91 cummins in 69 crewcab dodge - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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91 cummins in 69 crewcab dodge

Greetings,
I apologize if this is covered somewhere and Iím just not understanding. Iím stuck, at a loss, and clueless. help?
This will be long, because I want to make sure all the pertinent information is given.

I am in the process of building a 69 Dodge W250 crew cab with a 91 Cummins in it. This is not an engine that I bought and donít know how it runs. I pulled this engine from my 91 dodge D350 when the body had finally fallen apart to the point of uselessness. The engine was running great.

After several years, Iíve reached the point where the engine is mounted, wired, plumbed, and was ready to fire up. Iím using the stock 91 radiator, exhaust, and fuel pump. I have the one wire that used to power the coil running the injector pump, and I have the air heaters plugged to a momentary switch on the dash so I can manually operate them should they be necessary. I used a diesel fuel tank from a 93 Ford F350, which is presently held under the truck with bailing wire. the return line and main line are plumbed with rubber line to a steel line that runs the length of the frame rails, and then the main line goes into a large NAPA auxiliary fuel canister fuel filter and water separator.

I read a number of forums on how to bleed the fuel system, so I got fuel in the tank, and began to use the priming handle on the mechanical pump, cracking the bleeder valve every few pumps. Nothing came out. I disconnected and went straight to a fuel can, and still nothing came out. I poured fuel down the line with the bleeder bolt open and fuel came out. Figuring the fuel pump had died from sitting for 5 years, I bought a new one and put it in. Now fuel and air bubbles would come out of the bleeder bolt when I pumped. Reconnected the fuel line to the main tank and bled until I could do 3 sets of 8 pumps with no air coming out the bleeder bolt.

With that done, I turned the key on, and began bumping the engine over with the starter to bleed the injectors. Crank for a few seconds, and then go crack the nut on the injector closest to the back. repeat until diesel came out, then move onto the next injector. By the time Iíd gotten to the third injector, the engine started and ran very very poorly. I stopped it, and continues the process, only now Iíd have to crank it, the engine would start, Iíd kill it, and then open the injector. Once all injectors had fuel coming out, I thought it might run better. it didnít. When I try to give it throttle, it smooths out with just a little throttle at what Iíd guess to be about 100 rpm. if I try to rev it, it dies. if I try to hold it at a higher rpm, it dies. And on a whim, I opened the bleeder bolt and there was air there again.

Back to hunting through forums. A youtube video shows that I can bleed the injectors while the engine is running, but to be very careful. Next time, I went back out, did the priming handle on the pump until there was no air at the bleeder bolt for 3 sets of 8 pumps, and then cranked with the starter. the engine started immediately and ran poorly. I started at the back injector and cracked the nut very cautiously. it squirted small sprays of diesel all over the place. I did that with each injector in turn, noting that when I tightened the nut back up, sometimes the engine would smooth out. the 4th injector from the back and the front injector both cause the engine to run very badly when opened. The other injectors didnít really seem to have much effect, except that sometimes when I closed them it would run better for a bit. Nothing I did seemed to make it smooth out (or as smooth as a diesel ever sounds:-). Just to see, I checked the bleeder bolt again, and it spewed air. lots of air.

Back to the internet for help again. The general consensus seemed to point to thereís a leak in my incoming line somewhere. the leak doesnít have to be big enough to let fuel out in order to let air in. So I took the line off at the tank, and put 15 psi air to it while spraying down all the connections with soapy water. I found two leaks and fixed them, figuring that NOW I could bleed the thing and it would run good again.

Go through the same rigamarole: bleed the bleeder until thereís no air (which seems to take longer each time I do this), and then bleed the injectors. By this time, the engine fires up instantly, so Iím always bleeding the injectors while itís running. Still runs poorly. still dies if I try to give it throttle.
After reading forums again, it appears that thereís a possibility that the pickup in the fuel tank is allowing air to get in. So I disconnect the fuel line at the tank and put it into a fuel can full of diesel, itís buried 8 inches into the fuel, so there should be no air. But the same issue occurs, but this time it does somethings strange: when I open the 4th injector, the engine runs worse, like it always does, and then it dies. Thatís the first time itís died at idle. It wonít restart. I checked the bleeder and lots of air came out.

Then I removed the auxiliary fuel filter from the line, in case that was a problem. Same deal, only now the truck wonít start. I changed my process a bit: Crank the engine, check the bleeder, crack each injector, and then check the bleeder again. And I still wind up after a while with bunches of air in the line. the truck now runs for a second and then dies.

Iím at a loss. Am I introducing air when I crack the injectors open? I rechecked the lines with soapy water and pressure, and there are no leaks that I can find.

Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:21 AM
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You are sucking air somewhere between the fuel pump and the fuel tank. Check all of the connections, especially where you have rubber line going to steel line. Good Luck!!!

Dave

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 02:43 PM
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Are the rubber fuel lines new? Old lines can be rotted internally so that under suction it collapsing to restrict flow causing more suction which would pull in air at a weak point that otherwise wouldn't show up. When you put your 15 psi pressure on it the pressure keeps the line open...just athought.

Also for bleeding the injectors, go ahead and crack all 6 lines open then crank it to bleed. Then you can go back and close all the lines and should be able to start it barring any other problems. I bleed injectors all the time like this.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 03:15 PM
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Wondering if there is an inlet filter screen plugged, in, or before the transfer/lift pump on the engine? I'd disconnect your inlet fuel line to tank and using new line and hose run to a five gallon can of fuel on the floor as you have done but eliminate all the suction side apparatus currently installed. You cannot get air into the system after the transfer/lift pump draws fuel from the storage container or you would be seeing liquid leaks also which you do not mention. Pressure after the transfer/lift pump is above atmospheric and this is why you see bubbling at the fuel injectors when you break the fittings loose. The air entrainment is being pulled in on the suction side, and then pressurized in the discharge side of the injection pump.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:11 PM
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There is a screen in a '93 F-350 fuel tank. It is a coarse type of screen to keep the big chunks out of the pump. The float and filter can be checked/removed from the tank.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:15 PM
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Is there an electric pump in the fuel tank that is not running? If so, you won't be able to pull fuel though it. This scenario would be eliminated if the remote tank is used.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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thank you

Thank you for the replies.
I wondered if there might be something in the tank, which is why I went to just using a gas can full of diesel.
in my last test, the fuel system consisted of the gas can full of diesel with brand new fuel line 8 inches into the diesel. That connects to a steel line with a hose clamp. there's a connector between two steel lines, and then at the other end, a new rubber line goes between the steel line and the new lift pump.
I put the 15 psi air to the line to make sure there were no leaks in any of those connections before trying to bleed the system again.

It did come to me in a dream last night that maybe the issue could be that the stock fuel filter on the engine is the same one that was in it when it last ran 5 years ago, and maybe the seals are dry, but if the air has to be introduced before the lift pump in order to show up at the bleeder, then that's not it.

Someone suggested that maybe I wasn't waiting long enough, but each time I'm working on it, I generally have about 2 hours.
There was another suggestion that once I had it running, if I just let it go, it would clear up, but that also didn't happen. when it was still running, I let it sit at idle for 5 minutes. It ran like crap, then smoothed out, then ran like crap again. It would keep going through that cycle. Then I tied to bump the throttle and it died. cracked the bleeder and lots of air came out.

Thanks again,
John
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memrys View Post
Thank you for the replies.
I wondered if there might be something in the tank, which is why I went to just using a gas can full of diesel.
in my last test, the fuel system consisted of the gas can full of diesel with brand new fuel line 8 inches into the diesel. That connects to a steel line with a hose clamp. there's a connector between two steel lines, and then at the other end, a new rubber line goes between the steel line and the new lift pump.
I put the 15 psi air to the line to make sure there were no leaks in any of those connections before trying to bleed the system again.

It did come to me in a dream last night that maybe the issue could be that the stock fuel filter on the engine is the same one that was in it when it last ran 5 years ago, and maybe the seals are dry, but if the air has to be introduced before the lift pump in order to show up at the bleeder, then that's not it.

Someone suggested that maybe I wasn't waiting long enough, but each time I'm working on it, I generally have about 2 hours.
There was another suggestion that once I had it running, if I just let it go, it would clear up, but that also didn't happen. when it was still running, I let it sit at idle for 5 minutes. It ran like crap, then smoothed out, then ran like crap again. It would keep going through that cycle. Then I tied to bump the throttle and it died. cracked the bleeder and lots of air came out.

Thanks again,
John
You have seemingly removed many variables at this point. I'd think the transfer/lift pump could be suspect also. I'd plumb in a vacume gauge into the suction side of the transfer/lift pump dead ended against a rubber hose with a bolt and clamp. Pump the manual lever a few times to at least 10" of vacume indicated on the gauge, and leave it there checking back on it's level every few minutes. It should not drop very fast at all. If it will not hold vacume, the pump itself is sucking air and needs rebuilt/replaced.

Don't get too discouraged. Each and every one of us has had that one problem that kicked our hindquarters but good.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 04:56 PM
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Is it possible one of the injectors is bad allowing compression back into the fuel system? I know nothing about this engine in particular but this was occurring on my antique Sheppard diesel (much lower psi injection system) but would do exactly what you are explaining. Run fine for a couple of minutes then fill the pump full of air and die.


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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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You have seemingly removed many variables at this point. I'd think the transfer/lift pump could be suspect also. I'd plumb in a vacume gauge into the suction side of the transfer/lift pump dead ended against a rubber hose with a bolt and clamp. Pump the manual lever a few times to at least 10" of vacume indicated on the gauge, and leave it there checking back on it's level every few minutes. It should not drop very fast at all. If it will not hold vacume, the pump itself is sucking air and needs rebuilt/replaced.

Don't get too discouraged. Each and every one of us has had that one problem that kicked our hindquarters but good.
I'll try that Saturday. I sure hope the lift pump isn't bad. It's about 2 weeks old.

Thank you,
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