Mon 21 May 2012
I was coming back from the Maker Faire last night, towing my electric S10 with my Cummins Dodge truck. It towed that 4000lb truck with ease, until it ran out of fuel. The gas gauge said it was about 2 needle widths above empty. But it still stopped running. Fortunately there was no traffic in my way, so I glided over to the right shoulder and made a safe ‘landing’. After the AAA drivers came by and added 5 gallons of fuel to my tank, I pumped the lift pump lever and so did one of the drivers for quite a while, but the engine would not fire. So we had to separate my S10 on the tow dolly from the Cummins so both could be loaded onto the flatbed tow vehicle. The S10 on the tow dolly was pulled along with a ball hitch on the rear of the tow vehicle’s arm.
This morning I read up on how to prime the fuel system if it became dry like mine did. I removed the plug just above the fuel filter and pumped the lift pump quite a while longer. But no fuel came out of the hole. It was suppose to spew fuel and expel air at the same time. So I then cracked open each injector about 2 flats and put the plug back in. The engine fired immediately, but ran roughly. Then I bled each injector. Problem solved.
I still wonder if the lift pump is working correctly or even if the fuel filter is slightly plugged since removing the plug still did not produce any fuel flow as the instructions I had found told me would happen.
Here is the process I used. I borrowed this from a guys post in a Cummins forum, but had to correct all of the spelling errors.
The hand primer is located on the lift pump on the side of the block. Its the one that looks a bit like one you would see on an old carbureted car. Open the bleed screw above the fuel filter and pump the primer until air free fuel comes out. It is going to take quite a few pumps to get all the air out, so keep at it! Fuel will start coming out with air, so put a drain pan underneath and let it pump until there is little to no air and just fuel, then close the bleeder. Loosen all six injector lines a few turns at the injector ends and turn the engine over. You should soon see steady spurts of fuel, again letting it go a bit more than absolutely necessary is ok, the more air you get out, the better. Then tighten the injector lines and start the truck. It may run rough and blow some white smoke for a bit, but it should even out in about thirty (30) seconds. During this time, you may have to keep your foot on the accelerator to keep it running. Going over 1/4 throttle shouldn’t be necessary.
Next is to remove the fuel tank and see what’s going on with the fuel delivery and sending unit.
The front end needs upper control arm bushings as well, and they were suppose to be this weeks projects. I did pick up bushings for the upper control arms.