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Excursion - King of SUVs 2000 - 2005 Ford Excursion

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:28 AM
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Fuel pump problems

I've got a problem with the fuel pump in the '05 in my signature, and I'm hoping someone can shed a little light on how everything is assembled to help me out. I've read through numerous posts by searching and have a lot of information already gathered, but my situation is a little more difficult than usual.

It has been parked since October 2009 (when the F-450 came into play) in a heated garage. Started a couple times since and moved around, but never run on the road (collision insurance is suspended right now). It currently has 55,794 miles on it and had just a little over 1/4 tank of gas in it.

I went to start it a couple weeks ago because I want to drive it a little to run some fresh fuel through it. Went to start it and no-go. It has the original battery in it, but it seems just fine and has been on a battery tender in recent months. The engine cranks fine and very fast, which tells me the battery is fine. It just won't actually start. No gauge sweep unless it's the first time after disconnecting/re-connecting the battery.

I've checked both the fuel pump fuse and the fuel inertia cut off switch. The fuse is good and the switch is engaged.

Truck was running just fine before storing away. It has just pulled a trailer for about 250 miles before storage. The only thing I can remember doing before parking it was I took up the back mat I had down over the rear carpet. I found it had gotten damp under there at one time and the carpet was a little moldy, so I cleaned the carpet really good back there. I can't remember if I cleaned all the carpet or just the back section.

Almost a year ago, it had the same problem as this, where it wouldn't start, but then a couple days later, it started and idled for a while like nothing was wrong, so I dismissed the issue as a weak battery (since the battery hadn't been on charge and I used the charger to jump it)

It started another time last fall just fine and I moved it around.

So with this episode, I decided to replace the fuel filter. I didn't think it would be clogged, but I figure it wouldn't hurt. Went to Autozone and got a new Fram and installed it. However, before I re-connected the supply line, I had help to turn the key on as I held the hose into a pan, and nothing came out. When the key was on, I also listened for the fuel pump noise like the '02 makes, and heard nothing.

So it's an issue with the fuel pump. Sprayed a little starting fluid in and it will start for a very short time, until of course it runs out.

I want to avoid dropping the tank if at all possible. In September 2008, we had a local hitch shop do some extensive modifications on the hitch, much beyond my expectations. The original receiver tube stretched out, so they welded in a new 2.5" tube and added a lot of reinforcements. They basically welded up an entire cage around the fuel tank to brace the hitch. I didn't realize it was welded to the frame until I just looked the other day with the potential fuel pump issue.

I also added 5 gallons of gas to see if I could free up the pump and get it to work again, as well as I hit on the bottom with a rubber hammer. Both didn't do a thing.

--So my question is, does anyone see any potential issues that I haven't investigated (or forgot to mention...)? If not, where can I check the fuel pump wiring to see if it is getting power? Where does the wiring for the pump go? Could cleaning the rear carpet (introducing a lot of water in the area) made some connector damp where it is now corroded?

I would like to try the other key at some point yet. I'm not sure how the PATS module works...if the key I've been using somehow became un-approved, maybe the other would give the fuel pump power.

Of course the dealer has been no help because they want me to have it towed in. It's bad enough that the right side is up against a wall that took quite a bit of maneuvering to get over there, let alone having to get it out by hand to roll it outside to a flatbed. I'd like to dig into it myself if I can, and I sure don't look forward to possibly having to cut the welds on that hitch around ~20 gallons of gas. I've read about the possibility of cutting through the floor to get to the pump, but the sound of that doesn't make me particularly happy and I'm not sure how I'd know where the pump is from inside.

Thanks,
Jon
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2005 Excursion Limited 4x4 V10, C1, TK/NH, 3/17/05, RedHead, Blackwood wheel, Rancho 9000XL, Air Lift, 5 Star, 63k
2002 Excursion Limited 4x4 PSD, 3/5/02, 150k, for parts & diesel swap
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:46 AM
Shepherd2 Shepherd2 is offline
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If the truck starts there's nothing wrong with the pats. The fuel pump wiring runs down the drivers side frame rail. Two wires, black/pink for power and a black for ground. There's also a fuel pump relay but it's unlikely that it's gone bad. Dont know if it helps but here's a pic of the tank.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:31 AM
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I have seen pics on this site of the hole cut to access the fuel pump. It really doesn't look that bad and seems pretty reasonable to do. With all yoru additional gusseting, that might be the best approach, once you confirm you need to do the pump.

First though, locate those pump wires in the frame rail and try to run the pump directly with 12V. If it runs, then you can rule it out and not cut a hole.

You said it cranks over fine but consider swapping the battery with a known good one just in case, maybe from your F450. Also, check the connections on the battery and make sure they are really clean.

You've got a bit of a stumper here....
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:51 PM
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Did you put fuel stabilizer in it when you stored it?

I have a Jeep in CO that I only drive 4 or 5 times a year.
I always put Stabil in it if it'll sit longer than 1 or 2 months.

If you've had the fuel in it since '09 you need to
siphon out the fuel and THEN add fresh fuel.
EDIT: you may also need/want to replace your fuel filter(s) in case they are gummed up

Even Stabil is only good for 12 months.

I hope you can get it working again.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:37 PM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. The Ex is stored about 20 mins from my house, and I needed to go out there tonight for something anyway. I took the other key with me to try it just because. Tried it, still no fuel pump. I had my grandpa with me, so I had him go back and listen when I turned the key to see if he could hear the fuel pump.

I noticed the battery was getting a little low (I did try cranking it a little tonight and it's sat for about a month now without the battery tender on it), so I plugged it back in. Since it was already getting late, I didn't swap out the batteries with another. A couple weeks ago when I tried to start it, I did put the battery charger on it with the 12V high/start mode and it still didn't start, so I doubt the battery has much to do with it. Do batteries short out somehow when they go bad though, so putting the charger on it wouldn't matter?

I also did a lot of inspection of the hitch while I searched for the fuel pump wires. I had a small mirror and flashlight and still couldn't find the wires. I took some pictures of the hitch too, which I'll post below. I have determined that even though cutting through the floor is an option, I'm especially wanting to pull the hitch now. With looking at how they built the parts and re-bolted the original part of the hitch, they must have had the fuel tank down. If that's the case, then I'd say there's a good chance they did something with the fuel tank wires and I'm more inclined to say the issue lies there instead of with the pump itself. Who knows why it took so long to develop this issue.

They bolted the hitch up there with some big bolts (see pics) and then the other braces are bolted too. The bolts all go somewhere, and I don't see how there's any way to get a socket/wrench up there for the hidden side, so the tank must have been out to weld those in.

Overall from left side:
Click the image to open in full size.

Right side brackets:
Click the image to open in full size.

Rear supports plus new tube:
Click the image to open in full size.

Hitch bolts- left side:
Click the image to open in full size.

Side/Front upright brace mounting- bolted and welded to frame:
Click the image to open in full size.

Inside under the carpet. The floor isn't rusty at all, so I doubt my carpet cleaning caused any problems since no wires are present. And the carpet still looks outstanding!
Click the image to open in full size.

I apologize for the rust...I'm planning to do a lot of cleaning/painting under there when I got it out. The hitch guys didn't do much to paint the new parts, so I put some quick rustoleum spray on it right away, but that's about it. I know the diff cover has some surface rust, but everything else underneath is amazingly clean and rust-free. After changing the fuel filter for the first time on the '02 last fall, it was a real pleasure to change this one with much less dirt and rust.

I did not put Stabil in when I stored it, unfortunately. Our fall seasons tend to be very busy. When we parked it, I knew it only had a 1/4 tank and I wanted to take it to fill it up (and put the stabil in) before taking off the insurance. But time got away, then the snow started to fly, and I wasn't going to take it out in that without the ability to give it a good wash after.

Jon
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2002 Excursion Limited 4x4 PSD, 3/5/02, 150k, for parts & diesel swap
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepherd2 View Post
If the truck starts there's nothing wrong with the pats. The fuel pump wiring runs down the drivers side frame rail. Two wires, black/pink for power and a black for ground. There's also a fuel pump relay but it's unlikely that it's gone bad. Dont know if it helps but here's a pic of the tank.
The pic does help a lot, thanks!!! I found a pic in my searching that was of the whole tank from a little ways away, so I didn't know how it looked on top and where the wires went.
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2005 Excursion Limited 4x4 V10, C1, TK/NH, 3/17/05, RedHead, Blackwood wheel, Rancho 9000XL, Air Lift, 5 Star, 63k
2002 Excursion Limited 4x4 PSD, 3/5/02, 150k, for parts & diesel swap
2007 Sunline Solaris T-286SR travel trailer, 3/8/06, 7365.5
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:44 AM
Shepherd2 Shepherd2 is offline
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The wires are on the left frame rail inside the plastic tubing, open the tubing and you'll see them. I've got a car sitting from '91 with the same gas in it and it still starts fine, I dont think it's the gas.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:57 PM
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Thanks guys, I got it running last night!

Never got to cutting the hitch or dropping the fuel tank. I got my grandpa on the case to find the fuel tank wires while I was working on something else. He traced the harness up to the engine compartment and found it clipped onto the inside of the fender plastic.

He unplugged the plug, cleaned it off a little, and plugged it back in. He says he noticed quite a bit of dielectric grease in there, so he took some out. After connecting it again, it started right up.

Go figure! I was out there again today and started it again with no issues. Now to just get the insurance reinstated and burn through that tank of fuel to get fresh in there.
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2005 Excursion Limited 4x4 V10, C1, TK/NH, 3/17/05, RedHead, Blackwood wheel, Rancho 9000XL, Air Lift, 5 Star, 63k
2002 Excursion Limited 4x4 PSD, 3/5/02, 150k, for parts & diesel swap
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:57 PM
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