump like the transparent kind used on a Type 3 and some Vanagons. That way you keep the pump from passing crap. Plus you can watch and change that filter as needed to get you down the road.

This is not an uncommon issue. It is old and just one of the things that can happen. Or you got a bad batch of gas.

This is my idea. It can be other things too. But, first test the tank. Later it can be electrical things. Like a bad ground at the pump. So check the voltage on the pump terminals and start back tracking the circuit if really low. Could be other things too, but you need to read more to find those.

Best of luck, Walt...
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owllhouse
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Walt- I'm starting to wonder about electrical/air flow issues too.
I WISH it was a bad tank of gas. But this has occured 3 times over the past 6 weeks, including after a fresh fuel filter and even after a new pump. Suposedly, it's NOT rust/dirt in the tank either.
~nora
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jmfoust
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walt is probably correct. The crap in the tank plugs the screened outlet, causing the pump to starve and cavitate. Check the pump connections and all grounds, you may get lucky.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a lesson from me, and do it right the first time. Dropping the tank and having to reconnect all those dang hoses is a PITA. I dropped my tank this week to replace the old dryrotted vent hoses so my Westy would stop puking gas whenever I tred to fill up. Also had a noisy fuel pump, so I figured two birds, one stone. Drained the tank, unplugged all the hoses, dropped the tank. Fuel filter was clean, so i ASSUMED I was okay on the tank itself. Anyway, all put back together with a brand new filter, brand new fuel pump, lines, etc. I was seriously cursing the German engineer who devised that evil venting monstrosity.


Soooooo, the new fuel pump is just a noisy as the old one!! I'm now betting that I have a clogged output tube from the tank itself, so I'm not getting a good solid flow of fuel, and my fuel pump is cavitating. Everything I've read on this forum describing cavitation sounds dead-on with what I'm having.


Make sure you check, even if your filter looks clean, or you may be dropping your tank twice. Like me. Rolling Eyes
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tested the fuel pressure in the fuel rail? Your stalling may be do to something else.
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owllhouse
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright- nice to have some new directions to look into. Thanks!

We (meaning the mechanic who I don't entirely trust) did use a fuel pressure guage- all was well as the van ran for 45+ minutes, then pressure fell just as the van began to cut out. He assures me the tank is clean.

A related question- how to work with a mechanic you're unsure of. We're on the road, with out full tools, garage or (most importantly) skill/experience- so after changing the filter ourselves failed, found a mechanic via roadhaus. They charged a fortune (my opinion) to "diagnose" and repalce the pump and the problem is not solved. Shop owner called this morning, trying to problem solve, seems genuinely helpful...hmmm...

Meanwhile, I am making vows to develop mechanical skills/comfort. Yes, I have the Bentley. Love the van, want to be able to care for it!
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levi
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

owllhouse wrote:


Meanwhile, I am making vows to develop mechanical skills/comfort. Yes, I have the Bentley. Love the van, want to be able to care for it!

This is a good thing. Too many mechanics who are willing to charge you for their stumbling around. Hey, I can stumble too, why pay for someone else to do that?
Can I ask what shop in Tucson you're using?
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next time it dies, before running it again put a clamp (needle nose visegrips work well, set just tight enough to flatten the hose without hard pinching. Or slip two pieces of rubber hose over the jaws to avoid damaging the hose) on the fuel inlet hose and disconnect it from the pump. Hold the hose over a bucket and release the clamp. Fuel should gush out. If it trickles, look for bits of rust and filth in the bottom of the bucket. Try removing the filler cap and blowing compressed air back into the inlet hose. Does it gush now? New fuel tank or recon your old one is the solution.

If the fuel gushes on the first test, try putting in a new fuel pressure regulator. They're only about $30. Yours could be getting into an intermittent failure mode.

But your report of the whirring sond even though there's a new pump sure sounds like blockage in the inlet. There is a filter screen inside the tank. Once it's blocked up good, not much, including dirt, is going to get by, and the pump will get loud due to fuel starvation.

Blowing air back into the inlet may clear the screen partly, and it may run fine afterwards, but the problem will return if that is the cause.
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owllhouse
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Sappy note)
I'm a newbie and so appreciate the support and education here at Samba. Thanks for the practical help and the inspiration!

The mechanic (Euro Auto Tech) called and said the new pump was faulty. I asked about all other possibilities- they assure they went through everything as they don't want to do this again- and the pump is the issue. We'll see.

Levi- Do you have a Tucson shop to recommend- just in case?
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well all the suggestions about tank blockage were based on the assumption that the new pump was good. So wait and see. There's plenty of bad electrical parts on the shelves.
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jmfoust
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Well all the suggestions about tank blockage were based on the assumption that the new pump was good. So wait and see. There's plenty of bad electrical parts on the shelves.


There are also a lot of mechanics that can't diagnose an easy fix and like to charge for new parts. New pump can't work if the screen is blocked. Keep throwing parts at it, eventually something will work. Wink
This isn't saying anything about this particular mechanic, just in general.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, everybody knows that, in fact it's practically assumed until a tech proves otherwise. But what is also assumed is that a new part is going to work correctly, when there are plenty of parts, especially electrical, that are bad in the box. So that can't be ruled out, either.

Assuming that the tech knows or doesn't know what he's doing and assuming that the new part will perform like new will both get you into trouble at some point.
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