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Diesel Owners ? for you.

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I was changing my Cummins fuel filter last night and screwed up! I did not put enough fuel back in the filter res. and when I went to start it it died. Dumb @ss I know. I have changed the thing 5 times or so and never had a problem. Well after it fired up it died, I am sure to lack of fuel. What do I do to restart? My buddy said he has done this and sprayed a tiny little bit of starter fluid down the air intake to start it. Big no no according to the sticker on my air box. Any other options or ideas would help.
Thanks guys.

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Mr.BigEyes,
I can't help you out but I'm interested in what others will have to say. I'm new to the diesel end of things I have the 6.0 Ford diesel. I'll be changing my fuel filter for the 1st time before cold weather hits. Any info would be great.
Thanks, Tom BD110

And good luck to you Mr.Big

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BD-
That is a nice engine you purchased! Just make sure when you change your filter fill the whole fuel filter res up then stick the filter in and fill up some more! I was simply in a rush last night and did not put enough fuel in the resevior. I was too busy punching in cord. on my GPS in my boat..... I am sure I will be alright. I think Cummins would even warranty stupidity if needed.

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Thanks Bill will do! Have you had this happen or are you a mechanic? Or did you just stay at a holiday inn last night?

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Big Eyes -

Under no circumstance use any starting fluid with the Cummins engine. There are heater grids in the intake side (instead of glow plugs) and starting fluid will make a big kaboom.

Your problem is fairly common. (I am assuming you have a 24 valve engine)

First things first. Bump the starter and you should hear the lift pump run for 30 to 45 seconds. While the lift pump is running, open the drain lever on the filter cannister outlet and make sure your lift pump is trasfering fuel. If fuel is flowing, bump the starter for a couple of cycles and this will purge a lot of the air out of the cannister. Use something to catch the fuel, as the lift pump can move nearly a gallon of fuel in 45 seconds.

The lift pump is a common failure item. It has happened to me once.

If your lift pump is not moving any fuel, it will have to be replaced before your truck will start. If you need one, get it from a Cummins dealer. They are much cheaper than Dodge.

If your lift pump is moving fuel, your new filter may have had a bunch of air trapped in the pleats. Bump the starter again, and crack the line feeding into the injection pump on the side of the motor. (Caution, this is messy)Once you have the air bled out, it should start. It may take a bit of cranking, however. You may have to crack an injector line, but that has never happened to me.

Most of my fuel filter changes have had the engine stall upon initial start up. I bump the starter, and let the lift pump cycle. I repeat this at least six times before I attempt to start. Often, the truck starts, and then dies. Repeat the bump cycle a few times, and then crank again. Feather the gas pedal a bit. It will usually fire, run rough for a couple of seconds, and then run fine.

I did not know my lift pump had failed until I changed my fuel filter. Before the filter change, the injection pump was able to pull fuel all the way from the tank without the lift pump. Once air was introduced via the filter change, the injector pump is not capable of pulling fuel from the tank.

I installed a fuel pressure gage to monitor my lift pump condition. It cost about a hundred bucks, but I now know the status of my fuel pressure feeding the injection pump. With VP44 injector pumps costing 1500-2000 bucks, it is cheap insurance.

Check out the turbo diesel registry dot com. TONS of reading on there, including much discussion on the lift pump situation.

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Gissert,

Thanks for the info. I am going to first open the fuel filter res back up and get the filter soaked. I think the lift pump is ok as I here it when I turn the key? How long is it safe to turn over? Also should I be hitting the pedal at all while turning this over. It is an 01 24valve. I don't think I really want to attempt the bleeding process. The guy that recommended the starting fluid runs a hauling company and has done this twice without destroying anything but I understand it should not be done.
Thanks again for the info.

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Even if you hear the lift pump running, it can still be bad. That was the case with mine.

If you can get fuel out of the cannister drain when the lift pump is running, the lift pump is functioning. You can also depress the schrader valve (looks like a big tire valve) on the filter cannister to bleed air when the lift pump is running. There is also a schrader port on the injection pump for bleeding if you do not want to crack a line.

Added on edit: Just so I am clear, to get the lift pump to run, you have to just barely engage the starter. The pump will run for a couple seconds upon turning the key to on, but will not do a start cycle until the starter is actually bumped.

I am not sure what the starter duty cycle is, but I will crank for 20 seconds or so and the let the starter rest for a while.

I will pump the pedal once or twice during the cranking time.

Starting fluid may be ok as long at the grid heaters are off. If the heaters are on and you get enough ether in there, BLAMMO!The grids wont come on above a certain ambient temp. You can also disable them by disconnecting a wire or a relay. Myself, I will not use it on a Cummins diesel with grids.

I have the same year truck you do. I now have about 138 k on the engine. My lift pump failed around the 80k mark. My fuel pressure is getting a bit low, so I may pick up a lift pump soon. I will confirm it with a manual gage before I spring for a new lift pump, however.

[This message has been edited by Gissert (edited 08-12-2004).]

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Im not familiar with the Cummins they put in pickup trucks. In general, when a diesel fuel system has air in it you need need to crack a line loose (a high presure line at the injector, if its that type) and crank the engine until the air is purged and you get fuel squirting out. Then tighten it and try starting it.

If line back to the tank has also lost its prime it helps to put air pressure on the fuel tank, especially if the tank is a long way from the engine. From the previous conversation, it sounds like there is a transfer pump in your fuel tank to take care of that.

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Just wanted to say thanks to all you guys for your help! I got her fired back up last night just by (over)filling the fuel filter and hitting the key a few times then turning over.

Thanks again!

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