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Old 01-29-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
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Smile Fuel Pump issues on Donated 1994 Southwind 33L Ford

Hello folks,

I am new on this site, as well as to the RV world. By profession I am a Youth Pastor, but I grew up fixing tractors and trucks.

Last week one church member donated us a 1994 Southwind 33L on a Ford chassis with the 460 V8 7.5 engine (F53 I believe). It only has 22,666 miles (funny how the 666 got stuck in there) but hasn't been used in 3-5 years. We changed the main battery and spark plugs, put 20cc of Marvel Mystery oil in each cylinder and cranked engine by had several times to make sure it moves fine. With new battery and new spark plugs we tried to turn it on (using some starting spray) but engine didn't started - it would only run for 5-10 seconds until the starting spray would burn.

I am told that the fuel pump was changed once, at about 10K miles. When I turn the ignition and wait, without attempting to turn on engine, I hear no noise coming from fuel pump in the gas tank. I changed the fuel pump relay, checked the fuzes, looked for the fuel pump switch (or shut-off) and couldn't find it. The fuel gauge is at about a quarter, but goes to empty when I turn the key in ignition. I added ~ 15 gallons on gas with some ethanol gas stabilizer/cleaner per specs. I don't know how much gas was left in the tank when motorhome was parked 3-5 years ago.

I looked up the prices of fuel pumps and it really goes above our budget ($400-700). Local auto stores have affordable pumps ($115-145) for this engine, but I don't know if the'd be compatible with our gas tank. They are made for 19 gallon tanks, ours is 75 gallons. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and willingness to share your knowledge with us.

Chris.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:17 AM   #2
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Hello Chris and . We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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Fuel injected engine requires a specific fuel pump that is mounted inside the fuel tank. Pretty well known malady related to the F-53. Now you know why it was donated.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:31 AM   #4
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The fuel is probably no good after sitting that long. Since it runs for a time on the starting fluid, tells me you've got a fuel problem. Not hearing the in tank pump run for 2-3 seconds with the key turned, tells me pump is dead. It is supposed to run for a second or two to provide fuel pressure for starting. The fuel gauge dropping out tells me the internal float has failed. It is part of the fuel pump assembly.
Given the history of this in-tank pump, age of the gas on board and loss of fuel gauge, I'd be siphoning out the tank, dropping it, and putting in a new fuel pump assembly and replacing any rubber fuel lines that live on top of the tank.

PS I'd only be using a Ford pump/sender assembly because I wouldn't want to redo my work later.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
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Where are you located?
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:08 PM   #6
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RockAuto.com will have the best prices and selection on the fuel pump.
Look for Ford F53 chassis parts to find the one for the big RV tank.

Also, it is common for motorhomes to have a chassis manufacture date one year older than the coach build year. Translation - your 1994 Southwind could be on a 1993 Ford chassis. Look for a chassis build sticker inside the coach (often near the driver's seat) which list build dates, tire and weight data.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:38 PM   #7
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Where are you located?
I am located in Loma Linda, CA
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lt46 View Post
The fuel is probably no good after sitting that long. Since it runs for a time on the starting fluid, tells me you've got a fuel problem. Not hearing the in tank pump run for 2-3 seconds with the key turned, tells me pump is dead. It is supposed to run for a second or two to provide fuel pressure for starting. The fuel gauge dropping out tells me the internal float has failed. It is part of the fuel pump assembly.
Given the history of this in-tank pump, age of the gas on board and loss of fuel gauge, I'd be siphoning out the tank, dropping it, and putting in a new fuel pump assembly and replacing any rubber fuel lines that live on top of the tank.

PS I'd only be using a Ford pump/sender assembly because I wouldn't want to redo my work later.

Best of luck with your decision.
Thank you for your advise, sir! The symptoms you describe above, are exactly as observed in our RV. Tomorrow morning I will take gas tank down and see what kind of damage is inside - most likely fuel pump will be the culprit. I will update as soon as I get the info.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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Before you drop the tank, use a test light and make sure you have electricity to the pump.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:27 PM   #10
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RockAuto.com will have the best prices and selection on the fuel pump.
Look for Ford F53 chassis parts to find the one for the big RV tank.

Also, it is common for motorhomes to have a chassis manufacture date one year older than the coach build year. Translation - your 1994 Southwind could be on a 1993 Ford chassis. Look for a chassis build sticker inside the coach (often near the driver's seat) which list build dates, tire and weight data.
Thank you for the advise, Nick-B. You are right, the chassis is a 1993, though the papers have it registered as a 1994. I've looked the pump up on RockAuto.com and it sells for $350 (F6PZ9H307DB). Tomorrow I'll see how much local stores/dealers have if for, and I might just get it from them if price is right.

Did anyone install any in-line pumps to avoid a possible repeat of this failure? I'd be interested in a more permanent solution for this issue, since the pump was already changed once, at about 10K miles.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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Chris,
Take a look at the Ford chassis forum here. Using "fuel pump" for a search and you should find a wealth of info regarding this repair, including a couple of posts with pictures of the entire process. Best of luck.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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Carter Pump not recommended

I got the Carter pump installed (purchased from PepBoys for ~ $125) and started the engine. It runs very well, but I just found out that Carter pumps are just as bad as the original Ford pumps. Therefore, I just ordered the original F6PZ9H307DB from RockAuto.com for ~$355 with shipping included. It should be here in a few days, then will install it and see how it works.

Another issue I encountered is that the fuel gauge stays at empty as soon as I turn key in ignition. Upon reading several threads, I learned that "0" OHMS or a SHORTED circuit would show an EMPTY TANK on the gauge; "HIGH OHMS like an OPEN circuit would show a FULL TANK on the gauge. Most likely the senders unit is shortcut. The new F6PZ9H307DB comes with a sender unit. Hopefully that will fix the gauge malfunction.

Does anyone have any experience regarding roofing: EPDM vs. TPO vs. PVC membranes?
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #13
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There are quite a few discussions here on iRV2 on EPDM and TPO roof membrane materials. Try a search on EPDM and/or TPO (see the teal box at the top of the page) and you'll find a lot of reading material.

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Old 02-03-2014, 01:14 PM   #14
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I had the same problem a couple years ago on my 1996 F-53. Side note: The gas gage had not worked since I bought the MH in 2002. They had to cut a couple of welds and take out a couple of straps to lower the tank. I don't kow what pump they put in, but it was local in Tallahassee where we were stranded. They used a fork lift to lower the tank which still was a quarter full of gas. When they got the float out there was a hole in it which accounted for the gage not working. We drained and dried it thoroughly and soldered over the hole. Gas gage worked! For about 23 hours. I think the solder did not hold and the hole reopened. I went back to driving with the odometer, and filling up at 250-270 miles. Never another problem from the pump or the new filter which had been changed first. Still working when we sold it last year.
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