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Old 11-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
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Ford Econoline 350 engine problem on a 1990 Holiday Rambler Aluma Lite XL 27'

  1. Last month I purchased my brothers' 1990 Holiday Rambler Aluma Lite XL 27 foot RV. He owned it for over 9 years with no problems until last year. While driving to a camping event, the engine started sputtering and finally died. He said it was acting like he was running out of gas. He pulled over and called his rv club for towing. By the time he finished with the call, about 30 minutes later, he said the rv started back up and ran fine for about an hour, when the same problem presented itself. Again, about 30 minutes later, it started up again. The rest of the trip, the problem did not reappear. Upon returning home, he took the rv to an authorized repair shop. They could not duplicate the problem, but did completely check out the engine, including changing spark plugs, wires, etc.They also checked out both front and rear fule pumps, but found no problems.
  2. A month or so later, they were on their way to another camping event when the same problem presented itself 2 or 3 times on the trip. However, each time, after about 30 minutes, the engine would restart. Upon returning home, he took the rv to another repair person. He checked everything he could think of. But could not duplicate the problem. Then he decided to drop the fuel tank and see if there was an internal problem. Apparently the rubber fuel bladder had a small tear in it. Upon further searching he found a small piece of rubber that apparently had come the tear. The assumption was that the small piece of rubber would occasionally get sucked into the fuel intake line and stop the engine. After setting a short while, the reduction in suction on the fuel line would release the piece of rubber. After repairing the fuel bladder and putting everything back together again, he figured that this would solve the problem, but wasn't sure. Made sense to my brother and me. My brother never took it on another camping trip so could not verify if the problem had been fixed. He bought a larger class C motorhome and has been using it.
  3. After flying out to Indianapolis to visit and to get the rv and drive it home, we encountered no problems for two days. Then on the afternoon of day 3, on the east side of Amarillo on Interstate 40, it sputterd and died. I called our rv club. After about 30 minutes it started again. After stopping in town for lunch, we got back on the road. After 30 minutes it died again. This time it took over an hour to restart. By now it was after 3:00 pm. We drove the rest of the way to Roswell NM - 8 hours lat - with no further problems.
  4. I would like to know if anyone else who has ever owned a similar Ford-powered rv has had a similar problem and what was done to fix the problem. I really don't want to get it back and the road again until it is corrected.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
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I had a 1990 Fleetwood Jamboree with that engine setup. One problem they had was the catalytic converter would plug and make them run bad, but they would still run.

Even though the fuel pumps were checked, I would replace them. These engines also have a finned computer module under the hood. The unit is about 6"x 6" x 2". These units were known to get hot, quit and then work again when they cool down. If the issue happens again, grab a bag of ice and immediately place it on the ignition unit for a few minutes and see if the coach restarts.

Don & Mary
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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You might be having a problem with vapor lock on the fuel line. I'm no mechanic, but have heard of problems like this before. Check and make sure the fuel line isn't too close to a header or manifold. Or maybe a factory installed heat shield fell off? The engine will run OK at cooler temperature, which may be why the mechanics could't find the problem at their shop. But if the engine runs hotter, such as on a hot day or pulling a grade, the fuel line might be getting so hot that the gas vaporizes and stops flowing to the carburetor. After the engine cools down, then it will run again. This advice is probably worth what you paid for it, but check out your fuel line.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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I'm assuming this is a fuel injected motor? If so, Classic FFFPP (Ford failing fuel pump problem). Too bad he didn't replace the in-tank pump while the tank was down. Purchase a Motorcraft pump from RockAuto.com.
1995 Coachmen Santara 360MB 36' w/slide.
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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I have a 1988 with the 460 fuel injected motor and it was doing basically the same thing but it was vapor lock. 20 miles after I bought it the thing died. It cost me $1400 to get it towed home. I found it had a stopped up converter. The motor was getting some much engine bay temperature it would act like it was starved for fuel and die. I could let it cool then it would crank up and run fine till it got hot again. Ultimate fix was to put a copper manifold gasket on it with all new bolts. Removed the converter and installed a two into one pipe in it's place. I also dropped the fuel tank and installed a new sending unit and pump. Runs great now. I got my pump off amazon for about $163. I called Airtex and they gave me the number E2060 and the ohms were the same as my sender (10 & 80). I have a single 38 gallon center mounted tank.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:48 AM   #6
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I dough that you have a fuel problem from the sounds of problem it is heat related.
First off if you have not disconnected the battery after the last time it did it you need to see what codes are in the computer memory (CM).

My guess is you have one of three things wrong with it.
1. A bad ICM (Ignition Control Module).
2. A bad PIP sensor (Profile Ignition Pickup).
3. A bad Ignition coil.

With this fuel system even if the boost pump in the tank quits the engine will continue to run as long as you do not go up any steep hills. If I remember right the east side of Amarillo on Interstate 40 is very flat land.
1995 COACHMEN Santara 350FL on a 1994 Ford F53
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:56 AM   #7
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1990 Aluma Lite Stalling Problems Too

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum ... I write to ask for some guidance on the same sort of problems that gsidwell was/is having. We were scheduled to spend a Wilderness Christmas at Disneyworld's Ft. Wilderness Campground this week. As we were driving our Holiday Rambler Aluma Lite to the propane place for a refill, it stalled. We let it sit for a while, and it restarted and were at least able to keep doing this until we got it home. Needless to say, it doesn't stay driving for more than 8 minutes at a time. It has a new fuel filter and there is pressure in the fuel lines. I am still trying to salvage our camping reservation, although Disney has already charged me for breaking our reservation because we couldn't keep our arrival slot (today).

My husband just headed to the Ford dealership with a little plastic part that he says is the lock/clamp for the fuel line (it was broken). He is hopeful that this will solve the problem ... I am not.

So, if you have any questions ... i.e., whether or not the vapor lock was the problem with that other RV having similar problems, I would appreciate the feedback.

Thank you, all and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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I think you are right, that part will not help.

First off you need to check to see what codes you have in the computer memory if you have not disconnected the battery.
This will tell you if it may be fuel or ignition related.

You say you have fuel pressure but was it checked with a gauge?
If not there is no way to tell if you have enough pressure to run the engine.

It may also be as noted above:
1. A bad ICM (Ignition Control Module).
2. A bad PIP sensor (Profile Ignition Pickup) mounted on the stator inside the distributor.
3. A bad Ignition coil.

But you need to run some tests to find the bad part(s) when it stops running.
First you need to find out if you have spark, if you have spark you need to put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel system and drive it until it happens. This will tell you if it is fuel or not.
1995 COACHMEN Santara 350FL on a 1994 Ford F53
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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Disney shouldn't have charged you to delay your arrival. You can delay it all you want, a day, a week, a year.

(If you do delay more than five days, you are then outside the 5 day free cancellation window....)


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