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Old 02-14-2020, 10:38 AM   #1
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New to me Dutch Star owner. Fuel pump replace

I purchase my '04 Dutch Star 4025 pusher last August. I put a couple of short trips on it (about 1k miles) and parked it for some tlc and waiting until spring to get going again. I am in the Kansas City area and we have had some single digit temps.

Back in early December it wouldn't start. No fuel so we pretty well thought that the diesel had jelled since it did not have any winter diesel in it. Fast forward to a few warm days and it still wouldn't start. We changed filters and pressurized the fuel tank and got it to run. It would not run very long without pressure to the tank.

We thought what the heck, did the fuel pump go out while setting in the driveway?

So I got into troubleshooting the pump. I could not hear it run and couldn't reach it to feel if it ran or not. After a few hours of flogging a dead horse I decided to remove it and see what is happening.

Now the fun part. This pump is on the side of the engine at the rear (engine is installed backwards) between block and motorhome frame. There are a ton of wiring and hose looms in front of it so you can't see it no matter where you position yourself. I decided that the best way to handle this is remove the exhaust system and I could get myself between the frame and body to get access to the pump. That still was a problem as the wiring looms were directly in the way and I still couldn't see the pump. I took a ratchet strap and winched the looms up far enough to get my hands in there to at least feel the pump.

Once I had the looms moved far enough to get to pump I started the removal process. I started at 10:30 in the morning and finally had it out around 3:00 that afternoon. Since I was on my own without any help part of that delay was crawling in and out of the space to get the tools needed for removal. You have to be a contortionist to snake your way into the area to get to the pump.

Once the pump was out I ran it on a battery and it was noisy and did not pump. I disassembled it to find debris in the pump that looked like grass clippings. The check valve was also clogged with that debris. I cleaned the pump and check valve but the pump still wasn't putting out any fluid with any authority. While it did work I wasn't convinced that it would continue to. I decided that I didn't want this pump failing again on the road where it would cost thousands of $$ for a tow and have someone replace it.

So I start looking locally for a new pump. No local parts houses can get one so the only other option is Cummins. I call them and was told pump price was $450.00 without tax. It was a 80 mile drive to pick one up and I made the trip. The new pump came from China and is not a exact replacement as the old pump and things like extra ports on the body needed sealed. The original pump had those orifices plugged with pressed in plugs similar to a engine soft plug. $20.00 later and special order to get those plugs I finally had a pump ready to go back into the unit. I have not reinstalled it yet as it is 5 degrees outside right now. Reinstalling will be just as difficult as removing it so I expect at least another 4-5 hour job to get it done.

The thing that bothered me is the debris in the pump. There is no fuel filter between tank and pump. The setup is Tank, lift pump, filter, high pressure pump (injection). It doesn't make sense and I am concerned that the new pump can get trashed with debris again. Looking at lines I can't see how I can install a filter with the amount of room there is. The fuel lines from the tank are copper which was a surprise there. The rest of the lines are encased in the frame and not accessible as far as I can see. There's no dropping and cleaning the tank on the driveway either. It would need to be off the ground at least 3' or more for tank to clear floor of unit.

I am going to run it the way it is but will always be thinking about another clog and another fuel pump failure.

Just not sure what to do about it.

Other than this and a few minor issues this motorhome is a nice unit. I sure hope it doesn't become a money pit in the fuel department...

Edit to add: After taking a picture of the debris in the check valve and pump I did some research and I now believe it is contaminated with algae. I believe I took on the algae at a filling station in a small town in Missouri. I am now re-thinking where I fill up in the future. In the meantime I have to figure out how to get the algae out of the tank with over 100 gallons of diesel in it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:50 AM   #2
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I think what you are looking for is Biocide Fuel Treatment.
This is copied from the internet.

Diesel Biocide Fuel Treatment contains a Biocide to eliminate and prevent the growth of bacteria that can contaminate diesel fuel and cause blockages to fuel filters and lines, resulting in degraded engine performance. The product should be used continually to prevent reformation of this growth.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:51 AM   #3
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I had a similar problem with diesel fuel in my boat - stored with less than a full tank of fuel for several months and algae took over and plugged filters. Treat your fuel with an "algae eating" product such as Bio-Kleen or a similar product readily available at auto parts stores and heavy truck maintenance shops.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...3&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fefanatic View Post
I purchase my '04 Dutch Star 4025 pusher last August. I put a couple of short trips on it (about 1k miles) and parked it for some tlc and waiting until spring to get going again. I am in the Kansas City area and we have had some single digit temps.

Back in early December it wouldn't start. No fuel so we pretty well thought that the diesel had jelled since it did not have any winter diesel in it. Fast forward to a few warm days and it still wouldn't start. We changed filters and pressurized the fuel tank and got it to run. It would not run very long without pressure to the tank.

We thought what the heck, did the fuel pump go out while setting in the driveway?

So I got into troubleshooting the pump. I could not hear it run and couldn't reach it to feel if it ran or not. After a few hours of flogging a dead horse I decided to remove it and see what is happening.

Now the fun part. This pump is on the side of the engine at the rear (engine is installed backwards) between block and motorhome frame. There are a ton of wiring and hose looms in front of it so you can't see it no matter where you position yourself. I decided that the best way to handle this is remove the exhaust system and I could get myself between the frame and body to get access to the pump. That still was a problem as the wiring looms were directly in the way and I still couldn't see the pump. I took a ratchet strap and winched the looms up far enough to get my hands in there to at least feel the pump.

Once I had the looms moved far enough to get to pump I started the removal process. I started at 10:30 in the morning and finally had it out around 3:00 that afternoon. Since I was on my own without any help part of that delay was crawling in and out of the space to get the tools needed for removal. You have to be a contortionist to snake your way into the area to get to the pump.

Once the pump was out I ran it on a battery and it was noisy and did not pump. I disassembled it to find debris in the pump that looked like grass clippings. The check valve was also clogged with that debris. I cleaned the pump and check valve but the pump still wasn't putting out any fluid with any authority. While it did work I wasn't convinced that it would continue to. I decided that I didn't want this pump failing again on the road where it would cost thousands of $$ for a tow and have someone replace it.

So I start looking locally for a new pump. No local parts houses can get one so the only other option is Cummins. I call them and was told pump price was $450.00 without tax. It was a 80 mile drive to pick one up and I made the trip. The new pump came from China and is not a exact replacement as the old pump and things like extra ports on the body needed sealed. The original pump had those orifices plugged with pressed in plugs similar to a engine soft plug. $20.00 later and special order to get those plugs I finally had a pump ready to go back into the unit. I have not reinstalled it yet as it is 5 degrees outside right now. Reinstalling will be just as difficult as removing it so I expect at least another 4-5 hour job to get it done.

The thing that bothered me is the debris in the pump. There is no fuel filter between tank and pump. The setup is Tank, lift pump, filter, high pressure pump (injection). It doesn't make sense and I am concerned that the new pump can get trashed with debris again. Looking at lines I can't see how I can install a filter with the amount of room there is. The fuel lines from the tank are copper which was a surprise there. The rest of the lines are encased in the frame and not accessible as far as I can see. There's no dropping and cleaning the tank on the driveway either. It would need to be off the ground at least 3' or more for tank to clear floor of unit.

I am going to run it the way it is but will always be thinking about another clog and another fuel pump failure.

Just not sure what to do about it.

Other than this and a few minor issues this motorhome is a nice unit. I sure hope it doesn't become a money pit in the fuel department...

Edit to add: After taking a picture of the debris in the check valve and pump I did some research and I now believe it is contaminated with algae. I believe I took on the algae at a filling station in a small town in Missouri. I am now re-thinking where I fill up in the future. In the meantime I have to figure out how to get the algae out of the tank with over 100 gallons of diesel in it.
Hate to spoil your day,But we had 04 Mt Aire with the 400 Cummins with the same setup..tank to Lift Pump....went thru 5 lift pumps.....4 under warranty
At the 5th ,had Cummins put a filter between tank and lift pump....Never had another problem.....C
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:17 PM   #5
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Yep, the problem as I see it is there is no room for a filter between pump and frame on the fuel line. I am going to have to figure a way to get to the lines in the frame and try that way. Since it's been sub zero here in temps I am waiting for a decent day to go hunting.

The other issue may be whether the pump can pull enough fuel from tank with the filter installed.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:23 PM   #6
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Been there done that!

03 MADP with an ISL 400. Just pulled my transfer pump this week. Clogged on the pickup side with restriction (debris) in the check valve. I got a replacement pump from M&D (great shop BTW) but lots of extra plugs are needed to fill holes that are not in the original casting. Although it is true the lift pump failure could cause hard starting due to the lack of prime in the gear pump the pump itself only runs for 30-45 seconds. At that time the gear pump on the back of the CAPS should start drawing fuel. Even if the check valve opens and the pump shuts down the restrictions are STILL in the fuel circuit. I pulled my old pump completely apart to prove to myself this was the root cause of my fuel delivery problem. After seeing all the gunk and the design of the gasket I'm 100% convinced bad or leaking gaskets, or blockage in the check valve path will crap out your engine. I had my tank cleaned by a professional service that dfoes these things, sometimes called fuel polishing, and was pleased to find my tank was a mess. I'm going full on biocide from now on. Lastly with regard to the lack of filters I totally agree. However in the body of the pump on the inlet side there is a screen to keep out the chunks. But that only protects the little pump and the supply side of our rigs is always at risk. I hope someone comes up with an inline solution we could all use.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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My 2004 American tradition with a Spartan chassis had the infamous 1 filter only setup. This configuration was only used a very short time then they went back to the primary and secondary 2 filter setup that works perfectly. The problem as stated is no filter before lift pump. My lift pump clogged with algae causing bucking similar to when a fuel filter Is clogged. Treating tank with biocide does help as well as parking with a full tank of fuel. I did not add a filter before lift pump but believe it should be mandatory. Last thought is if tank is clean and fuel is good quality I believe the thinking of the 1 filter setup was the system is a return style system. Meaning fuel is constantly circulating and returning to tank what main fuel pump does not use. So in theory if engine is being used regularly all fuel is constantly being filtered by way of bypass system. Many on my American coach forums with that era coach has successfully added a filter before lift pump.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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One big problem with no filter before lift pump is when lift pump gets clogged it restricts fuel to CAPS fuel pump and the fuel is what lubricates the main pump. The main pump can eat itself up without unrestricted fuel flow. I cut my fuel filters open when diagymy lift pump problem and saw brass like metal chips in fuel filter. I was sure I had done some damage to my fuel pump. I sold coach shortly after. CAPS fuel pumps are around $5000.00 so run a filter before lift pump lots of filters and biocide and get that tank cleaned out. JMHO.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenbarn1 View Post
One big problem with no filter before lift pump is when lift pump gets clogged it restricts fuel to CAPS fuel pump and the fuel is what lubricates the main pump. The main pump can eat itself up without unrestricted fuel flow. I cut my fuel filters open when diagymy lift pump problem and saw brass like metal chips in fuel filter. I was sure I had done some damage to my fuel pump. I sold coach shortly after. CAPS fuel pumps are around $5000.00 so run a filter before lift pump lots of filters and biocide and get that tank cleaned out. JMHO.
The filter is between the lift pump and the CAPS. If you had brass in the filter it shouldn't have come from the CAPS.

As far as the biocide it looks like it stops future growth but doesn't help what was in there.

We are in the process of pumping the tank empty (over 100 gallons in there) and filtering the fuel before returning it to tank. I had to borrow a couple of portable fuel tanks from a contractor to put the fuel in and those tanks have a filter in the filler hose.

I didn't find any algae or other debris in the filter when I cut it open. Was surprised to find the algae clogging the relief valve. None of it made it to the filter. It just seems strange.

Will know once the tank is drained.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:53 PM   #10
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Being a return style system any debris from pump will be returned to fuel tank then pulled thru lift pump then into filter. The biocide will kill any algae growing in tank but not eliminate it. Sounds like you have everything under control. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:50 AM   #11
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Just an update. I finally reinstalled the new pump and it is working properly. It was not quite as bad going back on as it was coming off but the exhaust gave me issues since I was a one man band trying to lift and install bolts in that monster.

I pumped 110 gallons of fuel out of the tank and took a sample. There were tons of small bits of algae in the fuel but not any water. I had to get the algae from the last fill up. I decided that even though I can filter the fuel and it probably would be OK I am not going to return it to the tank. I can store it and use it in my truck which has a double filter and can safely take the fuel.

My biggest take away is I will now fuel up at stations that do a lot of business such as truck stops. It's not worth saving a few cents only to damage a expensive lift pump or possibly damaging the high pressure injector pump. I've learned my lesson.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:08 PM   #12
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I've just gone through this myself. New pump and a tank cleaning. I just added a vacuum/pressure gauge to my single fuel filter water separator. I marked the readings for start-up (pressure) and run (vacuum). This should help me track the condition on the fuel path to my CAPS. I purchased a high flow rate 100 micron filter to put in line before the pump but will have to see how things line up under the rig. Mine is an 03 MADP with a 400 ISL.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:12 PM   #13
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I'd sure like to see an example of someone adding the pump. I fixing to give that a try.
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