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Won't start after releasing water/fuel from Fuel Filter housing


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I have a 1998 Dodge Ram 24V Cummins 3500 2WD Dually.  Yesterday I moved the little selector on my fuel filter housing and pushed it down releasing a little diesel. I stopped after about 5 seconds. I did that with the truck off. After about 2 hours I went to leave and the truck turned over, fired and then stalled. Since then it won't crank.

 

I have watched some YouTube videos about priming it, some people saying I let air in the system other saying my VP is toast and honestly I am new to Dodge Cummins so I am not familiar with what to do. This is what I've done so far:

 

1. Turned the truck over about 45-50 times, it won't fire. I killed both batteries.

 

2. Charged the batteries and cracked the fuel injectors just 1 and 3. Turned the truck over about 20 times: no fuel came out.

 

3. Opened the two little pressure screws? On top of the fuel filter housing and topped the fuel filter housing with diesel. Attempted to turn it over 10 times: no fire.

 

4. Cracked open the fuel line nut LEAVING the filter housing going to the VP: turned it over about 10x: no fire and no fuel came out. 

 

5. Cracked open the nut on top of the fuel filter housing coming FROM the lift pump, attempted to turn it over 10x no fuel came out. Took the nut out, attempted to turn the truck over and it stayed bone dry got no fuel and no start.

 

6. Turned the key to the on position but no start and listened for the lift pump to engage: silence. Turned the key to the on position, then bumped the started, listened for lift pump to engage: silence. Checked the fuel pump relay and swapped it with another relay, checked fuel pump fuse: nothing. 

 

7.Everyone is telling me to go purchase a new lift pump now and it seems like that is the problem I guess. The lift pump is dead silent, its not filling the fuel filter cannister, but I cant seem to think something else is going on here...why in hell would it suddenly die just because I released the water/fuel valve on the fuel filter housing? What do you all think? Thank you

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My guess is your lift pump has been dead but since you had pressure in the line the VP was able to pull fuel.  Once you released that pressure you don't have the lift pump to build the pressure  back up and the VP can no longer pull it through the system.  I'd buy a new lift pump.  Do you have a fuel pressure gauge?

Again, just my guess...

Edited by hdpwipmonkey
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1 hour ago, DieselJake said:

Yesterday I moved the little selector on my fuel filter housing and pushed it down releasing a little diesel. I stopped after about 5 seconds. I did that with the truck off. After about 2 hours I went to leave and the truck turned over, fired and then stalled

 

This would be a normal symptom for what you did (opening the drain in the filter housing).  Air was introduced to the fuel supply for the injection pump.  When you started the engine two hours later, the engine fired because there was fuel in the high pressure lines to the injectors.  Moments later when the air arrived to the injection pump and finally to the high pressure injector lines, the engine died because air is compressible and when pressurized, it cannot reach injector pop-off pressure.

 

So, step back a moment and relax.  There is no reason to excessively crank the engine to diagnose this problem.  All you will get is frustration, dead batteries, and lots of unwanted wear on the starter motor.

 

The lift pump operates as follows:

 

Key in run position - lift pump runs for about 1/4 of a second.  

Bump start and then key in run position - lift pump runs for about 20 seconds.

 

If the lift pump does not run - then you will need to investigate why.

 

It is quite possible that your lift pump has failed a long time ago and you just didn't know that.  Because the VP44 has an internal vane pump to supply fuel to the high pressure part of the VP44, that vane pump could have been drawing fuel through a dead lift pump for a long time.  When you introduced air into the system, the engine died and an electric lift pump is needed to purge the air from fuel filter housing, fuel lines, and the VP44.  

 

- John

 

 

 

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I would have to agree with both of the above. You just got air into and have to get it out which requires a working lift pump. I have been thru a couple lift pump failures and the truck still drove. The only way I knew the pump had died is that I have a fuel pressure gauge for this very reason.

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Thank you all for answering me and taking the time this morning to help me understand what happened! It makes sense now based on the fact that a VP can bring fuel through a dead lift pump but when I drained out that water/fuel cannister, it introduced air and exposed the problem of a dead lift pump.

 

Follow up question: I will go ahead and purchase a new lift pump and might as well change the fuel filter, after I install both what should be my steps to prime the truck? Should I crack the banjo nut on the VP and when I see fuel squirting out move up to the injectors?

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Posted (edited)

I would verify that the lift pump is indeed making some pressure. Typically we suggest 14 to 20 PSI at the VP44 injection pump for proper operation. If your lift pump died it will never refill the system without some pressure to push it up to the injection pump. You can bump the starter to get the prime circuit running for 20 seconds.Then at the VP44 there is a cap and schraider (sp?) valve. Depress the little pin to see if the pump is work it should blow the air out and start squirting low pressure diesel fuel. If the pump is not working replace...

 

Now crack 1, 3, and 4 injection lines and crank till the fuel is seen from those and close. Then once close it should start on the 1, 3 and 4 lines and help push the rest of the air out of the system. 

 

Do not use starting fluid. If you have to use starting fluid first unhook the grid heaters. Then when you use it just a very small blast will be needed. Large amounts can cause engine damage. If the grid heater are not unhooked could result in a explosion. 

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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Okay so I've confirmed the lift pump is dead. I honestly don't have $600 plus dollars at the moment to upgrade to a FASS. Although after reading and researching i also don't want to leave my VP44 vulnerable to a cheap China made lift pump either... is there a happy medium between the OEM replacement and the big money lift pumps?

 

Thank you!

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Look around for used ones, they're out there once in a while for few hundred. You can maybe go to part store and get something that supplies 18-20psi with life time warranty, just make sure it has the volume, like 100 gallons per hour or something. It would be better than nothing. Then start saving for a good pump and everything else if you're keeping it. like I mentioned before I would go for a mechanical pump, like a fuel boss. There are other ones out there. 

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Also get a fuel pressure gauge. That will let you know if your pump is going bad, even a cheap one. And always use genuine parts.

20200909_214638.jpg.ac7f7a49d75d7bea5e52e3051dba61f1.jpg

Edited by dripley
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4 minutes ago, Dieselfuture said:

Genuine China, oh man what is going on lately.....:ahhh:

That is a $15 MAP sensor. 6 weeks or more and it is working fine. I do carry a SMP spare just in case. The funny thing about those is the used to be 100 bucks a year ago and when I had to warranty the last one the price had gone up to 200 bucks. I believe they had some failures other than mine.

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24 minutes ago, dripley said:

That is a $15 MAP sensor. 6 weeks or more and it is working fine. I do carry a SMP spare just in case. The funny thing about those is the used to be 100 bucks a year ago and when I had to warranty the last one the price had gone up to 200 bucks. I believe they had some failures other than mine.

You must be making all kinds of boost going through sensors that quick :burnout: poor nv5600

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23 minutes ago, Dieselfuture said:

You must be making all kinds of boost going through sensors that quick :burnout: poor nv5600

Nope, only 28 to 30 psi on the oe hx35. There was another short time member here who found the China ones from Fridays Parts. 15 bucks so I bought 3 of them. Figured what the hell maybe 3 $15 ones might last as long might last as long one $100 or $200 one. So far so good. Funny thing is while dealing with this I find that I last installed my MAP in the IAT hole and the IAT in the MAP hole. It worked but seems to work better in the proper holes now.

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