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fordbox7.3 07-14-2014 03:48 PM

96 E350, died while driving
Hi everyone, this is my first post. I have a Ford 1996 E350 van front boxtruck with the 7.3 PSD. While driving in Granby CT last weekend to move an elderly couple the truck died on me, like it ran out of fuel all of a sudden. I had it towed to a repair facility, however they don't really work on Diesels, which i didnt know being the weekend, they were closed. They did hook it up to their scanner and got a code for no high fuel pressure. Thats the extent they would diagnose for me. At that point I wanted to get it home to further look into it and research a good repair facility. That's when i found this forum as recommended to me by my Uncle MrF250. Anyways, I replaced the cps sensor and was told by the repair shop that was good because they did get an rpm reading (I replaced this before having it towed as this was seen as the easiest and cheapest thing to do while in a parking lot) (I have no tachometer on this truck). Today I pulled the fuel filter out and drained the bowl. After cycling the key a few time to the on position there is no fuel in the bowl. Is it safe to assume the fuel pump is bad and time for a new one ? Any thoughts or links to removing the turbo and changing the pump would be appreciated.


madMatador78 07-14-2014 04:03 PM

Welcome to the forum! There is no electric pump on these motors. The pump is on top of the motor and run by the cam. What I would suggest is filling the bowl back up if you can, I know it must suck being in a van there pry isn't a lot of room, but there a shrader valve on the side of the fuel bowl where you can use a stick type tire gauge to check pressure. I can't recall what the minimum pressure is. I'm sure the others will chime in with suggestions as well.

By the way where did you get the CPS? Parts store ones can be bad out of the box, and the only suggested ones are Ford or international. Also are you getting a wait to start light? And if you can post exact codes that may help too

Once again welcome.

fordbox7.3 07-14-2014 04:26 PM

I did get the cps at a parts store but the repair place did say they were getting an rpm reading, which I assume means the sensor was working. I am getting a wait to start light on dash before i turn the key fully. What information can be gained by refilling and psi testing the bowl ? What side of the vehicle and front or back is the schrader valve ? I cant seem to find it for the life of me. I've read that 40-60 psi is the range i'm looking for correct, when i do find the valve, when should i test the psi, on ignition correct ? In case its the pump, i have ordered the delphi oe replacement unit, any suggestions on the quality of this pump ? Also it appears the turbo has to come off for replacement of the pump, any guides for turbo removal ?

427 fordman 07-14-2014 04:46 PM

The bowl won't fill without cranking the motor over. Also, it won't set a code for fuel pressure as its all mechanical. I'm not sure I'd trust him saying the tach was reading also. If it were mine I'd try and pull codes first if I could and try a ford or ih sensor like Thomas mentioned.

IDMooseMan 07-14-2014 06:10 PM

Welcome to :-X25

Normal fuel pressure range is 40-80 PSI at idle. If you use the stick-type pressure gauge, you'll most likely have fuel sprayed into the van interior. Be careful and use lots of rags to help control the fuel spray.

The schrader valve looks exactly like the valve stem on your wheels. That's why some folks use the stick-type pressure gauge. Because the fuel pump is mechanical, the pressure reading will jump around a lot.

To get an idea of what your fuel pressure is, add the lowest reading to the highest reading and divide by two. That should give you a good average. If that average reading is between 40 - 80 PSI, fuel pressure is good. This doesn't test the bowl pressure. This tests fuel pressure being delivered to the injectors. Fuel is filtered before it reaches the injectors.

Cranking the engine to fill the fuel filter bowl will take a LONG time, as far as cranking goes, and can drain your batteries. Fill the filter bowl with fuel, but not so much that the fuel will spill out when you reinstall the fuel filter. You need fuel in that bowl so the engine will run.

Have the codes read and post what codes, if any, were found. We can help more after the above items have been accomplished.

If you're unsure of the fuel filter condition, now would be a good time to replace it if funds are available.

If the engine runs and dies again, after filling the fuel bowl, check the fuel bowl to see if any fuel is still in there. We'll want to know that, too.

fordbox7.3 07-23-2014 06:01 PM

Hello all, after a couple days off and a quick trip to Maine I'm back at trying to diagnose why the truck isn't starting. I've gotten a code scanner and it isn't finding any fault codes. I've taken out the fuel filter, which looked rather clean and inspected the fuel bowl, everything looks good there. The obd2 scanner does pick up the rpm when I try to crank over the motor so I'm assuming that means the cps sensor is working correctly. The rpm's only hit 150 when the engine is cranking, is this normal? At this point I have the fuel bowl empty and have purchased a new fuel filter, should I fill fuel bowl with fresh fuel and reinstall new filter and try to check for fuel psi? If I'm not getting fuel psi is it safe to assume the mechanical fuel pump is shot and I should install a new one? Any help with this topic is greatly appreciated!

fordbox7.3 07-23-2014 06:17 PM

Update: I just drained the fuel bowl and then cranked the motor over for about a minute. After that I inspected the fuel bowl again and it was 2/3rds full, does this mean there's a possibility that the intake side of the pump is working and sending part is possibly broken or does the pump just fail completely all at once? If there is fuel available in the bowl then what is another possibility for the truck not starting?

madMatador78 07-23-2014 06:45 PM

Doubtful, I'll bet the pump is fine. Are you getting any smoke out the tail pipe?

sean9049 07-23-2014 07:17 PM

welcome to fte

fordbox7.3 07-23-2014 07:22 PM

No smoke of any color coming out of the tailpipe...

madMatador78 07-23-2014 07:33 PM

I'm still wondering about the CPS. I had one a couple of months ago that did somthing similar, but didn't exhibit the usual signs of a CPS. Turned out that was the problem. The only difference is there was smoke. I know it's not much to go on. But a good way to rule it out.

And also not every scanner will communicate with thease trucks. About the only thing they share is the obd2 plug. Other than that how they "talk" is not obd 2 friendly. If you could find auto ingenuity (plugs into a laptop) or a scanner you know will talk to thease trucks it's hard to get anything out of them.

fordbox7.3 07-23-2014 07:43 PM

I ordered a replacement cps from the local ford dealership and will pick it up and try that tomorrow. Does anyone know any scanner in particular that is good for communicating with the ECU on these motors?

lindstromjd 07-23-2014 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by fordbox7.3 (Post 14529367)
I ordered a replacement cps from the local ford dealership and will pick it up and try that tomorrow. Does anyone know any scanner in particular that is good for communicating with the ECU on these motors?

A Snapon MT2500 or AutoEnginuity will do the trick. Both are good scanners with a good reputation. The Snapon unit will have to have "bricks" for diesel including your year, and the AE will have to have the Ford bundle. Both cost about the same, just depends on your taste and whether you have a laptop handy for the AE. The Snapon is it's own unit and doesn't require a computer.

DIYMechanic 07-24-2014 06:15 AM

I'm guessing the codes the tech pulled were that there was no high pressure OIL and not fuel. Not knowing much about diesels, it probably didn't make sense to him so he said fuel. I think you need to look at the High pressure oil system. Personally, I would start by unplugging the ICP and giving it a crank to see what happens. I would also check the tin nut on the back of the IPR to see to it that it hasn't worked its way loose and fallen off.

Here is a little flow chart for troubleshooting your issue. It has some links in it that may prove helpful as well.

Crank-No-Start Flowchart

Welcome to the site. Stick around here, be willing to try things one at a time, and we should be able to get you running again.

oldbird1965 07-24-2014 07:15 AM

What are the condition of your batteries? It needs to crank over fast enough to get the IDM to fire the injectors, then you will see smoke.

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