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Old 08-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Ford Fuel pump failed + tank failure

Well, we tried to take our first long trip in our 2005 Jayco Class-C.
We made it to Dallas, Texas and when attempting to leave, the RV wouldn't start. It sounded like lack of fuel to me, but I couldn't find a schrader valve on the fuel rail...

So I pulled the fuel filter line, confirmed that we had no fuel pressure.
From there, I bought an Alldata subscription and traced the electrical. In retrospect, I did it backwards and should have started at the tank checking for 12v. But basically, I started battery back and checked:
1) Fuse (20A under the power distribution area)
2) Relay, same area as above
3) Inertia switch, under passenger side kick panel
4) FPDM (fuel pump driver module) - drivers side fuel rail, behind the fuel filter

After that, I knew I had 12v to the pump and no pressure. We tried the "hammer the tank" method to see if we could get the pump to free up, but no luck.

It happened on a Sunday. It took 2 days to find someone to tow it and somewhere to tow it to. Only 1 in 5 Ford dealers could take it.

Another few days were spent trying to get it into the bay at the Ford dealer, as they had to call a 2nd tow truck for a "drop-in".


I was expecting to spend $1k for a fuel pump. About $600 for the factor pump and $400 for labor. When they dropped the tank, they snapped a number of "studs" that hold the pump in. I thought they had told me that the tank cost $300, but apparently they said $3500 and managed to get the cost down to $2000.
Total bill for a new fuel tank and fuel pump: $3700


Apparently at least one law firm is trying to get class-action status on an issue with delaminating fuel tanks, see: Ford Truck Fuel Tank Defect Class Action Lawsuit

The actual law firm is: Scarinci Hollenbeck - but class action status hasn't been approved yet.

Apparently the tanks get pretty crusty... There is a TSB on the issue:
"LACK OF POWER DUE TO LOW FUEL PRESSURE, FUEL TANK LINER SEPERATION." - Bulletin No 19621
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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I don't see that bulletin anywhere. Are you sure that is correct. That is the first I have heard of a fuel tank issue but there may be.

I betting that the tech that removed your fuel pump used an air or electric impact gun to remove the nuts. If they are presoaked and hand tools are used, you are pretty much guaranteed that they will come off. I just did one on a 2008 with no issues at all. Sounds like the tech got a little skippy on your tank and charged you for his screw up.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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It's a bit hard to tell if the tech screwed it up or not... And honestly, they had me over a barrel on the issue and there wasn't anything I could do.

I've seen references to it (the TSB) but can't get the info either. See:
2006 FORD E-450 TSB's (technical service bulletins)
Service Bulletin 222102 for Ford FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE | AutoMD


The TSB deals with the root cause of fuel pump failure - some form of internal delamination. It doesn't address busted fuel pump studs. Note, I've had two Ford motorhomes, one had a completely clogged filter at 55k miles (I bought it used) and the current one was pretty brown at 21k miles. Sure, they use a lot of gas, but I've never seen fuel filters like these Fords have.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cb1000rider View Post
It's a bit hard to tell if the tech screwed it up or not... And honestly, they had me over a barrel on the issue and there wasn't anything I could do.

I've seen references to it (the TSB) but can't get the info either. See:
2006 FORD E-450 TSB's (technical service bulletins)
Service Bulletin 222102 for Ford FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE | AutoMD


The TSB deals with the root cause of fuel pump failure - some form of internal delamination. It doesn't address busted fuel pump studs. Note, I've had two Ford motorhomes, one had a completely clogged filter at 55k miles (I bought it used) and the current one was pretty brown at 21k miles. Sure, they use a lot of gas, but I've never seen fuel filters like these Fords have.
I remember some early F53's with the 460 and that era tanks having issues but I thought there was a change to stainless steel. The one I just had did have a very small amount of rust on the walls but nothing that would flake off. I have had several 7.3L vans with clogged intank pick ups. But that was not from rust, it was from debris during fillups or the fuel. Those numbers do not come up and I checked TSBs for that year and did not see any. Still may have missed it but I am curious. If there is an issue, call Ford customer support and see if there can be any CLP (customer loyalty assistance). I hate to hear that you got hosed on the gas tank though.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:21 PM   #5
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Maybe there is some specific problem I am not aware of, but there is a very easy fix for breaking the sending unit bolts or studs at the tank.

In addition my understanding is that the delamination is specific to diesel tanks. Ford claimed BioDiesel was the culprit. Some had the problem without ever using Bio.

The proper Ford pump is almost $500 MSRP. Add a filter, labor and such and its $1000. I see $1700 MSRP for a new tank. So assuming you really needed it, you weren't ripped off. Any service facility will add extra labor for fuel transfer time, and for RV stuff in the way. Depending on the fuel level, and your rig the prices may be actually pretty good (the $2000, not $3700).

Now if they can just get you running for more than a parking lot ride...
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:28 PM   #6
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Maybe there is some specific problem I am not aware of, but there is a very easy fix for breaking the sending unit bolts or studs at the tank.
Wanna clue me in? Typically I can see avoiding drilling or using heat on a fuel tank with left over fuel in it.

Again, I'm not saying I was "ripped off" - I'm just saying that it's a *really* expensive repair and seems to be fairly common on the large Ford trucks (both diesel and gas).
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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I was just looking at that law suite you posted. I would be careful because im pretty sure several of the trucks listed in there use plastic fuel tanks. I will try and check and verify tomorrow but several ring a bell for plastic fuel tanks being used.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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I would be careful because im pretty sure several of the trucks listed in there use plastic fuel tanks.
It's not my lawsuit. I don't know all of the vehicles, but the fuel tank in ours was steel... It wouldn't make sense to reference plastic tanks with the same problem.

I think my main point is that $2000 is a lot of money for a fuel tank if Ford's tanks have a delamination problem... Had I know about a TSB or other indications of lots of problems I would have moved to an aftermarket tank with a different internal coating and probably saved a bit of money too..

Here are some additional references to both diesel and gas trucks having the issue. It may be a different root cause for diesel trucks maybe via biodiesel (we do have diesel Class-Cs):
http://www.finishing.com/442/19.shtml

The TSB shows up on nhtsa's website, but I can't read the full contents.
Search under Service bulletin by http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID enter NHTSA ID Number: 10022243
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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It's not my lawsuit. I don't know all of the vehicles, but the fuel tank in ours was steel... It wouldn't make sense to reference plastic tanks with the same problem.
I know its not yours, but wasn't sure if you have to pay in to get in with this lawsuit. Did you look at your tank and the fuel pump. How was the pickup sock?
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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CB1000rider, I feel for you, more often than not when you are home or close enough to get home it is a game changer. However when you are out on the road, well you are at the mercy of whomever, sometimes it just comes down to luck, good or bad. Hope you get it behind you and you are able to salvage whatever is left of your planned trip and you have an awesome time to make up for the headache you experienced along the way.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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I know its not yours, but wasn't sure if you have to pay in to get in with this lawsuit. Did you look at your tank and the fuel pump. How was the pickup sock?
Class actions are typically contingency. The people that usually get paid the most are the attorneys representing the class.

I didn't get to see the pickup sock, I just got to see what was in the filter after the pump. I know the exterior of that tank had some delamination, I dunno if it is coated the same way on the inside....



We couldn't salvage the trip with the RV. It was a 10-day repair, not counting the days that we spent trying to get it towed. We were lucky that we were not on the road.

Remaining salvage was renting an SUV and driving it 2500 miles.. Not the same, but I'll take it...
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #12
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Class actions are typically contingency. The people that usually get paid the most are the attorneys representing the class.

I didn't get to see the pickup sock, I just got to see what was in the filter after the pump. I know the exterior of that tank had some delamination, I dunno if it is coated the same way on the inside....



We couldn't salvage the trip with the RV. It was a 10-day repair, not counting the days that we spent trying to get it towed. We were lucky that we were not on the road.

Remaining salvage was renting an SUV and driving it 2500 miles.. Not the same, but I'll take it...
unless the coating is clear on the inside, the tanks have no internal coatings. It is just bright steel or stainless steel. I thought they were stainless steel but I cant say for sure. However the external portion of the tank is coated with a thick paint like material, maybe an undercoating. Not the same as the inside. If you had plenty of power one day and a no start the next day, sounds like the pump motor just quit. If you had a plugging issue from tank contamination the power at high loads and high RPM's would be noticed first. This is because the most fuel volume is used during this time. If yours is an 05, it probably has a fuel pressure sensor on the fuel rail and when low pressure is detected it will trigger a check engine light. That was the reason I had to replace the pump on the recent 08. You would have a lack of power for a while before the sock and filter got contaminated to the point of a no start. These engines can run on 10 PSI of fuel pressure at idle. Not well but can start.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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Perhaps "plated" is a better word than coated internally. Here's a look at a 2004 patient for plating steel tanks: Rust preventive carbon steel sheet for fuel tank having good welding gastightness and anticorrosion after forming - US Patent 6673472 Description. This may be what you're calling "bright" steel.

I don't think that the tank (internally) is untreated steel. It'd certainly rust up very quickly when exposed to any sort of moisture. On the outside, we were losing more than just paint.


I had a '99 with a similar issue in regard to fuel pressure due to a clogged (large) filter. When clogged, the first symptoms were actually failure to idle for long periods of time - and setting bank lean codes. I'm not saying that you wouldn't notice at WOT, but I noticed it at idle before it got to be a WOT problem... It might have been the luck of the draw.

No fuel pressure reported by OBD-II (in 1999 or 2005) - that doesn't mean there isn't a sensor. The data isn't reported to OBD-II though.

Current class action out of NJ is for diesel tanks only, although there are issues reported with the gasser's too..
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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Plain steel tanks were used from before 1900 all the way until a few years ago. Coatings are common now, as is plastic. Constant use keeps the steel fresh. Sitting, especially with low fuel causes rotting. Of course, all uncoated steel rusts on the outside. I've replace thousands of steel tanks, and most were rusted on top. Dirt with moisture sits on the top and never comes off.

When (if) I break the bolts or studs used on almost all Ford tanks I drill the hole through into the tank. I drill the 6 mm bolt or stud out with a 6mm bit. I tap a 1/4' 20 TPI thread into orginal 6mm bolt hole. 1/4' is 6.38mm so there is just enough metal to make threads with my inaccurate hand drilling. I install the stainless 1/4' bolt from the inside to create a new stud. In most cases I don't have to drill the sending unit, but sometimes I do. The bolt ring if very often stainless, so the drilling of the softer 8.8 (or less) bolts is pretty easy. I use a handsaw that accepts sawsall blades if I need to cut the broken parts, but more often the bolt is broken flush. I use an air drill to avoid sparks and drill at low speeds for the same reason. I'm guessing that there could be sparks, but hand tools used to install the bolts could spark too. I ram a big towell in the hole to catch the shavings, and I shop vac any that get by . The gaskets on Ford tanks typically surround the bolt holes so leakage is unlikely. I add a drip of gas tank sealer to each bolt to be sure, I've had the same tube since the 90's. I add $100, preapproved by the customer when I do this. It typically takes a half hour start to finish, and the rest pays for bits, bolts, and more profit. It's a win win because tanks range from $250 to $3000 customer cost.
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