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Old 08-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
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Ford 460 Fuel Issue

Hi, I have researched this into the ground, searched all the old posts here as well as on other sites. Just need to check one more time before I start dropping the $$!
I have a 1996 Ford Chassis (F-53) on a 32' Class A Pace Arrow. I am certain all of these problems are related I just don't know how, please help if you can.
The fuel gage does not work on this unit, on 3 seperate occasions my engine has lost power and eventually died and failed to restart for a period of 15 minutes, to in one case a couple hours. Typically before it loses power it coughs, bucks, surges, and sputters. Once it loses power it will always start, then come on line as if to idle for a minute before it surges back and forth then eventually dies. This typically associated with thriple digit temps, and or major grades (Raton pass) long slow treks out of canyons, etc. Most times if I am patient enough (stick around long enough to hear it) the gas tank will bang and clunk while expanding/contracting. Sometimes even if the engine does not die and I have been on the road long periods of time, when I stop and am parked the tank will clank and bang, and of course it always burps, and hisses when I take the cap off.
So far all I have done to combat this is to replace the gas cap (no effect), and to replace the fuel filter. I thought the fuel filter fixed the problem but about 350 miles later I had a repeat experience. The last one cost me about 500.00 to be towed (fired right up at the repair shop and ran beautifully), and told there was nothing wrong with the RV. The guy told me the check engine light has to be on to pull a code, and the the fuel pressure was at 35lbs, and everything checks out fine. The check engine light usually comes on intermittently while it is cycling through it's problem but is off by the time it starts and runs normally.
This unit (outside of this problem) starts and runs really well, tons of power 7 - 9 MPG depending on the conditions (weight, speed, winds). It has 14800 miles on it, 2500 of which I have put on in the last month. As far as it's past goes it looks like it was bought, put on the road when it was new for 8K miles, sat several years inside, was sold in 08, used a few times a year for 200 to 300 mile local trips from 08 to 12 when I bought it. The PO said he never had any of these issues/problems with it. But has been less than honest on other issues (or so it seems) so I really don't know if it did or didn't?
Any and all help would be appreciated. My plan as it is to change the fuel filter once more and if I continue to have the problem change the fuel pump?
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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That model year Ford 460 or V-10 had problems with their fuel pump once gas in tank cooled down or with new fuel added would run for miles until next heat up.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:32 PM   #3
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Intermittent issues like this are usually tough to diagnose, and of course they never show up when you have your vehicle in the shop. As an owner of a rig with a 1987 460, I can tell you my gas tank never clanks or bangs, so that definitely does not sound normal to me.

Other than that, my best guess is vapor lock, based on the triple digit temps you mentioned.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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# issues to check on..

Proper Fuel Tank Venting... This is easy. Take your old gas cap and drill a 1/8" hole through the center and see if it still dies or tank still makes noise.

Vapor Lock.. Do believe yours is an EFI, so this is harder to believe, but still could be. Look at your fuel lines and insulate anywhere it might possibly getting heat soaked. On the carb's 460, this is where it comes up the back of the engine and across the intake manifold/head...

Overheating/Weak Fuel Pump.. Little harder to check, but if the above dont work, about the only thing left. A weak fuel pump could contribute to vapor lock as lower pressure fuel boils easier.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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The bucking/surging only to die and restart later (after it is cooled some) is a classic weak/failing fuel pump. The 90's EFI 460 motorhomes are notorious for it.

The gas tank needs to be dropped to replace it. A few folks have cut an access hole on the floor inside the coach but not everyone can get away with that method as there could be framework, ductwork or even a compartment in between.

A complete new Fuel Pump Assembly (pay the extra for a Ford Motorcraft part) will be complete with a new sending unit which may also fix your inoperative gauge. Obviously a loose or broken wire in the line could also be the culprit.

The banging gas tank is curious. Usually a a new gas cap will fix that.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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I wonder if it would make sense to install a fuel pressure gauge first, so it could be monitored next time it happened?

Before going through all the work of dropping the tank, etc.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Definately fuel starvation. With that tank banging like it is, the first thing I would do is drive it with the gas cap loose.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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X2 on the loose fuel cap. Replace pump/sending unit as that is a known problem. Keep us posted.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input. Let me ask this, is the fuel line to the generator fed from the vehicle fuel pumb? I know the gen has a fuel pump, I guess better stated my question is where does the steel fuel line that feeds the rubber hose to my gen originate? The fuel pump, or the fuel tank? Also, everythime I open my tank it hisses and relieves pressure. There is even a warning sticker saying it will do this near the fuel spout, so having said that, how would drilling (not questioning the advise, just want to know why) a hole in the cap help solve the problem. And yeah, for sure the tank both sucks in (while running) and makes a noise when it does, and when it expands (after it is shut down) it bangs (makes noise) back out.
Has only done that a couple times, once when we were sitting waiting for the tow truck, and once when I had shut down the gen after it had been running several (6+) hours in pretty hot (100+) temps.
I guess I am going to run the fuel out, pull the tank, replace the pump, replace both gen, and engine fuel filters and hope for the best.
As far as accessing that area through the floor of the unit. It seems like that might be almost as troublesome as dropping the tank. I could see that as a potential soloution if this was a recurring event maybe but.....?
Having never done either I don't know. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YZF571 View Post
Thanks everyone for the input. Let me ask this, is the fuel line to the generator fed from the vehicle fuel pumb?
No, the fuel is pumped by the generator fuel pump.


Quote:
I know the gen has a fuel pump, I guess better stated my question is where does the steel fuel line that feeds the rubber hose to my gen originate? The fuel pump, or the fuel tank?
The fuel tank. Your engine has a fuel pump which feeds the engine, at the same time, your generator has a fuel pump which feeds the generator from the same tank. The only difference is the generator has a pickup tube about 1/4 from the bottom of the tank.

Quote:
Also, everythime I open my tank it hisses and relieves pressure. There is even a warning sticker saying it will do this near the fuel spout, so having said that, how would drilling (not questioning the advise, just want to know why) a hole in the cap help solve the problem. And yeah, for sure the tank both sucks in (while running) and makes a noise when it does, and when it expands (after it is shut down) it bangs (makes noise) back out.
Has only done that a couple times, once when we were sitting waiting for the tow truck, and once when I had shut down the gen after it had been running several (6+) hours in pretty hot (100+) temps.
I guess I am going to run the fuel out, pull the tank, replace the pump, 2
replace both gen, and engine fuel filters and hope for the best.
As far as accessing that area through the floor of the unit. It seems like that might be almost as troublesome as dropping the tank. I could see that as a potential soloution if this was a recurring event maybe but.....?
Having never done either I don't know. Any thoughts on that?
Ok, my thoughts are, your fuel pump for the engine is sucking fuel, as is your genny. If the fuel tank is not vented properly, it's going to create a vacuum in the tank. With a vacuum in the tank it is going to collapse, which will cause it to make noise when it collapses and when enough air gets back in to expand again, it is going to make noise again. With a strong vacuum in the tank, the fuel pump for the engine and the genny is going to have to work harder to pump enough fuel to keep them running.

Since your engine is starving for fuel, I highly suspect there is too great of a vacuum in your tanks for the fuel pump to compensate for it. If you would just loosen your fuel cap as as a test, this will tell you if this is the problem and it doesn't cost you a dime. I really do suspect you have a venting problem in your fuel tank. You can choose to ignore this and throw dollars at it if your wish, it's just my opinion.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:13 PM   #11
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I agree with Cylon51 and those others who have suggested loosening your fuel cap. I have a 1987 460 ford and had a similar problem, however, it would kill the generator before it would the 460 because the generator pump is not as strong as the 460 pump. My S-I-L suggested loosening the cap so I tried it and that fixed my problem. We later drilled a hole thru the cap and are still happily RVing along.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:23 PM   #12
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I'm not sure that I'd rule out the crankshaft positioning sensor. every symptom you have was exactly what I had and the CPS was the cause. I was squirting water on my ignition wires, in the dark, and heard a bird chirping in the engine compartment which was the tell tale sign.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51 View Post
No, the fuel is pumped by the generator fuel pump.




The fuel tank. Your engine has a fuel pump which feeds the engine, at the same time, your generator has a fuel pump which feeds the generator from the same tank. The only difference is the generator has a pickup tube about 1/4 from the bottom of the tank.



Ok, my thoughts are, your fuel pump for the engine is sucking fuel, as is your genny. If the fuel tank is not vented properly, it's going to create a vacuum in the tank. With a vacuum in the tank it is going to collapse, which will cause it to make noise when it collapses and when enough air gets back in to expand again, it is going to make noise again. With a strong vacuum in the tank, the fuel pump for the engine and the genny is going to have to work harder to pump enough fuel to keep them running.

Since your engine is starving for fuel, I highly suspect there is too great of a vacuum in your tanks for the fuel pump to compensate for it. If you would just loosen your fuel cap as as a test, this will tell you if this is the problem and it doesn't cost you a dime. I really do suspect you have a venting problem in your fuel tank. You can choose to ignore this and throw dollars at it if your wish, it's just my opinion.


The only reason I suggested drilling a hole in your OLD cap was so you didnt have to think about it while traveling. You could simply tighten the cap and go. If your problem didnt return, you know no its a venting problem. You already purchased a new cap, so no money wasted
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone, clyon51, thank you especially! What you are saying makes perfect sense. The same problem that engine has the generator seems to have, however not at the exact time. I am guessing that the engine fuel pump can power through what the gen fuel pump cannot? I will try the gas cap deal, and yes for sure midniteoyl, I already have the new cap so why not!
I would like to add, that I recently ruptured a fuel line to the gen, the rubber line that plugs on to the barbed steel end that comes from the tank. I replaced that myself, of note as that prior to that it had never quit or exhibited the previously mention symptons. Could be taht I had not had it long enough, or not driven it long enough to have the problem as the PO said it never happened to him? Just wondering if one (the ruptured fuel line) had anything to do with the problem?
At any rate I will try venting the tank through the fuel cap and see what that does.
Thanks everyone, much appreciated!
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