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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 01-20-2014, 09:36 PM
LobsterPimp LobsterPimp is offline
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89' F150 Fuel Pump Problems?

1989 Ford F150 custom, 4.9L I6, 5 Speed, Dual Tanks


Hey guys, I read here a lot, but I think this is my first post. I think I’m having fuel troubles, hoping for help.


I replaced rear gas tank in my truck because I was smelling gas, turned out to be a rusted out lock ring, sloshing gas out periodically. I broke the fuel pump (in tank style) during removal, so I replaced the pump too. After the install, everything worked fine for a couple hours, drove 20 miles to the dump, on the way home truck stalled out. It wouldn’t restart. After sitting for about 15 minutes, it started but ran rough. It ran for about 5 minutes and stalled out again. Got towed home, pulled tank, one fuel line above tank was kinked bad (not sure if it was supply or return). I unkinked the line and the truck ran for 10 minutes, cut out again.


Now it runs for 10 minutes, and then dies. After it dies, it won’t restart for a while (hour or so), then runs 10 minutes and dies. After one of the stall outs, I decided to open the fuel line on both sides of the filter, to check for gas. Gas was present on both sides of the filter.


I read a post in which Sub Ford responded to break fuel lines after each component (tank pump, selector, rail pump), one at a time, turn key to on, and check for fuel to diagnose component failure. I still need to do this, but was hoping someone would have a magic bullet for me.


What would a kinked return line do?

Would that damage be permanent?

If these plastic lines kink hard, will that affect their performance when unkinked? Are they available aftermarket?

My kinked line had a rubber sleeve around it, so I can’t really see the line under it.
Should I invest in a fuel pressure test gauge?


Any and all help is greatly appreciated and I apologize if this info has been dispensed before, I found similar problems, but not exact.I can't really believe that the problem is something that I have not touched yet.

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:18 AM
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You need a fuel pressure gauge, some auto parts store will let you borrow tools with a credit card deposit. In your case there is a high pressure pump on the frame along with a resovoir/switching valve assembly and inline filter. You should be getting 55-60psi at the engine with a couple primes of the pump engine not started, and 45psi with the engine running at idle.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:44 AM
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You may also have a bad or wrong gas cap. See if it does it with the cap loose.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:41 PM
LobsterPimp LobsterPimp is offline
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I finally ordered a
fuel pressure gauge fuel pressure gauge
off amazon, and I just finished running the truck with the gas cap loose (I actually took the cap off completely). Unfortunately, it only ran about 10 minutes again. I did notice, and forgot to mention, that the rail pump has been extremely loud since the tank/pump replacement. Has a very loud hum/vibration that travels up and down the rail, all the way to the fuel hose on the block. It seems to originate at the rail pump. I don't know if that detail helps with the diagnosis. Fuel pressure gauge should arrive Monday.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:44 PM
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Fuel pressure gauge showed up today, so I've been out in the yard, trying to figure out this problem. Key on engine off, pressure was 32psi. Key on engine running, pressure was 45-48 psi. Normally it would run for 10 mins and die, but not today..... she ran for a whole hour (at 45-48 psi), till i shut it off. I relieved the pressure from the gauge, and tried to restart. Initially it would only go to 10 psi, but after waiting about 10 minutes and turning the key again, it went to 50 psi and started. It's in the yard running now, and has been for 15 minutes. I hate intermittent problems, now I don't trust it at all. I guess I'll drive around the block a few times and see what happens.

Any guesses?
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:25 PM
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Are the symptoms the same when running off either tank? If just the rear than I'd suspect the new in tank pump not lifting fuel, or maybe your kink is worse than you think. The new noise may be the high pressure pump straining as they're typically not so good at pulling but better at pushing. You can pull the line off at the input side of the selector valve and turn the key on to see if it's coming out good (jump out test connector to keep pump on).

The hoses are repairable. Dorman makes 18" nylon quick connect ends that come with a metal union. Cut off old end, heat up hose with hot water or heat gun (what I used), press in union. If the kink is further away from the tank than that, you can just use the union out of the kit and cut out the bad spot. Once that nylon kinks, I don't think it's ever the same.

They're available at most parts stores or much cheaper from Rock Auto:
800-050 5/16" hose and connector, straight
800-051 5/16" hose and connector, 90 degree
800-052 3/8" hose and connector, straight
800-056 3/8" hose and connector, 90 degree




Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:41 PM
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Ok it finally stalled out after 30 mins. Pressure dropped to 10 psi and she shut off. When I turned the key back to run, pressure stayed at 10 psi, I could hear (and feel) the rail pump running. I opened the (rear tank) fuel lines just before the selector switch, turned the key, and nothing came out (other than a small drip which was coming out when I initially disconnected it.

I guess I'll start with repairing the fuel line, and if things are still screwy after that, replace the pump. Does that sound like a plan?
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:36 PM
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You may have a bad selector switch on the dash also.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:25 PM
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Finally warmed up and dried up outside, so I've had a chance to work on this again. Was going to replace the fuel lines with the ones from Rock Auto, but it turns out I ordered the wrong size (rookie move). So I cut the bad kink out, and patched with the brass barb that came with the fuel line replacement kit.

Started truck, ran for 10 mins and died. In a fit of frustration, I pulled the tank, and tested the fuel pump wire harness. I got the momentary 12volts off that when key was cycled on, and figured that was a good enough test, so I passed it (I took that to mean that the selector switch, was good too). I pulled the pump, and bench tested it......no go. Took pump back to Advanced Auto, swapped out for a new pump. I bench tested the new pump, an it worked. Re-Installed, everything, and fired it up, ran for 10 minutes and quit.

I'm at my wits end here, I'm just trying to get it running so I can sell it. So I'm considering parting it out and or taking to the salvage yard, but I'd like to sell it running to someone who could use it. I'm thinking about buying 2 fuel filters and using them to bypass the selector switch.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:47 PM
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It should not die if the fuel pump in the tank quits while the engine is running on level ground.

Are you sure that you are not losing spark, more common problem after it is running.

Sounds like you need to ground pin #6 of the self-test plug and turn on the key and see if the HP & selected LP pumps are running.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:22 PM
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When all this first started happening, I bought a "spark checker" to be sure (it was cheaper than the fuel pressure gauge). And I did indeed have spark after it died.

Then after testing with the fuel pressure gauge, My pressure would drop to 0, as the engine was dieing. I've not retested the fuel pressure or spark since the initial test, and will do that this evening.

Even though I am frustrated with this truck, I do appreciate all the help and advice you guys are giving me, and I hope I'm not coming off as rude in anyway. If so, it is unintentional.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:28 PM
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I was just thinking maybe the HP pump on the frame was giving you the problem.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:53 PM
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I did cycle franticly between the rear and front tank, when it first died on me on the highway. I had not used the front tank in years because it leaks. I guess it's possible that I pulled some crap from the front tank thru the selector or rail pump? Going to do the power to pump test now to see if I can hear them running. Then I guess I'll try to pull that rail pump and see if it's junked up (along with bypassing the selector with filters).
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LobsterPimp View Post
I did cycle franticly between the rear and front tank, when it first died on me on the highway. I had not used the front tank in years because it leaks. I guess it's possible that I pulled some crap from the front tank thru the selector or rail pump? Going to do the power to pump test now to see if I can hear them running. Then I guess I'll try to pull that rail pump and see if it's junked up (along with bypassing the selector with filters).
There you go! Change the fuel filter before you go any further. Also, some of the selector valves had a filter in their canister. If it has one, take it out and throw it away, and go from there.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:51 PM
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